Mass Shootings: An uncomfortable reality

Mass shootings, to paraphrase London mayor Sadiq Khan, are “part and parcel” of modern life. It feels like you can’t go too long without another one happening. They’re like buses to an extent you wait for the next one and then two come along at once.

Mass shootings, happen across the world. They do appear tied to American culture in particular.

America is a place that is permissive of our baser urges. All you can eat, shopping sprees and now shooting sprees.

It feels like shooting sprees/ mass shootings are now part of the American identity. Mass shootings are also associated with young men. Specifically, forgive me for generalising but nerdy, weak, young white men.

Mass shootings are a staple of modern American life now.

If there is to be a solution, then you, me and society, in general, may have to have uncomfortable discussions.

Before you read any further understand that I’m not proposing a solution. To be honest, I don’t think that there is a solution. What solution “helpers” offer will be the equivalent of putting a plaster on a bullet wound.

This will be grim, but If we want to solve the problem, you and I will have to admit that there is one.

2: Armoured cars, tanks and sons

What is the solution?

Think about it while I map out the course of events.

You have probably seen a cycle play out over and over again and again.

There are reports of a shooter. Then there are reports of there being multiple shooters. It goes back down to one shooter, police arrest/kills the perpetrator. The face is plastered all over the news. The news pours over that person’s history. They read out the manifesto, and everyone tries to work out what his “Rosebud” was.

Then you have all sides of the political spectrum pointing the finger at everyone. Everyone but themselves. The pitch of the rhetoric becomes so intense you feel your teeth rattle. Everyone wants to blame everyone but themselves.

Once the media have milked it for all it’s worth, hold on!. Bring on a victim out of courtesy. Better yet can you use them as a political football?

“As someone who has got shot it made it clear that we need to raise the corporation taxes,”. The person who uses a wheelchair says to a congressperson.

The congressperson says that they can’t click their fingers. The news anchor admonishes it, rating gold and let’s hope that someone makes a meme out of it too. Once the ad revenue drops off, the victim is wheeled away. We now return you to our scheduled programming.

It’s a brand new show, but it feels like a rerun. How many seasons has this sad state of affairs broadcast?

Too many.

What’s the solution to this?

How do you stop mass shootings from happening?

The most obvious answer would be to take away the guns.

People of a more conservative nature tend to want to hold onto their guns. The argument is that they might need them if the government turns tyrannical.

I can see what they mean, but it feels like guns won’t change anything. My reason for this is that with what happened in Waco, Texas. A group f Branch Davidians were massacred by the government. They were heavily armed. Guns helped not a bit.

Kieran, because they didn’t work in that instance doesn’t mean that they won’t work again.

With the advancement of technology, it doesn’t matter. Obama thought nothing of drone striking American citizens. How many more presidential terms do we go through before we get to a president who will carry them out on home turf?

To the anti-Trumpers reading this, pipe down, it won’t be him.

The Right to bear arms

Americans have the right to own firearms but going up against a tank, a helicopter, the national guard? How would you fare?

You can see it from their point of view. I grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the tail end of the troubles. I can say that guns were not the biggest threat. It was members of the IRA who couldn’t set a bomb fuse properly were more a cause for concern.

Part of me wonders would the troubles have been as bad if citizens of Northern Ireland were permitted firearms?

Here’s the thing about Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Guns fell into the hands of two groups, there were the authorities and the criminals. It was the civilians who were caught in the crossfire.

This is one of the things common among criminals, they tend to flout the law.

Had the civilians been armed, had it been legal, would it have made a difference?

Out of respect, it feels like I have to say that things would have been worse if we all had guns.

I need to get back on track, this was supposed to be a short post.

You still with me?


Everyone wants to blame that “one” thing.

“It’s guns.”

“No, it’s not, it’s video games.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, it’s white supremacy.”

“You’re mad it’s clearly climate change.”

This is what annoys me when “our betters” get into it about what is the cause. Always try and narrow it down to one specific thing.

While that one thing is probably a factor what is more likely is that it’s a whole load of things. In the same way that a chicken breast does not a Tikka Masala make some ingredients stick out more than others.

There’s something bigger below the surface.

There are many factors at play when it comes to mass shooters. Taking away the guns might be a step in the right direction but look all over the world. From young men who decide to take a van and drive it into a bunch of people. Lads who only wear a vest filled with dynamite into a cafe. Even the youths in London estates who just love stabbing each other let’s get real.

Young men have a lot of rage in them.

Young men are disposable.

Finally, young men do not give a fuck because they have nothing to lose.

I’m talking economically and genetically.

Our attitude to young men is not going to change anytime soon. There is a whole section of young men in our society that for better or worse are useless. I don’t mean that in a deliberately hurtful way,

In the first world, back-breaking labour and dangerous jobs are a minority.

We used to ship young men off to fight wars for rich old guys so that they could get richer. These young men were meat for the grinder, and no one batted an eyelid because that’s just the way it goes.

Life today has brought us many beautiful things. While it brings comfort and ease it has also taken purpose from young men’s lives. A man at rock bottom with nothing to live for has the potential to blow up in our faces.

Do you want to go deeper

The thing is that do we want to stop the shootings or do we want to replace it with stabbings? Or do we want to replace it with men ploughing into pedestrians?

By the time the American government get round to sorting out the gun issue, it won’t matter. Drones are becoming more sophisticated.

To quiet noisy neighbours, one man fitted fireworks to his drone.


Flamethrowers have been fitted to drones.


Can you think of a group who love experimenting with gadgets more?

Could the answer be with ourselves?

Do you and I stop congregating in public? Rob them of the opportunity. To quote Saving Private Ryan: Three men are an opportunity, one man is a waste of ammo.

What is your answer?

Mass Shootings: Conclusion

It feels like mass shootings are here to stay for the foreseeable.

If there were a solution, you would know what it is by now.

Getting to the bottom of mass shootings.

Trying to address will lead to uncomfortable conversations. Are you prepared to talk?

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