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Letter: Shooter’s mentality

Letter to the editor Deseret News

As the nation reels from another series of mass murder, the debate over causation rages on. Violent video games, the availability of firearms and mental illness are often cited as contributing factors. All that I just mentioned may contribute to gun violence. However, I believe the main causation is males who feel victimized, powerless and exhibit paranoid thinking. I say males because I cannot think one instance where a female has been responsible for a mass shooting. People who feel they are victims and powerless tend to blame others for their situation in life.

Typically they blame immigrants who they believe are stealing their jobs and threatening their culture. Shooters who belong to a minority group feel persecuted and blame the predominant culture, religion or people who have power or authority. Timothy McVeigh was convinced the government was going to confiscate his guns. The Virginia Tech shooter was unable to cope with being bullied. Mass shooters are attracted to firearms because firearms represent power and the ability to inflict mass casualties. As long as there are people in our society who feel marginalized and powerless, I fear we will continue to experience more tragic shootings. I truly wish I had a more optimistic outlook on this tragic situation.

Neil Thomas