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Why are the school shooters almost always young boys?

Most all school shooters are young men (https://www.statista.com/statistics/476445/mass-shootings-in-the-us-by-shooter-s-gender/) Some social scientists think that it's because of young boys trying to live up to a stereotypic masculine ideal.

"Boys involved in school shootings often struggle to live up to what they perceive as their school’s ideals surrounding masculinity. When socially shunned at school, they develop deep-set grudges against their classmates and teachers. The shooters become increasingly angry, depressed, and more violent in their gendered practice"...." boys’ social status in middle and high school is determined in great part by peers’ acceptance of them as “appropriately masculine.” Their guidelines for gender appropriateness are found in a set of Adolescent Insider Masculinity norms that describe masculinity as the ideal that men are cool, heterosexual and tough, shy away from “sissy stuff” and embrace activities, behavior and mannerisms that are typical of “guys”. Falling short of this ideal sets some boys up for school-situated problems and reactions that are typical of adolescents."

"Most were repeatedly and publicly tagged with homosexual and feminized epithets such as being a “homo”, a “cry baby” or a “fag”. All 31 shooters were made aware of their failings through their classmates’ emasculating bullying, rejection by girlfriends, and marginalization in general. Some reported being physically and sexually victimized by their male peers. "

[springer.com]

I find this an interesting insight, considering toxic masculinity is becoming an issue with persons like Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, etc. "Traditional stereotypes of men as socially dominant, along with related traits such as misogyny and homophobia, can be considered "toxic" due to their promotion of violence, including sexual assault and domestic violence" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxic_masculinity#Health_effects)

I think it is time to raise young men to a different ideal of what masculine is. A devotion to work and family and excelling in sports are fine and don't promote violence. The ability to show emotion and vulnerability needs to be recognized as true courage. The ability to get help from another in a time of need should be recognized as wisdom. Complete self-reliance needs to be recognized as an unskillful strategy. The complete respect of women as equals needs to be taught as a basic truth. Violation of women's rights needs to be taught as not only illegal, immoral and unethical but also lacks a basic understanding of empathy and respect.

AwarenessNow 7 May 20
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18 comments

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0

Why are they almost always white men, the percent is apparently 92 ...,?????

0

When I was in School, fights between schools happened. My HS would attack any "caravan or march" passing in front of the school and that included a University of Puerto Rico ROTC Veterans March. We had enough ignorance of youth to show no fear. Never was a shooting event even with Police Shock Force involvement. Only casualty was a student from another school stabbed to death in our stairs during an attack to our school. By the time I graduated I had tasted "Tear Gas" 3 times, it was late 60's, early 70's, civil unrest for civil rights and against vietnam war. Lack of weapons was never the excuse. Puerto Rico always had enough weapons to start a revolution. We had bullies, transgenders candidates and fags in our times. We had junkies, drug dealers, subversives and no shootings. We had victims of abuse at home. Sexual predators too. Realigious zealots and ammosexuals too. Guys that couldn't wait to get drafted they had to volunteer. Talking about testosterone inbalance? That was years before herpes and aids, those were the years of " free love", "black is beautiful" and women burning bras. Not a single shooting. And we had socialists, communists, independentists at the levels of today "fashionistas". We also had hippies and the phrases "Peace and Love" and "jesus loves you". There was plenty of drugs too. Guns available and no shootings. I hear a lot of excuses and explanations today.

Can we not see terms like transgenders and fags here? “ Transgender people” and gays would be respectful options, rather than using slurs from back when. Thank you.

@UUNJ I was refering to those days and times... that vivid reality of yesteryear. Not trying to offend but trying to paint the reality of those times and they were not hurt or beat up as happening now despite your kindness. Violence then was live like now, bigotry, racism was real then. Weapons available, not the same kind but laws that came after my youth took care of fixing that with plenty of availability to weapons of massive casualty.

@GipsyOfNewSpain I get that, but is the pain caused to trans and gay folx reading the post worth that bit of authenticity? Would you have casually tossed in the N-word?

@UUNJ I had tossed nigger, wetback, spick, beaner, cracker in a few post... expressing my "ameriKKKan experience" I learned the definition of those words at age 27 when I was a member of US Navy. So I didn't grew up with those words and first time I read about the "N" word was when two blacks athletes mentioned it... Bob Gibson and Muhammed Ali and neither of them used with the connotation of a white man may use it despite they did implied it how they referred to it. Bob Gibson, a St Louis Cardinals Pitcher made the reference how he treated (white?) rookies facing him for the first time "If you don't know what a nigger is, I am about to show you" and then he will threw his fastball aiming to the rookie head. When Muhammed Ali beat Joe Frazier in their second fight he told Frazier's son your dad is a bad nigger. I know that not growing up with those words makes me unaware of that pain that they bring and when used to me do not hurt the same way because I won't allow you or anyone else to reach me like that. I got bi-sexual daughter and first time she came out of the closet I told her give me a hug, does not matter you always going to be my daughter but my knees buckled within a minute of telling me and not because of hate or anger... simply because I knew that she had made her life more difficult and more challenging. My children can tell me anything. I had lived a long life facing plenty situations that a different individual may had not made it alive. I try to be a Straight Shooter. So if my words hurt anyone, they are in for a lot of pain because this world we live in has no respect for the individual, any individual and they better be ready, I was hoping they understood the use of the word. I can ask for an apology from you or anyone offended. No ambient alibi. And even today I was lamenting how come when I was growing up we had songs like "Teach your children well" in the Radio... is there any song like that right now? But I do thank you for your concern and for looking out for them.

@GipsyOfNewSpain It’s not “looking out for them.” It’s looking out for all of us in hopes that we might have a more civil discourse. Also, I’m bi, so “them” includes me. #youcanttellbylooking

@UUNJ I got you. Thank You.

1

I consider the raging hormone of testosterone a factor also in irrational, aggressive behavior in young men. Without an outlet to safely express urges brought on by this reproductive hormone, a young man may commit offensive 'acting out'.

If hormones were to blame, every male would be violent.

Are you trying to say.... football or guns?

@UUNJ

1
0

So why do you think the high-school girls reject these kinds of not-so-masculine boys? It has been said that women have determined the evolution of the modern man by whom they have chosen to mate with over time. So can't we blame this kind of behavior on women?

um...

Certainly, masculinity and femininity haven't evolved in a vacuum. I'm sure both sexes have played a role in the formation of the other. When I was in high school, (a very long time ago) it seemed that the masculine archetype of strong, good in sports, excelling in all you do, no fear etc certainly was in play more than it is now. I have no idea what young men and women consider masculine now, or if even masculine is something that needs to be displayed in order to attract the attention of women. Is it true that the shooters had difficulty in finding a girlfriend?

Because girls are not responsible for being nice to guys so they don’t freak the fuck out.

4

It starts with the parents and yet, I have seen truly "good" parents turn out rotten kids and truly bad parents turn out good kids.

My oldest son is homeless in California and I have not heard from him in over two years. Nope, he is not going to shoot anyone, but what makes one child turn out to be homeless at 38 while the other is in a stable job, marriage, and is doing well? Depression and bipolarism are rampant on my maternal side, but why does one child dodge it and the other does not?

Why does one child decide to shoot up a school and others in the family do not? Genes? Environment?

A roll of the dice.

@skeptic99 That is my only explanation.

3

Having read the whole of this, the one point no one has made yet is the inception of the drugs/meds all these kids have been on, most of them with the side effects of and including suicide. so there's that. you cannot be on these strong drugs, that their parents have agreed to place them on, (simply because they cannot and will not afford the time their kids need to be taught to be decent human beings and RESPECT others) without the horrible side effects of them. being on them long term as most of them have, it is undoubtedly one of the causes of this.

6

I totally see this as a top down problem. Adults and their attitudes are causing much of the problem.

I'm sure there are people older than me on here. I'm 54. When I was a kid no matter how pissed I was with someone shooting them was not an option. No one had anything but hunting rifles and shotguns. No one carried a gun but cops. Not one of my friends families, or family members back then had a gun for 'self defense'.

And now we live in a society where adults feel a need for a ccl so they can pack heat in case of a confrontation over parking at their suburban WalMart. (Yeah, I got a friend...)
When politicians make it legal, and a large portion of the population feels justified in their need to carry a gun in public... their little problem solver if you will. Well, confused angry kids don't have a chance. The message is coming from the top down.

24/7 cablenews has this country scared of their own shadow. We're a bunch of well armed scaredy cats, who feel bad ass with our piece. Statistically the country is much safer than it was in the 60s and 70s, but I work around people shit-scared of crime. The 24/7 news barrage has them convinced they're the next house on the MS13 mexican drug gang home invasion list.

Adults who think guns are the answer, raise a generation of kids who think guns are the answer.

Let's consider how this country was created. It is the product of a 300-year-long race war between invading Europeans and Native Americans. One of the reasons the Europeans won the struggle was because they had guns. This is why there is a gun culture in America. Over the past fifty years our immigration laws have been gutted and our borders have been thrown open to millions of non-white immigrants. We are undergoing a radical transformation in a VERY short time. The results of that recently concluded race war are being negated. Most people know at a gut level this will not turn out well, and they had better hold onto their guns... which after all, were the decisive factor from 1600 to 1900. Everybody knows there's lots more bloody killing to come here in America.

@skeptic99
I totally agree there is a gun culture here.

My dad, and many other dads, uncles, and grandfathers had a rifle or shotgun, or two, in the house. But I can honestly say I didnt know a SINGLE one who had what we would call a 'home defense' weapon. AR15's, and pistols, pistol grip shotguns, etc... people that never hunt, and don't have a desire to do so. And people who have never been a victim of a crime, nor know someone who was robbed packing a pistol with a ccl, because they need protection. They fear crime like people who live in a large city and can name two people on their block who were strong arm mugged this week... they feel as if its that real. I think that's where the change has come. Fear of crime. And while immigration has changed some parts of the country, there has not been an explosion in violent crime. The statistics don't back up the fear.
Hell, even my ex mother-in-law went out and bought a small .25 caliber pistol for her purse. 60 years old living in a sleepy Missouri town. Why? Immigrants? Nope. She couldn't find one to show you. Just fear of non-existent crime.

I blame 24/7 news WAY more than the actual changes. Perception has stoked the fear. And now we are raising kids in it.

I also wonder about the drugs we give kids so readily today.

@Quattrostagione I don't carry a gun, even though the area where I live has been flooded with immigrants over the past 20 years. I live out in the boondocks, which is all white. Go into town and it's a different story with whole areas of town taken over by mostly Hispanic immigrants. The public schools, once 90 percent white, are now half Hispanic and Asian. One gets the feeling this thing could unwind pretty quickly if the economy ever collapsed. It's been said America is a place with a lot of different kinds of people who all agree to get along for their mutual economic advantage. Take away the possibility for economic advantage and people will stop getting along. One sees formerly stable nations like Venezuala and Syria crumble into chaos, and you realize it could happen here, too. All the raw material is in place for a nasty situation. No, I don't carry a gun, but I own guns... just in case the dollar collapses and things go bad. With a 21 trillion-dollar national debt that is doubling every ten years and no hint anything can be done to correct this problem, I'm wagering the good times will not last forever.

@skeptic99

I think once again its fear driving thoughts like that. The depression didn't create masses of tribal warloads in our country in the past. Are most people going to start shooting neighbors for gasoline if the econmy crashes? In the depression most people got help from neighbors and strangers. So I don't buy that sort of fear at all. Most people are generally decent. We're not on the verge of going Road Warrior anytime soon.

@Quattrostagione In the 1930s we were a white nation, the one you see in Norman Rockwell paintings. Now we have become a multi-racial/multi-ethnic empire. Homogenous nations are stable. They endure for centuries and only pass away because of foreign invasion. Multi-racial empires are highly unstable. They never last long, quickly succumbing to internal divisions. This is history. The United States is nothing like it was 85 years ago. So any comparison to how we behaved during the Great Depression does not apply to how we might behave today. Also, the nation was much more rural back then, allowing a major part of the population to feed themselves from family farms. Farming today is big business, corporate farms. These enterprises would collapse with the economy and would feed nobody. The collapse of the Soviet Union is worth considering. Although the USSR was racially and culturally diverse, the various ethnic groups lived in their own distinct republics. When the empire collapsed, the various republics split off into separate independent nations. This kept violence to a minimum. The United States is nothing like the old USSR. We are a vast mix of ethnicities in almost all major cities. Cut off the food distribution network and these places would collapse into chaos rapidly.

@skeptic99
So... now we're at kick out the 'not-as-white-as-me' people, and the school shootings will stop?

Or its a subconscious fear of food distribution being cut off driving fear and need for CCL's in America?

There are other countries are more diverse than us right now and their kids arent shooting each other up. And other homogeneous cultures that are crazy clusters of violence like Haiti.

@skeptic99 America has never been a “white” country. And you, you piece of shit. My kids are mixed.

@FreethoughtKaty Take the time to study history. It was necessary to pass the 14th Amendment to the Constitution to enable a legal pathway for blacks, Native Americans and other non-whites to attain US citizenship. The Constitution itself had only offered citizenship to the white citizens at that time and to their literal posterity. The 1790 Naturalization and Immigration Act had required a person to be "white and of good moral character" to become a US citizen. All subsequent immigration laws up until 1965 pretty much restricted US immigration to whites only. The US Supreme Court decision "Dred Scott vs. Sandford" settled this issue by clearly stating that the Founders of the country intended it to a white nation only. Look it up and read the lengthy comments by Chief Justice Roger Taney. It took a long and bloody civil war to overturn the "Dred Scott" decision and the subsequent passage of the 14th Amendment under the force of military occupation, so even this was not legitimately ratified according to the Constitution. More like victors' justice, similar to what the US did to Germany and Japan after winning WW II. Calling me a "piece of shit" doesn't change US history. You simply expose yourself as being ignorant and ill mannered.

@FreethoughtKaty BTW. I see you live in Idaho. Back in the 1800s a lot of the northern lilly-white states like Idaho strongly discouraged non-whites from entering them. This is they remained overwhelmingly white. Oregon went so far as to legally prohibit black people from entering or residing in the state in its early years. Oregon became a state in 1859 and its constitution forbid blacks from being citizens or entering or living in the state. And any black people living in Oregon at the time of the ratification of the state constitution were given something like a year to leave the state or be arrested. Amazingly, this part of the Oregon Constitution was not rescinded until the mid-1920s. Also, Oregon rescinded its initial ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868 and did not re-ratify it until 1973. This shows just how "racist" by today's standards even very liberal states like Oregon were not so long ago.

@skeptic99 oh I have no doubt that people like you have always existed. I don’t question that. But, there has never been a time when America wasn’t a melting pot. Fuck off with your blatant racism.

@Quattrostagione Yep. My dad had a shotgun to kill rattlesnakes and a Civil War-era gun and bayonet of my great-great grandfather’s. Neither would have been useful for self protection.

5

It boils down to the quintessential idea, programmed in to boys from birth
Assert authority and enforce it by greater might

  1. He insults, you hit
  2. He hits, you hit and kick
  3. He picks up a stick, you pick up a rock
  4. He sends you to the hospital, you send him to the morgue
  5. He gets a gang, you raise an army
  6. They have guns, you get bombs
  7. The raze your city, you blow their country off the face of the earth

However in recent times we seem to have cut out every stage between 1 and 6a
He insults, you get bombs
And in the case of the school shooter
He insults you send him and all his friends, to the morgue.

Since when did we stop being able to see an insult as a sign of idiocy, and laugh it off.

YES. This.

1

Fishline posted something quite apropos in a different group.
"[youtu.be]"

I LOVE Cheryl Wheeler! Thank you for that.

1

On the subject of why are school shooters always male, I think this results from males taking much longer to mature than females. Maturing in this context means developing an inner life of one's own. This means being able to dialogue with oneself and consider decisions and previous deeds and have some sense of what is right and what is wholly inappropriate. I have met few boys who have this capability. So they tend to follow the most dramatic example or strongest identity of people in their world. Often these (fantasy figures) impose themselves on others by wearing enigmatic black clothing and by carrying weapons. If we could help boys mature more successfully I think the world would be a much less violent and threatening place.

*white, male

4

People need to stop trying to humanise these creatures. There is just something fundamentally defective about them if they can decide to pick up a gun and blow people to bits with no remorse other than regretting that they got caught. They can watch the life drain out of a human or an animal with no apparent effect on their psyche. They are not mentally ill, they are defective. At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I think they should just be put down like a rabid dog. They forfeited their humanity the moment they chose to kill for vengeance or whatever it is they're after. Soldiers come back from combat with PTSD, and one of the reasons they do is because they had to kill other humans. I have never seen any evidence that these school shooters experience anything even remotely similar. The survivors will have nightmares and flashbacks and the perpetrators will stare with dead shark eyes and admit they'd do it again which, to me, is a sign of an irretrievably broken mind.

4

The problem started when, en masse, we started validating everyone's "feelings" as true and justified...and starting handing out participation ribbons to everyone.

It's time to go back to "sticks and stone may break my bones but names will never hurt me" and start allowing kids to be disappointed, get their feelings hurt, and FAIL.

What ever happened to teaching "Stoicism"? I remember very much being taught the principles and virtues of Stoicism back in Elementary School. We even had "debate" classes and were taught how to debate and work through problems.

I have no idea what they teach now....but it sure isn't Stoicism. It's more like "how to take selfies and play the victim in everything..."

Hear, hear. Validating everyone's opinion is partly to blame for why we have Nazis again. Actual swastika-waving Nazis.

I grew up in the era of "stoicism" and I didn't find it beneficial. The boys teased me mercilessly and the self-loathing that was the result has scarred my soul irretrievably. Feelings DO matter. We should be teaching kids, both st home and in the schools, that feelings, both our own and others', matter and should be respected. It's not that kids get rewarded for the wrong things; they don't get punished for terrible things that they do. Kids that tease and torture others deserve to be snatched up by their short hairs and made to understand that their actions are wrong. But first their parents need to get on board, and that fails to happen all too often.

@citronella I disagree. I was bullied in school mostly for being skinny and "too smart". Stoicism was a blessing. I had a teacher basically tell me that the kids I was in school with didn't matter and that there was a whole world waiting on the other side. I have always made it a point to really not give a damn about what anyone else thinks --- I even have a "saying" that I say to my friends, colleagues, and employees --- "The only opinions you should care about are those of the people you love and the person who signs your paycheck". Children NEED to develop tough skin and the ability to "shake it off". I am thankful for the bullies that made me stronger and more determined. Did I want them punished at the time? Of course. But the truth is, if they didn't change their ways, they were going to have miserable lives (and I know some of them did!). Karma gets everyone in the end.

Finally, people suck. You are expecting too much from parents. Our society brainwashes people that they need to breed and be parents so every idiot does that. Until we start requiring education and licenses to breed, there are always going to be rotten parents and horrible, rotten children. Our prisons are proof of that. The ONLY person you can control is YOURSELF. Why are you allowing idiots and assholes control of your "soul"? Do you love them? Do they sign your paycheck? No?? Then let that shit go. What's the point of hanging on to the "victim" role unless you enjoy it....and I hope that's not the case.

@citronella here.... in my handwriting in my office. Words to live by. Daily reminder and I can see it every time I’m at my desk.

0

do young boys have access to automatic weapons in the first place? It's a mystery, sending thoughts and prayers until the solution is found.

2

Probably to do with the feminisation of boys in our society. Boys are confused: on one hand having genuine natural normal instincts, and on the other: being told that being masculine is not normal.

We should celebrate masculinity of boys and men and femininity of women and maybe gay men.

We should let boys be boys and men be men. Stop this femininisation of men nonsense.

KenG Level 6 May 20, 2018

Personally, I think we should stop trying to masculize or feminize people in general and just accept and celebrate them for who they are.

What do you mean when you say "feminization of men"?

@citronella We need to celebrate masculinity.

@NFAguy53 Actually most women are attracted to masculine men, and celebrate the fact. Some just don’t like to admit it.

@KenG I still don't know what what you mean by that. What are the qualities of masculinity that you want to celebrate?

@NFAguy53 absolutely!

@NFAguy53 In other words, the masculine ideal of 1955. Someone who is totally unable to adapt to changing gender roles and who blames society for that. I think I understand now.

@citronella Do women prefer strong men or weak men for a partner?

@KenG It's not an either-or question. Both men and women should be capable of being strong and being gentle if needed. Men who have to proclaim their masculinity, and who have stereotypical expectations for how women should behave, are going to experience stress and frustration as they search for partners in an ever-shrinking pool of women who share their prardigm.

@citronella Are women the same as men (apart from appearance)? If so, does this mean that straight men and women only pair up with the opposite because of their bodies?

4

I agree completely. When I was in Junior High and High School, I was tagged a "homo" because I was one of the first in my small town to grow my hair long. I avoided the bathrooms between classes and worried about getting beaten up, though I never was. My parents were thoughtful and accepting, and I soon found a group of like-minded friends where I was accepted. By the time I graduated I was "cool" and everyone had long hair. I don't know how I would have turned out if I had remained an outcast, but I don't think violence is something I would have resorted to, because I'm a conflict avoider.

Bullying like this is dreadful, I had a similar experience. I feel for you

@KenG It was a long time ago.

5

Because boys are trained to be prideful and keep their emotions in. And being berated and belittled for years on end with the addition of confusing hormones causes these boys minds to break.

The brain is a complicated organ. Why do some people that are raised in the exact same environment turn out differently? No one REALLY knows. But some people can take being bullied and some can’t.

6

Probably toxic masculinity, which is driven by homophobia and misogyny. Lots of other things too. Our culture celebrates violence and guns are cool.

"Emasculation" can only hurt within the context of homophobia and misogyny. Is homophobia and misogyny passively taught in schools?

I've seen some women use homophobia to ridicule men, which means women are indirectly creating these shooters. So men and women need to be educated.

It's very complex. I feel sorry for the shooters who are victims too. Of course, the NRA gets off scott free.

That and neurology often I think! We are often raising directionless men aren't we. Toxic masculinity and entitlement mixed with resentment and feelings of inadequacy 🙂

Homophobia racism and misogyny are just prevalent in most of culture .. PC just made it go underground. For a decade people like me have been shouting about it and being told, "that is dead. We are past all that" because it just wasn't there on the surface. So people thought it had gone where as from a male perspective (and I am sure many females alike) it was always still there. Bubbling away. I think guns worsen the situation as they allow a greater amount of destruction and loss o life in less time. Think some men are just lost. Don't know who they are. White male privilege. Tragic really.

@Nickbeee

That's a great and insightful comment. I agree with every word.

The Patriarchy also hurts men this way... It doesn't celebrate fatherhood, instead it endlessly plays the mother and child narrative.

This makes me angry because I believe fathers are vital to ending the cycle of misogyny through being role models.

And then capitalism creates inequality which drives everything.

@Ellatynemouth Yes it's so impossibly hard to break the current narrative isn't it. All mixed up with education and competition. If competition was kept disciplined it might not be so bad but it has no form and seems to spill over into everything .. Now it's as much trainers or brands consumerist based as sports. It really is insanely complex as you said. Just nailing down motivational forces or facets to combat it is hard. I do think you are so right saying men need to be part of that picture of repair. Something to do with men not being allowed to admit defeat or they need help too! It all totally plays in the hands of capitalism too doesn't it. Amazing people can feel so alone so packed in really 🙂 x If men cold see fatherhood isn't so much providing as just being there then things may be different I suppose as you say. It's like we forget adults were kids once .. we are all vulnerable in some way.

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