The following Op-Ed was written by twin sisters Charlotte and Harriet Childress and published in the Washington Post today.
Imagine if African American men and boys were committing mass shootings month after month, year after year. Articles and interviews would flood the media, and we’d have political debates demanding that African Americans be “held accountable.” Then, if an atrocity such as the Newtown, Conn., shootings took place and African American male leaders held a news conference to offer solutions, their credibility would be questionable. The public would tell these leaders that they need to focus on problems in their own culture and communities. But when the criminals and leaders are white men, race and gender become the elephant in the room. Nearly all of the mass shootings in this country in recent years — not just Newtown, Aurora, Fort Hood, Tucson and Columbine — have been committed by white men and boys.
LIL CHANTILLY COMMENTARY: (Well, except Virginia Tech, committed by Seung-Hui Cho.)
Yet when the National Rifle Association (NRA), led by white men, held a news conference after the Newtown massacre to advise Americans on how to reduce gun violence, its leaders’ opinions were widely discussed. Unlike other groups, white men are not used to being singled out. So we expect that many of them will protest it is unfair if we talk about them. But our nation must correctly define their contribution to our problem of gun violence if it is to be solved. When white men try to divert attention from gun control by talking about mental health issues, many people buy into the idea that the United States has a national mental health problem, or flawed systems with which to address those problems, and they think that is what produces mass shootings. If life were equitable, white male gun-rights advocates would face some serious questions to assess their degree of credibility and objectivity. We would expect them to explain:
What facets of white male culture create so many mass shootings?
Why are so many white men and boys producing and entertaining themselves with violent video games and other media?
Why do white men buy, sell and manufacture guns for profit; attend gun shows; and demonstrate for unrestricted gun access disproportionately more than people of other ethnicities or races?
Why are white male congressmen leading the fight against gun control?
If Americans ask the right questions on gun issues, we will get the right answers. These answers will encourage white men to examine their role in their own culture and to help other white men and boys become healthier and less violent. Read more here.
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LIL CHANTILLY COMMENTARY: Interesting, and presumptuous. While I agree that most (not all) of the mass shootings are young white men, this article failed to mention that most or all of the mass shooters have been on SSRI drugs for various mental conditions. They say violent video games part of the problem. Do ONLY white males play video games? There are multiple stories of violence everyday. Rarely does this violence come in the form of a mass shooting. Beyond mass shootings, there is violence in many forms, caused by all races and sexes. In fact weapons besides guns are used quite often, and definitely MORE often than a rifle of any kind. While it is true, females tend to cause violence in different ways for different reasons than males – we cannot leave women out of the criminal category.
I went to Wikipedia and pulled a list of all rampage killers and I found that countries all over the world have this problem, and even in the USA, they are not ALL white.
These ladies are not helpful in the least and such an article only serves to polarize the issue, splintering it further. If you go to their website, it says between them, they have earned eight college degrees, including one Ph.D. and four master’s degrees. Perhaps they need to take another research class. I would never use Wikipedia as a source on a professional paper, but I would allow it to clue me on to further research to find the truth in police reports and other factual documentation on my own. This is a very biased, one sided Op-Ed, certainly served up with an a la carte menu of biases to choose from.
We need to find ways to bring the country back together with education and working on solutions that will actually stop a mass shooter or a person intent on mass violence, period.