Mass shooting tragedies like the one in New Brunswick and Seattle Pacific University seem to be happening more and more often. I am in a unique situation to give feedback on this because the perpetrators often have spec sheets like me–male, angry, withdrawn, mentally ill/aspergers, etc..
Decline of the church as an active force in the community. Not many people asked “Where was the church” after the Sandy Hook massacre because churches don’t expect anything from their constituents anymore. Had some church member went out of their way to befriend Adam Lanza maybe those children and teachers would still be alive today. Instead we put the burden on the government, our (tattered and frayed) safety net is supposed to catch these people. The problem is by the time a social worker or mental health professional gets to someone their pathology is often at such an advanced stage that it’s too late. The church often has more intimate access to people anyway and can serve as an early warning system for problems, referring people up the chain as things get worse (and having enough information about said individual to lay the groundwork for better treatment).
A less intrinsically moral polity. Crime has gone down but most of this has been due to better technology and more targeted policing. I think as traditional culture has faded away to global consumerism people’s morality has become less intrinsic. Policing is holding back what traditional culture used to. Go to Latin America or Africa where traditional culture has waned and you’ll see that crime has risen precipitously. But here in the U.S. we’ve got effective police (dare I say effective police state). Better policing works largely by targeting problem areas and bringing more boots on the ground there. This works well in places where murder likely happens (like the ghetto) but not so well for mass shootings that happen in random places.
Lack of visceral constructive avenues for expressing anger. People used to be able to get in fights without getting arrested and/or expelled. Long ago people could even duel, and it was legal. Boxing clubs and leagues used to be more common. Horseplay wasn’t off limits. Yes we have violent video games now but I think that primes you for violence more than it’s a release for aggression. Same goes for violent music, it’s catharsis but not release.
Refusal of the therapeutic-industrial complex to acknowledge that man is innately murderous (Matthew 15:19). According to many anthropologists we killed off the Neanderthals. The desire to kill is a natural drive in a male just like the desire to have sex. We’ve spent millennia building philosophies of life taking this into account. But now it’s politically incorrect to say. When something true is politically incorrect it’s like removing a tool from a toolbox. One now has less to work with in building their system.