America’s culture keeps mass shootings on the rise

Blanca Cantu, Opinion Editor

 The whole “violent video games cause mass shooters” speech has been done one too many times and only serves to give people a quick culprit that isn’t the shooter itself. If not that, it is the belief that bullying and mental health are the underlying causes of these incidents. Of course no one blames America’s lax gun laws that allow many of these people to have access to these weapons to begin with. 

   When it comes down to it what is truly causing these men to spiral out of control and into the cold embrace of automatic weapons lies in America’s culture. It is no surprise that most of the mass shooters here are white males; studies have shown that there have been mass shooters of other races and genders, but there are truly not many that don’t fit the white male character. According to, of 116 mass shootings recorded from 1982-2019, 65 were white and 112 were male.

    Back on America’s culture, toxic masculinity has been something that has made its way into many social media conversations, but not much further. White males are no doubt much more privileged than any other group, and when a young man is constantly exposed to these ideas and finds themselves conflicted they feel as if the only emotion they are allowed to turn to is anger.       

   This anger can, in turn, lead them into hate groups and nationalistic ideas; before anyone can notice this man has already gone to shoot up a public place. Now, this does not mean every white male is at risk of becoming a shooter, but the statistics show the way this country is operating at the moment truly isn’t helping those who may become one. 

   Soon after the El Paso shooting here in Texas, reporter Tonya Mosley interviewed former white supremacist Christian Piccolini who expressed exactly what made him believe neo-Nazi ideologies 30 years ago and why many young white men are still joining hate groups. To him issues ranging from poverty, mental health issues, and privilege are what lead them there. 

   “Those types of things detour people as they’re searching for identity, community and purpose… there is always somebody with a narrative, ready to give it to you and [to] certainly blame somebody else for the pain that you’re feeling,” Piccolini told Mosley in the interview. 

   Studies have shown how many men who take up to highly masculine ideas are less likely to believe they need any help, for going to a therapist and trying to solve whatever it is their brain might be going through seems weak. This then leads to whatever hate inside of them festering until they eventually blow.

   Mental health does play a part in these shootings. However, as long as our countries culture continues to turn a blind eye to the clear signs of hate growing in its children nothing is going to get better. 

   The only way our country has any hope of seeing a brighter, less red, future is by taking control of who exactly is allowed to own guns. Though many say tighter laws and regulations will not stop everything, it will most definitely make a huge difference. Along with that, our society needs to put more emphasis on how citizens can truly care for their mental health. However, not all who suffer from mental illness are at risk of being mass shooters. Minorities suffer from discrimination in this country which results in poor mental health, but as explained before they aren’t the ones becoming mass shooters. 

   I could mention how people need to learn to be kind to one another, but that is a simple lesson that has been watered down in our curriculum since pre-school. There are only so many ways one can teach others to be accepting. It shouldn’t take mass murder or suffering for someone to realize this.