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As a sociologist who has taught Criminology and written about mass shootings, it is distressing to listen to all the chatter about Republicans and Democrats being blamed for the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. Most of the talk is pure bunk. At the heart of the problem are what I call the three "B's": beliefs, bonds, and boundaries (see my book The Catholic Advantage for the details).
It is not people of faith who are the most likely to go on a shooting rampage; it is those who have no religious convictions. This does not mean that simply being an agnostic or an atheist is sufficient to cause someone to become a mass murderer. That's nonsense. But to discount the role of religion in examining the lives of young men who are socially dysfunctional is also nonsense, and this is especially true of mass murderers.
Bonds - Someone - Relationship - Family - Friends
Bonds matter greatly. If someone has a strong relationship with his family and his friends (not to mention God), he is considerably less likely to become a mass killer. This does not mean that all loners are likely to wind up like the El Paso and Dayton killers. But it does mean that this characteristic, when coupled with the other two "B's," is an important variable.
Not respecting boundaries is also associated with criminal behavior. All of us cross the line once in a while, but to those who find it easy to do so (no pangs of guilt), and who do so with regularity, beware: They are more likely to hurt someone than the rest of us.
El - Paso - Killer - Loner - Leigh
From what we know about the suspected El Paso killer, he was a classic loner. Leigh Ann Locascio, a former neighbor of Patrick Crusius, called him an extreme loner who sat alone on the school bus. "He wouldn't talk...
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