I Am So Tired of Shouting Into the Void About America’s Young Men and Their Guns

 
 
The violence won't stop until we have real systemic change.
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I Am So Tired of Shouting Into the Void About America's Young Men and Their Guns
 
As the country begins to reverse pandemic-related restrictions, America is returning to its horrific "normal," a state that includes frequent acts of totally unregulated gun violence. So far in 2021, there have been 147 mass shootings, according to the Gun Violence Archive. (They define mass shootings as a minimum of four gunshot victims.) This includes a shooting at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis where eight people were killed, a string of shootings carried out at three Asian-owned massage parlors in Atlanta that left eight dead, and a mass shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, where ten people were killed.

Even as investigations continue and the shooters' motives are publicly debated, we can't deny that systemic issues like racism, misogyny, and toxic masculinity all work to radicalize young men to carry out massive acts of violence and that politicians turn a blind eye to these factors in order to preserve the American gun culture they so cherish.

In Atlanta, the 21-year-old white shooter claimed to have a "sex addiction" at odds with his Christian faith, and as a result, he targeted the Asian-owned businesses because they were what he perceived to be a "source of temptation." He reportedly purchased an AR-15-style weapon the day before the killings and wielded it with reckless abandon in some sick, twisted Call of Duty fantasy. That action? Yeah, that's gun culture and toxic masculinity hard at work, emboldening young men to use violence to solve their problems, whether those problems are perceived or real.

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