Some men fall in love with assault rifles, and dream of using them for their intended purpose. And some men fulfill that dream, using their assault rifles to mow down their fellow human beings. Who does this? It is men that feel powerless, cheated, persecuted, misunderstood etc. etc. It is men who are very mad at the world. With an assault rifle in your hand, however, you become a different person. You have now become menacingly powerful. You can now seek revenge, and right the wrongs. Now you’ll show them. They’ll be sorry. Now, finally, they will see what you are made of.
The potency of the assault rifle makes it irresistible. Sure, a would-be mass killer could still do a lot of damage with a couple of pistols. But it’s the assault rifle (and, in the most recent instance, the tactical gear) that does the trick, that seduces the would-be killer into becoming a real, honest-to-goodness mass killer.
So, assault rifles must (again) be banned. There is no denying the fact that the body count will drop, when assault rifles are removed from American society. People will still kill with guns, but the number of those Americans killed by guns will drop dramatically.
Now, about those men. Is it not evident that American society is starting to come apart at the seams? These killings are an early warning sign that our society is in trouble. Why is this? Well … does our society nurture? Do our citizens really get the opportunity to engage in “the pursuit of happiness”? Is it not, rather, the case that this most recent iteration of American capitalism exploits and alienates the great majority of our citizens?
I speak as a Democratic Socialist – one who believes in the obligation of each citizen to help create and further an egalitarian, just and caring society. Capitalism does not do that. It is a system based on the soulless pursuit of money, which, as we’ve been told, does not buy happiness. It is a system founded on self-interest. It is a system that sees no merit in cooperating for the common good. It is a system that put Donald Trump in the White House.
Until such time as we reform American society, we can only expect that increasing numbers of desperate men will turn on their fellows, as their only way to express their loneliness, alienation and outrage, and to even the score.