I haven’t written since March. I think a lot about writing but often feel paralyzed by all of 45’s actions. Every day another right of the people I care about seems to be under attack. It’s easy to crawl under a rock and pretend this is all a dream or just to get involved in something that takes me away from the news.
But I’m, unfortunately, not able to take off the feminist lens I put on in 1993. It’s glued on. And thanks this past week, to Lester Holt, anchor of the NBC Nightly News, his comment about the Las Vegas shooter has inspired me to put my fingers on the keyboard. I’m not going to quote his comment exactly, as I heard it in passing as I was leaving the house, but it was basically “Steven Paddock does not fit the profile of any mass shooter.” Bullshit! I call bullshit 100 times over. Shall I list the names of all the white men and boys, Mr. Holt, who have killed people? The Washington Post has a great overview of the past 50 years of mass shootings here.
I won’t re-write the Post article, but I will point out these facts. Of the major mass killings, where more than 5 people are killed, the killers are white men or boys. Jonesboro and Columbine were white boys. And the majority of the 134 shooters, in fifty years of mass killings, were men. Three were not. So Lester Holt, there is a pattern. Steven Paddock’s only unique quality as a mass killer was his age. Most are between 20 and 49 years old.
We could expand this discussion, as well, to what pro-choice folks call anti-abortion terrorism and show that white men, in all those cases, are responsible for bombing clinics and killing innocent clinic workers who are merely trying to provide safe medical care to women in need.
Until this country takes a good look in the mirror, none of this will ever change. Do we stop going to festivals? Do we stop going to concerts? To school? To work? Do we lobby for gun control, something that hasn’t appeared to work well at our federal level? Do we lobby for gun control at the state level? Do we lobby for better mental health treatment?
I don’t have any answers. None. I only know that Steven Paddock was just like most of them.