Another mass shooting in the United States, this time in El Paso. White supremacy terrorists murder randomly from the shadows. Haven't we already solved this problem? We have really intelligent people in this country, with a lot of resources and data to help them see the big picture. Haven't they put all this together to come to a solution?
Why, yes, of course they have!
Social scientists have been studying this problem for a long time. It's not a new problem. There is lots of data. This is one of the plethora of problems that exists not because we don't know what to do, but because we lack action to make that knowledge into reality. For example, In this article by by Stan Paul in 2017, UCLA Luskin’s Mark Kaplan explains how firearm violence is correlated with poverty, wealth inequality, and the sheer number of firearms. He also highlights the way the problem looks different to black Americans and white Americans.
The U.S. stands out among industrialized nations, Kaplan said. Gun homicides in the U.S. are 25 times higher than the average of other high-income countries. Factors such as poverty and inequality are contributing factors, he said.
“You all hear about poverty, but inequality is another measure of economic well-being. And there is a strong correlation between homicide per million and income inequality,” said Kaplan, pointing out that countries that are most equal have the lowest rates of gun-related homicides.
In any case, we know what the problem is and how to solve it, but for some reason it's not happening. A clue lies in the way the gun problem manifests differently for different groups.
In terms of race and ethnicity, Kaplan said that 77 percent of white gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides, while less than 1 in 5 (19 percent) is a homicide. The figures are nearly opposite for African Americans, for which only 14 percent are suicides.
African American males in the 20-29 age group have the highest risk (89 per 100,000) in terms of the firearm homicide rate, a figure that is comparable with Honduras (90.4 murders per 100,000 people).
We already know that poverty exacerbates violence, and we know that minorities are more likely to live in concentrated poverty, making violence interactions more probable. So the brunt of the firearm violence is suffered by minorities and poor. In fact, there's a particular group of people who are opposed to all firearm legislation. I call this group the neo-confederates.
The neo-confederates are opposed to all things that would improve society, because they have a different idea of society, one that is antithetical to the ideals crystallized in the US Constitution. Homicide isn't a problem for white people, it's a problem for minorities. Sure, whites might commit suicide, but that's their own choice. Homicide is violation, taking without asking. The horror mainly impacts minorities, and so it's not an important issue for white Americans.
It comes down to this divergent idea of America. Fascism and socialism can't coexist. Socialism wants to constrain capitalism, and fascism wants to set capitalism free. Socialism wants to spread the wealth, and fascism wants to concentrate it. Spreading wealth would help solve firearm violence by making poor people more empowered to act, so of course fascists oppose it. They want to concentrate wealth and opportunity for the elites, regardless of the consequences. The consequences are suffered by the poor and does not concern the elite.
America's dirty laundry is only going to become more obvious. Can't ignore the stench forever.