A common denominator in the rash of mass shootings over the last few years is not just guns but the alienation of “disturbed young men,” the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) argued in an editorial Sunday.
In the aftermath of last weekend’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton, it is easy to place the blame on access to firearms or a caustic political environment, rather than focus on what kind of people are responsible for mass shootings, the WSJ editorial board contends.
Regardless of what political sphere these lone gunmen operate within, their lives are often characterized by isolation and a lack of a social cocoon outside of government.
“This is one price we are paying for the decline in what the late sociologist Peter Berger called the ‘mediating institutions’ that help individuals form cultural and social attachments. These are churches, business and social clubs like the Rotary, charitable groups, even bowling leagues, and especially the family. Government programs can never replace these as protectors of troubled young people,” the editorial states.
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