“The U.S. is home to 5% of the world’s population, but has had 31% of the public mass shootings worldwide between 1966 and 2012 …,” according to Adam Lankford, a University of Alabama criminal justice professor. (See “Why the U.S. Has 31% of the World’s Mass Shootings” by Tanya Basu, Time on-line, August 2015) Presenting his new study at a late August meeting of the American Sociological Association, Lankford stated that there were “292 public mass shooters who have killed a minimum of four people between 1966 and 2012. And when you narrow shootings down to just those that occur at school and work, American incidences account for 62% of global cases.”
Lankford believes his study is the first to confirm that “there’s something strongly American about public mass shootings.” He and Time’s writer Tanya Basu try to link this mainly to the number of firearms per capita in the USA which leads the world by far. But Lankford knows there is more to it. He points to the “strong sense of exceptionalism and individualistic culture, something that American kids are taught from an early age.” But the bankruptcy of Lankford’s theory is exposed by the following (cited by Basu). “‘There’s a silver lining, however. Because the U.S. has a preponderance of public mass shootings, the country is better prepared than any other to deal with them,’ Lankford says. He points to Columbine and Sandy Hook as events that shaped enforcement procedure.” (sic and sick) (My emphasis, ROL) Clearly the orientation of the criminal justice professor is to control the U.S. population, not deal with the society’s sickness.
Compare the following excerpts from my 2013 article, “The Brutal and Decaying U.S. Empire and the Newtown School Tragedy” (Ray O’ Light Newsletter #76, January-February 2013):
“President Obama’s response to the tragedy was to immediately back stronger gun control laws. This has been the overwhelming response of the U.S. ruling class, including its military leaders. Already gun buy-back programs have been implemented by such notorious law enforcement agencies as the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). At the same time, other ‘enlightened’ ruling class folks have called for better access to mental health support. And all kinds of social-democrats, pacifists, and other opportunists are prescribing some combination of disarming of the U.S. population (but not the police and the military who are armed to the teeth) and a better mental health care system.
“Whatever their specific prescriptions, however, the apologists for monopoly capitalism have a unified message: there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this imperialist society; just a few tweaks will take care of the problem.
“But a closer look at the facts leads to a different conclusion entirely. The horrific Newtown, Connecticut school tragedy has the “mark of the beast” all over it — the decadent U.S. Empire, having already devoured so many of the world’s peoples as it grew ever more fat and parasitic over the past six decades, is now in sharp decline and is beginning to devour its own young.
“For example, between 1991 when the first U.S. Gulf War led by Republican President George Bush I ended and 2003 when his son, George Bush II, embarked on the second unprovoked U.S. war against the people of Iraq, a constant saturation of U.S. Air Force aerial flights enforced a ‘no-fly zone’ that effectively upheld a U.S. embargo, preventing medical supplies and much necessary materiel from reaching the children of Iraq. The estimates are that from 500,000 to a million Iraqi children under the age of five perished as a result of this U.S. embargo that lasted for more than a decade, most of it under Democratic commander in chief Bill Clinton. Were these Iraqi children any less precious than the twenty children of six and seven who were murdered in Newtown, Connecticut last month?!
“The social fabric of U.S. society in 2013 is woven almost entirely from the reality of the crumbling of the U.S. Empire, that is, from the decades-old violent and parasitic legacy of U.S. imperialist hegemony and from its current and precipitous decline. …
“No wonder millions of ‘red blooded American boys’ have gotten the message that might makes right and that mayhem and murder is the solution to their problems. There is an epidemic of mass murders in U.S. society. Many of them have had a white supremacist and/or fascist motivation. … And there is every indication that tragic mass murder events in the USA will become not less but more frequent in the foreseeable future. …
“Given the current political and economic developments in the USA, the only remedy to this sick situation, the only way to avoid an out-of-control epidemic of mass murders such as have occurred so recently in Aurora, Colorado and now Newtown, Connecticut and the developing military-fascist state is to defeat, dismantle and destroy the U.S. Empire.”
[For a copy of the entire 2013 article, please send your request to:
Boxholder, 607 Boylston St, Lower Level Box 464, Boston, MA 02216]