In 1881, eight men faced off at the infamous “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral”, in thirty seconds, thirty shots were fired leaving three men dead and three more injured. Even now, 140 years later, it’s been called the most notorious gunfight in the history of the American Wild West. On April 15, 2021 at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, a lone gunman armed with an assault style rifle and a high capacity magazine, massacred eight people in less than two minutes and wounded seven others before turning the gun on himself. To be remembered as only one more sad statistic in the never ending news cycle of mass shootings in America.
In March of 2020, the mother of Brandon Scott Hole (FedEx shooter) was so worried about her son’s mental state she notified the Police about her concerns. He was questioned by the FBI and after expressing suicidal thoughts was placed on “Mental Health Temporary Hold”. The Police report shows that a lever action shotgun was confiscated from his bedroom and Mr. Hole was listed as a dangerous person. This was red flag moment, alarm bells should have been going off, yet that did not happen. But in the state of Indiana, where a 19 year old Brandon Hole could not legally drink a beer, he could lawfully purchase 2 assault style rifles, which he did in the month of September that same year.
What is it about the male psyche and its propensity for violence? Now I know what you’re thinking, there’s plenty of women out there that are just as mean spirited and violent as men, which may or not be true. But across the board, in every category, and in every state, the statistics show more criminal acts are committed by men than women. The incarceration rate of men is 10 times greater than that for women. Men are responsible for 96% of all domestic violence cases, 88% of robberies, 83% of arson, 82% of auto theft, and 81.7% of acts of vandalism. Maybe men really are from Mars and women are from Venus, but science tells us that we share an almost identical brain structure.
Be it for revenge, jealousy, money, divorce, lack of self control, love, hate, or simply the thrill of killing, men are responsible for more than 90% of homicides. Is there a way to redirect and channel the aggressive behavior of young males for a more positive, less destructive and deadly outcome?
I don’t have the answer to that question, but we should be willing to consider all options, because the red flags are waving all across this country. But young males do not carry all the blame, in fact the deadliest mass shooting in all of modern U.S. history was committed by 64 year old Stephen Paddock. Known as the Las Vegas Killings, from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort, Paddock murdered 58 people, with more than 500 wounded, before taking his own life.
We’ve all heard, “Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun”, but in all honesty, with almost 400 million guns in the hands of private owners, when was the last time a good guy with a gun prevented a mass shooting. With a shooter using a semi-automatic rifle and a high capacity magazine, capable of up to 400 rounds a minute, the level of carnage can be devastating. According to the Bureau of Justice, 96% of all mass shooters are male, and half commit suicide. So before Law Enforcement can even arrive or anyone else has time to react for that matter the damage has been done, all that’s left is to deal with the aftermath...Please stay safe my friends.