There have been 255 mass shootings in the United States so far this year (August 2019). It is an epidemic! Most mass shooters are young, white men. But according to Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D. professor of psychology California State University, Los Angles in Insecurity, Narcissism and the Culture of Victimhood, (psychologytoday.com 8/6/2019), there are other commonalities of mass shooters including “…anger, resentment, their victimhood, entitlement, the vilification of the ‘other,’ contempt, alienation, disenchantment, the inability to manage or appropriately articulate their feelings, frustration, and utter rage.”
The author continues that we are experiencing “…scourges of narcissism.” She calls it a “…covert, vulnerable narcissism… that is less showy and grandiose, and more sullen and resentful.” She further states that “These are men who are contemptuous of working in jobs they perceive as being beneath them, who are prone to hostile sexism, who spend hours on laptops and devices surfing the back alleys of hate, who are incapable of tolerating frustration, disappointment, or responsibility, who deride intimacy, who bristle at the ideas of having to be adults, but expect the perks of adulthood.”
We live in a culture of unrealistic examples of adult manhood that are portrayed on TV, in movies, video games, novels and graphic novels. Additionally, we live in a culture where working class jobs are devalued. So these young men are faced with not being able to live up to these unrealistic examples of adult manhood or working at jobs that are undervalued by the culture. The larger culture makes it impossible for them to succeed and the micro culture is not teaching them the true meaning of a real and productive life.
Durvasula states that as a culture we need to teach and enforce “…teaching children self-regulation, getting kids off devices, adults modeling healthy communication, building empathy, fostering discussions about meaning and purpose, integrating emotional awareness and self-regulation into K-12 curricula, de-stigmatizing mental health services, ceasing the glamorization of violence and dominance, and moderating a media environment that glorifies incivility and polarizing discourse.”
We need to return to civility and to value all people in order to stop creating mass shooters!