The thugs who commit mass shootings often back up their murders with a manifesto that purports to (a) gain converts and (b) show that their actions were justified.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “The attack in Buffalo is the direct result of white nationalist propaganda, specifically the ‘great replacement’ conspiracy theory, being promoted and now mainstreamed by major public figures. While this false notion that white people are being systematically replaced by Blacks, immigrants, and Jews has deep historical roots, it has gained traction in recent years. And with that traction has come violence, both physical and political.”
Such theories, ideas, and notions are not only arrogant but abhorrent. Some people argue that the killers in mass shootings are not insane but have been radicalized by white supremacy propaganda of one stripe or another. My view is that “being radicalized” in this way IS an example of insanity, but splitting hairs about definitions won’t fix the problem. Neither will be banning freedom of speech.
I would like to see more forums, books, articles, TED talks, and other initiatives that promote a dialogue about the inflammatory issues that divide us rather than leaving the entire discussion to Facebook and other threads where is no civility or enlightened attempt to explore what is polarizing us and why such things frighten people to the extent that they take others’ lives and are killed in the process.
We need to develop new ways of looking at the world rather than perpetuating fear and distrust that, if not addressed, will turn our country into an armed camp of competing insanities.