There Are No Truly Lone Wolves
One must take exception to the theory that claims “lone wolves” are the cause for the increase in mass shootings. This “lone wolf” idea is simply another way for the Social Darwinists and the Ayn Randians to blame only the flawed individual who perpetrated the act, while not dealing with the social and economic root causes that contribute to such violent behavior.
A survivor of the Mother Emanuel Church massacre, Marcus Stanley, rightly stated in his Facebook posting to assailant Dylann Roof, “Somewhere along the line, you were taught to hate people that are not like you…” It is this fundamental truth that merely blaming the individual fails to address. Those who teach hatred and intolerance enable violent behavior, and as such, also have blood on their hands. We as a society need to take action against hate groups; they are homegrown terrorists who are indoctrinating people with their violent agenda in exactly the same manner as ISIS. We need to out these groups for the terrorist organizations that they are.
Secondly, we need stricter gun laws and to stop telling religious leaders to arm themselves. Any place of worship, regardless of religion, is a spiritual and physical sanctuary. There is simply no place for guns in any sanctified space. The increasing frequency of mass shooting events also indicates that the lack of gun legislation is making the massacre problem worse. Guns must be kept out of the hands of hate groups and the violent individuals; such organizations and people do not have any legitimate Second Amendment rights.
Thirdly, we must address economic inequality which is rapidly leaving more and more people behind, and stop merely blaming individuals. The system is broken and rigged in favor of the top one percent, leaving most people with little or no hope of a better life. That said, there is nothing more dangerous than an individual or group that has nothing to lose. As income inequality has increased, so too has the level of desperation and the number of mass shootings.
None of this excuses Dylann Roof, or any other assailant, from their heinous crimes. However, to characterize these attacks as the actions of “lone wolves” is merely an attempt to ignore our collective responsibilities to treat hate groups as terrorists, develop sensible gun laws and ensure that the vast majority of our citizens have access to the economic ladder.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we ARE our brothers’ keepers.