Whenever a mass shooting occurs — which is to say, fairly regularly somewhere in America these days — investigators scour for clues as to the “motive” of the gunman.
Often, as was the case in El Paso two weeks ago, the shooter espouses some sort of political ideology, whether it be homegrown white nationalism or foreign-based anti-Americanism.
On occasion, individuals with mental illness are the perpetrators.
But just as often, as was the case in the country music shooting in Las Vegas two years ago, there is no discernible motive, other than that the shooter simply is unhappy and frustrated with his lot in life.
That appears to have been the situation with this past weekend’s shooting spree in Texas by a 36-year-old man who was fired from his job and who was described by his neighbor as a loner.
In short, the shooter fit a certain profile — a young, white male with no money, no wife or girlfriend, no children, and no prospects.
However, each and every one of these shootings, regardless of the perpetrator’s motive, have two things in common: Innocent Americans are being shot while going about their daily lives and the shooter had military-style weaponry that allowed him to kill and maim dozens of Americans with a single pull of the trigger.
About 13,000 innocent Americans are slaughtered by guns every year in this country. (There also are about 26,000 suicides by guns each year).
To put that 13,000 figure into perspective, that is almost twice the number of American soldiers who have been killed in the entirety of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cumulatively over the past 15 years, 7000 American soldiers lost their lives in our Mideast wars, while 200,000 innocent Americans have been killed by gunfire right here in America. In addition to those who died, more than one million Americans have been shot and wounded in the past 15 years.
When President Trump used the term, “American Carnage,” in his Inaugural Address, it was not entirely clear what he was referring to.
However, given that more Americans are shot, killed, and maimed by guns every year on their home soil than anywhere else in the world, our American Carnage is indeed, very real.