Gun violence: NC needs a red flag law

Editorials and other Opinion content offer perspectives on issues important to our community and are independent from the work of our newsroom reporters. The grim news of the gun massacre at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs felt deeply personal to me, coming so soon after one at the University of Virginia took the life of a young North Carolinian, and another in Raleigh’s Hedingham neighborhood. The everyday proceedings of life seemed to pause, again, as the brutal dimensions of an oddly familiar story unfolded — a young man with a rifle, a crowded public space, a hail of bullets. Five dead, 25 injured. How could it happen? From my perspective as a behavioral scientist, there are three ingredients to a hate-driven gun massacre. First, you need an irrational belief in a threatening “other,” an expressed loathing of an expendable, dehumanized “them.” That’s oxygen for the fire — easily spread through social media’s echo chambers. Second, you need the killing technology of firearms — enough destructive energy to extinguish many lives quickly with minimal effort. Semi-automatic rifles are designed for that purpose. Firearms are the accessible fuel of mass killing. Still, oxygen and fuel cannot by themselves burn down a forest. For that, you need a spark. And what, exactly, provides the ignition in the brain of a potential mass killer? Why does he follow this uniquely American deviant cultural script? There is no easy answer. Public mass shooters have different motivations, ranging from a stew of alienation, extreme […]

Click here to view original web page at Gun violence: NC needs a red flag law

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.