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Killers

By Scott Sullivan, Editor

 Mother Jones reports 50 of 53 indiscriminate mass shootings in the U.S. between January 2013 and August 2019 were committed by males.

This is an outrage. I wrote last week about how the new Ms. Monopoly game addresses gender inequity by giving women players more money than men to start with and every time they pass Go. Both sexes got equal sums in the old, unenlightened version, just called Monopoly.

This mass-murderer disparity is another unfairness we must correct. Come on women! Step up and do your share!

Research shows men who commit indiscriminate (i.e. not motivated by robbery, gang violence, domestic abuse, no beer in the house and so on) mass murders tend to feel their masculinity has been lessened. Wouldn’t Viagra be cleaner than leaving a stack of carcasses?

Many, says University of Washington criminal justice professor Eric Madfis, have been rejected by lots of girls, ignored by peers and lost lots of jobs. Rather than work toward constructive solutions, they turn their rage outward. “It is a way to exhibit their masculinity by engaging in this massive act of violence,” he says.

Another common trait is mass murderers tend to blame others for their problems. “Part of that relates to masculinity as well,” Madfis adds, “because men are much more likely to externalize blame, to see other people as causing them problems and to act.”

I’m enraged by women, professors and game creators discriminating against us guys. It’s their fault my trigger finger’s itchy. Thank God the Second Amendment doesn’t discriminate against loose screws like me owning automatic weapons.

Caroline Heldman, a politics professor at Occidental College, says efforts to reduce mass shootings should stress lessening “toxic masculinity” — the idea that being a man means you can’t show emotion or seek help when you need it. Encouraging media portrayals that depict men in vulnerable, realistic ways could reduce mass shootings, she argues.

As if media guys don’t get dumped on enough by President Trump. Now we have to glorify weenies or be complicit in mass shootings.

Parents can help by examining ways they discourage boys from healthy expressions of emotion, Heldman says. OK by me; I feel an emotional release every time I flip off a granny driving 40 in the passing lane. Not a healthy expression, as I’m getting Carpal Tunnel in my middle finger. But it beats shooting random drivers.

Mother Jones magazine (aka MoJo) was named after Mary Harris Jones, an Irish American trade union activist, socialist advocate and opponent of child labor. Father Jones wasn’t available for comment.

“I’m sick of you freeloading, munchkin,” I told my daughter. “I’m sending you to China to make 20 cents an hour sewing swooshes on $200 shoes so you learn to appreciate the paradise MoJo celebrates.”

“Dad, you’re nuts,” she said.

“Women are making me that. So I’m fully qualified to own automatic weapons. Look.”

“That’s not an Uzi. It’s a squirt gun.”

“I’m a hardboiled guy,” I said, trying like Humphrey Bogart in the movies to light a cigarette.

“That’s a candy one.”

Now I was really angry. “What good are fake things if they can’t kill someone?” I cried. “It’s the government’s fault. Remember the last partial shutdown?”

“The government didn’t operate? So they only charged partial taxes?”

“Ha ha. No, the 35 days last winter when leaders of our democracy based on reaching consensus couldn’t. Two days before Christmas they shut down agencies like the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau but didn’t themselves take pay cuts. Saugatuck Brewing, among other beer makers, couldn’t get approvals to release new products.”

“They shut down beer?”

“Merry freakin’ Christmas.”

“Now I’m getting mad,” my daughter said.

“You’re too young to drink.”

“But not to see what those dunces are doing to trash my future. Got any weapons more powerful than a squirt gun?”

“Just words,” I said.