Why are most mass
1 shooters male? Why are these shooters in particular involved in domestic or intimate partner violence? What are we teaching our boys that drives them to want to own guns and use them against their own family members or against themselves
2? Why does our perception of the gun violence debate seem to have more men fighting for looser gun restrictions, and more women on the side of gun safety?
This gender disparity reflects our patriarchal culture, a society in which men seemingly hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. The patriarchy propagates a limited perspective socially and politically, influencing everything from culture to policy. It creates a fundamental dominant narrative, locking genders into specific roles and viewing subjects like emotion or femininity as negative, weak, and unworthy. This is the same culture that made "feminism" a bad word, even though its definition is simply a belief in the equality of the sexes.
Patriarchy is dictatorial and fear-based. Effectively contagious, it often uses shame as a tool of oppression.
This sets dangerous standards, and feeds into fear-based behaviors, such as gun culture, racism, misogyny, and intimate partner violence.
Gun culture holds an acceptance of having an unchecked freedom to carry firearms without training, credentials, or background checks. Within this idealism, people, mostly men, contort the Second Amendment to meet their personal needs of having to keep and defend their dominant status in society. And the corporate gun lobby uses this personal fear of loss of status to grow their billion-dollar industry, without regards to human life and the 33,000 people killed each year in America.
Organizations like the NRA and the NSSF pour millions of dollars into efforts to maintain the status quo, donating to politicians who comply with the patriarchy and write bills that support their go-hard-or-go-home view of the Second Amendment.
Without shame, the gun lobby uses fear-based tactics to sell guns, shaping ad campaigns with militaristic themes, reflecting the fear of men who see themselves as vulnerable to loss of their personal power if they don't have the tools to defend themselves. Using patriarchal methods of oppression through advertising and public relations, the gun lobby has effectively shaped the culture of America, poisoning We The People with fear and inspiring thousands to advocate on behalf of the corporate gun lobby's interpretation of the Second Amendment.
Five years ago immediately following the Sandy Hook massacre here in Fairfield County, the then-newly-formed ENOUGH Campaign set out to change the gun conversation. It is imperative that we illustrate an understanding of the bigger picture of gun violence and the gun culture that has infiltrated our communities. We believe that this begins with breaking down the ideas that permit patriarchy to thrive.
(1) The FBI defines a
as four or more people shot and/or killed in a single event [incident], at the same general time and location, not including the shooter.