On 23 August, criminal justice professor Adam Lankford stood in front of a crowd of sociologists to explain how American culture contributes to the all-too-frequent American mass shootings. It’s not just that we have a lot of guns, he said – though he does believe that the high rates of firearm ownership are partially to blame. It’s the social strains of American life – the false promise of the American dream, which guarantees a level of success that can’t always be achieved through hard work and sheer willpower; the devotion to individualism and the desire for fame or notoriety.
Millions of Americans feel these strains and never commit a crime. But for a small handful, they breed the kind of resentment and fury that can explode into violence.
Read the rest here.