May 19, 2018

SOCIAL CONTAGION: The Best Explanation for Our Spate of Mass Shootings Is the Least Comforting. “Those who advocate for gun control have an immediate answer — the prevalence of guns in the United States. Yet guns have been part of the fabric of American life for the entire history of our republic. Mass shootings — especially the most deadly mass shootings — are a far more recent phenomenon. Writing in 2015, Malcolm Gladwell wrote what I think is still the best explanation for modern American mass shootings, and it’s easily the least comforting. At the risk of oversimplifying a complex argument, essentially he argues that each mass shooting lowers the threshold for the next. He argues, we are in the midst of a slow-motion ‘riot’ of mass shootings, with the Columbine shooting in many ways the key triggering event.”

Related: Social Media As Social Disease.

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