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San Bernardino and the many, many mass shootings - can we classify them?

Discussing the updates... tw the obvious on mass shooting incidents.

The gist, in case you don’t want to click through, is that it’s likely two suspects now rather than three (unclear as to role of the third person but they seem to be downplaying involvement) who were romantically involved; one was American and the other was a recent immigrant from Saudi Arabia who travelled to be in a relationship with the first. They had a young baby whom they left with a grandmother. And it appears to be a “workplace dispute” type shooting, though they’re not explicitly ruling out terrorism, religiously-motivated or otherwise.


I’m not very good at expressing how painful this stuff is - except, apparently, when I’m hammered, which is what happened after Newtown (where, at one point in my childhood, I lived) since I found out about it after coming home from a gig, and had a howl-crying meltdown in bed with herr honk. And I hate hearing about prayers and thoughts in the absence of action. The way I deal with this best is to find out information and try to identify solvable problems, even though lord knows I’m not in a position to do anything about them.

So to that end, does anyone know if there are good, clear, layperson-readable studies or not-heavily-slanted books out about classifying these incidents? Not so much for gun policymaking purposes - for fuck’s sake, I think we’re mostly in agreement here on GT about what those should be - but just for information or risk assessment et al.? On the face of it, obviously we can say okay, mass shootings, yep, these all qualify. But it seems like you could group some of them into semi-distinct types, by motive or lack thereof. Aurora, Newtown, Virginia Tech, and Columbine seem to be different from Colorado Springs and Charlottesville, and then there are things like Edgwater and “going postal” and (assuming the BBC has its “co-worker dispute” narrative correct) San Bernardino. (I know I’m excluding drug and gang-related mass shootings from these incidents. It’s not that I’m not interested in those, I’m just citing the high-profile ones. Also, it seems like if obvious MEANINGFUL GUN CONTROL were enacted, those incidents would decline as well, but what the hell do I know.)

It seems like we’re at the point in mass shooting history that we could now classify them into subgroups criminologically in the same way as are rapists. Not that that’s gotten us anywhere in terms of policy either, but I still find it informative. Finally - let me restate this very clearly - while gun control is absolutely going to be the most effective way to stop these incidents being a near-daily occurrence, maybe there are other things we can do also, or in the meantime while the politicians and NRA flop about uselessly.

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