"The problem" is a lot of things and anyone who wants to make it only about their little ridiculous fucking pet issue is insta-wrong. The calculus that goes into something like this is complicated, but it's not impossible to parse the biggest contributors by looking at the lowest common denominators between virtually every shooting.
- Mass shootings are just about always done by men. (Since 1982 there have been only 3 women–and one [San Bernardino] was a couple.)
- It's basically always domestic abusers or bullies of some stripe. 80-90% of these guys end up having a history of domestic violence or intense anger.
- It's very often men marinating in cultures of extreme codified misogyny and bigotry like a hate group (if white, they are very likely to be white supremacists as well).
- And it's these men who have easy access to long range, instantly lethal, quickly reloadable weaponry.
These are the lowest common denominators. There aren't any others.
Men+anger+guns. End of line.
Race is a small factor (white men are slightly more often shooters than other races, as compared to the population at large) but not by conspicuously overwhelming margins. Jilted dudes (with their sexist entitlement) are terrifyingly overrepresented, and many of them first kill a woman close to them before their rampage, though this is not universal.
This paints a pretty easy-to-decipher picture about what happens when you take bigoted, abusive men with anger issues, and then hand them a weapon that can kill dozens of people in a minute.
Here's what it ISN'T: It isn't mental illness. It isn't autism. It isn't video games. It isn't violent movies. It isn't lack of spankings. It isn't absence of school prayer. It isn't fluoride in the water. It isn't Ritalin or abortion or how many doors the schools have. It isn't Loony Tunes. It isn't whatever the fuck weird ass shit someone wants to try and Texas sharpshoot. (Ugh, what an awful name for a fallacy right now.) Those things are not common enough to be causes. Those things may have contributed to the complex calculus that makes a human mind embrace something like this, but they are not the root causes.
If it were any of this shit, we would see women, who also have mental illness, doing it (we don't). We would see it happening in other countries like Japan with their even more per capita video games and violent media. (We don't.) We would see permissive, atheist cultures that don't spank their kids experience the same mass shootings. (Nope.) We would see other countries have this problem like the UK or Australia where–NEWSFLASH–they have violent video games too.
This isn't rocket science. Or brain surgery. Or rocket surgery...on the brain of the science rocket. It's toxic masculinity in abusive fucknugget MEN (often entitled men) who are able to easily get their hands on something that can kill a lot of people really, really fast.
There is no part two.
And while it is unfortunate that we HAVE enough data points that we don't have to give any oxygen to the ludicrous conjecture about it being Tarantino movies or Fruit Loops, we DO have said data. We can actually be critical thinkers and look at the lowest common denominator across the hundreds of mass shootings in the last few decades because we have HAD hundreds of mass shootings in the last few decades.
Bullshit rating: Hard to see, but definitely there and super smelly; you probably already have some on your shoe and have gotten used to the smell.