Catholic Cultural Watchdog Group: Five Reasons We Have Mass Shootings

The president of a Catholic organization that keeps watch on the national culture writes in the wake of the Uvalde school massacre such mass shootings are likely to continue, largely because the race- and gun-obsessed establishment media are so politically entrenched they “are looking in all the wrong places” for potential remedies for the real causes of these tragedies.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue wrote Thursday:

The ruling class, especially the media, are consumed with race and guns in America, yet the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, like those in Dayton and El Paso in 2019, have little to do with either. It is not as though there aren’t some common causes, threads of behavior that link all mass shootings. There are. But the media are looking in all the wrong places, thus providing the wrong diagnosis. This, in turn, ensures the wrong remedies.

Donohue offered five reasons why mass shootings occur and will likely continue unless these real issues are addressed:

  1. The alleged killer is “asocial.”
  2. The alleged killer “comes from a seriously dysfunctional family.”
  3. The alleged killer “has mental issues.”
  4. The alleged killer is “fascinated by violence.”
  5. In the time leading up to the massacres, “red flags were ignored by almost everyone.”

Donohue observed deceased Uvalde shooter Salvador Ramos, suspected Buffalo supermarket mass shooter Payton Gendron, accused El Paso Walmart shooter Patrick Wood Crusius, and deceased Dayton, Ohio, shooter Connor Betts were all described as “loners.”

CNN reported Adrian Mendes, a manager at the Wendy’s restaurant where Ramos worked, said he “kept to himself mostly.”

“He felt like the quiet type, the one who doesn’t say much. He didn’t really socialize with the other employees,” Mendes said. “He just worked, got paid, and came in to get his check.”

Ramos shot his grandmother, with whom he lived, before going on his rampage at Robb Elementary School.

Serious dysfunction appears to exist in Ramos’ family, despite the fact that, at least initially, his mother denied a difficult relationship with him.

Nevertheless, Ramos is believed to have had multiple serious blowups with his mother, reported the Washington Post. A former neighbor said Ramos had “a pretty rough life with his mom” and had witnessed police coming to their home.

The Post reported people who knew the family indicated Ramos’ mother had a serious drug problem.

Numerous reports also indicated a friend of Ramos said “he’d cut up his face with knives over and over and over,” apparently just “for fun.”

“He was also known for shooting people with his BB gun — random people,” Donohue noted. “He said he wanted to join the Marines because then he could kill people.”

The Associated Press (AP) reported Gendron’s classmates described him as “a quiet, studious boy who got high marks but seemed out of place in recent years, turning to online streaming games, a fascination with guns and ways to grab attention from his peers.”

Following the COVID shutdowns, Gendron reportedly returned to school wearing a hazmat suit, a move that led one classmate to state “most people didn’t associate with him.’’

“They didn’t want to be known as friends with a kid who was socially awkward and nerdy,’’ he added.

Gendron was hospitalized for a “mental evaluation” for a couple of days after he made a “generalized threat” of violence against the school, the New York Post reported, one that included “statements indicating that he wanted to do a shooting, either at a graduation ceremony, or sometime after.”

“The teen was not on the radar of federal law enforcement, even after writing a 181-page, race-hate-filled manifesto online at some point detailing murderous plans,” the Post observed.

Donohue noted:

Gendron loved violence. He described how he killed a cat who had invaded the space of his own cat, stabbing it with a knife. “It bled from the mouth…. I was able to grab the cat’s tail and wind up and smack the cat’s head on the concrete ground. I did that a few times and when it went limp I grabber [sic] a hatchet and swung at its neck—20 times until it came off.”

The Los Angeles Times reported a former neighbor described Crusius as “an extreme loner who always sat alone on the bus.”

Crusius was “very much a loner, very stand-offish” and “didn’t interact a whole lot with anyone,” she said.

“He wouldn’t talk to people,” added the former neighbor’s son. “No one really knew him.”

“His father suffered from drug and alcoholic addiction for nearly 40 years, tearing up both of his marriages,” Donohue noted. “Crusius suffered from lifelong neurological and mental disabilities and spent most of his time in school in special education. He was fascinated by far right-wing extremism.”

Donohue wrote as well about Betts:

One of his bandmates called him a “loner.” Another peer said he was a quiet kid who kept to himself. Of the nine people whom he killed, one was his sister. His parents showed how dysfunctional they were when they issued a highly inappropriate obituary lauding him in the most glowing terms without saying a word about his victims, including their daughter.

Betts’ ex-girlfriend told The Washington Post he knew he suffered from psychosis, and her friends had warned her about his aggression in prior relationships.

“He would cry to me sometimes,” she recalled, “saying how he’s afraid of himself and afraid he was going to hurt someone one day. It’s haunting now.”

The New York Post reported Betts allegedly made “hit lists” of students “whom he wanted to rape, kill and skin” on a bathroom wall and in a notebook.

“He was fascinated with far left-wing extremism,” Donohue described. “He was a fan of Antifa.”

“There is plenty of social science evidence indicating that troubled students offer many signs — indeed red flags — that should merit attention,” the Catholic League president asserted. “They rarely do.”

While Donohue suggests there is a need to re-evaluate policies and laws that could easily deter people from coming forward to make a report for fear of retaliation, he ultimately concludes “we need policies and laws that strengthen the family, paying special attention to the needs of young men.”

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Bill Donohue” by Catholic League. 




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