Another alienated boy has shot a bunch of people who will either never be the same again, or never be again. Actually, two alienated boys have done this recently: one in a mall and the other in a church. Both of them were in their mid 20s, a state of life that's a hormonal miasma approaching madness.
In the case of the church shooter, he probably was approaching madness. He had been kicked out of his youth missionary group for his strange behavior, including hearing voices. Maybe it's because I'm married to a social worker, but I really wish church youth groups did a better job of helping these kids than telling them to get lost. He was at the prime age to develop schizo-affective disorder, but apparently had rejected counselling. In general, these problems are never understood or dealt with very well.
The mall shooter was more typical for these sorts of massacres: mid twenties, isolated, alone, and a "loser" by most modern standards. It's a lot easier to be a loser these days; the whole globe is filled with them now. Globalization seems to increase the winners one-by-one and the losers exponentially. It's probably not a lot different being a lonely young male loser in the Midwest or in the Mideast- the suicide bomber and the mall shooter are both hormonally fucked-up boys who want to go out in a blaze of glory. Both of them are tragically, pathetically lost. The Anthony Burgess novel A Clockwork Orange, unlike the movie, ends with the main character, a young thug, mellowing out and settling down as he reaches middle-age. I often wonder what would happen to these violent young men if they could be sent on a vacation until they turn thirty. Would the Columbine shooters have had 401 Ks, or gone into human resources at some company? Who knows? God, what a waste...
I'm also starting to wonder why, if our angry young men find it so easy to walk into public places and kill so many random people, the radical-Islamo-fascist-terrorists, who are supposedly lurking behind every bush, never seem to do the same. I used to think it was because of "heightened security", but Mall shootings and flying planes into buildings both share the psychotic power of the random act. Neither of them makes any logical sense, and so neither of them can be very well prepared for. There's nothing much stopping the bogeymen-of-evil from doing these sorts of things across America. Yet they haven't been.
Which either means that racial profiling has been very successful- something I seriously doubt given the collective intelligence of the racial profilers- or the "war on terror" of the last six years has been a massive overreaction. I guess we'll see which is the case.