Posted byat 6th April, 2009
Last Saturday in Pittsburgh, a guy whipped out a gun and opened up on policemen, killing three. The killer’s friends said he had been upset about losing his job and, oh yeah, he thought Obama was going to ban guns. Light ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.
Last Friday in Binghamton NY, a guy opened first at an immigrant center, killing 13. The killer had just lost his job and, oh yeah, was tired of people mocking him for his imperfect English.
Last Tuesday in Ellensburg WA, a 42 year-old man robbed a convenience store, accompanied by his nine year-old daughter, who looked rather bewildered on the security tape. The robber said he needed the money to support his daughter and he had been unemployed for several months. He didn’t kill anyone, but I hope he puts the $200.00 he stole towards his daughter’s shrink bills.
A few weeks ago in Sampson AL, a 28 year-old man shot and killed 10 people, five from his own family, before he committed suicide at the plant where he used to work.
You get the point. All of a sudden, there’s been plenty of these stories. Over the past few years we’ve had quite an upsurge in mass murder: the mindless sort where the perpetrator kills any number of people unknown to him or, in even less understandable acts, his own children. Some, like the guy in Washington, are forcing their unwitting children into acts of violent crime. Not as bad as wanton murder, but still illustrative of the point.
Since the 21st Century Depression started last fall, we’ve seen unemployment and an inability of people to make a living for themselves and their families as a major motivating factor in violent and often deadly crime. The sociologists explain what we already understand: these people are desperate and without option, so they resort to desperate and futile action. Well, duhh…
But the desire to take perfect strangers down with them and the actualization of that desire – that seems rather new. We didn’t have as much national media at the beginning of the 20th Century Depression; no network radio news, no television, certainly no cable. We only had the newspapers and their wire services, which could take days to gather a story and preferred local events to national crime hysteria. If there was a major trend in job loss related mass murder, it went largely unnoticed. We preferred to read about roving gangs of bank robbers.
Back then we lived vicariously through the likes of John Dillinger. Today, we have a more fatal worldview. We’ve found a new depth to the concept of “Great Depression.”
This is not about gun control. This is about a new height in, for lack of a stronger word, frustration. People aren’t just killing themselves; they are killing family members and perfect strangers.
There’s only one way to end this. We need to create jobs, right now.
And I’m not just talking about gravediggers.
Mike’s Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mind rants can be heard every Monday and Friday on The Point podcasts, available right here at www.michaeldavisworld.com, as well as at comicmix.com, getthepointradio.com, zzcomics.com, and ravenwolfstudios.com. You can subscribe to The Point at iTunes by searching under “The Point Radio.”