Much has been written in the wake of the Newtown tragedy about the connection between the culture of masculinity and the culture of gun violence. In the past 30 years, all but one of the past 62 mass murderers in the country who have used guns have been men. Gun makers equate gun ownership with manliness. The speculation as to why is rampant. Men are dangerously threatened due to the rise of minorities and women. Men are more sensitive to slights than women. Growing up to be a man is hard.
It’s important to consider the gendered context under which these shooting crimes are committed, and particularly how many of these murderers choose their victims. The rubric of gun culture, mental health and mass violence has myriad elements, and much of it is tied to what it is to be a man in America.