A few days ago during the #stopgunviolence hashtag flurry, I responded to a tweet by stating that most of the mass shooting gunmen were leftist. I received the following tweet:
[Citation Needed] https://t.co/Ut2TQkfaIf
— Eric Sitton (@eric_sitton) January 5, 2016
I have to say, I felt a little embarrassed. My statement was technically unfounded; I was passing on a report that I didn’t really know for sure.
So, I looked into the subject on my own, and here are my results. For the purpose of my comparison between “left” and “right” political leanings, the terms will need to be confined.
Left- An ideology who believes in the strength or the importance of the collective, and that government is responsible for the care and well-being of its subjects. It strives to make society more just through political/governmental force. Markets need to be strictly regulated to ensure fairness, or that the right thing is done. Individual rights can be secondary to the need of society. Government pressure can be used to promote equitable outcomes.
Right- An ideology who believes that the individual is paramount to the collective, and that government exists to protect individual rights. Markets are to be loosely regulated, and that economic disparity can be a normal expression of individual efforts, needs and performance. Individuals, alone or collectively, shape government, and not vice versa.
Now assuming my quick and dirty definitions are valid, here are the data in PDF format.
politics and killing table
Not mentioned in the table is the perpetrators’ state of mind. Looking through the source links, mental issues do seem prevalent in most. Of the 9 shooters, 5 fit in the given definition of Leftist. So my statement that “most shooters” were leftist is unsupported, but the majority are or were left-leaning, at least in my sample.
If you have any comments or disputations, feel free to post them.