He tortured animals … He had intense mood swings and alcohol problems … He planned to commit suicide by cop … He was known for being paranoid with a short temper … He believed he was straying from his faith … He posted a series of disturbing videos on Facebook … He had been isolating himself from his online friends. Jillian Peterson and James Densley are criminologists who run The Violence Project, an org dedicated to understanding and ultimately reducing gun violence. They examined the details of more than 150 mass shootings in the US. “These events have become more frequent and more deadly over time. One-third of all the mass shootings in our study occurred in the last decade. This is no coincidence. The killings are not just random acts of violence but rather a symptom of a deeper societal problem: the continued rise of ‘deaths of despair.'” NYT (Gift Article): We Profiled the ‘Signs of Crisis’ in 50 Years of Mass Shootings. This Is What We Found. Of course, there’s also the political despair of the sane majority, including gun owners, who want common sense limitations on the sales of the killing machines that allow mass murderers to be so effective. Despair is not uniquely American. The killings are.

+ WaPo: Gun owners favor requiring parents to lock up weapons. It’s lawmakers who don’t. “After a 6-year-old shot a teacher in Virginia, there will be another push for safe gun storage laws across the country. Most will likely fail.” Again, this is not a gun-owner vs non-gun-owner issue. It’s not a good guy with a gun vs a bad guy with a gun issue. It’s bad officeholders and bad lobbyists vs decent people.