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Mass shootings.
Over the past few years, they have become as regular in America and just like Star Wars movies, people have starting paying less and less attention.
But this weekend, something happened.
The nation mourns the victims of two shooting massacres just 13 hours apart.
The massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, happened in startling proximity for a country already too familiar with gun violence.
29 people were killed in the two shooting rampages just 13 hours apart.
Yes. In the span of two days, 13 hours, in fact, 84 people were shot, and currently, 31 people have been killed in two deadly mass shootings.
And, like, even though most of America has gotten used to dealing with mass shootings, having them happen back-to-back has forced people to take notice.
In fact, this weekend's tragedies garnered so much attention that President Trump couldn't respond with his usual "sad" tweet.
Instead, he had to come out and give a formal address to the nation this morning where he condemned white supremacy and domestic terrorism.
Unfortunately, he also offered condolences to the people of Toledo, which is not one of the cities that had a mass shooting.
So that was basically the mass shooting equivalent of saying the wrong person's name in bed.
But these two tragedies didn't happen in a vacuum.
They're part of a rise in mass shootings in recent years.
And now news anchors, pundits, politicians alike, they're all trying to figure out the root cause of what has become a national epidemic.
And they've been pinning the blame on a lot of different things, starting with the Internet.
And on the controversial website 8chan, extremists seem to have found a home.
At least three mass shootings this year alone have been announced on the site.
The dark corners of the Internet where these people breed hate and division...
The perils of the Internet and social media cannot be ignored and they will not be ignored.
We must recognize that the Internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts.
Yes, many people, including the president, are saying that the Internet is to blame for radicalizing these domestic terrorists, because giving them a community and a platform is helping them share their ideas.
It's the same way the Internet has given a platform to people who eat laundry detergent, right.
Yeah, back in the day, you could only share your feelings with the people at poison control.
Now you have a community.
So now some people are saying we need to tighten regulation of the Internet.
And I'll be honest with you, I'm all for it, yeah, especially after I got catfished last week.
I thought I was talking to a lonely middle-aged man who needed my social security number, turns out it was some beautiful woman who wanted to date me.
What the hell?
I get what these people are saying, though.
The Internet is a powerful tool that can be used to radicalize wannabe mass shooters, you know.
Maybe that's why we don't have a mass shooting epidemic in Africa.
Our Internet is shit and the power keeps cutting.
Yeah. Right now, there's some guy in Nigeria who's like...
"I want to be radicalized but this Wi-Fi is so slow."
"You are so lucky this video is buffering, eh?"
"You are so lucky."
"I'll just have to stick to sending e-mails."
"Dear sir, I have lots of money..."
Now, while some people argue that this epidemic is being caused by the Internet, another argument is that it's something more precise.
Because everyone uses the Internet in America, but most of these shooters are young white men.
And what do young white men all have in common?
Video games.
The idea these video games dehumanize individuals to, uh, have a game of shooting individuals and others, I've always felt that is a problem for, uh, future generations and others.
First shooter games would desensitize folks to the violence.
When you see it through a screen and you don't relate to it in person, uh, it makes it seem like it's more accessible.
What's changed in this country?
We've always had guns, we've always had evil, but what's changed where we see this rash of shooting?
And I, I see a, a video game industry that teaches young people to kill.
Okay. On the surface, that sounds like a pretty good argument.
America has always had guns.
America has always had evil.
But mass shootings have only taken off over the past, what, 20 years?
And what has been new in the past 20 years?
Violent video games.
Although, by that logic, anything that's been invented in the last 20 years could have contributed to mass shootings, like Crocs were invented over the last 20 years.
And I know they inspire anger in me.
Here's another thing, here's another thing, though, if video games are responsible for shootings, how do you explain countries like South Korea or Japan?
They play the same games at a higher rate than the U.S.
But neither of these countries have a mass shooting epidemic.
The worst thing Japan is dealing with right now is a karaoke epidemic.
The only thing getting murdered there is Mariah Carey songs.
So some people blame the Internet, and others say it's video games.
But for many, if the president wants to find the real cause of what's happening, he should go and look in the bathroom mirror.
The 21-year-old white male said the attack was in response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas, adding that his ideology predates President Trump, and that blaming the president would be the equivalency of fake news.
This is language the president has used since his campaign began.
A lot of people are taking issue with the explosive rhetoric he has used, rhetoric that mirrors the screed written by the El Paso murderer.
Just three months ago, this scene at a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida.
President Trump at first laughing when a supporter in the crowd suggested shooting immigrants.
- But how do you stop these people? - Shoot them.
You can't. There's...
That's only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.
Yeah, it might have been a joke at that rally, but clearly there are people out there who could take the president's words seriously.
Now, I know it's crazy to take Trump's words seriously but some people do.
In fact, as we've learned, the mass shooter in El Paso left behind a manifesto that included the same phrases Trump uses every day:
Fake news, immigrant invasions.
Like, the only reason you know that it wasn't written by Trump is because the grammar was correct.
And here's the thing, here's the thing, although there is a chance Donald Trump has emboldened racist mass shooters, we also cannot say that he's the overall cause, because there were racist mass shooters before Donald Trump.
It's the same way you can't blame stuffed-crust pizzas for the obesity epidemic in America.
You can admit that adding a pizza to the edge of a pizza is not gonna help people lose weight, but it's not the cause.
So some people blame the Internet, some say it's video games, others blame President Trump.
But the thing we're hearing the most after these mass shootings, is that the real cause is all in the head.
Mental health is a large contributor to any type of violence or shooting violence.
-There are so many different factors, you don't know. -Yeah.
I mean, maybe a child's born with, you know, some mental illness.
This was a sick person.
The person in Dayton was a sick person.
No politician is to blame for that.
You cannot be a white supremacist and be normal in the head.
These are sick people.
Now, again, this argument sounds completely logical.
If someone kills a group of random strangers, they must be mentally ill, but that's not necessarily true.
In fact, a majority of mass shooters have no history of mental illness, which is a scary thought, because it means most mass shooters are killing because they want to, not because something "went wrong" in their brain.
So... what causes mass shootings?
Is it the Internet?
Is it video games?
Is it Trump?
Is it mental illness?
You know, what's sad and frustrating about America is that after every mass shooting, lawmakers want to identify the one thing that causes all mass shootings.
And if they can't agree on what that thing is, nothing gets done.
But the truth is, when it comes to any individual shooting, the cause could be any one of those factors, if not more.
But there's one thing that every mass shooting has in common:
Whatever motivated it has to be combined with a gun.
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What Causes Mass Shootings? | The Daily Show

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Estelle published on August 7, 2019    Estelle translated    Evangeline reviewed
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