Friday, December 21, 2012

Mass Shootings: The Lynching Parallel - Readers messages - James Fallows - The Atlantic

James Allen's Without Sanctuary is a powerful photo history of lynching in America, those eruptions of murderous rage and morbid curiosity that took the lives of some 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites who were lynched between 1882 and 1968.  That was the Strange Fruit that grew on Southern trees.   James Fallows has given this post over to a reader's powerful piece comparing today's mass shootings to lynchings in the Jim Crow era. 

Below is just a lede.  I am not sure what to make of the comparison - but READ the piece.  It is compelling. - GWC

Readers on Guns: The Lynching Parallel - James Fallows - The Atlantic:
"Let's begin with a comparison to a previous "uncontrollable" phenomenon of mass American violence: the wave of lynchings in the early 20th century. From a reader in Florida. Emphasis added. - JF
 If you look at the yearly death tolls for mass shootings over the past three decades, they look an awful lot like the yearly death tools from lynchings from, say, 1900 to 1935. They ping pong around from as few as 10 to as many as 100, averaging 40 or 50. The Tuskegee Institute's count is my source for lynchings. Here is the source I used for mass killings. I think you'll find many parallels between lynchings and mass killings. First and foremost is the irrationality of the violence, the notion that it's a uncontrollable condition that comes over the killer or killers. Both are a subset of violence in a violent culture carried out by people not considered professional criminals.  "

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