What Do Mass Shooters Have In Common?

November, 2021 Barak Lurie

Today, I want to start off with a little bit of a joke — an the illustration of a point that I want to make, which is this:

Two men are at a lamppost and one of them is looking for something — and it’s nighttime.

And the second guy notices it and he says, “Hey, what’s going on? Are you looking for something?”

And the first man says, “Yes. In fact, I’m looking for my keys. I dropped them near my car. It’s about two blocks away from here.”

“Shouldn’t you be looking somewhere near your car?” asks the second man.

And the first man says, “Yes. But this is where the light is.”

So what do I bring this up? So often, we seem to want answers where we think that they should be. Where we want them to be. That is the way we perceive God. There are many answers there. All the answers are there, but we refuse to see it: Where the evidence might actually be.

A case in point: In 2019, following a series of mass shootings, there was a group called The Violence Project that wanted to study all the commonalities that these Mass shooters might have in common. So they took all this information from mass shootings that occurred from the early 1960s through 2019… what did they find?

One, that the mass shooter in question had a childhood trauma of some kind. That might have been a sexual molestation, some sort of violence, some horrific accident that the child perceived.

Second, they may have been bullied in school. They had been traumatized in school or something like that.

Next, it was very important for them to get attention, one way or the other — and be perceived that they would look at other mass shooters and they want to emulate them because they perceive them to get the attention that they themselves were.

In addition, they would have suicidal tendencies and they had reached some sort of crisis point in their lives — such as a break up with a girlfriend or perhaps the loss of a job.

And then finally, they had access to guns. And with access to guns — well, that’s how they had the means to do their horrific mass shooting.

But what’s interesting about this is that nowhere in this entire study, and it was a massive project, nowhere was there an analysis of whether or not the mass shooter had God in his life. In face, you could do a search through the database for the words Church, Christianity, Religious, God — and you would come up with nothing. The point is not one of them was considered. The element of the lack of religion in a person’s life — that was not important to them.

In other words, they were looking for the keys in a completely different area. Now interestingly, there was a bureau of the government that actually did study the aspect of religiosity in a person’s tendency towards violence. The Bureau of Investigation — the Federal Bureau of Investigation. And they came to the conclusion that religion was a very big factor in it.

In fact, of all the mass shootings, a very small percentage — I believe it was about 15% — had any mention whatsoever about religion. And of those, the vast majority were radical Islamists. And of the remaining ones, there was very little association of Christianity was involved whatsoever. They only proclaimed that they had some sort of Church attendance, but otherwise there was no involvement with God in their lives at all.

In short, you can see a very strong correlation between the lack of God on the one hand in these mass shooters and their actions in mass shootings. It’s something that we need to address. Now if you do not see it — exactly where the problem really lies… Where the keys really are… You’ll never be able to actually do anything with it. That is what our focus is on today. To understand that the lack of God in one’s life can leave too horrific results.

Instead this Violence Project, what they concluded was: Let’s have a massive government program so that we can prevent these mental issues, we can prevent access to guns and so forth. But had they simply said, “Look perhaps we should have more God in all of our lives, things could change dramatically. I’m Barak Lurie. Thanks for watching. We’ll talk with you next week.