Cultural influences on mass murderers

By Tom Quiner

Are mass public killings on the rise?

I pose the question in light of the latest murder spree that took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina. Nine black Americans were shot at their church by a deranged white guy.

Frankly, I can’t keep up with mass murder anymore. We’ve reached a point in the evolution of our culture that not all mass public killings are front page news.

The most recent has particular notoriety because of the racial overtones of the murders.

So are mass public killings on the rise?


Twenty-one took place from 1900 to 1965.

But from 1966 to 2009, we’ve experienced around 120.

[This data was compiled by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota State Department of Corrections, and analyzed in his book, “Mass Murder in the United States: A History.”]


Why the explosion of mass public killings in modern times?

There could be some practical explanations, like we’ve got more people today than a century ago and a corresponding increase in the number of nutcases. But that doesn’t seem to square with the sudden explosion of these types of killings in recent decades.

Some blame it on the availability of guns. There may be something there, but guns have always been available. And there were fewer gun control laws on the books a hundred years than today.

There’s got to be more.

I suggest the culture has changed. We are observing the systematic corrosion of humanity in America. We live in an era characterized by the diminishment of man’s appreciation of the Other.

And when you devalue Others, you devalue yourself.

What has changed? For starters, the Ten Commandments were removed from schools and public spaces.

Our Judeo-Christian legal system can be traced back to the Commandments. They invoked a higher authority, God. They commanded us not to kill.


Because God said so. Kids looked at that commandment everyday at school until the courts demanded their removal in the fifties and early sixties.

What has changed? Human abortion became legal. We have aborted 57 million of our brothers and sisters. Human life became expendable if it is inconvenient.

What has changed? Marriage laws were changed based on feelings rather than function. No-fault divorce made it easy to extricate oneself from marriage vows if the going got tough, all at the expense of our children. (Yes, some marriages are irretrievably broken, and divorce is the answer, such as in abusive relationships. But no-fault increased divorce amongst salvageable marriages.)

What has changed? Ultra violence abounds in our entertainment. Young men are fed a steady diet of mass destruction in our movies and games. Mass killings in movies desensitize us to the pain other people feel through violence. I grew up as James Bond movies were coming of age where scores of villains were killed in every single movie. I turned out okay, didn’t I? Let’s face it, though, some folks aren’t wired quite right. Some are more likely to snap when fed a diet of carnage.

What has changed? Porn is everywhere. It’s a push of a button away from susceptible young men … and even middle aged men … and even older men … and even girls … and even their moms. Porn corrodes our soul. People are turned into objects to be used by others through the consumption of porn.

What has changed in my lifetime? God has been removed from the public square, and if we say something, the Left screams “separation of Church and State.”

What has changed in my lifetime? Abortion is the law of the land. If you protest, the Left screams about “women’s reproductive health.”

What has changed in my lifetime? The Hollywood Left churns out ultra violence for our kids. And if someone says something, the Left screams “freedom of speech.”

So what has changed? The American culture has been seduced by the Left and their corrosive devaluation of humanity.

We’ve seen the fruits of this “experiment.”

Time to turn the clock back and return to the American values that have served us so well before.


  1. The Gospel of Barney on June 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm


  2. Harlan Bergman on June 23, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    God calls it sin!

  3. atimetoshare on June 23, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    Soooo true. The golden rule has also gone by the wayside. There is little value for human life. Consciences have been numbed. God isn’t dead. He’s just been ignored for some time. It’s time for a revival in America! Thanks for this informative article.

    • quinersdiner on June 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks. It’s an unpleasant subject, but sadly in the news too often.

  4. oarubio on June 24, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Serpents are everywhere and they are being followed. Our original parents disqualified themselves from the Garden of Eden. We are disqualifying ourselves from the most blessed country ever.

  5. Shawn Pavlik on June 25, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    We are in the age of Hedonism. It started in the 60’s with the “Free Love” era and the uptick in drug use. “If it feels good, do it.” It makes it tough, raising two young boys in this culture and trying to keep them away from these dangerous activities. My oldest said he is going to remain celibate until he marries, took the pledge in youth group. There is hope for America with some of our youth, but for every good young man or woman I run across in my teaching profession, I seem to find 4 or 5 who could care less about their fellow man. I do fear for the future of our country.

    • quinersdiner on June 25, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      You’re doing your part, Shawn, and that’s a lot! As long as there are men who love and respect God, there will be men who love and respect their wives and their children. That gives me hope.

  6. […] is nonsense. The root cause is multi-faceted and complex, as this blog has written about before here and here and here and […]