Once again, as details emerge about the tragedy at the Orlando nightclub, we learn that the killer had a troubled childhood and that he was expelled from college and fired from jobs due to violent behavior or threats. It also appears that he may have been plagued by the guilt of homosexuality (stemming from his religious faith) and that his relationships with women involved domination and domestic violence.
In most past cases of mass murder, we learned that the male perpetrators came from a dysfunctional household, endured abuse from an alcoholic father, failed to establish normal social relationships or demonstrated symptoms of mental illness. After the tragic event, family members, friends or colleagues recount the warning signs that they observed but did not or could not intercede beforehand.
Focused on international terrorism, Conservative Republicans place emphasis on a military solution, campaigning to beef-up a Defense Department that already consumes a massive portion of our Federal budget. But while some of the killers may have been influenced by terrorist propaganda, they were already primed by social factors that we do not adequately address. Sensible gun laws are certainly part of the solution but early childhood daycare, after-school activities, job training, troubled teen programs and an effective mental health care system all need to be adequately funded. Unfortunately, the same politicians that favor increased military spending and oppose sensible gun control measures also want government out of our lives and refuse to support such vital programs.