Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sophisticated Theology and Experience of The Divine part 2 the Linford article


Hans Urs Von Balthasar (1905-1988)

A couple of weeks ago I dealt with Ed Brayton [1] turns to Dan Linford's  article in Scientia Salon [2] to reduce all sophisticated views of God to rubish and make the big  man in the sky the only meaningful  standard of belief. In this essay I will deal exclusivity with Linford's  article:
Atheists reject a god that is too small, it is claimed, and most have not considered the more sophisticated God that is really worth believing in. If only atheists considered the proper sort of deity, these authors insist, they would have long abandoned their atheism...This is the position of several authors who have written popular books on the subject over the last two decades: Karen Armstrong [1], John Haught [2], and David Bentley Hart [3], to name a few. I think these authors are incorrect. There are good reasons for rejecting belief even in their gods. Here I will focus on Armstrong’s version, but several of my remarks will be applicable to a number of other theologies.[3]
Armstrong summarized by Linford: "Armstrong claims that her God is beyond any of our conceptions of what a god might be like. God is so far beyond human comprehension, she insists, that when we try to imagine God we instead imagine a false idol. God,” [4]At this point he asserts: "If we do not know what we mean when we speak of God, how can atheists know what they are objecting to? Thus, the mystical theologian insists that the atheist could not have rejected God after all. And a variety of traditional objections to theism, naturally, disappear as well."[5]

But that is  an oversimplification,I don't know of any theologian who says that. I don't think the point is that  atheists can't know to what it is they object. They seem to have a pretty good idea. The point is one must experience the divine not merely read words on paper. The point is that without such experience belief is always hypothetical. Thus unbelief is hypothetical as well. 

Yet Linford continues to press the point that mystical theology is too veg to understand:

For example, no longer could one say that the widespread suffering in our world is incompatible with an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God because we would be unable to say what these properties indicate about God. If God is “all-knowing,” “all-powerful,” and “all-loving,” but in no way that we can understand, then, whatever that way is, it might be compatible with any degree of suffering whatsoever.[6] 
We can know love when we experience it. We can say one of God's characteristics is love. We can know what that means because we have experienced love from people and we can experience God's love.  Atheists knowing the words we speak about love will not give us  the answer. It is from God. It;s not a matter of logic. it's not something that knowing the rules of reason will help us with. 
 Linford lists three major points by way of criticisms of mystical theology:
(1) Armstrong’s theology is a veg assertion:
He says: "First, as Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga has pointed out, concerning a similar view, why should we think that God has this sort of transcendence — the sort where we do not possess words adequate to describe God — and not some other? Armstrong’s theology seems to be nothing more than a vague assertion." Yet one wonders what exactly he is calling a veg assertion? The idea that reality is created by or centered around a universal consciousness capable of creating, is that veg? Trying to show such a consciousnesses could be and how it could be  eternal is going to entail  a lot of gaps in knowledge but that hardly makes it veg. Mystics know that God has this sort of transcendence because they have experienced it that is not veg. 
(2) revelation is meaningless
Linford again: "Second, the theist would have no reason to maintain belief in religious doctrines that had been provided only through divine revelation. Why not? As philosopher Erik Wielenberg has pointed out, there is a significant problem for revelation if we can know so little (nothing, really) about God." I deal with this issue at length in the final chapter of my book: The Trace of God [7] 
I argue that we should not base doctrines upon mystical experience. That is not its purpose. It is not a divination mechanism (or a divining rod) but merely the effect of God's presence upon our consciousness. Mystical theology need not be about doctrine. I also argue that  due to the metaphorical nature of all language the mystic's basic plight is merely a stepped up example of the same kind of problem of meaning that all langue and all people have. The mystic finds a more effective solution in moving beyond the hypothetical to the actual.

Linford argues further: "Consider the statement 'God is good.' The mystical theologian insists that the word 'good,' as it appears in this statement, cannot be understood by finite humans. If that is so, we cannot know what God’s goodness entails. For all we know, God may have reasons, beyond our comprehension, for lying to us."   I don't think many mystical theologians argue that or think that way. I have direct contradiction in Hans Urs Von Balthasar (1905-1988)  who, like me, insists we experience what we call "Good" from God. We can experience even if we lack the words to name,[8] As Balthasar says: 
The one, the true, the good, the Beautiful, these are what we call the transcendental attributes of being, because they surpass all the limits of essence, and are coextensive with Being. If there is an insurmountable distance between God and his creature, but if there is also an analogy between them which cannot be resolved in any form of identity, there must also exist an analogy between the transcendentals—between those of the creature and those in God.[9]
(3) Mystical Theology negates evidence for the existence of God

On this issue he argues:
Consider some phenomena behind which one might suspect the handiwork of God. Such phenomena can only count as evidence for God if we have reason to think that God was likely to produce the phenomena in question. Indeed, if God was comparatively unlikely to produce some phenomenon, the latter may actually count as evidence against the existence of God. Yet mystical theology tells us that we cannot know what God is likely to do or to want. For all we know, any purported evidence of God’s presence is actually evidence of the contrary.[10]
First of all, if one has had real mystical experience that just doesn't matter. The sense of certainty of God from mystical expedience is so powerful it doesn't matter if one has no other arguments. But secondly, there is no reason why we can't have both. The kind of evidence we have through reason to make God arguments only tells us  very scant  hypothetical things  not much at all beyond the mere idea that God exists. That is all God arguments are for any way. We don't make doctrine from them either.
"Mystical theologians may object that God is not to be inferred through evidence of design in nature (as Intelligent Design advocates insist) but is instead to be experienced. This is no better: if we cannot know what sort of phenomena God is likely to produce then we cannot know what sort of experiences God is likely to trigger within us." Where does he get the idea that we can't know what God is like?  Surely one knows what someone is like through   experiencing encounters with that person. Just because it can't be adequately put into words doesn't mean it can;'t be known. Ideas can be voiced in  analogical terms and while not giving complete disclosure can put one in the right direction. We can say accurately and in words "God is love." Knowing experimentally what love is and still being unable to put it adequately and fully into words, the basic concept is still meaningful. Once that much is worked out (God = thumbs up) we don't need to draw from it that God is an every other month sabaterian  for example. 
his conclusion wildly wrong:
"Mystical theologians should find it troubling that religious experience cannot provide us with reason to believe in God, but apparently they don’t. Both Armstrong and Haught argue that we can only come to know God experimentally while at the same time implicitly barring the intelligibility of religious experience, thus leaving us without God." That may be his most ridiculous assertion.  The basic assertion that mystical experience can't offer a reason to believe is just patently absurd. It is not at all uncommon for mystical experience to be a conversion experience. Failing a textbook mystical experience it's even more common for an experience of a sort mystical to be a conversion experience, mu own included. 

Linford  seems to be confusing belief with doctrine. It's  mistake to try and base doctrine on mystical experience. Mystical experience is not a communication aimed at clarifying details about the nature of reality. It is merely the result of experiencing God's presence, it's not a means of relying acruate data other than the basic fact of God's love (God's love is real, we might occlude, because God is real in that sense  mystical experience tells us God is real). Linford seems to assume that belief comes with intellectual understanding and that comes with doctrinal clarity. These not  are fallacious ideas, they are elements   of faith and some conversions can be that way, But  but they are  not formulaic.   People come to believe in God because they sense (at some level) the reality of God not because they are awed by superior logic in doctrine.

[1]Joseph Hinman, "Sophisticated Theology and Experience of The Divine" Metacrick's Blog (Aug. 12, 2019)
[accessed 8/17/19]; Ed Brayton, "Dan Linford on ‘Sophisticated Theology’" Dispatches From The Culture Wars: Thoughts from the Interface of Science, Religion, Law ad Culture.  (Dec 7, 2014)
[accessed Aug 10, 2019]
[2]Dan Linford  "Do atheists reject the “wrong kind of God”? Not likelyScientia Salon, (Dec 4, 2014)
[accessed Aug 10, 2019]
Daniel Linford is an adjunct professor of philosophy at Thomas Nelson Community College. His main interests are in philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, and early-modern atheism. Dan recently earned his master’s degree at Virginia Tech and is currently applying to PhD programs.

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Joseph Hinman, The Trace of God:Rational Warrant for Belief. Colorado Springs: Grand Viaduct 2014,  337-373

[8] Joseph Hinman, "Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Being itself, and the Personal God." Metacrock's bog (AUGUST 08, 2018)
(accessed Aug 17, 2019) 

[9]  Hans Urs Von Balthasar, “A Resume of my Thought,” in David L. Schindler, Hans Urs Von Balthasar: His Life and Work. San Francisco:Ignatious Press, 1991, on like version p1-2 URL:

[10] Linford, op cit

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Bread and Butter Apologetocs

Image result for The woman at the tomb
Baciccico's Women at the Tomb

Let's go back to bread and butter apologetic. The resurrection debate. One of the most hackney and ridiculous arguments is the "swoon theory" the kind of thing that was big among 19th century liberals who were trying to naturalize the Gospel. Nineteenth century atheists ate that stuff up, and late 20th century internet atheists dug it up and tired to make it live again. The swoon theory says that Jesus didn't die on the cross he was just unconscious and latter taken away by followers, This argumemt is answered  efficiently (if not unnecessarily) Peter Kreeft.[1]  The argument is defended from Kreeft's refutation by the wise old vetran of the message board apologetic wars,  that champion of reason Bradley "literally right" Bowen, in his magnum opus in 32 parts, Here we will examine  Defending the Swoon Theory – Part 7: The “Break their Legs” Objection  (july 2019 Bradley Bowen)   [2] Bowen singles out three issues, the first:

Kreeft argues that Roman soldiers did not break Jesus' legs so that is a  good indication he was dead. They broke the legs of the other two to hasten death. Bowen argues that"

Roman soldiers were not medical doctors, and medical knowledge was very primitive 2,000 years ago. So, even if a Roman soldier was firmly convinced that Jesus was dead, that does NOT prove that Jesus was in fact dead.  Modern medical doctors with modern medical training and modern medical equipment still sometimes make a mistaken diagnosis of death, so a Roman soldier who had no modern medical knowledge, no modern medical training, and no modern medical equipment, could surely make a mistaken diagnosis of death.[3]
This is really non sequitur  but it's argued in such a way as to make one think the facticity of his opinion really counts for something,  but it does not since one need not be a doctor to tell when someone is dead. Roman soldiers saw death a lot. True to the literalistic from of thinking Bowen  assumes that the swoon theory must be totally disprove just to cast doubt on it. It need not be disproved if we have a good reason not to assume it and  and swoon theorists can give us no good reason to assume it then we need not assume it. If Te Roman soldiers thought Jesus was probably dead that is a good reason to assume he was so.

The swoon theory is really outmoded here's why. Let's assume they are right, Jesus did not die he only swooned. He was brutalized and beaten and badly  bleeding before the Crucifixion process even began. The process of Crucifixion  on top of everything else would have been so traumatic he did not just swoon like some Nineteenth century refugee from a gothic novel,   he would have been in shock and about bled to death, nearly drowned on his own respiratory from the crucifixion process, then shut up for the week end behind a stone it would take six men to move. Where's he going to go? What medical care could they give him that would save him assuring they could reach him in time?

The second issue Bowen argues the book of John Implies the Romans were confused about Jesus' death, quotes passages John 19: 31-33  to prove the Romans may have thought he was alive. The reasoning is one soldier pierced Jesus' side the only reason to do that was to see if he was dead. Therefore they didn't really think he was dead. So apparently if they were confused he was alive? Of course they ignore the fact that the sticking would have proven he was dead  because water coming out separate from blood proves heart is not working.  Even so it's that literalism that says it can't be that they thought he was probably dead and just wanted to confirm it. Doubt of any kind always means no God.

Third issue Kreeft asserts his view as historical fact
The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus broke the legs of the other men who were crucified along with Jesus, 
  • while those men were still hanging on their crosses.
  • The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus did not break Jesus’ legs while he was still hanging on his cross.
These are really just one issue (how reasonable is the assumption of death?)  he's segmenting that one issue to make it seem like more.

Bowen castigates Kreeft for asserting these are facts:

"These are clearly NOT historical facts.  They are questionable inferences based on the unreasonable assumption that the 4th Gospe" None of the assumptions Kreeft makes are unreasonable. Bowen labels them so because they disagree with him that makes them un reasonable. His assertion are just as doubtful and just as "unreasonable" in that same way(not my ideology). 

Bowen's "facts"    " good reasons to doubt the historical reliability of this passage from the 4th Gospel:"

  1. The 4th Gospel was probably NOT written by an eyewitness of the events it relates.
  2. The 4th Gospel is significantly less historically reliable than the other Gospels.
  3. This passage in the 4th Gospel conflicts with related accounts in the other Gospels.[4]
All of these ideas (more in fn) are just ideological assumptions no more backed by fact than  Kreft's ideas.

(1) Scholars have argued for John's testily being backed  by eye witness input more than any other.  In the poast coupleof decades devistating arguentshave been nade supportingthehistoricityof Johnadhteh eyewitnsscontent,  The best of these is Jesus and The Eye Witnesses by  Richard Bauckham. [5]

(2) That is an outmoded 19th century idea, its been disproved many times by dead sea scrolls and other work 

(3) Highly prejudicial because he doesns't demonstrate that it biases the Crucifixion accounts, modern scholars have much more respect for John than they did in the 19th cetury when the swoon theory was taken seriously.


[1] Peter Kreeft   (born 1937) Ph.D.  at Fordham University, addendum at Yale and taught Boston college.

[2] Bradley Bowen Defending the Swoon Theory – Part 7: The “Break their Legs” Objection  (july 2019 )

[3] Ibid

[4] these are the additional arguments he lists (he's only giving labels) I will give equally short answers, 

  1. This passage contains some internal conflicts that cast doubt on its historical reliability.[he doesn't list any]
  2. The historical claims in this passage can reasonably be viewed as “prophecy historicized”.[ideological assumption]
  3. None of the other Gospels corroborate the historical claims that Kreeft makes here.[none of them had a witness present in those events but see fn 5]
  4. None of the other Gospels corroborate the closely related historical claims concerning Jesus being stabbed in his side. [GPet does]
  5. None of the other Gospels corroborate the closely related historical claim that “the Jews” requested that the bodies of the crucified men be removed from their crosses before the sabbath day began.[dishonest we know that to be historical fact born out by Josephus]
  6. None of the other Gospels corroborate the presence of the “beloved disciple” at the cross (who is supposedly the ultimate source of this accounthat Kreeft is using as evidence).[see 5]
  7. None of the other Gospels corroborate other stories in the 4th Gospel about the “beloved disciple”.[that's irrelevant those other stories aren't offered as proof of this]

[5] Richard Bauckham, Jesus and The Eye Witnesses: The Gospel as Eye Witness Testimony, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans,2006, no page listed.  [accessed August 10. 2010]

Monday, August 12, 2019

Sophisticated Theology and Experience of The Divine

Image result for mystical experience

Ed Brayton [1] turns to Dan Linford's  article in Scientia Salon [2] to reduce all sophisticated views of God to rubish and make the big  man in the sky the only meaningful  standard of belief. He does this so that atheists can whip up on the big man in the sky and thus dismiss belief  in God, His argument is put succinctly: "When atheists say they don’t believe in God, they mean the sort of overly simplistic God that the rubes believe in, not the vague, unspecified, undefinable God that they believe in."

This gives us the immediate clue as to what he will argue but it shoulod be understood that he does not analyze  any other theological ideas except mystical theology. He does not deal with Tillich's God as being itself or with process theology or any other modern view point, for him its either big man in the sky or mysticism. Anyone who presents a stark contrast like this seems bent on putting the  opponent in a double bind. Moreover this sort of argument that the atheist view is not sophisticated really works best as an answer to specific atheist criticisms not as an argue standing on it;'s own terms. I would only use it in response to atheist attacks on big man in the sky. Be that as it may Brayton draws upon Linford for arguments.

Dan Linford has an article in Scientia Salon

This is the position of several authors who have written popular books on the subject over the last two decades: Karen Armstrong, John Haught, and David Bentley Hart, to name a few. I think these authors are incorrect. There are good reasons for rejecting belief even in their gods. Here I will focus on Armstrong’s version, but several of my remarks will be applicable to a number of other theologies.What sort of gods do these writers have in mind? If the wrong sort of God is “too small,” the right sort of God is much bigger: a radically transcendent being about which human languages can only speak indirectly. Armstrong claims that her God is beyond any of our conceptions of what a god might be like.  God is so far beyond human comprehension, she insists, that when we try to imagine God we instead imagine a false idol. God, she tells us, “is the God beyond [our idolatrous conception of] God”.[3]
We see immediate that Linford begins working to distort  the complexity in the concepts, he  defines the crucial issue as one of small god s Big God then Jumps to "transcendent" as though evangelicals don't believe in a transcend God. The issue is not small  vs big Gog in terms of God' nature that is a metaphor for theological thinking. No small Gods only small theologians. But my real ire toward Linford is his tendency to pigeon hole complex ideas and trying to give the impression that he knows all about them  and there;'s nothing  there when he he refuses  to even deal with the writings of the thinkers (by this I mean more tan bib reference for the work). Here is an example of his alleged scholarship, Here is how he dismisses  dialectics: 

He set's up a dichotomy between literlism and metaphorical speech then 


we learn that our initial way of speaking about God was naive: we cannot mean the same thing when we talk about God’s goodness as we do when we speak of humanly goodness. We say: “God is not good.” Here we deny that God has some (human) property...Many mystics insist that we should alternate between these two stages, affirming and denying, until we are left in a silence pointing to God.In the end, we learn that we do not know what we are saying when we speak of God. [4]
He's talking about a dialectic and he wants to dismiss that as a contradiction. He quotes Plantinga    castigating Armstrong but this does not mean that Plantinga would reject all dialectics. He's trying to paint  the whole approach with a broad brush and reducing all ideas to those to one writer, For example in my final chapter of The Trace of God I deal with these very issues. I do not take the approach that we can;t know anything about God. I argue that we can experience love and we know what we mean by the term "love" even if we can't put it into words. Thus we can know  God  is loving.

"Some theologians, such as Denys Turner and Thomas Aquinas, have suggested that we do not even know what it means to say that God exists." He is  really distorting that issue. Tillich also   makes the point that existence is for contingent things, God is being itself not existence, We are drawing a distinction between being and existence, Thus the statement is not as  bizarre as it seems.

the author  Ed Brayton sums up his view based upon Linford:

There is a tiny kernel of truth here, but far too small to support the grandiose claims of the mystics. It’s certainly true that many rank and file Christians, with their almost childlike literalism and inerrantism, believe in a God that is all too easily disproved. And it’s true that there are more reasonable versions of Christianity that need to be tackled. But this kind of mystical religiosity is so vague and incomprehensible and the best one could say about it is that it isn’t even wrong.[5]
First this statement is derived from ignoring the great diversity in mystical literature and reducing all view points to just Armstrong's. I think he's also taking Armstrong too literally no mystic says we really don't know anything.  The assumption is we know by experiencing not by words. The point is it is an epistemological position not philosophy of solipsism.Of course he's not sparing with the thinkers while he;s hung up on inerrancy. He doesn't demonstrate the disproving of any notion of God. He's confusing disagreement with proof. "But this kind of mystical religiosity is so vague and incomprehensible...." what kind? He hasn't read The Trace of God.[6] I guess he means the kind of straw man that is  constructed  out of reducing everything to Armstrong. the he says:

In order to be wrong it must say something that can, at the very least, be understood. Yet they begin their belief by admitting that we can’t really know anything about the subject at all, that we could not understand it even if we tried to. So what, one may be forgiven for asking, are they suggesting we believe at all on the subject? If it is undefinable and unsupportable, then, quite frankly, I think we’re done here. What more need — indeed, could — be said of it?
If course doesn't actually quote anything. Understanding the limitations of language comes in handy in all areas. Language itself is metaphor. Mystical theology is just a recognition of the fact that one can experience the divine directly in a way that transcends words and understanding i not about defining words on paper.


[1]Ed Brayton, "Dan Linford on ‘Sophisticated Theology’" Dispatches From The Culture Wars: Thoughts from the Interface of Science, Religion, Law ad Culture.  (Dec 7, 2014)
[accessed Aug 10, 2019]

Brayton is a comedian with no academic credentials not to say he needs any.

[2]Dan Linford  "Do atheists reject the “wrong kind of God”? Not likely" Scientia Salon, (Dec 4, 2014)
[accessed Aug 10, 2019]

Linford in 2014 phil people stated "Dan Linford is a doctoral student at Purdue University, Department of Philosophy"

[3] Linford  quoted in Brayton,  op cit

[4] Ibid

[5] Brayton,  op cit

[6] Joseph Hinman, The Trace of God: Rational Warrant for Belief. Colorado Sprigs: Grand Viaduct, 2014,337.

see the book on Amazon 

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Now I/ve heard it all

this was a real exchange on face book today" aug 7 2019

  • Joe Hinman that's stupid. stop violence with more violence brilliant, if course you really know nothing about their lives,
  • Casper A Riley Joe Hinman neither do the idiots that are falsely claiming they are Trump supporters and all the other non sense
  • Joe Hinman Casper A Riley why woild they falsely claim it? are you a real one?
  • Casper A Riley Joe Hinman because they wanna make him look bad...yet they never held Obama accountable when he was actually voted in by racism

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The culture of public mass shootings,

Image result for mass shootings

Most of this essay was already written as part of a chapter for a book  I'm writing:

I call it a culture of mass shooting because we have developed certain social norms around the shootings.Those norms include grieving but they also exclude doing anything about it.Doing something would entail gun control and we must not control guns, because they are the only way to feel powerful without redistribution of  wealth.The shootings at Columbine High School mark the beginning of a new culture which has emerged over the years since that event. Before that school shootings happened but were rare and hardly noticed by the general pubic. Since that time they have become so commonplace, spreading to universities, work place,shopping malls, ect that they seem to mark a whole shooting culture. Especially perplexing is the attitude that still treats gun ownership as though it is a God given right, and a divine mandate, (the new version of Gensis 1:28 in addition to “be fruitful and multiply” we should say “be violent and armed”). There have been more than 230 school shootings to date (April 19, 2019).[1]  There have been many more mass shootings in all. Since the Sandy Hook shooting, there have been more than 2,000 mass shootings in which four or more people, excluding the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed. Nearly 2,300 people have been killed and almost 8,400 have been wounded.Since 2013, there has been only one full calendar week — the week of January 5, 2014 — without a mass shooting.[2]
As egregious as this state of affairs is, there are those who are trying to argue that it's really not so bad. Alan Reynolds argues:

It seems more transparent to simply examine annual estimates from the graph. Adding a preliminary estimate of 17 deaths from Parkland to the Mother Jones list brings the total number of deaths up to 816from 98 mass shootings between 1982 and early 2018 – or just 23 deaths per year.  That makes this sort of random mass shooting one of the rarest mortality risks imaginable. Falling or the flu are far more dangerous. Even when it comes to guns, 23 deaths a year pales next to the number of homicides by firearms in 2014 alone, which was 11,208 (69% of all homicides)  and the number of suicides by firearms, which was 21,386 (50% of all suicides).[3] 
Perhaps being shot at school is still very rare as far as the commonality of the experience is concerned, but that's hardly the point. The point is not immediate danger but that the incidence have greatly increased and no one is willing to do anything to stop it because it means limiting guns; we choose guns over children, not very civilized. Scientific research shows a correlation between weak gun laws and higher rates of shooting. Conversely, stronger gun laws mean fewer shootings. This is according to Michael Siegel and Molly Pahn, et al.[4]  multivariate regression model. There were 1222 observations for homicide analysis and 1300 observations for suicide analysis.

Universal background checks were associated with a 14.9% (95% CI, 5.2–23.6%) reduction in overall homicide rates, violent misdemeanor laws were associated with a 18.1% (95% CI, 8.1–27.1%) reduction in homicide, and “shall issue” laws were associated with a 9.0% (95% CI, 1.1–17.4%) increase in homicide. These laws were significantly associated only with firearm-related homicide rates, not non-firearm-related homicide rates. None of the other laws examined were consistently related to overall homicide or suicide rates.[5] 
Somehow America lacks the Political will to save the children. Moreover, Regardless of how rare getting shot in school may be the rate of incidence mushroomed in the Reagan Era.
Grant Duwe, director of research and evaluation at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, gathered data going back 100 years which he published in his book Mass Murder in 'the United States: a History.[6] He used FBI Homicde reports and his data was distilled by into a summary of mass shooting rates for each decade:

1900s : 0
1910s: 2
1920s: 2
1930s: 9
1940s: 8
1950s: 1
1960s: 6
1970s: 13
1980s: 32
1990s: 42
2000s: 28
2010s (three years): 14

Image result for mass shootings
There is some deep pathology in this country. People need to feel the power of gun ownership and they are prepared to allow children to die and disease to run rampant before they will give up any guns of any kind. This is why we lack a knowledge of basic solutions to gun problems because we are not permitted to seek solutions. We live in an unfree society because gun ownership is more important to Americans than children's lives, or is it that it's more important to the values of those with the money, those who own the means of production those who own congress?
American society is unfree, we are Prohibited by law from seeking solutions:

Passed in 1997 with the strong backing of the NRA, the so-called "Dickey Amendment" effectively bars the national Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from studying firearm violence -- an epidemic the American Medical Association has since dubbed "a public health crisis."The amendment, which was first tucked into an appropriations bill signed into law by President Bill Clinton, stipulates that "none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control." A similar provision was included in the Appropriations Act of 2012.
NRA" on The Hill -- the Dickey amendment does not explicitly ban CDC research on gun violence. But along with the gun control line came a $2.6 million budget cut -- the exact amount that the agency had spent on firearm research the year prior -- and a quiet wariness.
As one doctor put it, "Precisely what was or was not permitted under the clause was unclear ... but no federal employee was willing to risk his or her career or the agency's funding to find out.[7]

Studies prove Gun availability does not reduce crime and does not deter killing:

  • The claim that gun ownership stops crime is common in the U.S., and that belief drives laws that make it easy to own and keep firearms.
  • But about 30 careful studies show more guns are linked to more crimes: murders, rapes, and others. Far less research shows that guns help.
  • Interviews with people in heavily gun-owning towns show they are not as wedded to the crime defense idea as the gun lobby claims.
Guns took more than 36,000 U.S. lives in 2015, and this and other alarming statistics have led many to ask whether our nation would be better off with firearms in fewer hands. Yet gun advocates argue exactly the opposite: that murders, crimes and mass shootings happen because there aren't enough guns in enough places. Arming more people will make our country safer and more peaceful, they say, because criminals won't cause trouble if they know they are surrounded by gun-toting good guys.[8]

Studies were Largley by Arthr Kellermann and associates the 80s ad 90s. Most of this research—and there have been several dozen peer-reviewed studies—punctures the idea that guns stop violence. In a 2015 study using data from the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University reported that firearm assaults were 6.8 times more common in the states with the most guns versus those with the least. Also in 2015 a combined analysis of 15 different studies found that people who had access to firearms at home were nearly twice as likely to be murdered as people who did not.[9]
Psychology of Gun Ownership offers insight into the value System That Chooses Death Over Children. The motivation to own a handgun for self-protection is not just about fear of crime, according to the model proposed by Wolfgang Stroebe and Pontus Leander (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), and Arie W. Kruglanski (University of Maryland), it is also about a more general sense of threat emanating from “the belief that the world is an unpredictable and dangerous place and that society is at the brink of collapse.” These dual layers of threat also predict beliefs that people have the right to shoot and kill in self-defense and that people should have broad 2nd Amendment rights.[10]
From a fairly unbiased source we can see racism is mixed up in the issue of gun ownership. A lot of whites want guns because they fear blacks having guns. After accounting for all explanatory variables, logistic regressions found that for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home. After also accounting for having a gun in the home, there was still a 28% increase in support for permits to carry concealed handguns, for each one point increase in symbolic racism. The relationship between symbolic racism and opposition to banning handguns in the home (OR1.27 CI 1.03,1.58) was reduced to non-significant after accounting for having a gun in the home (OR1.17 CI.94,1.46), which likely represents self-interest in retaining property (guns).[11] The article points out that after the civil rights movement of the 60s began advocating that blacks arm themselves and white conservatives began clamoring for strict  gun laws, resulting in  the mulford act in California (1967). Conclusion: Symbolic racism was related to having a gun in the home and Opposition to  gun control policies in U,S. Whites,[12]

Studies have linked stricter gun laws to fewer gun deaths. But the US has the weakest gun laws in the developed world. “Compared with U.S. states with the strictest gun control legislation, gun deaths among children and teenagers are twice as common in states with the most lax gun laws, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.[13] In 2016 “researchers took a Broader view-the team reviewed 130 high-quality studies conducted in 10 countries over the past 60 years. And while they stopped short of saying they conclusively proved that gun restrictions equal fewer deaths, the research provides pretty powerful evidence to suggest that it's the case.”[14]
America grieves for the innocent victims of  the lattes shootings the rest of the world says "well they are at it again." America is unique in the world for having so many mass shootings in public and it is only surpassed in mystery by the inability of Americans to understand why. We have so many shootings because we have so many guns.
Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the global population but own 42 percent of the world’s guns. From 1966 to 2012, 31 percent of the gunmen in mass shootings worldwide were American, according to a 2015 study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama.Adjusted for population, only Yemen has a higher rate of mass shootings among countries with more than 10 million people — a distinction Mr. Lankford urged to avoid outliers. Yemen has the world’s second-highest rate of gun ownership after the United States. [15]
 A study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama finds that the availability of guns really does explain the reason for so many shootings.
Worldwide, Mr. Lankford found, a country’s rate of gun ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United led for homicide rates, suggesting that mass shootings were better explained by a society’s access to guns than by its baseline level of violence.[16] 

[1] Kelly Zergers, “Bu the Numbers School Shootings Since Columbine,” NBC News, (Apr. 19,2019)

[2] German Lopez, “50 Years After Columbine, America Sees Roughly One Mas Shooting A Day,” Vox, (Apr. 20,2019) (accessed June 5,2019)
The article explains:
The data in these maps and calendars is based on the Gun Violence Archive’s count, which defines mass shootings as events in which four or more people, excluding the shooter, were shot, but not necessarily killed, at the same general time and location. That definition differs from others, which may require that four or more people are killed, or which may exclude certain shootings, such as gang-related and domestic violence events.   
 [3] Alan Reynolds. “Are Mass Shootings Becoming more Frequent?” Cato At Lberty, The Cato Institute, (Feb 15,2018) (accessed June 5,2019)

[4] Michael Siegel, Molly Pahn, Ziming Xuan, Eric Fleegler, and David Hemenway, “The Impact of State Firearm Laws on Homicide and Sucidide deaths un the USA, 1991-2016: a Panel study.” Journal of General Internal Medicine (First Online: 28 March 2019) 1-8 Springer Link (accessed June 5,2019).

[5]Michael Siegel et al, Springer Link,

[6]Grant Duwe

[7] Erin Dooley, "Here's Why The Federal Government Can't Study Gun Violence.ABC News, (Oct 6, 2017, 2:17)
(accessed 2/27/18)

[8] Melinda Wenner Moyer, "More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows.." Scientific
American (Oct 1, 2017) 
(accessed 2/27/18)

[9] Ibid.

[10] Society for Personality and Social Psychology, "U.S. Handgun Ownership Motivated by Two Main Factors," (June 8, 2017)
(accessed 2/27/18)

[11] Kelly O'Brian, et al. "Racism Gun Ownership and Gun Control, Biased Attitudes in U.S. Whites..."
PLOS one, open access peer reviewed journal NCBI--PMC, US National Library of Medicine /National Institutes of Health
(accessed 2/27/18)

[12] Ibid.

[13] Erin Digtale, “:Lax State Gim Laws Linked to mmore Child, Teen Gun Deaths,” Scope, Stanford University Health Care Qlliance, Stadford Scool of medicine. ()Nov 1,2018) (accessed Jume 13, 2019)
Digtale is Pediatric science wrier for the Medical school.

[14]Fiona McDoonald, “Review of More Than 130 Studies Provides Powerful Evidence That Gun Control Saves Lives.” Science Alert (19 Feb, 2018) (accessed June 13, 2019) 


[16] Ibid..