After many mass shooting murders in the US, many elected officials and members of the public condemn the shooters as mentally ill, and want to forcefully control their access to guns. The issue has many dimensions. For example, most mass shootings in the US are by white men, but when they are caused by Muslims, the politicians and members of the public condemn them as terrorists. When African-Americans do the shooting, they are condemned as being racially motivated. What is mental illness, and how severe must it be before action is taken to restrain the freedom of those who have it? A third dimension is that by ascribing the cause of mass murder to mental illness, we provide an excuse, a relief from responsibility for the crime.
For over two years now, every day and night, I have been scanning the media comments sections of mainstream media articles to gauge social ebbs and flows. And I have been tracking the influence of obviously professional trolls and bots. (I should write a thesis about their unfortunately profound influence.) I have been alarmed at how they have been largely successful in guilting, deriding, confusing, distracting, frightening, and shaming genuinely concerned, good-hearted commenters from taking solid, necessarily no-holds-barred action to reverse major societal and political wrongs and destructive movements and trends that have drastically increased in power and control during the same time period.