June 10, 2023

Community, Faith and Public Violence: Mass Shootings Occur Less Frequently in Towns With More Religious Congregations

Some may find their answers in God, restoring their sense of neighborhood within the context of spiritual faith. Some pick to enact their rage on the community itself, committing dreadful acts of random violence.
Szendro has long been interested in the intersection of religious beliefs and politics, and especially with how faith fosters what political scientists call “social capital.”
” In scholastic terms, its a neighborhoods capacity for collective action, but in practical terms, it describes the direct network ties between individuals,” he discussed. “It can be kin relationships; it can be anything thats interpersonal.”
Think about it by doing this: When you have a bad day, you may rely on personal sources of support: family and friends, acquaintances and coworkers. Individuals tend to deal with unfavorable circumstances more easily the more robust such social circles are. On the other hand, seclusion and alienation can be mentally terrible, in some ways akin to physical discomfort, he explained.
Szendro analyzed county-level information from across the United States, making sure to represent such aspects as population density. He found that communities with more spiritual parishes have fewer mass public shootings, although the decline in violence didnt be true for shootings that occurred in the context of other crimes.
” What the religious organizations are good at mitigating are these types of violence that specifically speak to isolation or alienation from neighborhood, rather than ones that talk to socio-economic disparity,” he stated.
Religious institutions typically connect individuals with their bigger communities, especially when the overall neighborhood is little; city environments tend to be less reliant on religious institutions to foster social relationships. In the context of mass shootings, Szendro thought about how disconnection from communal elements might lead to a sense of isolation and resentment, and the supreme option to dedicate an act of random violence.
” Im not stating that religious organizations play the only role in mitigating these occasions, however it does speak to the notion that the more people in a group support each other, the less most likely you are to have people fail the fractures,” he said.
Reference: “Community, faith, and public violence: A county-level evaluation of religious organizations and mass public shootings in the United States” by Brendan Szendro, 3 November 2021, Journal of Crime and Justice.DOI: 10.1080/ 0735648X.2021.1990786.

Communities with more spiritual churchgoers have less mass public shootings, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
” Culturally speaking, America is at a minute where there are a lot of individuals who feel alienated and isolated from social, financial, and political organizations,” said Brendan Szendro, a doctoral candidate in government at Binghamton University.

Outside the bounds of community, individuals can give in to a tide of despair and privacy. Some might discover their responses in God, restoring their sense of neighborhood within the context of religious faith. Some pick to enact their rage on the community itself, dedicating horrific acts of random violence.