There have been far too many extreme right-wing students who go violently crazy and start slaughtering their fellow students for it to be random, or mental illness, or that they are copycats.
The reality is they are being recruited in dark and slimy places on the internet like 4chan and right-wing online forums and chat rooms.
Yes. Recruited. This is done deliberately and methodically. Most don’t understand the process. An example: I once joined a far left group. After a few months I realized the leadership put serious time and resources into recruiting. The potential recruitee is unaware of it. The Internet makes recruiting easier. 4chan, I’m sure, has recruiters from various groups in the forums, as do other far-right sites. Also, the hard left uses front groups to recruit. I’m sure the hard right does too.
David Neiwert has been researching and writing about the far right for years and knows the territory.
Besides the settings, methods of violence, and kinds of weaponry used, distinct agendas seem to have undergirded them. But they all appear to generally fall under the far-right ideological umbrella.
They also have something important in common: They were all committed by young white men who had apparently been radicalized online.
That’s no accident. The surge of radical-right organizing by the mostly online alt right in recent years has, in fact, been consciously directed at precisely that demographic: white men between about 14 and 30, underemployed and frustrated with their lives.
Eric Garland has a fine Twitter thread on this. Some excerpts:
Now, if you understand provokatsiya and horseshoe political warfare, you need another side to fight with. And then the predictable fights break out between “Gun Sense” and “Gun Grabbers.”
America then seizes up with traumatic horror, and it’s hard to focus on much else.
All these “pro-gun” NRA-funded politicians saying “oh but good guy guns, you can kill with spoons.”
They don’t give a fuck about guns. They care about their bosses’ owning this country.
And they know that more guns equals more deaths. They have the data.