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There have been two mass shootings in the last week, and I find myself unhappily noticing a common thread between them.

In the Las Vegas courthouse shooting that left one guard and the gunman dead and another guard wounded, the shooter's grievance was that he had been denied increased Social Security benefits.

Then, this week, in St. Louis, a worker at a transformer manufacturing plant (the electrical component, not the giant robot) involved in a pension funding dispute killed three people, then himself.

In both cases, the shooters were older men (the Vegas shooter was 66, the St. Louis gunman 51) whose murderous rampages were triggered by concerns about their retirement.

Both fit, roughly, into the generation known as "baby boomers," often described as "the most entitled generation."

So here we have a rather unfortunate confluence of events: a whole class of aging, entitled people having to face their own mortality and coming to face the reality that their twilight years -- thanks to a struggling economy and their own lack of foresight -- and snapping.

Two incidents is a very, very slender reed to base an entire theory upon, but this is one of those cases where it seems circumstances are conspiring into a perfect storm.

Are there any solutions to this situation? Or even ways to minimize it? Is it even a real problem? I dunno. I'm just seeing a few things and drawing a few connections.

There are other, far less ominous signs of this. For example, Bill Clinton. The first "baby boomer" president -- he achieved the greatest achievement any American can aspire to. And then, at the age of 55, he found himself out of a job and no future in the career he had pursued from childhood. Statistically speaking, he had a good third of his life ahead of him -- and he'd already "done it all." So he started looking into other ways to stay involved in politics -- helping his wife have her own political career, starting foundations, attaching himself to causes, and the like. It all boils down to a quest to stay relevant and active and involved after eight years of being the most powerful man on earth, and avoiding the horrifying (to him) "didn't you used to be..." syndrome.

Bill Clinton keeps on involving himself in politics. The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith keep on touring. And some people just snap and start shooting.

Why don't you all fade away
And don't try to dig what we all say...
Things they do look awful cold
Hope I die before I get old.

(Title shamelessly lifted from Christopher Buckley's brutally funny novel)


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Comments (12)

I'm a baby-boomer. What Jay... (Below threshold)

I'm a baby-boomer. What Jay Tea says might be right even if it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Once 'they' get done mandat... (Below threshold)

Once 'they' get done mandating a right for everyone to have healthcare insurance, I believe 'they' can now mandate a secure financial retirement for everyone. I also believe no one need spend ALL winter in cold weather, so let's mandate at least 2 months between 11/1 and 3/31 for a stay in the Sunbelt.

Prior to baby boomers, typi... (Below threshold)

Prior to baby boomers, typicaly, you got a job with a company, worked there 40-50 years and retired from there. Baby boomers were the first generation to see that end. Layoffs, strategic reductions and shipping jobs overseas left many of them with no retirement as they moved from job to job to job, a vagabond if you will.

Even those who did retire with a company found out that their company can make them pay for insurance that originally was free and then refuse to raise the salary to keep up with COLA.

Now the government wants to take over their health "care", increase their premiums and make it a mess like Medicare.

Frustrated? oh heck yeah.

It's just getting started a... (Below threshold)

It's just getting started as the collapse begins to snowball.

Barry keeps plucking that Cloward Pivens chicken and it's working in spades.

JT, you had the one guy bit... (Below threshold)

JT, you had the one guy bitching about people picking on him because he was black. He was evidently getting kicked out of an apartment complex. Sounds like he just had the proverbial "the man's got me down" chip on his shoulder. He moved from one state to another, so naturally his benefits would change. Could it be that people didn't like him because he was just a plain, garden-variety asshole?

The other guy had a bitch about the company charging excess fees on his 401k, so he starts shooting fellow employees who also got screwed? That doesn't make any sense. Typical MSM "deep" reporting and multiple layers of fact checking.

There is a phrase: "Them th... (Below threshold)

There is a phrase: "Them that expects nothin' ain't gonna be deceived". Another: "The Lord helps those who help themselves".
I have no truck with the "Me" genereation. sorry.

By the time baby boomers an... (Below threshold)

By the time baby boomers and this administration are done, there will be little retirement left for the fading middle class.

I think my retirement might be robbing stage-coaches and small town banks. About all that will be left after carbon taxing, bank bailouts and medical taxes.

If the ocean calls I could always go pirating.

I have a problem with this ... (Below threshold)

I have a problem with this part of your post : So here we have a rather unfortunate confluence of events: a whole class of aging, entitled people having to face their own mortality and coming to face the reality that their twilight years -- thanks to a struggling economy and their own lack of foresight -- and snapping.

Just a quick thought- these two snapping men- both were concerned about their retirement or pensions, which would fall under foresight(or planning on their parts). I may sound off on this but we have conditioned all society-you and me alike that we put into our pensions and retirement that we should be able to take it out when we retire.

I think that lack of hope in todays times is what is the common factor...as who has hope when none of us can fathom the pit of debt our nation has crept in?

The Vegas shooter formerly ... (Below threshold)

The Vegas shooter formerly resided in California where he received a $347 spiff for being on SS and living in California. When he went to Nevada he lost the spiff 'cause those racist facist b*****ds in California had the quaint notion that they didn't owe him the money any more. Not knowing as much about the other guy I'm gonna guess that his company organized and very likely had some sort of match for a 401k and the 401k took a dump when the Barry-Nancy-Harry show came to town. Bottom line, These guys sense of entitlement got them and some others killed. If you think this was bad just wait till the money really runs out and the welfare checks quit showing up.

"Prior to baby boomers, typ... (Below threshold)

"Prior to baby boomers, typicaly, you got a job with a company, worked there 40-50 years and retired from there."

Note: Prior to baby boomers, i.e. in 1946, the life expectancy in the U.S. was 66.7 years. That's retirement plus 20 months.

MattDon't blame th... (Below threshold)


Don't blame the Boomers!

They created the biggest uplift the world has ever seen.

However, they did spawn the whiny, I am owed it all generation.

Their bad.

Anyone notice a patern here... (Below threshold)

Anyone notice a patern here? the shooter always ends up commiting suicide WHY?????






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