To the editor: I am concerned about the overuse of the term "lone wolf" when describing accused Charleston, S.C., shooter Dylann Roof. ("Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof said to be 'a classic lone wolf,'" June 20)
Though apparently used to acknowledge the considerable time he spent by himself and how he allegedly shot and killed the nine people by himself in an African American church, such extensive use of this term discounts the apparently plentiful online links he had to the hate-filled, racist Internet community that sadly exists in this country.
Given his racist Facebook postings and his acquisition of jacket patches of apartheid-era flags of the countries of South Africa and the former Rhodesia, Roof was not "alone" as he developed such hate for African Americans. Hate is taught, and you need others to do the teaching.
When Roof allegedly stepped into this historic black church with the intent to kill, he walked with the countless racist Americans who share his hate-filled beliefs. Thus, he was part of a racist Internet-based "pack of wolves."
Donald Bentley, La Puente
To the editor: I subscribe to two newspapers, and I watch various news programs. All of them talk about myriad reasons, such as being a "lone wolf," that motivate these mass murderers.
This, however, is what none of them ever addresses: These types of murderous crimes are nearly exclusively committed by males of various ages. That is what we need to address because that is the gigantic elephant in the room we call America.
We must find out why males commit these acts of terror, for until we do, we'll just keep uselessly searching for the impossible to find. And no solution will ever result from that.
Julie-Beth Adele, Long Beach
To the editor: Simply put, we do not live in a "post-racial" society. The disparities have been statistically proven to be ever-present.
While it's encouraging to see a diverse mix come together to honor the lives lost, the conversation must be taken to a place of discomfort for many. Only then will we see the much-needed trust that will encourage and allow for non-argumentative encounters about these injustices.
Strictly addressing gun laws or mental health (which are important) can provide an easy escape from dealing with the more complex issue of inequality underlying this tragedy.
Ultimately, race issues need not be looked at as a thing of the past. It will take many more steps of all sizes to reach a true, post-racial ideal.
Daniel Cowell, Monrovia