In the aftermath of more horrific gun violence, people cope by parsing information and putting it in boxes. Was the killer a Muslim? What was the motive? Were there warning signs?

Since San Bernardino, there’s been a debate over whether the murder of 14 people and wounding of 21 others was an act of terrorism or a mass shooting, as if there’s some meaningful difference. Is it a yam or a sweet potato? Who cares! What some would call a mass shooting in the U.S., I and the U.S. Code call domestic terrorism: an illegal act dangerous to human life that appears intended to intimidate.

Today’s generation is shaped not only by the explosion of gun violence but also its sensitivity to gender, so here’s a more meaningful data point to help compartmentalize senseless mass murder: Not all men in America are terrorists, but virtually all domestic terrorists are men.

Yes, I know, one of the killers in San Bernardino was a woman, but when you add her to the other “active shooters” the FBI has identified since 2000, women appear to make up less than 1 percent, and since many people cope with numbers by rounding them down to the nearest integer, it’s fair to say there’s a mob of angry men terrorizing America.

And that’s too bad. It would be easier if the hundreds of domestic terrorists who have committed the hundreds of mass shootings in our communities were women. Then there would be a race between aspiring politicians working to change laws and psychiatrists generating a new diagnosis for the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” Big Pharma would market a pill (not covered by insurance) purporting to cure active shooterism in women and charge handsomely for it. Among the myriad side effects listed in commercials and heard by our children would probably still include erections in men that last up to four hours.

If hundreds of women were gunning down hundreds of kids in schools, the budget reconciliation bill in Washington this week would include the amendment to defund Planned Parenthood that infringes on a woman’s constitutional right to not bear a child and another amendment to infringe on her right to bear arms.

But active shooters are, for the most part men, and obvious responses – requiring background checks and preventing people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns – are doomed in the hands of the inactive Congress, where, by the way, 80 percent of members are men.

“For those who are concerned about terrorism,” the president recently said, “some may be aware of the fact that we have a no-fly list where people can’t get on planes. But those same people who we don’t allow to fly could go into a store right now in the United States and buy a firearm – and there’s nothing that we can do to stop them. That’s a law that needs to be changed.”

Of course that’s a law that needs to be changed. But safe in the nation’s capital, Congress’s concern about terrorism is impotent against the influence of the mighty NRA.

Lawmakers in Washington are not heeding the country’s call to action so others have to step up – people who have power and are willing to wield it.

The tycoons on Wall Street and darlings of Silicon Valley are helping out – good guys using their strength and vigor to fight bad guys. What’s not to like about Mark Zuckerberg putting up $45 billion worth of Facebook shares to solve problems? Kudos to Bill Gates for donating tons of cash to vaccinate poor kids. Cheers to Tom Steyer for tackling climate change. Michael Bloomberg is a gallant knight for supporting moms who demand action.

But it takes more than money. Anybody with a voice has power to say to anybody who will listen that there are too many guns in this country. We have more guns in America than people, and more mass shootings than days of this year.

Zuckerberg could spend billions buying back guns and converting them into plowshares, but with 357 million guns in the U.S., a paltry payout of $8 per gun won’t create the change we need. The rules of supply and demand are skewed by immunity granted to gun manufacturers and gun trafficking. Real tort reform would unleash trial lawyers to fight the scourge, but it’s going to take even more than that.

In Rwanda, after the genocide of the Tutsi that killed roughly 800,000 adults and children and the mass rape of 500,000 women by extremists, women banded together and demanded a place in government and the power to make desperately needed changes to laws. As a result, things in Rwanda have changed dramatically. Life is much better, richer and safer – so much so that Rwanda beats the United States in gender equality, according to the Washington Post and the World Economic Forum.

Women are the majority in America and have the power on Election Day to reduce gun violence. I hope we band together and use it.

Cynthia Dill is a civil rights lawyer and former state senator. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Twitter: dillesquire

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