Mass Shooters

Yesterday the Aurora Colorado shooter was found guilty of murder, and a young Muslim shot up an Army base in Tennessee.

Politicians will typically use these incidents to whip up fear depending on the stated or imagined motivation of the killer. If the killer was a Muslim, it is used by Republicans to attack President Obama for being soft on terror. If the killer was a young man sick of being spurned by women, Feminists use it to preach about how sexist our society is. If the killer was white and the victims not, professional race baiters scold America for being so racist. When the motives are not politically useful, as in the Columbine killings, they go unmentioned.

The truth is, the motives do not matter. The motive might be anything from the environment to abortion, to Islam. Political leanings are generally unrelated to the motive. What is common to all of them is a gender (male), age (generally teens to twenties) and a personality type:

Not only do these massacres follow an almost stereotypical course, but the perpetrators tend to share common social and psychological disabilities. They are isolates, often bullied in childhood, who have rarely established themselves in effective work roles as adults. They have personalities marked by suspiciousness, obsessional traits, and grandiosity. They often harbor persecutory beliefs, which may occasionally verge on the delusional. The autogenic massacre is essentially murder suicide, in which the perpetrators intend first to kill as many people as they can and then kill themselves. – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/criminal-justice/mass-murder-shooting-sprees-and-rampage-violence-research-roundup#sthash.pg0HSrhN.dpuf

There is no political point to be made with these killings*, except this: police and doctors need to do a better job of profiling potential killers.

 

*Most (not all) proposed forms of gun control are legally unlikely and physically impossible in the United States, so I’m not entertaining the discussion here.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: