So asks Allah Pundit over at Hot Air a href=”http://hotair.com/archives/2007/04/17/new-vtech-thread-victims-roommate-debunks-the-jilted-lover-theory/”who has a round-up /aof “personality quirks” exhibited by the VT killer. The press and other sources at this point have painted Cho Seung-Hui as a text book case of a school shooter. We all know the characteristics–loner, mental health problems, possibly delusional, yada yada yada. And as always, the blame game begins. Mainly as I saw on the MSM last night with shows like emDateline/em or em48 Hours,/em the gun is blamed and Katie Couric’s concerned face is flashing on the TV once again along with “experts” to describe the terrors of “death machines.”br /br /It would be so easy if the complexities that went into the making of a killer could be boiled down to “where did this guy get a gun?” It takes responsibility away from trying to understand what went into the making of the killer, and why we, as a society did nothing to stop him. I can only talk in generalities here, for this case is unfolding and I do not know all of the facts. But I do know some facts about young people who kill or threaten others in schools and universities.br /br /The violence-prone individual is more likely to have enduring personality pathology, such as a paranoid, schizoid, narcissistic, or antisocial personality, and a long history of difficult interpersonal relationships. He may ruminate about perceived slights or injustices for months or even years. Because he is often a loner, he has no circle of friends to correct his misinterpretations of other people’s intentions and behaviors. Because he looks at the world from a very egocentric point of view, he is unable to correctly perceive the effect of his behavior on other people. The emotion he feels is not everyday anger but profound and intense hatred of those who have allegedly demeaned or wronged him. His thinking is so faulty that he can justify assaultive behavior on the basis that he is the innocent victim (Beck, 1999). This faulty thinking was evident in the 22- page letter sent by the a href=”http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/30/national/main527553.shtml”University of Arizona shooter Robert Flores /ato a local newspaper, to be read after he succeeded in killing his teachers and himself. br /br /Student violence is more likely to occur during times of high stress, such as final exam periods, or despair arising from suspension/expulsion from a program. Rampage killers, such as those at the a href=”http://chronicle.com/prm/daily/2005/01/2005010304n.htm”Appalachian School of Law,/a University of Arizona, and Case Western Reserve, tend to be males with a history of work and relationship failures. They often have a preoccupation with weapons or war regalia, even those that serve no purpose, such as nunchucks or throwing stars. A common characteristic is aspiring to more than they can achieve; when their unrealistic ambitions are thwarted, they blame others for their failures. They are not acting on impulse, but rather enacting purposeful, predatory violence that they have been planning for a long time. However, there is often a final, precipitating event, involving an affront or rejection, within hours or days of the murders. This final affront destroys any remnants of hope. br /br /What I am amazed by is that in many school shootings, especially in universities, school authorities and others were told that there were problems or in some cases, the eventual killer had already made threats but no one did anything. The schools deny any responsibility at all in most of these cases although, sometimes they end up being sued for it. But what is money when people’s lives are at stake? It’s often the case that when the killer finally lashes out, the people who knew him aren’t surprised — they’d been predicting something like this for weeks or months, but no action was taken.br /br /In my opinion, if we have mentally unstable students who have made threats, have behavioral problems, etc. in universities and schools who do not hold themselves or the student accountable for their behavior, emthere is no other alternative /emthan to extend the civil right to concealed carry to the potential innocent staff and students who may encounter the wrath of such a person. If universities and schools won’t take responsibility — and they won’t — then someone has to.
April 18, 2007 - 4:58 am