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PROFILE OF THE MASS MURDERER — 20 Comments

  1. “Mass murderers, . . ., have done more to bring down hate on legitimate gun owners than any other focal point. ” Mas, I think you have hit the nail-on-its-head. The public is far more mesmerized by 200 or so victims of mass killers than by 20,000 gun suicides or 10,000 1-on-1 homicides. Whether that is rational or not matters less than the fact that the bleeding news supports pressure for gun-control. We People-of-the-gun have the most at stake in mitigating the problem of mass killers – especially in schools. (The Antis do NOT want to mitigate the problem.)

    That said, we PotG have, unfortunately, a fixed-focus on arming adults in schools. Perhaps that really IS the optimal solution; albeit, one that is difficult to implement in Progressive precincts. We PotG ought to include in our thinking possible solutions that could mitigate the problem AND be politically acceptable in Progressive precincts. A (possibly) SUB-optimal solution that COULD be implemented is preferable to a (possibly) optimal solution that faces overwhelming resistance.

    To this end, I wonder what you – Mas – think of the following proposal. “Arm” teachers (and other staff) as well as SOME SELECTED students in high schools (possibly middle schools) with PEPPER SPRAY. Provide tactical training to these individuals so armed.

    A mass murderer in a school context will – presumably shoot the adult in the room first; i.e., the one who MIGHT be armed with a gun. At that point, students (randomly distributed in the classroom) would have an opportunity to pepper-spray the killer, disabling him from countering a kinetic attack by aggressive students.

    Arming students with pepper spray can’t be summarily dismissed on the grounds that ALL members of the student body are too irresponsible to be trusted with pepper spray. In most schools there must be at least a reasonable minority of students known to the faculty to be highly responsible. Pepper spray is – of course – non-lethal such that even if an accidental or deliberate spraying of an innocent target were to occur the result would (almost certainly) cause little permanent damage.

    We should not summarily dismiss a reasonable proposal merely because it is neither: perfect; nor, optimal (from our viewpoint). If this – or any other proposal – were worthy of serious consideration then we, the PotG, have a vested interest in proposing it.

    Suppose – anticipating the argument – that this (or any other reasonable proposal) would face opposition from Progressive precincts. So what? We still can make a point. While Anti’s can think of no proposal other than gun-control, we – the PotG – are bringing to the table a legitimate, reasonable, cost-effective, safe proposal that in many situations would limit the number of lives lost. While the Anti’s are working on 2A-repeal, we are working on saving lives. The PR value alone would be worth the investment.

    Most importantly, we the PotG would be in the position of advancing a proposal that is NOT “grinding-our-own-ax”. In so positioning ourselves, we are difficult to dismiss by the Progressive voices who claim that we are merely shilling for our own interests (selling guns, putting guns in schools, etc.)

  2. This study ended in 2013, but it is easy to observe a number of “pre-assault” behaviours that are near universal in the past five years. Multiple felony offenses committed, and known by LE, and not prosecuted or reported as required….. offenses that, had they been included in the FBI database of disabling events, WOULD have prevented the perps acquiring their weapons through legal channels.

    I have not yet had time to read the report (I did download it for later) but I wonder whether it includes one factor that has seemed to be universal, or nearly so, for decades: the perps using or recently stopped using SSRI and other psychotropic mood enhancing or altering drugs, almost always by prescription, has been known, yet rarely if ever really persued as a causative factor. I seem to recall this factor being cited in some 98% of such incidents. Coincidence is not necessarily causative, but given the laundry list of dangerous side effects fro these drugs, it would seem the probability of strong causative repationship is very high.

  3. The report is interesting in places, but potentially misleading in others.

    For one thing, shootings at schools that were directed against one person were included. Those were murders coincidently at a school, and not planned as a mass-shooting from what I could see. That gave a larger sample size to the study, but probably introduced a largely separate group into the mix and muddied the water. Any murder anywhere is bad, but the mass-shootings are the point.

    The other thing was the summary states that only 25% of the murderers had been “officially” diagnosed with a mental illness, but on page 16/17 it seemed to state that > 65% of the murderers had symptoms of mental illness. And, again, this was for everyone who shot anyone in a school–not necessarily the mass shooters, so the portion of potentially mentally ill shooters could have been much higher than 65%.

    It may have been difficult to ascertain, as most of the perps died at the end of their rampages, but it would be useful to know how much of the motivation was typically due to an expectation that the news media would make them, and their grievance, famous.

    The study pointed out that a lot of the perps spent a good amount of time planning their attacks. The idea in the media seems to be that people just snap and random and since guns are so gosh darn easy to get, there they go. On the contrary, people who spend weeks or even months putting all their energy and resourced into their one single bucket list item, will be completely undeterred by another layer of paperwork, more fees, waiting periods, etc.

    It was nice of the FBI to suggest that work could be done to recognize behaviors pointing to impending incidents, but a lot of us would have settled for the FBI to have done something useful with the clear and direct tips they received before the most recent incident in Florida.

    • Not only the tips received before the most recent incident in Florida but also the Pulse Nightclub and several others.

  4. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to “end” such shootings; they’re always gonna happen. So attempts at prevention should always include hardening the target and stopping the shootings once they begin. Armed citizens are one component of that.

    And since most people who make crazy-talk on the internet never end up doing anything, using someone’s talk as an indicator is problematic. Most of them are just that: talkers. And according to ‘mental health professionals’, it’s difficult or impossible to tell the difference: to predict ahead of time who will go beyond words and start actually dojng what they talk about.

    Nonetheless, it remains the case that checking out such people and doing our best to determine who they are and what they’re up to, is something that needs to keep happening. The Newtown shooter, the Aurora shooter, the VA Tech shooter: all had histories of violent fantasies, all had raised concerns in the minds of those who knew them.

    Of course, pre-emptive action is a slippery slope: it’s not outlandish to imagine how it might be misused to take guns away from people who aren’t dangerously crazy. But nothing in life is easy….

    • “The Newtown shooter, the Aurora shooter, the VA Tech shooter:…”

      Don’t forget Jared Loughner, the Gifford shooter. The Orwellian Mushroom Media would rather we forget their loony tunes declarations during their farcical “reporting”.

  5. I’ve a good friend (gun enthusiast) would is a high school teacher. The stoned, drunk, rotten kids she describes (ok, not ALL the students)?? – I wouldn’t trust with a salt shaker, much less pepper spray. Administrators with big egos n salaries – most with their head in the sand? Actually, the teachers also would need to be vetted thoroughly – lots of Snowflakes in that group.
    Leaves us a few effective, armed teachers,hardened entries,trained cops roll on any pulled fire alarm, etc. Tough problem for sure.

  6. Some of the mass murderers seem to have been motivated by the “15 minutes of fame” heaped on their predecessors by the irresponsible mass media. These copycat killers would be less inclined to commit such atrocities if they knew their name would never be published. As an even stronger deterrent, uncensored post-mortem photographs of previous killers should be published instead. I believe that certain cynical, ideologically leftist, media intentionally trumpet these suicidal killers to promote their own gun control agenda.

    • I think so too, the same for violence in TV. Show it as it really happens, not “sanitized”
      .

  7. Please excuse my ignorance sir, but what is PotG? After all, I may be one and not know it. Well written essay.

    • PotG stands for “Pants on the Ground”. It is a reference to a rap song done by an older gentleman on American Idol back in 2010 berating young men who walk around with their pants down way below their waistlines. Some of the lyrics:

      “Pants on the ground
      Pants on the ground
      Lookin’ like a fool with yo pants on the ground
      With yo gold in yo mouth
      Hat turned sideways, pants hit the ground
      Call yourself a cool cat, lookin like a fool
      Walkin’ downtown with your pants on the ground”

      “PotG” is usually used to reference a fool, but in this case, I think MarkPA, the commentator who used this term several times in his comment, is using the term to refer to those of us who are pro-gun and carry to being the “Boots on the Ground” as in being out there and in the midst of things.

  8. Tom Cordi,

    I, too, detest the use of abbreviations without enough context to narrow down the meaning. That said, being this is a gun related blog, my guess is PotG would stand for “people of the gun”.

    Like you, most times when folks use those abbreviations, it takes me a hell of a lot more time to figure out what they mean than the time writer saved.

  9. One thing lept out at me from the study-the accepted assumption, based upon conjecture, that the majority of the population suffers from some level of mental heath problem. This is highly dangerous and deeply troubling. It is, to a degree, handing the opposition a large hammer to beat on firearms owners with.

    • Re the FBI study, I have had the dubious distinction in my life of being acquainted with a half dozen murderers, including two with multiple victims for sure, with no guarantees, unfortunately, on single bag limits being held to by any of the other homicidal individuals (all male). I asked a good friend who is a retired police chief if he knew how to recognize such a murdering type on sight. He said that there was no way, but he did mention watching out for individuals who smile ostentatiously while under scrutiny. Looking back on the murderers I knew, the smiling idea does apply.

      • I recalled a previous experience with FBI studies that may have some bearing on the utility of this one.

        Back in the 1990s, workplace violence was a major concern-especially in the US Postal Service. The FBI did a study and did workshop on the problem. We sent a supervisor and he came back and briefed us on precursor behaviors/circumstances that had been determined to be factors in workplace violence.

        Shortly into the briefing, we began to look/point at co-workers who fit that particular niche. This led to snickers, followed by outright laughter (I think when they got to divorce-the majority of us were divorced.) and things went down hill from there. That pretty much ended the presentation. Most of the security force had multiple “precursor indicators”.

        The key here is that, like the rooster who crows at dawn, the alleged precursor may exist but is not causation.

    • If any “mental health professionals” were involved in the production of the report, they’re going to see mental health problems everywhere. Sort of like asking a barber if you need a haircut.

  10. Mas – read the report. Kinda underwhelmed. As noted above by Jacob, they seem almost purposefully obscure on mental illness and avoid the topic of SSRIs and other mental care meds. That ought be addressed and either substantiated or dis proven. I spoke at some length with the smartest medical people I knew after one of the celebrated school shootings and their comment was – ‘hard to know if it was the meds, or the condition that necessitated the meds’. Either way, that’s an area that warrants closer investigation – even if it somewhat detracts from the always intended (by the feds) justification for further gun control.

    • What else can one expect from the FBI?
      Sad…for YEARS I had the most respect for that organization but over the past 2 years most to all of that respect has been lost.

  11. What else could you Expect from P.C. Outfit, Like the FBI?

    Over the years, I’ve come to Realize that Most Agency’s major Study’s, Reports, Far more Often Reflect the the Feelings/Desire’s of the Higher Up Official Ordering that Document, than the Hard, Unpleasant, Truth!

    Asi Es La Vida!

    Paul