The Major Factor underlying the Increase in Rampage Killings

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What is the Major Factor underlying the Increase of Rampage Killings in the last 3 Decades?
Guns. 16%  16%  [ 12 ]
A New Demographic of Males under the age of 26. 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
The loss or abscence of a Social Role in Society. 27%  27%  [ 20 ]
Violent Video Games. 4%  4%  [ 3 ]
Mental Disturbance. 21%  21%  [ 16 ]
Expiration of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004. 5%  5%  [ 4 ]
Other, Please Comment. 24%  24%  [ 18 ]
Total votes : 75

aghogday
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22 Dec 2012, 9:08 pm

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/201 ... map?page=2

From the timeline provided in the link above, it appears that mass murders/spree killings (FBI definition of 4 or more killed other than the shooter) have increased dramatically in the last three decades from 12 to 21 to 29. What is also interesting is that in the first decade there were only 2 shooters under the age of 30 and 22 in the last 2 decades.

What is perhaps the most alarming trend is that there have been 22 incidents in the last 5 years, almost twice as many in the entire first decade, and one more than the second decade.

All of these rampage killings were accomplished with guns, the majority of which were identified purchased legally. Most of the individuals were identified as having some type of mental disturbance.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/20 ... ed-states/

And while overall violent crime and murder statistics continue to decrease in the US since the early 90's, the low for gun fatalities per homicides, suicides, and accidents was identified in the year 2000 and has been reported slowly increasing in the decade between 2000 and 2010. Interestingly, there is one survey that suggests the percentage of guns in households has actually decreased since 2004, suggesting there are 70M guns in homes. But, another survey suggests 300M, per registered and unregistered guns.

The overall factors of mental illness/disturbance, legally purchased guns, the use of guns in every crime, and male participation, at 98%, are factors that have stayed relatively the same over the three decades in these studied mass murders/spree killings. What has changed dramatically is the demographic of the age of males involved and the frequency of the incidences.

What was once a crime almost entirely limited to middle aged males, is now a crime that is approaching 44 percent in the last two decades for males under the age of 30, and 38 percent for males under the age of 26. In the first decade there were 16 percent under the age of 30 and 0 percent under the age of 26.

If one takes the increase of that under 30 male demographic out of the equation in the last 2 decades, there is not a substantial increase of mass murders/killing sprees, overall, in the last two decades until the last 5 years.

A common psychological element that can be identified across decades in the timeline provided, regardless of identified mental illness/disturbance, age, or target selected to kill, has also stayed relatively the same over three decades of reported rampage killings: a loss or absence of a viable social role for the individuals involved and the killing and violence is directed at some demographic in society. It appears what was once a type of violent crime almost limited to middle aged disenfranchised males is now becoming more of an issue for younger disenfranchised males.

Violent Video Games have become increasingly popular, available, accessible, and realistic per the virtual experience since the early 90's. Many of which are associated with using guns and other weapons to kill enemies. But, never the less, whether as a result of stricter enforcement of laws associated with drug crime or other factors; murders, violent crime, and crime in general, are reported by the United States Department of Justice, to have overall steadily dropped during that same time period. Even Serial Killings are reported to have dropped by 300 percent in the 2000's decade, back to the levels seen before a 300 percent increase started in the 1970's.

Rampage killings are a glaring exception to these trends, in the US. It is worth noting that in many of the violent video games the goal is to kill as many enemies as possible with the most powerful weapons available. Other than military actions under the social norm, the only potential of this outside of the social norm, in real life, is rampage killings.

Even if Lanza's medical records are released, and Asperger's becomes officially documented in the legal record, he will be the first of 62 individuals officially diagnosed with Asperger's involved in a rampage killing as defined in the timeline, in the last 3 decades in the US, making up 1.6 percent of that assessed demographic. That is a potential demographic subgroup as rare as the one female identified as participating in a rampage killing over 3 decades. Neither of which could statistically be identified as even a significant factor associated with rampage killings

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_As ... eapons_Ban

And one final and potentially salient note in the future for those that do or don't want to see some of the "assault weapons banned" for sale. The 10 year Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired in 2004 after there was a dramatic increase in the late 90's in Rampage Killings that did decrease substantially in the early 2000's. The recent use of legally obtained weapons in rampage killings, that were under that previous ban that expired in 2004, can certainly not be left out as a significant factor in the total equation of the dramatic increase in rampage killings and number of deaths in those killings over the last five years. This correlation and the emotional gravity of the Sandyhook rampage killing may be enough to support a new ban for some of those weapons that were banned for sale before.



redrobin62
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22 Dec 2012, 10:39 pm

Sometimes I wonder if race has anything to do with it. Can it be possible that white guys, fearing their race will become a minority in America and Europe, are taking the initiative to fight back and protect their historically recognized superiority? I'm reaching here, but I'm also thinking that the fact they lash out at their own is some paradoxical societal reaction.



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22 Dec 2012, 11:19 pm

Combination of many factors

Firearms: simply existing increases the chance of someone using one; though I'll point out that the type of firearm has little bearing on these things based on evidence as all types have been used to similar levels of effect; I won't discount their creation being a big part of the choice of weapon -- it's easier to acquire a firearm, legally or illegally, than it is to create an improvised car bomb, for example, and many people are loathe to use a [just as effective against unarmed innocents] melee weapon in these things. Firearms haven't really changed for the past 100 years either -- the civilian AR-15 rifle isn't functionally any different from a civilian Remington Model 8 of 100 years ago -- the Glock pistol isn't functionally any different than the 1911 -- these could be bought back then with less restrictions in most countries

Mental: mental disorders will create greater levels of emotional turmoil and frustration in comparison to the general public when exposed to the same levels of events -- not to mention the disability that comes with it and the unique problems of a minority (bullying, stigma, a lack of understanding, forced isolation and whatnot); personality defines how one will respond to all of these things, and some personalities prefer to lash out in an inappropriate way

Society: far too many reasons; I'll just say media and its glorification, demonizing and personifying of objects and actions (violence being a big one that's glorified); its overwhelming push for people to be an ideal to be worth anything; its push to be like everyone else; its sensationalism; parenting that expounds these things

Still too rare to make policy over, and I doubt we'll see it increase to numbers where it isn't so rare as to be a problem to 99.999.999% of the population


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22 Dec 2012, 11:21 pm

I don't think so. Otherwise we'd see more violence from racist organizations and a change in crime statistics in more racist areas.

I think this is a problem that is caused by more than one thing. We have a very crappy mental healthcare system, people can't afford to go see doctors of any kind, we have a media that distorts the truth in favor of ratings, we have many states that have not caught up with gun regulations, our educational system is in the toilet, we have parents disregarding the video game rating system and just letting their children do whatever they want. The list can go on.

It'd be lovely if there was only one thing causing the problem because then it'd be easier to fix, but this is reality and this a very complex issue. There is no one right answer.



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22 Dec 2012, 11:38 pm

Mental disturbance.

A person who has made the decision to kill as many people as possible will find a way to do it. Guns are only one way, explosives are another, and incendiaries are a third. A fourth method is poisoning. A fifth method is to select and murder victims one at a time over a period of years, using knives, garrotes, or bludgeons (serial killings).

Imo, people are afraid of guns, not the mentally disturbed people who use them; otherwise, there would be more legislation in place to limit the freedoms of mentally disturbed individuals, and fewer regulations against firearms.

People's fears are misplaced. Do not fear the gun, fear the lunatic instead.


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Last edited by Fnord on 22 Dec 2012, 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Declension
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22 Dec 2012, 11:44 pm

Dunno. My instinct is "cultural acceptance of the desire to be famous".

I think that maybe the people who go on rampage killings are people who would have just killed themselves in the past. But now they want to be a bigger news story than that.



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22 Dec 2012, 11:48 pm

Declension wrote:
Dunno. My instinct is "cultural acceptance of the desire to be famous". I think that maybe the kids who shoot up schools are the ones who would have just killed themselves in the past. But now they want to be a bigger news story than that.

Ye olde "Blaze of Glory" deathwish, eh?

That seems to fit in with the concept of an irrational mind -- someone who wants to be famous for having committed mass murder of innocents does not seem like a rational individual to me.


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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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22 Dec 2012, 11:48 pm

A lot of it has to do with how they are raised imo.



Declension
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22 Dec 2012, 11:53 pm

Fnord wrote:
someone who wants to be famous for having committed mass murder of innocents does not seem like a rational individual to me.


I'd prefer to say that being "rational" just means that you are trying to achieve your goals in a sensible way. If your only goal is to be famous, then mass murder is actually a pretty "rational" thing to do. The problem is the goal itself.



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22 Dec 2012, 11:58 pm

Declension wrote:
Fnord wrote:
someone who wants to be famous for having committed mass murder of innocents does not seem like a rational individual to me.
I'd prefer to say that being "rational" just means that you are trying to achieve your goals in a sensible way. If your only goal is to be famous, then mass murder is actually a pretty "rational" thing to do. The problem is the goal itself.

Alright ... 'sane' then. Wanting and planning to kill as many people as possible just to become famous does not seem like something a sane person would do.

Register the Insane.


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23 Dec 2012, 12:01 am

James Eagan Holmes, the recent shooter at Aurora, was a undergraduate at my university. When I was a freshman, for that very brief moment, I saw him in one of the hallways of the science buildings. He seemed pretty normal and even affable. I'm convinced he had a break with reality of some sort, and I'm guessing, in his deluded state, he saw himself as the joker and was acting out on that.

I think that break of reality came from the stress of not doing very well academically when academics have been what he was essentially making a living out of his entire life.

To think if he had that breakdown at the university, either Colorado's or my own, there would be far more casualties. There wouldn't be a lot of places for people to hide on campus, and the police department there is somewhat worthless in stopping crime.

But then what can you do? Are you going to punish law-abiding citizens by not allowing them to purchase guns? Are you going to discriminate against people with mental illness from purchasing or owning a gun? Are you willing to ban violent video games or other media for those who have "fragile mental health"?

I think that this is one of those things where we need to accept that bad things happen sometimes, and we cannot do things to change them. There's always someone who is going to escape from the net. That doesn't mean we have to cast the net a bigger more oppressive net over everyone.

I think a better mental health care system and less, easy access to heavy assault weapons will help.



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23 Dec 2012, 12:09 am

techn0teen wrote:
Are you going to discriminate against people with mental illness from purchasing or owning a gun?

Yes.


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techn0teen
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23 Dec 2012, 12:18 am

Fnord wrote:
techn0teen wrote:
Are you going to discriminate against people with mental illness from purchasing or owning a gun?

Yes.


People who don't have mental health issues also kill people with guns and cause massacres. I don't see your point.



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23 Dec 2012, 12:21 am

Declension wrote:
Fnord wrote:
someone who wants to be famous for having committed mass murder of innocents does not seem like a rational individual to me.


I'd prefer to say that being "rational" just means that you are trying to achieve your goals in a sensible way. If your only goal is to be famous, then mass murder is actually a pretty "rational" thing to do. The problem is the goal itself.


Yes, and that is a question of morality, not rationality.

I think most of these young men have been rejected by society and, having no support or moral framework, this is how they lash out.

With no place in society, they are fully willing to leave it via suicide. With no moral restraint, they feel compelled to inflict s much pain as possible on their way out. The murders serve as revenge and as a sort of perverse validation--as if the killer is saying, "See what I can do? I'm not so worthless as you judged when you rejected me."


If these young men had better support and moral/ethical guidance, they would not react this way when rejected by society.


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23 Dec 2012, 12:22 am

techn0teen wrote:
Fnord wrote:
techn0teen wrote:
Are you going to discriminate against people with mental illness from purchasing or owning a gun?
Yes.
People who don't have mental health issues also kill people with guns and cause massacres. I don't see your point.

People who don't have guns also kill people and cause massacres. I don't see your point!


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