Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sociopaths, School Killers and Media Contributions

"Adolescent violence in general, and homocides in particular, have decreased since 1993, but that hopeful trend has been somewhat obscured in the nationwide wave of concern over school shootings of the type examined in NCAVC's study. This recent form of adolescent violence is in fact quite rare. But the sudden, senseless deaths of teenagers and teachers in the middle of a school day, for no comprehensible reason, is far more shocking and gets far more attention than the less extreme acts of violence that happen in schools every week." -O'Toole

Hi guys, I'm here with my views on the recent media attacks that everyone seems to be thinking, posting, and talking about. I might be a little different though, as I will not be referencing specific events, or naming individuals- you will read why in a little bit. 

A few months ago, I made a post about counselling. I cited several statistics on mental health in youth as well as the views I have formed after struggling with mild social disorders for many years. I still believe that introducing it as a an active part of education in preteen and early teenage development will help the public education system and civil servants to actively improve the lives of young adults. 

The last few days, the only thing I have seen on my re-opened facebook page has been ridiculous and repeated commentary on school shootings. People expressing condolances to individuals they have no connection to through a public forum that will never reach the family of the victims. In particular, a few people have even been posting video footage and  stories about how individuals spent their last living minutes. There is something incredibly disturbed in this.

It is commonly believed that the reason an individual commits these acts and targets the helpless is because they intend to make a statement to the community for whatever reason. When you make them infamous for what they are doing, you are empowering those who would pick up the gun. In fact, more often than not, when someone does commit a horrendous gun show in a public place, a copy cat will follow in their foot steps within two weeks of the initial event.

I posted on my facebook: what happened yesterday was so sad. Yes I agree. It was not tragic because there is no upturn in it( look up tragedy as an archetype). Stop posting your condolences. The families will not see them. You are as bad as the media and unconsciously encouraging others to do this! This is NOT a debate. Comments will be deleted and tomorrow I will remove this. People do shootings like this for publicity. To be talked about. Why is it seemingly so common now? Take a look at how infamous they become when they do!

I agree that perhaps this is a little bit out of line- not because of what I said but the tone I used to convey it. I don't believe that making senseless comments will help anyone. I do believe they are encouraging and reinforcing the negative behaviour that the media encourages with their 24-7 coverage of these rather isolated incidents. Within minutes of posting it, I had a series of inbox messages telling me I had no right to tell another person how to grieve. Excuse me. Who are you grieving for? Oh right. The victims. I'm sorry. As someone who has dealt with a lot of grief, I must point out that true grief does NOT require a public show of sorrow. Call me a terrible person if you will. I will call you a fake. I returned home from the work party tonight to a series of similar comments- despite my post that they would be removed and should not be posted on my status. I reported each one as spam. I thought about reporting them as harassment since I had clearly stated I did not wish to converse on the matter. One of which was telling me that since she was a mother I had no right to tell her what her opinion was. I'm sorry. I thought I was expressing my opinion. On my page. She was specifically the person I had posted the status about, but I did not post it to her private wall, singling her out about it. I posted it in a general statement and she (among others) chose to disrespect me.

"Professor Jackson explained that all spree killers have certain things in common – they are unstable, narcissistic, immature and consistently blame others for their failures." Hills

Someone else told me that since shooters often killed themselves after, they did not do it for the publicity. There is NO profile of sociopathic killer that can be used to identify a killer in advance. However, one thing that hindsight has proven is that each one has had a high level of egocentricity, and narcissism. They are often individuals who have not been acknowledged in something, or wish to throw a temper tantrum  and get their way however they must. The promise of knowing they will commit an act that will "raise awareness" is very inticing. Often they do not mean for it to escalate as it does, unless they are one of the rather rare systematic killers.  

"Sociopaths are characterized by a disregard for social obligation and a lack of concern for the feelings of others. They display pathological egocentricity, shallow emotions, lack of insight, poor control of impulsiveness (including a low tolerance for frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression), irresponsibility, a lack of empathy for other human beings and of remorse, anxiety or guilt in relation to his/her antisocial behavior. They are usually callous, manipulative individuals, incapable of lasting friendship and of love. They shamelessly lie, cheat, steal, abuse, neglect their relatives and families, and endanger themselves and other people in a reckless manner." -Sabbatini

I should not have said they do it for the media coverage. I am sorry about that, however the point does not change that when you disregard the victims grieving and open an individuals entire life up for scrutiny, you are helping other young men and women learn how to do it themselves. Self fulfilling prophecy. 

The thing is, people have been killing people since the dawn of time. A hundred years ago, someone died on the opposite side of the world, it hurt the people who were actually involved in that event and people back near you didn't get any ideas and didn't see a world where they want more attention and want it whether it is negative or positive. Why do we hear about a shooting half an hour after it occured, but a genocide or progrom can take years if not decades, to be acknowledged? I don't get it. Why do people refuse to look at the bigger picture? If the media, the social groups, the social forums, spent their time focusing on understanding the human mind and condition, to looking after themselves and their own, and leaving everything in between to run it's natural course, I have to say that I believe the world would be a much more positive place to live!

Oh. Guys. I did my homework.
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