What crazy philosophy would he have been reading to decide that he should kill 27 people plus himself in order to accomplish that?
He had Asperger's actually.
I never shared this, but when I was teaching in a private school one of the kids had a severe case of Asperger's. He always threatened to shoot the other kids. Once he took to scrawling threats by writing in red on the whiteboard. He loved violent video games and would imitate gun sounds.
Part of the reason why we knew he wasn't a threat was because he would never, ever have access to guns in West Malaysia. We had him have regular appointments with the school counselor in addition to his psychiatric help. Some of these things, he just had no idea that they were wrong or right. Other times the concept of violence and weapons gave him a sense of security, especially against people who taunted him.
There's a lot of reasons why this particular shooting upset me emotionally, and one of the reasons is that I know what would drive a kid with Asperger's to commit a mass shooting. Having easy access to guns makes a big difference (legal or otherwise) and if the American public doesn't see that...well, I've all spent out of anger on FB over the past few days.
My wife has high-functioning autism (which is closely related), and I also probably have something similar, though I have no official diagnosis. A whole bunch of our family have various high-functioning forms of autism as well.
Autism spectrum disorders, in general, have no connection to this sort of violent action. We do ofen have trouble with impulse control or with temper, but what this guy did was emphatically not lose control - it was definitely premeditated, and that's no more normal for aspies than it is for neurotypicals.
Unfortunately, the media has latched on to autism as the explanation. Any time a white person does a massacre, we have to find some way they are different. It doesn't even have to be true - the killers at Columbine, back ten or so years ago, weren't loner outcasts at all, for example (my wife was an actual outcast loner, and was treated as a threat by school administration because of it).
Now this guy probably had other problems, but aspergers isn't what did it.
Did you know anyone related to autism who had a need to keep themselves secure by violent imagery?
I'm not saying this because I think Asperger's = school shooter. I'm saying this because I have actual experience with a kid who had Asperger's and resorted to violence (in imagery) to keep himself safe. So just saying 'no it doesn't happen' isn't going to convince me.
Premeditated violence is not typically associated with aspergers. That's a simple fact. Aspies commonly have temper problems, but on the whole, are no more prone to premeditated violence than anyone else. If this massacre stemmed from psychological problems (which is likely but not proven), then it stemmed from something besides the aspergers.
Aspergers has a stronger correlation with brown eyes than it does with this type of violence. Definitely some aspies are violent (at least one has shot up an elementary school, apparently), but so are some neurotypicals (Timothy McVeigh, for example).
The asperger syndrome "explanation" is a convenient way of othering the white bad guy so that white Americans don't have to confront their own capacity for evil. Unfortunately the stigma has already started to spread - I've heard of at least one case in the last week or so where a whole neighborhood as decided that an aspie kid is going to kill them all.
I think that any method of deflecting the debate away from the issue of gun control to other (possibly related) issues, like whether or not autism was involved, is a kind of evil -- partly because the bizarre American reaction of desiring to maintain the status quo on weapon ownership strongly reinforces the prejudice that non-Americans have of the US being a violent society.
I don't think autism is 'to blame' (eg. if you have autism you are more likely to shoot someone) I think that having a gun (legally acquired or not) makes someone more likely to shoot someone.
The degree to which gun control would have to go to eliminate this sort of problem is fairly analogous with disestablishment of Islam in Malaysia -- same degree of societal upheaval, probably a fairly similar reaction from the people. (I tend to think that both would have some dramatic benefits, but neither is likely to happen any time soon). There are some cultural changes which are probably more feasible and effective -- generally relating to not glorifying violence so much -- but they can't be done unilaterally by the government and take actual effort by people, so they aren't as popular to suggest.
At work, we have a twitter-clone on our internal network, ostensibly for talking about work things between various buildings. For some reason, someone thought it was a good idea to put in a geotagbot, that looks for place references, then puts in a link at the bottom to google maps of whatever place was referenced. However, it recognizes colonial-era names more readily than modern names, for some reason, but then displays the modern name. Early on, someone figured out that it recognizes "fair point" as this place in Somalia with a weird name, so now everyone on there uses that phrase as often as possible.
So are you saying you guys have "Encounters at Fair Point?"
I almost always hear "fair point" as "Farpoint."
I checked with my wife (who knows a lot more about this than I do) and violent imagery as a coping mechanism is fairly common, but it's no more likely to lead to premeditated violence than Star Trek imagery (also common) is likely to lead to delusions of being on an actual starship. If it does, then something else is wrong besides the ASD.
Yeah, after a lot of sessions just chatting with the school counsellor (on top of his usual psychiatric appointments) the counsellor assured me that he was not likely to actually harm people.
I've been a lukewarm subscriber to the Manchurian Candidate
theory of "postal" murders for years. Witness the ready-made media hysteria machine that revved up to full speed even before the bodies were cold.
It fits the facts in many if not most of the cases known to me. Especially the latest one - where the killer left no manifesto of any kind, and was not known to have had a grievance against anyone.
The destroying his computer bit would fit with that scenario....
And likewise the uncommonly good aim.
Random fire, even with an automatic weapon (which this particular offender did not have, contrary to popular opinion) doesn't hit much in a 3D world. Not even in a crowd of defenseless people. Consider the North Hollywood Shootout of '97
, where the cops and the robbers together fired ~2,000 rounds. Only 18 were injured, and two died (the perpetrators themselves, one by police and one by his own hand.)
The story of the Connecticut perpetrator's mother having taught him to shoot is rather questionable. As is the fact that the police changed their story regarding the murder weapon. At first it was announced that a rifle was found in the suspect's car, while pistols were found at the crime scene, near the dead suspect. And the new Official Truth holds that all of the victims died from unmistakable rifle wounds. Also note that the media hysteria machine brought out calls to bring back the Clinton rifle regulations immediately
, without waiting for this development. Even though the first reports from the crime scene held that the latter weapon was never fired...
Even if this particular murder was not in any way artificially-engineered, the media circus was ready to go in advance, waiting for just such an event.
And on the same day, four people were set on fire in Denver using a garden sprayer filled with fuel
. When will Mr. O ban spray bottles? Think Of The Children (TM)! Personally I'd prefer to be shot rather than burned. In March of 1990, a madman killed 87 with an Assault Milk Jug
(filled with gasoline.) When do we get mandatory background checks at filling stations?
Firearms are a rather poor choice of weapon against a crowd of civilians. The world's terrorists, who have access to the finest machine guns money can buy, stick to bombs. Ever wonder why?
See also: Herostratus
. The real purpose of the media circus surrounding each "postal" murder is to make the next one happen.
Dude, I think that's more than a pair of noia.