Yesterday I wrote a piece on how I thought mental health was a factor in these mass shootings. To clarify, by no means am I trying to paint a picture of a person who has a mental health issue as a potential murderer. Mental health issues does not equal a mass murderer. That was not the point of the post. I was simply trying to convey the fact that if these people had sought help for their impulses and feelings then lives may have been saved. No, I do not know that for sure.
What I do know though, is everyone has an opinion on what is a cause to these senseless mass shootings. We may never know what the exact road that led them to kill was, but I’m sure that we can agree as a nation, whatever change that needs to happen needs to happen now.
I’ve read countless articles about the mass shootings, blaming them on easy accessibility to certain types of guns, mental health, racism, society as a whole, the president and his minions, not being allowed effectively punish our children (whatever that means), etc… we all have our own opinions and we are all entitled them. But we cannot refute the fact that some of these killers were deeply disturbed mentally.
While I stand behind my post yesterday and believe that more mental health awareness and education would certainly only help matters, I do believe that so much more goes into making a killer. As I said yesterday, there are a hundred other factors that make someone a killer before you give them a gun.
I came across this article from the L.A. Times and thought it did an accurate job of addressing major identifying factors of these mass killers. The article can be found here. I recommend it, as it’s a quick read.
One of things that is first mentioned in the article is the likelihood of a traumatic childhood. A lot of these mass shooters had an experience in their childhood that needed to be addressed by a medical professional and was not. They then became extremely damaged and vulnerable and needed help. THAT is where MY stance on better mental health access and awareness comes into play. Some of these shooters had something horrible done to them that the general public cannot even begin to fathom. Some of these children experienced rape. Some watched their parents overdose. Some watched their parents shoot themselves. Some of them were straight-up neglected and abused. THIS DOES NOT SET A CHILD UP FOR A GOOD LIFE.
This is the thought process I used to generate my post yesterday. These mass shooters and killers may indeed not be diagnosed with an illness, but with their traumatic past and lack of treatment the odds are stacked against them. Whatever horrid childhood event(s) they had the unfortunate opportunity to endure, followed them throughout their life, on to adulthood.
Again, this is not the only factor when it comes to making a killer. There are children out there that have gone through similar traumatic events and have not gone on to kill people. There are kids that get tossed around from foster to foster home, with their foster parent only being happy the day they get paid from the state. There are children that are never told they are loved by their parents. And they all turn out just fine. They may not get help either. The genetic make up of our life/destiny/biology etc all comes into play when developing a killer. It’s not just one thing that defines them as such evil.
Another factor the article had mentioned was the accessibility to guns. While many other americans will see the mass shootings as a gun problem, I see it as a personal problem. In some states across the U.S. it is already hard or illegal to get assault grade weapons. The killers using these guns can still get them illegally. So how would making all guns illegal help if the bad guys can already get their hands on illegal guns?
Another interesting factor they mentioned was that the weeks leading up to the murderous event, these killers usually expressed some sort of hate or motive or plan to somebody they knew. Let me say that again…
these killers usually expressed some sort of hate or motive or plan to murder people to somebody they knew…
Let that sink in for just a sec… these killers may reach out to people and spill their feelings and plans for suicide or murder. A mass shooting does not just come into place, it takes planning, I would imagine. If somebody tells you that they are thinking of or planning to cause physical harm to someone… TELL SOMEONE. No, it’s not your personal job to stop them from hurting themselves or others, bit of you have the knowledge that they will do such and don’t do a damn thing about it – you’re too blame too.
I know it can be hard to know your place. It isn’t our responsibility to watch over all the strangers of the Earth, but if somebody openly talks to you about such things, you are now an accomplice if you don’t make someone aware. Maybe you thought this person was your friend or maybe they are your sister or brother – but you have to put your feelings aside for the greater good. If you are given the knowledge that a mass shooting could possibly happen or is planned to happen, you better freaking speak up. Because if you don’t, you are only enabling the killer and helping for them to carry out their wishes and further divide this country.
Photo credit: here