So, not surprisingly, it’s happened again. A frustrated, young man gets his gun and opens fire in a crowded, public place. This time it was in USA. That’s where it usually happens, but during the intermissions, other countries take over. Last time it was Finland.
There are a lot of common factors if you compare the three latest cases of public shootings.
- The shooters were all young males.
- They had few or no friends.
- They had a hard time fitting in.
- They were all crazy to do it, but not insane when they did it. Everything was planned and prepared.
- They intended to die and take as many people with them as possible. To literary go out with a bang.
- And they all wanted to get noticed.
Actually, with only a few exceptions, all of the above are common factors for most public shootings. Another interesting fact is that the shooters have begun to refer to each other as well.
Columbine became the benchmark for public shootings. Then came Virginia Tech. Both shootings got massive world wide media attention and the shooters became, in their own fashion, famous. Other people in the same state of mind; people who have no need to live, but a need to get noticed, will obviously be able to do the math and know what they will have to do to get the same kind of attention.
If the media stopped reporting public shootings, they would of course not disappear entirely, but I’m pretty sure the number would decrease. A nasty side effect could be that the ultimate goal of the shooters would be to kill a massive amount of people to get the attention they crave. If you kill enough people, the media has to report it, right?
The really interesting thing about today’s shooting is the aftermath discussions. People are now debating how they can secure their shopping malls from similar incidents. What the hell is the matter with you people? That you don’t have metal detectors at your shopping malls is not the root cause of this problem. There are two root causes: Firstly, there are people out there who completely fall off the social map and they don’t have the means of professional support they need to get back on dry land. Secondly, if you let guns and other weapons roam free, you’re throwing fuel on the fire. If these guys had rocks, they wouldn’t be able to do much damage.
If society was able to remove one of those two root causes, it would be the end of public shootings. And If you’ve got the blues, call a friend. Perhaps you don’t think you have any, but you do.