Seems like we hear about a new mass murder every other day. Columbine, Newtown, Connecticut, Virginia Tech, the Amish school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Colin Ferguson on the LIRR, Aurora, and on and on, and most recently a college town in California.
We’re not talking about the Ted Bundys or the John Wayne Gacys, the sons of Sams, the Jeffrey Dahmers or anyone of that ilk. They’re serial killers. We’re talking about multiple deaths in a short burst of time.
So what ties these murderers together? What makes this happen? What do they have in common?
Gun control advocates will tell you it’s the availability of firearms, even when the killer uses a knife or a baseball bat or a shoe. And they’re partly right.
The National Rifle Association and a legion of claim-filing psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers will say the killers are mentally ill. And they’re partly right.
And these things play out in much the same way. All the killers were people who friends and relatives knew should be watched. All the victims were saints. And the enormous number of former and retired FBI profilers will appear on the various news channels to hand- wring about the dearth of non-former or non-retired FBI profilers.
Maybe the answer is simpler than we’re told. Sure, guns, violence on television, the disconnect between video games and reality and the unabridged dictionary of mental diseases play roles.
But what worries some of us is not a mental illness, but a mental condition. What all these killers share is a feeling of deprivation and its emotional brother, blaming someone else.
We all feel sorry for ourselves some of the time. Most of us shake it off -- or have it shaken off -- and go on with life without hurting a garden slug let alone killing a bunch of contemporaries.
In the Elliot Rodger’s video selfie, lecture, “manifesto” and threat list, he blames other “men,” for his failure with women. He calls them obnoxious brutes, while labeling himself the true gentleman and alpha male. And he blames the “spoiled” “blonde” “sluts” of the “hottest sorority house on campus” for his troubles.
And had he lived after killing six others, he would have repeated versions of that for his jailhouse interview with Anderson Cooper or Dr. Phil or Dr. Drew or Dr. Lechter.
Do the self-pitiers who murder have a stronger case of “poor little me and it’s your fault?” Hard to tell. But that’s where we need to start looking.
And we don’t need an FBI profiler to pick them out ahead of time. We know them because they live with us and sometimes because they ARE us.
--The median pay for CEOs of large companies has risen by 8% since 2012, according to an AP survey. It now tops $10 million. How much the median pay for an hour has changed and in which direction is one of life’s great mysteries but the guessing is down and about 5% in buying power.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2014