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Home Main Forums General Discussion Another mass shooting…

  • Peace Patriot (4952 posts)

    Another mass shooting…

    “Thousand Oaks gunman was ex-Marine who may have suffered from PTSD, sheriff says”


    I remember the first one.  Texas Tower Sniper 1966.  Saw it on TV.  Didn’t know, until later that evening, that I’d lost a close and dear friend, shot straight thru his heart from across campus.

    As the “random, senseless” mass shootings have mounted up over the years, have increased and have become, to me, countless “random, senseless” mass shootings, I have begun to wonder about mind control drugs and ‘Manchurian Candidate’ type conditioning of vulnerable individuals, perhaps for the purpose of destroying civic life in the United States and, of course, inducing fear – fear of each other, fear of “society,” fear of gathering together in any way.

    Given the CIA mind control experiments that we know occurred, and the unknown resources and the vast secrecy of that entity ( – who knows if they’ve stopped doing that stuff? – they’ve done, and are probably still doing, torture), and the existence, now, of fascist multi-billionaires with virtually unlimited money and power – such as the far right, ‘christian’ nutball multi-billionaire Howard Ahmanson (now deceased) who was the initial funder and major investor in Diebold/ES&S – and given the existence, now, of private military organizations, spawned during the Bush junta, one of whom was recently hired by the Saudis to assassinate politicians in Yemen and who would probably do anything for money….

    Well, that’s what I’m thinking and I needed to share it.  “Random” and “senseless.”  Those are the right words.  I’m trying to make sense of this.  And, unfortunately, I don’t have the investigative experience, tools and resources needed to properly look into it.

    Each time it happens, I go through this trauma. What, in God’s name, is going on in our country?

    “Texas Tower Sniper” Charles Whitman was also an ex-Marine.  But the shooters are not all ex-military.  The profile seems to be disaffected white, male American, who simply erupts, one day, and does the unthinkable.

    I don’t think guns are the issue – except for current fire power with which hundreds can die in seconds.  Those weapons absolutely should be banned.  Why would anybody need to shoot hundreds of people at once in “self defense” or kill hundreds of deer at once?  It’s insane that we have such weapons among us.

    I think the most serious issue of “random, senseless” mass shootings, that lurks unexamined under the surface of the weaponry issue, is psychological – either a new cultural psychosis syndrome or, as I have suggested here, an induced psychosis in vulnerable individuals for political control purposes.

    I know that the internet is wild with “conspiracy theories” about certain mass shootings having been staged and so on.  I don’t buy any of that.  I am a rational human being struggling with a real issue, possibly because I remember a country in which “random, senseless” mass shootings were unthinkable.  I came of age just at the moment when that changed, and that moment occurred, for me, within a five year period in which I lost all of my political heroes to bullets, along with my close friend in Austin.  I also lost my father during that five year period (to a trucking accident).  So, yes, I am dealing with trauma.  It was also the beginning of the massive carnage in Vietnam.

    This was the time period (1963 to 1968) during which we lost our country – or, in any case, in which we suffered the savage betrayal of the ideals of ordinary people in the post WW II world.  A decent life for all.  Increasing democracy.  The remedying of slavery.  The rise of the notion of the true equality of all human beings.  The generosity toward others of the Marshall Plan.  A “can do” attitude of hard work and enormous creativity in every sphere.  The creation of the United Nations as a forum in which to prevent war.  JFK’s “Nuclear Test Ban Treaty” – beginning of the end of nuclear weapons (as he and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev intended).  Nuclear catastrophe averted.  Rising hope that a better world was possible.

    But what was lurking under the surface of that era was a very terrible set of forces and people intent on creating a terrible world, which we are seeing unfold before our eyes, now.  The “random, senseless” shootings are perhaps a psychological consequence of that betrayal – producing people, the most vulnerable among us to that betrayal, who have been stripped of ideals, and of any reason to live, and whose only comfort is guns and the carnage they can inflict as they die.

    It’s easy enough to guess that they have been poisoned by our culture itself – the culture of the Bush junta and its profiteers.  But is that all there is to it?  I have been wondering this for several years – from the onset of this plague of “random, senseless” shootings that we are suffering.  And I don’t know what to do with this thought…

    ctsnowman, jwirr, Pam and 13 othersEnthusiast, LiberalElite, ravensong, Koko, Smiley, Aerows, Charles, PADemD, Haikugal, iggy, DamnYankeeInHouston, canoeist52, Ohio Barbarian like this

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44 replies
    • GZeusH (4410 posts)

      1. He wasn't the first one.

      In 1958, there was Charles Starkweather.  And before him there were others.  People have been turning homicidal on other people since the time before people and they were just apes.

      в NewYorkTimese нет известии, и в WaPo нет правды.
      • Peace Patriot (4952 posts)

        2. "Random, senseless"?

      • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

        4. It's the frequency & the increased number of settings that have changed.

        Starkweather’s shootings weren’t exactly random.  He killed his girlfriend’s family for a motive, to get her away from them, and apparently everyone he/they killed on their way after that were killed for a motive as well, which was basically theft — to get a place to stay, a car to drive, or money/goods to continue on their way.  Not good motives, but not random killings of strangers in public places.

        Supposedly del Shannon’s song ‘we’ll follow the sun’ was based on the starkweather case.

    • ThouArtThat (7922 posts)

      3. The Texas Tower Sniper Was Found To Have A Pecan Sized Brain Tumor In Autopsy

      One suspects that the brain tumor may have had an impact on his breakdown.

      One also suspects that many of the mass shooters are mentally impaired in one way or another – either genetically inherited or socially conditioned.

      Factors that can lead to mental breakdowns include stress, loss of social standing, financial pressures, untreated health issues and familial loss.

      And given that mental health care is generally not available to those most in need, mental breakdowns should be no surprise.

      That little is done to address the problem is reflective of a society that no longer cares.

      It’s all just a modern version of the wild west – every man, woman and child is on their own.


      "In America Today, Power Corrupts and Money Corrupts Absolutely" - Anonymous  
      • Peace Patriot (4952 posts)

        5. Every country on earth has individuals who suffer mental breakdown.

        How many have regularly occurring (not to mention increasing) cases of “random, senseless” mass shootings?  Some of these countries have mental health care.  Many don’t.  People automatically think that the difference is the prevalence of weapons here.  I’m thinking that the weapons issue is masking another, deeper problem.

        I”m just now trying to formulate that problem.  Here’s an idea:  In living memory, we were not supposed to be a heinous killer nation, senselessly slaughtering 2 million people in Southeast Asia, and recently, something like a million in Iraq and more elsewhere (Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen).  We were healing from the psychic wound of unjust war in Vietnam, and beginning to think we were a good country again – still a lot of problems, but generally on a peaceful path – when the Neo-Cons took over in 2000.  The Neo-Cons wrote, in their “Project For A New American Century,” that the “Vietnam Syndrome” (Americans’ revulsion at war) had to be overcome, the country had to be re-militarized and they needed “a new Pearl Harbor” to accomplish the “full spectrum dominance” over the world that they sought.  They got their “new Pearl Harbor” and used it to send us BACK toward Vietnam as a heinous killer country waging unjust war.

        THIS may be the shock wave that ripples through our society, imploding the psyches of vulnerable people.  It is subliminal but it is nevertheless real, and it was caused.  Deliberately caused.  Deliberately they dragged us back to being a country that slaughters people indiscriminately, and that furthermore tortures prisoners, that abandons the Constitution and other laws, and that commits numerous other crimes with perfect impunity.  Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama then enforced that impunity.  (“Impeachment is off the table.”  “We need to look forward not backward.”)

        There were no consequences for the criminals at the top of society.  There is no rule of law for them.  And this is so fundamentally un-American that it starts breaking down social cohesion.

        People who believed that we are “the good guys” have become the most vulnerable to “mass shooting” syndrome.  Relatively privileged, white, American men.  African-Americans have always known that we are not “the good guys.”  We’ve seen, I believe, one African-American among hundreds of mass shooters – clearly an anomaly.  African-American men should be among the most angry, right?  They may be angry but they’re not vulnerable to the “mass shooting” psychosis.  Why?  Because they never bought the notion that Americans are “the good guys” in the first place.  They are not disillusioned by yet another war.  They didn’t start with any illusions about American life.

        Neither do we see any women mass shooters.  I’d say that most women and other groups in the population who have had to struggle to survive, and/or have had tangles with white male privilege, are not inclined toward this particular psychosis, because we did not strongly identify with America being “the good guys.”  I’m talking again about subliminal phenomena.  America being “the good guys” is a white, male American ideal.  And the destruction of that ideal would mostly affect that group.

        It might also set white American men up as the easiest targets for mind-control methods by malevolent entities who wish to destroy American democracy, by sowing chaos and fear.

        – – –

        (Edit: typo.)

        • carrotguy (561 posts)

          19. we weren't supposed to be a heinous killer nation

          after vietnam, healing from psychic wounds….  but we were, and we have been, from the founding of this nation (and before then).   of course you know we’ve been at war with one country or another continuously since vietnam, overtly or covertly.   manifest destiny never stopped, it just got a polished veneer.

          you have a point about people who feel entitled being more susceptible to losing their perceived position.   when this is compounded with a lack of support system or social stress and changes in financial situation, anything can happen.    i watched a documentary last night about a river adventure through the amazon that teddy roosevelt and his son kermit took.    kermit took his own life after battling alcoholism.    people have been committing suicide for centuries but there is something peculiar to consider with the mass shooter.

          the problem IMO with respect to banning assault rifles is – there are thousands already out there.  do you propose to confiscate them?   good luck with that – you’re setting yourself up for failure.    other countries allow certain types of weapons with restrictions.   we need those here.   mandatory gun safes for rifles…   licensing and background checks and red flag systems.   my problem with a ban or confiscation is that – with all the fear of fascism, economic disaster, or climate change – only one side seems to have a lot of these rifles, and it’s not leftists.    IMO it’s ridiculous to ban military style rifles, but allow semi-automatic ranch rifles to be sold.   if you want to ban those too, that is a wedge that might cause repeats of the recent mid terms into perpetuity.

          at that point, if your only hope is to wait 40 years for the voting population demographic in your favor, you’ve just materialized “the sum of all fears” for the race-conscious (and yes still in control) white republican minority.   one other comment about black mass shooters – chris dorner may be one example.   he felt a target of injustice and presumably didn’t have much to lose.    statistically speaking, blacks being in poverty may be one reason they don’t go on mass shooting sprees – they don’t have anything to lose.    however, in terms of drug crime and handgun homicides (which make up most gun crime, exceeding AR-15 crime by far i would suspect),  it seems sometimes they spend some time putting in work

      • Ohio Barbarian (13443 posts)

        11. Just one more reason for health care as a right, which should include mental

        hospitals. Reagan’s defunding of the mental hospital system in this country was criminal. A lot of Americans need mental health treatments, and some of them need to be locked away for the protection of themselves and others while they get that treatment. A few may never be released if their conditions are dangerous and untreatable.

        I work downtown. I see mentally ill people panhandling every day. It’s a national disgrace.

        No man ought to stay poor so another man can get rich. --Newton Knight
        • Enthusiast (16192 posts)

          26. Huge plus one!

          I watched the results of Reagan defunding of the mental hospital system unfold before my eyes. The mentally ill were Reagan victims. Millions of regular working Americans were also Reagan victims. The nation has never recovered.

          "I got a great big pointed fang Which is my Zomby Toof My right foot's bigger than my other one is Like a reg'lar Zomby Hoof If I raid your dormitorium Don't try to remain aloof . . ." The Zombie Woof
        • jwirr (5464 posts)

          29. I know there are people who need to be in permanent custody due to their

          mental illness. BUT many of us approved of the closure because of the injustice in the system. My own family was a very good example and still is. Two great aunts were mentally ill. They lived at my mothers farm in a small house. But along came the eugenics movement and my family were forced to move one of them into the institution. She was not violent in any way. They other continued to live with the family and died at home. The next generation my mother’s sister who was extremely over weight was placed in the same institution by her husband and 10 of his friends who signed a petition against her. Her crime – she wore shorts out in public on day. She spent the rest of her life in that institution. And she was not the only woman to be committed by a husband who was just tired of her. Research has shown that in fact was a well known practice.

          Today is better. To be committed one needs to have a hearing before a judge and witnesses who are under oath. But then it all depends on the judge. Given some of the judges we have I am sure it is not always just.

          Having said this I do think that violence prone patients should have safe place to be in confinement when it is needed.

          • Ohio Barbarian (13443 posts)

            32. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a hit for a very good reason. There WERE

            abuses in those old mental hospitals. Of course there need to be stringent safeguards, and inspections. We can learn from our past mistakes, and the mental health disciplines have made remarkable advances for the last generation. We do need the resources to apply those advances for our fellow citizens who really do need professional help; there’s no humane reason to just throw them out on the street.

            Yet another reason to scrap the F-35 and the weaponization of space.


            No man ought to stay poor so another man can get rich. --Newton Knight
            • jwirr (5464 posts)

              33. Yes, the fact that rayguns plan did not contain any help for them once they

              were out on the street was the reason it was such a bad program. In my own family we have always had a tradition of caring for our own – where we could. I was part of the movement to bring the developmentally disabled out of the institutions and home – in that movement we first created places for them to live and then other community based programs for their needs. It is working and most of our communities do not have any problems with this group. BUT the communities were not interested in helping the mentally ill so they are often still on the streets.

              Creating community based smaller institutions for those who are not violent would help a lot. In our area of NE MN that is being done. But slowly.

              • Ohio Barbarian (13443 posts)

                34. Sounds like a good idea, and I'm all for it. Also sounds like those things could

                use some federal funding.

                No man ought to stay poor so another man can get rich. --Newton Knight
                • jwirr (5464 posts)

                  35. Yes, we were fortunate when we set up the community based programs for the

                  developmentally disabled – we did get help from the feds. They gave the states the money it cost to keep each client in the more expensive institutions to set up less expensive housing in our communities.

            • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

              38. there continue to be abuses today, just different kinds of abuses.

              the over-drugging continues, however.

              • Ohio Barbarian (13443 posts)

                40. I know. Inadequate protections and oversight in a for-profit health care

                systems. It’s more profitable to drug people into zombies than to actually treat them.

                No man ought to stay poor so another man can get rich. --Newton Knight
        • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

          36. that wasn't the cause of the explosion of homelessness however, though

          that canard has been repeated ad infinitum ever since.

          first, the mental hospitals were losing population even before reagan

          second, there weren’t enough of them to explain what happened in the 80s and thereafter

          that canard has been repeated ad infinitum ever since.



          1955: The number of patients inside public mental hospitals nationwide peaks at 560,000.  (California peak same period = 37,000)

          1963: President John F. Kennedy signs the Community Mental Health Act. This pushes the responsibility of mentally ill patients from the state toward the federal government. JFK wanted to create a network of community mental health centers where mentally ill people could live in the community while receiving care…   JFK is assassinated…The community mental health centers never receive stable funding… 15 years later less than half the promised centers are built.

          1965: The U.S. Congress establishes Medicaid and Medicare. Mentally disabled people living in the community are eligible for benefits but those in psychiatric hospitals are excluded. By encouraging patients to be discharged, state legislators could shift the cost of care for mentally ill patients to the federal government.

          1967: Ronald Reagan is elected governor of California. At this point, the number of patients in state hospitals had fallen to 22,000, and the Reagan administration uses the decline as a reason to make cuts to the Department of Mental Hygiene. They cut 2,600 jobs and 10 percent of the budget despite reports showing that hospitals were already below recommended staffing levels.

          1967: Reagan signs the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and ends the practice of institutionalizing patients against their will (**in CA)finite amounts of time. This law is regarded by some as a “patient’s bill of rights”.  Sadly, the care outside state hospitals was inadequate. The year after the law goes into effect, a study shows the number of mentally ill people entering San Mateo’s criminal justice system doubles.

          1969: Reagan reverses earlier budget cuts. He increases spending on the Department of Mental Hygiene by a record $28 million.

          1973: The number of patients in California State mental hospitals falls to 7,000.

          1980: President Jimmy Carter signs the Mental Health Systems Act to improve on Kennedy’s dream.

          1981: President Reagan repeals Carter’s legislation with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This pushes the responsibility of mentally ill patients back to the states. The legislation creates block grants for the states, but federal spending on mental illness declines.

          2015: In the San Francisco Homeless Count, 55 percent of people experiencing chronic homelessness report they have emotional or psychiatric conditions.



          The explosion in homelessness happened during the Reagan admin.  Institutionalized mentally ill population peaked in 1955, and continued to fall thereafter.  Reagan ‘closed the mental hospitals’ in California, not in the US.

          Homelessness didn’t explode/become highly visible until Reagan’s presidency. long after deinstitutionalization was well underway (decades-underway).

          It was the direct result of Reagan-era policy to reduce funding on low-income housing and other services, the tilting of policy to favor the wealthy, etc.  And of course the deliberately induced Reagan recession, the worst since the great depression until 2009.



          • Ohio Barbarian (13443 posts)

            39. No, housing costs being too high caused the explosion of homelessness. Many

            of the mentally ill, however,  have been homeless since the 1980s. Yet another national disgrace, thanks to Republican and Vichy Democratic corporatist policies.

            No man ought to stay poor so another man can get rich. --Newton Knight
            • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

              41. You answered before I finished my post above.

              Plus, today ‘mental health care” typically = drugs.  I’m not too eager to give more to pharma.  IMHO, economic stability would go a long way to solve many supposed ‘mental health problems’

              • Ohio Barbarian (13443 posts)

                42. I'm only for a truly nationalized mental health care system. It cannot be for

                profit and actually deliver needed services.

                No man ought to stay poor so another man can get rich. --Newton Knight
                • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

                  43. devil's in the details, as always; so many incentives for abuse

    • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

      6. a little research

      definitions of ‘mental illness’ a/o specific mental illnesses have changed through the years and are culturally/politically charged:


      “In the United States, popular and political discourse frequently focuses on the causal impact of mental illness in the aftermath of mass shootings…(e.g….) …Such associations make sense on many levels….who but an insane person would do such horrifying things….? …our brief review (of the literature) ultimately suggests… that this framework—and its implicit promise of mental health solutions…creates an untenable situation…  Meanwhile, public, legal, and medical discourses move ever-farther away from talking broadly and productively about the social, structural, and, indeed, psychological implications of gun violence in the United States.

      …surprisingly little population-level evidence supports the notion that individuals diagnosed with mental illness are more likely than anyone else to commit gun crimes…(and) … research dating back to the 1970s suggests that psychiatrists using clinical judgment are not much better than laypersons at predicting which individual patients will commit violent crimes… Complicating matters further, associations between violence and psychiatric diagnosis shift over time. For instance, schizophrenia—far and away the most common diagnosis linked by the US media to mass shooters—was considered an illness of docility for much of the first half of the 20th century…. Only in the 1960s and 1970s did US society begin to link schizophrenia with violence and guns…in 1968, the second edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) recast paranoid schizophrenia as a condition of “hostility,” “aggression,” and projected anger, and included text explaining that, “the patient’s attitude is frequently hostile and aggressive, and his behavior tends to be consistent with his delusions…”

      A somewhat similar story can be told about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), another illness frequently associated with gun violence….though World War II…doctors assumed that combat-related stress afflicted neurotic or cowardly soldiers. In the wake of the Vietnam War, the DSM-III recast PTSD…the stereotype of the “crazy vet” emerged as a result…despite the paucity of data linking PTSD diagnosis with violence and criminality….

      Mass shootings in the United States are often framed as the work of loners—unstable, angry White men who never should have had access to firearms…It is important to note, however, that the seemingly self-evident images of the mentally disturbed, gun-obsessed, White male loner…are also relatively recent phenomena. Critics hold that this framing plays off of rhetoric about hegemonic White male individualism and privilege that ultimately reinforce wider arguments for gun rights…In the 1960s and 1970s, by contrast, many of the men labeled as violent and mentally ill were also, it turned out, Black.  And, when the potential assailants of a crime were Black, US psychiatric and popular culture frequently blamed “Black culture” or Black activist politics…for the threats such men were imagined to pose. Such associations were particularly prevalent in the decades surrounding the release of the DSM-II. …Bromberg and Simon described a “protest psychosis” in which the rhetoric of the Black Power movement drove “Negro men” to insanity, leading to attacks on “Caucasians” and “antiwhite productions and attitudes…”  Brody problematically argued that “growing up as a Negro in America may produce distortions or impairments in the capacity to participate in the surrounding culture which will facilitate the development of schizophrenic types of behavior…”

      According to declassified documents… the FBI diagnosed Malcolm X with “pre-psychotic paranoid schizophrenia…”  highlighting his attempts to obtain firearms and his “plots” to overthrow the government. The FBI also diagnosed Robert Williams, the controversial head of the Monroe, NC chapter of the NAACP as schizophrenic, armed, and dangerous during his flight from trumped-up kidnapping charges in the early 1960s…. “Williams allegedly has possession of a large quantity of firearms, including a .45 caliber pistol. . . . He has previously been diagnosed as schizophrenic and has advocated and threatened violence….”

      Of course, understanding a person’s mental state is vital to understanding his or her actions. At the same time, our review suggests that focusing legislative policy and popular discourse so centrally on mental illness is rife with potential problems if, as seems increasingly the case, those policies are not embedded in larger societal strategies and structural-level interventions.






      • Peace Patriot (4952 posts)

        7. I'm talking about war. American psychiatrists participated in torture…

        …to further the mass slaughter of unjust war – adding yet another level of social and moral betrayal that the Bush junta deliberately instigated at all levels.  I frankly don’t care what they think about mass shootings by unhinged white, American men.  They are complicit in creating the conditions that may have brought this “mass shooting” syndrome into being.  I’m sure they make lots and lots of money off of PTSD.  They are complicit in war.

        But I do thank you for your reply.  I feel that we need to look everywhere for answers, including at sources of failure.  I do understand what this article is saying – basically, don’t use mental illness as an argument not to ban guns.  That’s fine, as far as it goes.  But it doesn’t go nearly far enough.  It needs to address what’s wrong with our presidents; what’s wrong with the “military-industrial complex”; what’s wrong with war profiteers?  What psychological phenomena are at work among us when callous, cold, psychotic war profiteers make up their minds to re-militarize society?  To turn a peace-minded people into killers again?  And who USE the “Americans are the good guys” as their chief, covering LIE to accomplish this horrible purpose – what’s wrong with THEM?  And how does it affect us all?

        Look, the Swiss all have guns.  They are practically born with guns.  It’s in their DNA.  Do they have people going blewy and shooting up schools or churches or concerts?  They do not.  I’m not talking about gun control.  I’m talking about the discrepancy between American ideals and the mass murder committed by and sanctioned by our leaders, creating acute discontinuity in some peoples’ heads.


        • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

          8. the article didn't say 'don't use mental illness as an argument not to ban

          guns’.  perhaps it was my poor editing.

          the article said something rather different:  The definition of “mental illness” (including clinical diagnostic definitions like ‘schizophrenia’) changes in light of social and political considerations/trends (e.g. schizophrenics/ptsd being considered placid and non-violent before the 70s, black men being considered mentally ill/violent in the 60s, 70s, white men similarly after then 80s, etc.).  I found the “mental health” + guns assessments of the FBI etc. for Malcolm X & other black leaders rather interesting.

          It also claims that psychiatrists and similar are no better at predicting violence from their patients than laypeople, so using psychiatric diagnoses & assessments of mental health profession as the basis for forbidding firearms to people isn’t going to reduce gun-related killings of any variety.

          It also claims that the number of “mental” diagnoses has gone up since the 80s, making it statistically more likely that any random person will have some kind of mental diagnosis.

          That hit home to me today when a woman told me she had been diagnosed with PTSD, so she *just couldn’t* conduct a relatively easy bit of business that would have gone some way to fix the problem she called me about.  She offered to bring a note from her doctor to prove she had PTSD, which would have done *nothing* to solve her problem.  Interestingly, her PTSD wouldn’t have prevented her from conducting that bit of business, but somehow prevented her from doing what would have helped her.  But there wasn’t much difference between coming to my office and showing me a paper and going to another office and talking to someone else.

          The article also claims that mental health establishment would be better used to open up discussion on factors mostly ignored in our current non-productive public ‘discussion’ about violence/mass shootings which is so intensely focused on guns and mental health to the exclusion of other factors.

          Your first sentence was:  “How many have regularly occurring (not to mention increasing) cases of “random, senseless” mass shootings?  Some of these countries have mental health care.”

          I posted the article because it cuts across the whole emphasis on individual “mental health” (at least as its currently formulated) in relation to such issues.  It also cuts across the “war” rationale (at least as applied to PTSD & related).

          I think its helpful to reframe/reexamine the media-driven debates on most hot issues, which are always driven by social/economic/political considerations.  IMHO.



          • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

            9. and in line with my attempt to bring in some other considerations this eve:

            “Frequent school shootings are a unique US phenomenon that has defied understanding. Uncovering the aetiology of this problem is hampered by the lack of an established dataset. Here we assemble a carefully curated dataset for the period 1990–2013 that is built upon an exhaustive review of existing data and original sources.

            Using this dataset, we find that the rate of gun violence is time-dependent and that this rate is heightened from 2007 to 2013.

            We further find that periods of increased shooting rates are significantly correlated with increases in the unemployment rate across different geographic aggregation levels (national, regional and city). Consistent with the hypothesis that increasing uncertainty in the school-to-work transition contributes to school shootings, we find that multiple indicators of economic distress significantly correlate with increases in the rate of gun violence when events at both K12 and post-secondary schools are considered.


            • trudyco (1347 posts)

              10. That's a really interesting study

              My hypothesis is that the fading of the American Empire has caused increasing depression/anxiety. That people then go to allopathic doctors who prescribe anti depressants. These meds don’t really cure depression, they just make the person not give a damn about the consequences of their action. They also have a nasty side effect of freeing inhibitions, like inhibitions against suicide or murdering. I read somewhere (here?) that many mass murderers were either on antidepressants or were just coming off them. Prescriptions for this dangerous class of drugs have shot up, possibly in line with the increase in gun violence? I bet the USA uses drugs a lot more than countries like Switzerland. Also, it would be interesting to know if those and other drugs get recycled back into our water supply, so it could have an impact even on people who aren’t taking the drugs.

              It certainly seems like at times some individuals have been goaded or manipulated into violence. Is it a CIA maneuver? IDK.   At the very least, the violence has been exploited by politicians (especially the Dems – do they REALLY care about us? Or is it a plot to divest us of our guns in case we decide to use them on the puppet masters?)

              • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

                14. i've read and thought of that as well. it certainly seens a possible

                factor, and again, sort of cuts against the ‘lone loon’ meme — since a lot of these folks are on the drugs that are supposed to reduce their symptoms a/o disordered thinking.

                your other points: idk either, but the fact that those ideas are now emerging in the public discourse is interesting to me.  why?

                This popularized article is about the same study I believe:

                “In a study recent­ly pub­lished in Nature Human Behav­iour, they show that the preva­lence of school shoot­ings is close­ly cor­re­lat­ed with eco­nom­ic dis­tress, mean­ing that shoot­ings rise and fall along with eco­nom­ic indi­ca­tors like unem­ploy­ment and fore­clo­sure rates. And the rela­tion­ship stands up to sta­tis­ti­cal rig­or. ​“No mat­ter what lev­el of the coun­try you’re look­ing at or what met­ric of eco­nom­ic health, the rela­tion­ship is always the same,” Pah says…

                Pah antic­i­pat­ed that shoot­ings would have increased sig­nif­i­cant­ly in the late 1990s. ​“I’m of the age where Columbine was this giant deal,” Pah says. ​“But that peri­od didn’t have that many events of gun violence.” Rather, the researchers were sur­prised to find that the two major peri­ods of ele­vat­ed vio­lence were 1992 – 1994 and 2007 – 2013. ​“That’s when we thought, ​‘OK, there’s some­thing going on here,’” he says…”





                • winter is coming (1357 posts)

                  16. +1. Too many rats in the box. n/t

            • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

              13. The Rise of Mass shootings…

              This one’s from a site (Evonomics) among whose principals is David Sloan Wilson:


              It’s also a bit of a different take, with fertilization across several disciplines:

              “I have argued that indiscriminate mass murder (IMM) has been seriously misinterpreted. It is not just another type of crime, but a form of political violence… suicide terrorism…the motive is not to kill a specific person, or persons, but to strike at a social group, at an institution, or at the society as a whole….. a common factor in both rampage shooters and suicide terrorists is “a deep sense of victimization and belief that the killer’s life has been ruined by someone else, who has bullied, oppressed or persecuted him.” …this ‘someone else’ does not need to be a person…. In fact in the case of IMM… it is usually a group, an organization, an institution, or the whole society that are held responsible by the killer.

              I further argue that the frequency of IMM depends…first…on environmental conditions. As the degree of cooperation in the American society declined over the last four decades and the degree of intra-societal competition rose, increasingly large numbers of susceptible individuals were victimized, bullied, and oppressed, and a…fraction of them chose to become mass murderers to avenge such injustice.

              The fundamental forces underlying this environmental change have been two structural-demographic trends – widespread impoverishment and elite overproduction…. The first was correlated with the deterioration of working conditions, the second with the growing social pressures on the campus, which is why the two most common settings for shooting rampages are the workplace and the schoolyard.  Overall, as…cooperation within the society decreased, social competition, political polarization, the dog-eat-dog economic climate, and the general level of nastiness increased…

              ….let us consider alternative (explanations): Guns.  The evidence is overwhelmingly against this explanation…. the proportion of Americans who own guns has been steadily declining across the political spectrum…Since the trend in the firearms runs counter to the trend in the frequency of IMM, it does not help to explain why the latter have been increasing.  This doesn’t mean that the proposed measures of gun control will be ineffective in reducing IMMs. .. It won’t change the underlying environmental change that explains the motivations of potential rampagers, but it will surely reduce their ability to inflict damage on the society…

              (Mental disease is) one of the most common explanations for the increased incidence of IMM…    It actually explains nothing…If it could be shown that the number of mentally ill people increased in parallel with the frequency of IMM, that would indeed be a viable alternative explanation…But the curve of IMM incidence doesn’t show (this pattern…)

              Cramer (says) the homicide rate in the US declined during the 1990s (coinciding) with the so-called “incarceration revolution.” The implication…is that a lot of criminally insane were locked up and the result was decreasing murder rates. Fine, but the incidence of IMMs actually accelerated during the 1990s.  More generally the divergent trends between homicides and IMMs presents a serious difficulty to any alternative explanation. If IMMs are simply another type of homicide, why did the overall murder rate decline starting in the 1990s, while IMMs kept on trending up…?

              In historical data… homicide rates and political violence rates do not necessarily move in parallel. Whatever reasons caused the homicide rate to decline in the 1990s, the structural-demographic processes of popular immiseration and elite overproduction have continued to trend up, and so we expect that political violence should have also gone up (which it did)…

              I agree that the media coverage plays a role in the epidemic of IMM. However, this …is not an alternative hypothesis. In my analogy with a forest fire, structural-demographic conditions tell us whether there is enough flammable material, while cultural contagion mechanism explains how a spark that falls on the flammable material develops into a conflagration…Cultural mechanisms are particularly important in determining how forms of political protest and political violence are ritualized. …  So when a Tibetan monk wants to protest oppression and injustice he goes to a public place and sets himself on fire. When an Arabic youth wants to do the same she straps on a suicide belt, goes to a public place, and blows up herself and whoever is nearby. When an American wants to do the same, he arms himself to the teeth, goes to a public place, and murders as many people as he can shoot until he is killed by the police…



              • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

                15. A side trail…

                Traders, guns, and money: The effects of mass shootings on stock prices of firearm manufacturers in the U.S.

                Anandasivam Gopal#1,* and Brad N. Greenwood

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



                We investigate how mass shootings influence the stock price of firearms manufacturers. While it is well known that mass shootings lead to increased firearms sales, the response from financial markets is unclear. On one hand, given the observed short-term increase in demand, firearm stock prices may rise due to the unexpected financial windfall for the firm. On the other, mass shootings may result in calls for regulation of the industry, leading to divestment of firearms stocks in spite of short-term demand.

                We examine this tension using a market movement event study in the wake of 93 mass shootings in the U.S. between 2009 and 2013. Findings show that stock prices of firearm manufacturers decline after shootings; each event reducing prices between 22.4 and 49.5 basis points, per day. These losses are exacerbated by the presence of a handgun and the number of victims killed, but not affected by the presence of children or location of the event.

                Finally, we find that these effects are most prevalent in the period 2009–2010 but disappear in later events, indicating that markets appear to have accepted mass shootings as the “new normal.”

                • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

                  17. here's something from the heritage foundation which interests me mainly

                  because I can add it to my pile of evidence that the parties are morphing (e.g. dems party of finance capital, pubs making attempts to address race, economics — alongside their traditional allegiance to capital)

                  3 Common Traits of School Shooters

                  Tackling the Root Problems

                  Real solutions to problems start with facts, and the fact is that school shooters often share the same traits—traits that are not connected to or related to guns.

                  If we are going to get serious about school safety, we must soberly acknowledge the fact that mental illness, broken families, and economic insecurity all play a role in many, if not most, school shootings.

                  Addressing those societal ills, with proven strategies, will help reduce not only school shootings, but other violent acts by at-risk youth.


                  • Coldmountaintrail (9789 posts)

                    18. Socioeconomic factors and mass shootings in the United States


                    This study explores whether population-level measures of income inequality and poverty rates are associated with mass shootings in the United States. We test these potential connections by examining the incidence rate of mass shootings using random effects negative binomial regressions for a panel data-set that included 3144 counties for the years 1990–2015.

                    According to the adjusted models, income inequality is significantly associated with the three or more victim-related injuries (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11, 1.67; P < .001) and four or more victim-related deaths definition of mass shootings (IRR = 1.36; 95% CI = 1.08, 1.64; P < .01).

                    However, poverty rates lack a reliable association with the three or more injuries (IRR = 1.07; 95% CI = .75, 1.39) and four or more deaths definition (IRR = .95; 95% CI = .71, 1.19).

                    When considered in conjunction with the literature on inequality and crime, these results indicate that counties with high inequality may foster an environment of anger and resentment that ultimately leads to mass shootings.


                    • Ohio Barbarian (13443 posts)

                      21. Fascinating.

                      No man ought to stay poor so another man can get rich. --Newton Knight
                    • D504 (323 posts)

                      25. I think Bernie has already suggested…

                      that the economy plays a huge role in these shootings.

                      Also, seems that ‘someone’ is attempting to change

                      the National Party Line w/respect to 2nd amendment.

                      Look back to how public attitudes changed drastically

                      when MADD started off about alcohol and the authorities

                      saw all the $$$ in store.

                      Same with drugs, commies, et.al.

                      Heritage.org is responsible for much of this as they are controlling

                      much of what’s happening in the world.

                      "If you push something hard enough, it will fall over." -  Fud's First law
                      • jwirr (5464 posts)

                        30. When I was working as a social worker we were warned that when the economy

                        got into trouble we could expect to have more family abuse cases because of the stress. IF true in this case then it can be as true in mass killings.

              • sorechasm (219 posts)

                44. Good article. Sheds a little light on dark dark crisis.

                Especially the impact of perceived bullies upon such shooters.

                Thank you Coldmountaintrail.

                It is not just another type of crime, but a form of political violence. More precisely, suicide terrorism. It is not motiveless. But the motive is not to kill a specific person, or persons, but to strike at a social group, at an institution, or at the society as a whole. ‘In-discriminant’ is the key word coding for the Principle of Social Substitution.

        • Tuesday (716 posts)

          24. Hi Peace Patriot – conspiracy analyst here.

          I used to post here regularly but then “conspiracy theory” got put in the “creative speculation” basement and discouraged so…I found other places where the discussion was more free.

          That said – QAnon has talked a number of times about how these shooting happen at times when the Deep State wants a distraction to change the conversation. It’s good to note WHEN these shootings happen, what’s going on in the national conversation and who benefits from the distraction. The Q team also discusses how many of the shooters are MKUltra victims and encourages us to look at their history: military, mental health, family? Often family has some connection to the Deep State as well. QAnon asks: Who are their therapists? but good luck getting that info.

          Always love your posts. Keep questioning!

    • Ohio Barbarian (13443 posts)

      12. JPR at its best. Great original piece and an enlightening discussion.

      No man ought to stay poor so another man can get rich. --Newton Knight
      • Aerows (4988 posts)

        20. Indeed it is!

        What can we do to stop the senseless loss of life?

          Root: If we're just information, just noise in the system, we might as well be a symphony.
        • Ohio Barbarian (13443 posts)

          22. Several things, but none can be done without a total change

          in governmental philosophy. Recognize health care, including mental health care, as a right and build mental hospitals again. There really are a lot of people out there who should not be on the streets in their current conditions. Stop imperial wars overseas that return really screwed up people who are trained too kill. Reduce inequality of wealth and with it the inevitable fear, envy, and hatred that can generate.

          And finally, do something about the gods-damned guns themselves. Right to bear arms of mass destruction. How idiotic!

          No man ought to stay poor so another man can get rich. --Newton Knight
    • Deadpool (17658 posts)
      Computer Janitor

      23. On the Daily Radical!


    • vattel (2642 posts)

      27. troubled people with deadly weapons. No need to speculate about secret

      government programs.

    • tonyl (1071 posts)

      28. I believe that there is no definitive reason but rather a culture ..

      and guns are definitely part of the culture but, just as importantly; a lack of sufficient respect for life – all of life!! which is why I think changing this is the work of generations, unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a single individual in the US with the VISION to initiate this.


      Because you cant have integrity occasionally
    • Hobbit709 (4954 posts)

      31. He evidenced problems before he went into the Marines.


      I won't shut up and I don't waste my time teaching pigs to sing
    • Tierra y Libertad (3326 posts)

      37. It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished

      It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.


      But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing. Thomas Paine