New Insights into the Mind of the Mass Shooter

This writer has refrained and delayed entering into this subject for a number of years, though it has occupied my thoughts for a long time. Recently with the commencement of trials for recent adolescent mass shooters, I had decided with myself not to comment of these traumatic replays and upon this subject until later for humanistic reasons.

However, a recent news report caught my eye that I felt could open the subject on this blog without appearing to or inadvertently trading in the notoriety of these stories as is almost unavoidable in any media no matter how restrained the reporting. This report thankfully highlighted the clinical comments of a very well based veteran psychiatrist, Dr. Harold Schwartz of the Institute for Living in Hartford CT. His topic centered around his growing clinical hypothesis that social factors play an enormous role in the development, over time, in the teen and young adult mass shooter. I would heartily recommend the reader follow this link to WTNH televison’s report in Hartford/West Hartford CT for a fairly well done tv news segment on Dr. Schwartz’s recent speech on this topic. His interest is no accident as the Sandy Hook CT elementary school shooting of two years ago is in that area of Connecticut and the venerable well respected Institute of Living facility and teaching center is in that part of the state. Further this tv report site has a brief and concise but insightful quote from Dr. Schwartz that handily summarizes his clinical hypothesis that will make its point quickly to the viewer and I strongly recommend viewing the interview clip on that site.

I expect and hope that it will give the viewer a truly valuable piece of insight and perspective with which to take in the present and coming onslaught of media coverage we have been undergoing since the start of the Boston Marathon Bombing Tsarnarov case, and the two most recent mass shooter trials commencing this month in different parts of the country.

 

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A Mere Observer Like Me Can Only Hope

The last two days, the news has been debating and detailing the news from the Iran nuclear six nation negotiations that resulted in the framework agreement for a comprehensive deal on Friday. It was surprising and in a way a possible relief and way out of this growing crisis. I had had experience in the Middle East for several years on both sides of the conflict but spent the most time in Israel as a teen. I was very gung ho toward Judaism and Israel being raised a Catholic, and then Episcopalian. I have followed Israel and certain Arab countries in the Middle East and had been studying seriously long term and in real detail and true historical and political readings and research I think much more than the Average American ordinary citizen on the constant crises in the Middle East especially becoming more probtative in my reading during the times of the Infitada uprisings three decades more more ago. I had studied an unusual ongoing deep interest in radical anarchist and revolutionary groups in my college days not as an idealist naive American college student identifying with Che Guervara and all that popular goofy radical stuff but going into the history of the movement of anarchism in Europe in the last 1800’s, radical Americans such as Eugene V. Debs the Socialist, Emma Goldman, Mikhail Bakunnin and many others. This interest eventually took a parallel course as I charted the extremist revolutionary American student groups such as the S.D.S. and Weathermen. Where I attended college, that community was a national center and hotbed of ferment and many student radicals lived there, wrote seminal manifesto and declaration, The Port Huron Statement now largely forgotten. I heard many of the big names then in the late sixties and early seventies speak publicly and watched the radicalization and turning to violence that evolved and saw many parallels and in the true tradition of the eager geek intellectual naive college student of those days, wrote a senior honors thesis on parallels between anarchists and the emerging American and European radical violent student groups.

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