Jeff Dorris

Deliberations from Dorris

Jeff Dorris is the Editor of the Delta Dunklin Democrat


Origin of a mass shooter

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas have once again triggered heated debates and division regarding racism and gun control.

Both of these subjects would fill a column or two and I thought about writing on one of these topics.

However, I stumbled across a fascinating study conducted by the research department of the Department of Justice and thought I would share their findings with you.

They studied the life histories of mass shooters in the United States.

They built a database dating back to 1966 of every mass shooter who shot and killed four or more people in a public place, and every shooting incident at schools, workplaces, and places of worship since 1999.

That data revealed four common factors among the perpetrators.

First, the vast majority of mass shooters experienced trauma and exposure to violence at a young age.

These traumas included parental suicide, physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, and severe bullying. These traumas contributed to mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, and thought disorders.

Second, practically every mass shooter had reached an identifiable crisis point in the weeks or months leading up to the shooting. These included a change in job status or loss of a relationship.

Third, most of the shooters had studied the actions of other shooters and sought validation for their motives.

Fourth, the shooters all had the means to carry out their plans. In 80 percent of school shootings, perpetrators got their weapons from family members. Workplace shooters tended to use handguns they legally owned. Other public shooters were more likely to acquire them illegally.

It all boils down to some very disturbed individuals.

This also means that we should be more proactive at looking for signs.

Prevention should start with schools, colleges, churches, and employers.

School counselors and social workers, as well as employee wellness programs could help to prevent mass shootings.

It will definitely help promote public awareness.

Iím thankful for all our school counselors, youth ministers, and therapists.

A man armed with 100 rounds of ammunition was stopped this week at a Springfield, Missouri Walmart.

Itís getting closer to home.

We must be vigilant and be aware of the data compiled in this study to spot these commonalities in mass shooters.

See you out there.

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