Author Topic: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"  (Read 2364 times)

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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"How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« on: June 12, 2014, 04:50:00 am »
I don't know how I feel about Mark Manson, as generally speaking I don't think much of people who write for Thought Catalog and I feel like his social theory is still pretty undeveloped, but this was an interesting article: http://markmanson.net/school-shootings

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In 1998, a high school junior named Eric Harris from Colorado wanted to put on a performance, something for the world to remember him by. A little more than a year later, Eric and his best friend Dylan Klebold would place bombs all over their school — bombs large enough to collapse large chunks of the building and to kill the majority of the 2,000 students inside — and then wait outside with semi-automatic weapons to gun down any survivors before ending their own lives.

“It’ll be like the LA riots, the Oklahoma bombing, WWII, Vietnam, Duke and Doom all mixed together,” Eric wrote in his journal. “Maybe we will even start a little rebellion or revolution to fuck things up as much as we can. I want to leave a lasting impression on the world.”

Eric was a psychopath, but he was also smart.

Reminded me of some thoughts I was having about bullying, and how in some cases it can be a warning sign that there is something amiss with the reported victim of the bullying.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Pæs

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 04:58:32 am »
That is an interesting article.

Junkenstein

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2014, 09:13:59 am »
Indeed it is, the links drawn between terrorism and the portrayal of mass shooters seems fairly accurate.

However.

There's something about this guy that seems off.

http://markmanson.net/books/models

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And since reading it, I’ve also landed numerous phone numbers and have a date this Wednesday. I actually enjoy telling girls straight up, “I’d like your phone number,” and so far I haven’t had a negative rejection either. A few with boyfriends or fiancees, but stuff like that is rolling off me. That doesn’t even touch on the increase in my fashionability, my rekindled exercise–you were right, Yoga classes have a LOT of in-shape ladies–and a willingness to explore and try new things.

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I’ve been involved with seduction since 2006 and I’ve consumed a lot dating products. Many try to make their readers into “pickup artists” – today I gag at the term.

But you don’t do that. I like how spend so much time in the book reinforcing the fact that we are good human beings at our core and it’s a matter of presenting ourselves honestly, without apology to everyone we encounter. And you give the reader the tools to strip away all the disguises that other seduction gurus have said we need to wear at all times.

To me, this looks and sounds exactly like the kind of shit I was referring to in QG's Rape culture thread.
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

The Invisible Man

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2014, 02:11:41 pm »
Reminded me of some thoughts I was having about bullying, and how in some cases it can be a warning sign that there is something amiss with the reported victim of the bullying.

Could you expand on this a bit?

Cain

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2014, 02:18:11 pm »
There's some decent points in there, but I also feel he's trying too hard to engage in reductionist claims about the complex causes of what makes someone a killer.  Funnily enough, it's not the comparison with terrorism that bothers me, I find that to be actually somewhat apt even if I think there are crucial differences he is ignoring (terrorists are, by and large, not mentally ill.  School shooters, by contrast, largely are), but this paragraph bothered me:

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But this “witch hunt” we go through every time a school shooting happens is a total ruse. Elliot Rodger didn’t become a killer because he was a misogynist; he became a misogynist because he was a killer. Just like Eric Harris didn’t become a killer because he loved violent video games; he loved violent video games because he was a killer. Just like Adam Lanza didn’t become a killer because he loved guns; he loved guns because he was a killer.

So everything that is wrong with school shooters is that they are killers?  Well fan-fucking-tastic, we've reached the crux of the problem.  That's the kind of reductionistic thinking that really bothers me, because when you take it beyond a certain point, you're just writing down tautologies.

LMNO

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2014, 02:24:59 pm »
"Killers kill."  May have have a heap of grant money, now?

Cain

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2014, 02:27:07 pm »
I hereby dub thee a Senior Research Fellow of the Research Department for the Institute of Tautological Research Studies (Research Institute).

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2014, 02:41:39 pm »
Husband and I were having this discussion yesterday. Anyone who wants to kill, is going to do it. Bottomline. No gun safe is going to stop a teenager with a vendetta and enough common sense to steal their parents' keys to the safe. No "bulletproof blanket" is going to stop a really psychotic person from finding their targets and going around the necessary means of protection anyway, and giving teachers the right to carry at work could end even worse if their assumptions are wrong, and they are jumpy...because shit happens, but we shouldn't eliminate the idea entirely. What we SHOULD do is train teachers and school police to recognize behavior patterns associated with these types of individuals, just like they do in Israel. If red flags go up, take action immediately.

Yes, killers are gonna kill, but if we can figure out how they tick, we may be able to stop incidents before they occur. Granted, this isn't foolproof, a psychopath who's very good at being fucking crazy can probably hide certain behaviors.

But, you know, training people costs money. It's cheaper to ban guns or arm others to the teeth.
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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2014, 03:02:37 pm »
I just had a radical idea.
It has been known to happen that people are influenced by their direct surroundings.
School shootings tend to be done by people who go to school regularly, it is almost as if they are forced to be there.
It may just be that there is something about schools that triggers this behaviour in some people.
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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 04:17:03 pm »
I just had a radical idea.
It has been known to happen that people are influenced by their direct surroundings.
School shootings tend to be done by people who go to school regularly, it is almost as if they are forced to be there.
It may just be that there is something about schools that triggers this behaviour in some people.

Oh cool, so fuck education, then.
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Junkenstein

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 04:38:30 pm »
I'm pretty sure he's thinking about the schooling system rather than education in general. I've considered the same myself, I hated formal education with a passion and dread to think what I/others could/would have done as an idiot kids with access to guns and no real understanding of long term consequences.
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Cain

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2014, 04:45:00 pm »
True, but let's be honest, it was a crazy leap in logic.

You notice what else I noticed about all the school shooters?  They were at least half-white.  We must eliminate the white race in order to cure this menace.

*obligatory Bulworth quote here*

How about, instead of concentrating on characteristics the shooters also shared with tons of other people who never shot anybody, or concentrating on obvious factors that the shooters shared (ie; they killed people), we instead look at common factors among the shooters that are not shared with non-shooters?

Crazy, I know.

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2014, 04:49:26 pm »
But that sounds like work, and I need to upload this half-assed blog post now.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2014, 06:06:06 pm »
Reminded me of some thoughts I was having about bullying, and how in some cases it can be a warning sign that there is something amiss with the reported victim of the bullying.

Could you expand on this a bit?

Sure. I have a fairly long post about it around here somewhere, but I have no idea where so I'll try to recap. This is a really touchy arena because what I want to say could so easily be interpreted as victim-blaming, and that is not how it's intended at all.

When you have a kid who is being bullied by one or two or a small group of people who habitually bully other children as well, it is fairly obvious that the problem lies with the bullies. However, sometimes you have a situation where a kid is picked on, or rejected, by all of his peers for being "different". I think this kind of situation bears close examination, because our tendency in the current zero-tolerance atmosphere is to assume that the majority of the kids are being assholes, making life miserable for the poor different kid.

The majority of diagnosed psychopaths in prison report being bullied as children. Elliot Rodgers reported being bullied in childhood and in college.

Psychopaths have a pretty pervasive inability to take responsibility for their own actions; everything is someone else's fault, always. She made me kill her. He had it coming to him. I was just trying to be friendly and they jumped me. The story is often very, very different from the perspective of the other people involved.

Elliot Rodgers filed a report claiming that he was bullied at a party, picked on for no reason at all and pushed from a balcony when he was just minding his own business and trying to have a good time. He later admitted lying when witnesses told a very different story, about a belligerent Rodgers, angry that he wasn't getting attention, getting aggressive with a group of people who were laughing and talking. Rodgers ultimately jumped from the balcony in a rage, breaking his ankle. But it wasn't his fault; they made him do it. They weren't talking to him or paying attention to him, like he deserved.

I think it's possible that a situation where a child is routinely bullied/beaten up/excluded not just by a group of peers, but by most or all of his peers, might be an opportunity for evaluation and intervention. Nobody really knows what to do with children who have oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder -- the labels given to children who exhibit behaviors linked to psychopathy in adults -- but early intervention could help improve the outcome for them and the people around them.

This is also relevant to the 12-year-old girls who tried to murder their friend. Children at that age are not diagnosed with psychopathy, but that is very much an example of the kind of thing that happens when two conduct-disordered children find each other. The problem then becomes not "how do we punish them?" but "how can we keep them out of circulation?". Kids who commit premeditated murder (as opposed to the "got involved in something that got out of control" kind of murders) at an early age almost invariably kill as adults as well, if they make it that far, so while trying them as adults seems Draconian and unethical, it may be the best bet to keep them out of circulation.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Cain

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Re: "How We All Miss the Point on School Shootings"
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2014, 08:49:45 pm »
Makes sense.  The cries of bullying could be real...or they could be a pathological need to be the victim, either out of a sense of generalised superiority or as a more cynical manipulation of the sentiments of others.