Mass shootings more of a psychological issue?

Because of the hundreds of mass shootings happening in the United States maybe it is time we looked at this from a psychological angle.

By Uri Vaknin, Staff Writer

In recent years, the nation has seen random mass shootings throughout the country and it is, unfortunately, showing no signs of stopping.

With the recent shooting in Thousand Oaks and the countless others that preceded it, there is much debate as to what should be done regarding this issue.

There is talk of stricter gun laws and more thorough background checks, but what is the reason that this problem is so prevalent and reoccurring in this country and no other? What is it about the way our American society functions that results in these growing anomalies to snap and hurt other people?

Dr. James Knoll, a leading forensic psychiatrist with an expertise in mass murderers, describes how the perpetrators are usually young males who have already had a long-standing fascination with weapons and firearms. These individuals also tend to share similar psychological issues which manifest into violent hatred.

These perpetrators held intense grudges against either real or falsely perceived personal transgressions and spend prolonged periods of time dwelling in their pains. They tend to develop a highly paranoid outlook on the world feeling separated and isolated from it.

While others enjoy the pleasures of everyday life, the individual feels incapable of doing so and in turn build resentment towards others for it. They resort to violent and vengeful fantasies in response to their seemingly unattainable desires, whatever they may be, and then find a dangerously skewed sense of power in public retribution due to their sense of entitlement.

The individual would then proceed to kill others for their inability to recognize or satisfy their needs. The now mass murderer usually expects death at the end of their rampage, either at their own hands or by police.

Some motives can vary whether they are politically or racially driven, or whether it’s due to a genuine mental illness like schizophrenia, but many of them share the same disconnected resentment towards society at large.

The issue does require some attention as its frequency is showing no signs of slowing down, with over hundreds of mass shootings happening yearly throughout the country. It is, unfortunately, becoming a norm, and perhaps understanding their motives can help narrow down possible solutions.

There is a lot of discussion on stricter gun control laws with background checks that require mental health examinations as well as raising the legal age to possess one given how young many of the shooters are.

However, it is possible that these methods might not have much of an impact as the would-be shooters can resort to illegal purchasing of the weapons they’re after.

Shifting the focus on mental healthcare treatments, especially in troubled youths, may remedy this issue to an extent. It could help prevent at least one kid from heading down that dark path and adding another atrocity to the already long list we have.