Mass murderer - a disgruntled, angry psychopath or borderline personality disordered individual who hates everyone in the world and picks a group to target that a) justifies his crime, b) is a fishbowl he feels comfortable committing the crime in, and c) gets a lot of media publicity for himself.
Terrorist - a disgruntled, angry psychopath or borderline personality disordered individual who is a) in the employ of a terrorist organization who selects the target for political reasons and the impact of the terrorist attack on the political issue, b) is sent on an assignment to kill, and c) gets a lot of media publicity for the cause.
Mislabeling mass murderers as terrorists encourages misdirected animosity between groups of people when the anger should be only targeted toward the individual and the development of psychopathy in society.
Examples of mass murder:
Oklahoma City - mass murderers
Columbine - mass murderers
Virginia Tech - mass murderer
Fort Hood - mass murderer
Norway - mass murderer
Aurora, Colorado - mass murderer
Wisconsin Sikh temple - mass murderer
Examples of terrorism:
Ku Klux Klan - terrorism by Christian fanatics
9/11 - terrorism by Muslim fanatics
1985 bombing of Air India plane (Canada) - terrorism by Sikh fanatics
2007 Ajmer Dargah blast - terrorism believed to be enacted by Hindu fanatics
Let's put the proper label on the proper psychopath: it will help us not foment hatred for no reason and also help us understand what exact issues we should be focusing on to prevent future attacks. If we are dealing with mass murder, we need to focus on the development of psychopaths in middle class America and if we are dealing with terrorism we need to focus on where and why terrorists organizations are developing, how they are being funded, and how they are recruiting. For both types of killings, we need to know how to identify the individuals and their intent to kill before the crime is enacted and to develop the best methods to prevent and stop such killings.
Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
August 5, 2012