Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Who is to Blame for the Virginia Tech Massacre?

It has been interesting in the wake of the Virginia Tech mass murder to see the reactions of the public to the incident. Much raw emotion is coming out and people, including myself, feel very strongly about one issue or the other. In doing television appearances concerning this horrible event, I get the inevitable hate mail and phone calls along with, thankfully, many more positive responses. What gets people really upset (other than the fact thirty-two innocent students and teachers have been murdered in cold blood? Let’s take a look at what is riling people up. Blame, or shall I say, who is to blame for the massacre.

There are those who become angry that blame is placed anywhere but on the shooter. These folks believe that nothing in society could have prevented or stopped the killer and, therefore, we should simply look at the situation as the sad result of a deranged individual who has done a horrible deed. We should call the killer evil (or mentally ill) and mourn the dead. We either hate the evildoer and blame him for everything or we feel sorry for the mentally deranged man along with the victims.

I find this a bit too simplistic and rather frightening, especially when we see a rise in the trend of school shootings, violence among our youth, and predators. If each time something like this happens and we just shrug our shoulders and say, “It couldn’t be helped” we are doing nothing to make the future of our citizens safer.

The reality is that various aspects of society can indeed be blamed for the creation of psychopaths and the crimes they commit. Family and societal problems such as broken homes, excessive violent imagery as a staple of youth’s lives, a gun culture which glorifies and internalizes the use of firearms as both an entertainment and a method of retaliation, a high level disrespectful behavior in our schools, parents who leave their children unsupervised and to their own devices, a lack of positive inputs into youths’ lives, irresponsible gun ownership, lack of public safety laws and security, a weak criminal justice system – these are many of the issues that lead to the development of violent psychopaths and allow them to carry out horrific crimes.

It is a complicated and difficult problem but one which we continually ignore as a society, pretending that pornography, violent media and gaming, poor parenting, and out-of-control school environments are not compromising our youth. It isn’t that this Virginia Tech killer isn’t a horrible creep that should be blamed for the deaths of these poor victims, but that as a society we need to wake up and realize we are to a good extent part of the problem as to why mass murderers, pedophiles, and predators have become such a nightmare in our country and are becoming an increasing problem in other countries as well.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Anonymous said...

you disgust me!!

Anonymous said...

Your analysis of why we are witnessing so many of these crimes of depravity is persuasive. I doubt we will every break the chains of this social conditioning, instead all of us will drown in the suffocating tidal wave of treacle that has supplanted judgment, discernment, justice and allow our decent shame and outrage to be silted over with layers of rationalizations, we'll buy lame excuses rather than insist on accountability. We'll allow ourselves to be placated and soothed, settle for ritualistic gestures in the direction of reform. The astonishing truth is that we would rather be comfortable and conforming than free. We'll find it easier to let "authorities" handle the tasks that self-restraint used to make unnecessary. Our dystopian future will be a hybrid nightmare, part 1984 and in larger degree, Brave New World. Soma, brain candy, peacefulness of contented bovines.

Ronni said...

Anonymous #1, I don't know why you bother!

Anonymous #2, I fear you are right, but hope you are not.

Here's my take. I think we spend too much time convincing our kids that they are special, born to greatness, a cut above the norm--in short, entitled to have their own way. We no longer have values and ethics, we have political correctness. Nobody is willing to smack little Johnnie and tell him, "NO!" It's too much, "No, no, Johnnie...that's not acceptable. You don't want to upset Mommie, do you?"

So little Johnnie grows up to think that life should go his way. After all, it always has. When he is thwarted, he takes it personally. If kids in the third grade don't like him, Mommie tells him, "Oh, don't pay any attention to them. They're just jealous of you because you're smarter than they are." If the teacher says he needs to rewrite the book report, Mommie buys him the Cliff's Notes.

When he's in college, and his English teacher says his work is garbage, he is so unprepared for the criticism that it sends him off the deep end. And if his girlfriend wants to dump him, as well--that's just adding insult to injury.

All could be prevented if somebody was willing to socialize the little darling when it would have done some good.

I'm not trying to blame Mommie--she thinks she is doing the right thing. After all, spanking is Child Abuse, isn't it?

What the hell has happened to Common Sense?

Ronni said...

Well, heck! I dropped in to say that I saw you on TV earlier, and thought your analysis was good, for what you could fit in a soundbyte!

I got distracted by anonymi.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms Brown,

A key quesion is: "What causes the irate reaction to YOU?? What is the essence of the liberal, permissive who becomes the appeaser??

also: What is the cause of compassion? this of course is the antithesis of cruelty, BUT not the same as permissiveness/appeasement. A limit-setting compassionate person is our ideal citizen, but how is this personality encouraged/created? And, they better learn self-defense and/or carry a legal gun so that they CAN assert limits.

thanks for your courage in facing the hate of those who cannot (fear) opposing evil-doers.

Dr. Richard