Monday, March 14, 2016


There is growing evidence that mass shootings, like suicide are "contagious." Backgrounds of mass murderers and their social media and data suggest that it is.  Perhaps we should be focusing on mental health and prevention, including predictive policing, rather than gun controls which effect law-abiding gun owners (e.g. confiscation of all assault rifles including those currently owned lawfully)
Millions of people are depressed, socially isolated or at their wit’s end. But only a minuscule portion of them commit rampages, which, depending on what definition is used, number anywhere from a handful to two dozen a year.
“It’s a big country,” Slutkin said. “Who knows who will pick it up or who won’t?”
Slutkin’s program, Cure Violence, employs “violence interrupters” in the United States and abroad who try to disrupt shootings and other acts of violence before they happen, stopping retaliations by mediating and diverting high-risk people to counseling, drug treatment or job opportunities. Local law enforcement agencies and the FBI are trying to do something similar for mass shootings.
The FBI opened the Behavioral Threat Assessment Center in 2010, using a multidisciplinary approach, including psychiatrists, to help identify and disrupt targeted violence. The center works with local law enforcement agencies following tips about suspicious behavior from families, friends and schools.
The center, working in coordination with other government agencies, has helped address hundreds of cases. FBI Deputy Assistant Director Timothy Slater said research is ongoing “to identify behaviors that might indicate that a person is heading toward committing targeted violence. We hope this will help educate people to see the warning signs.”
Others are looking to the news media for help, part of a new twist on an old idea."

1 comment:

  1. To some extent I blame the media for its "If it bleeds it leads" mentality for creating excitement among the readers in order to sell advertising.

    If the headline was merely in small print and along the lines of "Another nut-case did wrong", there would be less incentive for another nut-case to seek some moment of fame.