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H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
Wed Feb 15, 2023, 10:34 PM Feb 2023

A Soft Parade

" Can you give me sanctuary
I must find a place to hide
A place for me to hide." -- Jim Morrison; The Soft Parade


In the early morning hours, I heard a newsman from Michigan say, "It can be said tha 'all school shootings are local'." An appropriate Tip of the hat to the late Speaker O'Neill, I suppose. Several students at the university had attended Oxford high school when there was the mass shooting there on November 30, 2021.

Other university students spoke to the media hours later, about running and looking for a place to hide while the gunman was shooting people. The descriptions of events was bizarre, almost impossible to imagine, far beyond Jim's walk along Sunset Boulevard. A soft parade that displays all that went wrong in the country I once knew.

This mass shooting was both like and distinct from the others that take place in centers of education. With some seventy-plus mass shootings thus far in 2023, it is no surprise that there are variations in the explosive, deadly hatred that wounds and kills innocent human beings on a daily basis. Let's look at two differences.

This murderer was about twice the age of the usual school shooter. He was not white. More, the legal system might have prevented him from legally being able to buy a gun, had he been properly prosecuted in 2019 for illegally carrying one. Despite his previous record, which showed he had no regard for the law, he got a plea deal for a reduced charge that did not prevent him from legally buying a gun. It is not enough to say he might still have gotten one illegally -- gun laws need to be firmly enforced.

How is he similar to other mass shooters? I've read where people say he should have been treated for mental illness before, even one comment blaming his father for not getting him "help" before. Thus far, I have heard nothing that suggests he had a major mental illness. I've heard that he had a job up until his mothe died two years ago. From what his father and sister are reported to have said, he had tended to be socially isolated up until his mother's death -- with her being the closest to him -- and became a hostile recluse after she died.

This would appear to put him in the same grouping as most school shooters ..... not mentally ill, but with severe personality disorders. Serious mental illnesses can surface after the loss of a loved one, but that is generally in one's teens or early twenties. They do not tend to appear in a male's 40s. More, personality disorders tend to become entrenched in the teens through early twenties -- by no coincidence, in the very years that the human brain has its final growth -- and become far harder to treat thereafter.

I am all for expanding the current gun laws. I live in rural, upstate New York, where there are far more republicans than Democrats. Most of the men that live near me hunt, and love their guns. In fact, most have been divorced at least once, but have never parted with one of their weapons, which I think illustrates their priorities. Most parrot some NRA lines. Yet, when I aask them if the favor keeping guns out of the hands of, say, school shooters, they all agree this is necessary. Thus, I think we need a focused message to counter the gun lobby.

Also, the current gun laws have to be expanded, and firmly enforced. Mass shootings aren't the only issue; on an average day, one hundred people are killed by someone with a gun. While in rare examples a person with a gun stops an attack by a gunman, the problem does not appear to be one of too few guns. There are currently 120 guns per one hundred Americans, which suggests that gun owners don't need to worry about them being taken away. Close to 90% of Americans support reasonable regulation of guns.

At the same time, we need to recognize that extreme personality pathology does not respond well to treatment after a person is 40 years old. In fact, it can be very difficult by the time one is in their later teens. This is especially true when society places the majority of the responsibility on schools, or expects police alone to deal with it. Add to that the reality of multi-generational families lacking both resources and parenting skills. We have to recognize, for example, the impact that having addiction and violence in a household has. Putting one or more parents behind bars may resolve one problem, no matter how temporary, but it frequently plants the seeds of future problems.

This country is experiencing a crisis that involves guns. It is overwhelmingly a male problem. And mass shootings associated with schools is overwhelmingly a young white male problem. I know that many people, especially republicans, do not want to fund programs for "those people." I've heard them say that for decades. But perhaps they can come to understand that as a society, we owe it to those others in school or college. And it is essential to start early, or we risk more 6 year olds bringing a gun to school, and many more white male teenagers.

19 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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A Soft Parade (Original Post) H2O Man Feb 2023 OP
What race was he. He looked white from the photo. brush Feb 2023 #1
Not white from any H2O Man Feb 2023 #3
There are photos of him on H2O Man Feb 2023 #4
he was black Celerity Feb 2023 #8
Yes, I googled it. I first saw the first, unclear photo with the hood. brush Feb 2023 #9
I agree, how can we call ourselves a civilized society Walleye Feb 2023 #2
You know, H2O Man Feb 2023 #5
Kicking this for visibility Hekate Feb 2023 #6
Thanks! H2O Man Feb 2023 #7
...K&R... spanone Feb 2023 #10
Thank you! H2O Man Feb 2023 #11
K&R for visibility. crickets Feb 2023 #12
Thank you! H2O Man Feb 2023 #13
his dad spoke about the shooter (43 yrs old) as if he was a child .. "daddy is here for you". BlueWaveNeverEnd Feb 2023 #14
Right. H2O Man Feb 2023 #17
Excellent read as always malaise Feb 2023 #15
Thank you! H2O Man Feb 2023 #18
K&R Roisin Ni Fiachra Feb 2023 #16
Thanks! H2O Man Feb 2023 #19

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
4. There are photos of him on
Wed Feb 15, 2023, 10:46 PM
Feb 2023

google images. (I will not write, say, or think about his name, or post his image. Not to be rude, especially to you. But in honor of Yoko Ono's saying we should not do so.)

Walleye

(31,440 posts)
2. I agree, how can we call ourselves a civilized society
Wed Feb 15, 2023, 10:41 PM
Feb 2023

When people openly walk around brandishing powerful lethal weapons, and say they need to because they fear for their lives. I can only assume that Republicans don’t want to live in a civilized society

H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
5. You know,
Wed Feb 15, 2023, 10:49 PM
Feb 2023

I have to agree that, at least, many republicans consciously advocate for an uncivilized society. Odd how so many of them get elected at all levels of government. At the same time, I think that more than a few act unconsciously, based upon fears.

BlueWaveNeverEnd

(8,484 posts)
14. his dad spoke about the shooter (43 yrs old) as if he was a child .. "daddy is here for you".
Thu Feb 16, 2023, 01:55 AM
Feb 2023

are something to that effect. that and his unusually dependent relationship with mom .. doesn't necessarily signal impending violence.


H2O Man

(73,993 posts)
17. Right.
Thu Feb 16, 2023, 12:43 PM
Feb 2023

I heard -- but do not have any confirmation -- that the father had lied to police when they were doing a previous investigation regarding the son shooting his gun out of a window. Either way, you make an important point about family dynamics. Relatively few people know how to deal with a family member who exhibits warning signs when it comes to severe personality disorders. This is because, such as in this case, they have adjusted to that family member's pathology.

I have always liked the model of a mobile hanging over an infant's crib for family systems. Genetics + environment = the individual pieces, much as yellow + blue = green. Thus, personality disorders begin early in life, as the means the individual gets their needs met. When, as in this case, the individual's behavior becomes more severe,the other pieces on the mobile adjust, to maintain the family system's balance. It is thus very difficult for one piece to say, "Hey! This isn't okay!" In such an environment, as we see here, things will not get better, but only worse.

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