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View Diary: Race, Class, Violence and Denial: Mass Murder and the Pathologies of Privilege (23 comments)

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  •  "senseless" shootings... (7+ / 0-)

    Poor people shooting each other over economic issues (gangs trying to control turf that makes them money, or supply lines) or political/religious issues (routine violence in Israel, Afghanistan etc) is something that makes sense to most people.

    So do the so-called "crimes of passion" - up to and including small scale massacres where somebody, usually a male, kills several people close to him and then kills himself - are also understandable to most people.

    I don't know why it surprises anyone that it happens in middle-class communities.  I have a hard time seeing why it would occur elsewhere, unless it was tied to a political or religious objective.

    Sustaining the rage long enough to plan and execute an extended murder spree (the first I remember was a McDonalds in 1984) seems to require somebody who has more privilege than your typical low income, low status gun toting thug.

    Partly because on the scale of things all those fancy guns are moderately expensive, too much so for your typical working class or poor individual.

    But partly because people who are trying to just eat, have shelter, etc are usually too busy trying to survive to plot elaborate massacre schemes.  

    It seems to take somebody who feels he's entitled to success, combined with a certain amount of wealth (enough for free time and accumulation of weapons) to result in one of these massacres.    These people never seem to have any family other than parents/siblings either - perhaps the pattern for a similarly disturbed individual is to do the depressingly common "shot wife and kids then self" route if he has a family he formed himself.

    It seems to be more tied to being at the top of the privilege ladder in the society, combined with not being actually successful in life to lead to these things.   If that correlation is actually causation, it would explain why you don't really see many female, nonwhite or non-middle-class spree murderers.  (there are a few, but they're pretty rare, and their numbers have not been as spectacular in how many they kill.  They tend to be more of the "kill family and self" than "go to public place and shoot it up" types)

    •  Greblos: first one I remember is '66, UT Tower (4+ / 0-)

      gunman Charles Whitman held off the world for several hours, shooting down into the streets / campus.
      On autopsy he was found to have a brain tumor.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:57:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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