New theories of mass shooting: Exposure to Violent Properganda vs Access to Guns

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by tkdguy, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. tkdguy

    Portland, Oregon
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    San Bernardino shooting
    Crime profilers overhaul theories on motives after latest mass shootings

    Profilers work toward new understanding of what drives ‘mission-oriented maximum violence’ and how to stop it, as earlier theories fall out of favour

    People pray at a makeshift memorial set up near the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Photograph: Jae C Hong/AP
    Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles

    Thursday 10 December 2015 07.00 EST Last modified on Thursday 10 December 2015 11.41 EST


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    Criminal profilers and behavioural analysts struggling to understand the impulses that lead to mass shootings like last week’s carnage in San Bernardino are racing to update their prediction and prevention models as the problem evolves in new, previously unthinkable directions.

    A generation ago, mass shootings of this type were understood not as terrorism or a byproduct of out-of-control gun laws, but largely as a freak byproduct of mental or even physical illness. More recently, experts worried that saturation media coverage of random mass shootings was creating a copycat effect and emboldening perpetrators.

    Now, the general understanding is that the media no longer serves to inspire would-be mass murderers, because perpetrators already know they can achieve instant notoriety with a well-enough executed plan. Rather, coverage of mass shootings acts a bit like an ever-expanding instruction manual, offering ideas on tactical approaches, types of weaponry, choice of targets, and so on.

    The greater concern is the ready availability, via the internet, of extremist ideologies that speak directly to the perpetrators’ nihilistic desire to empower themselves through a cause larger than themselves. Experts, echoing the concern of policymakers from President Obama down, worry the ideologies themselves will spread and draw in more adherents as a result of the publicity attached to people carrying out mass slaughter in their name.

    “What’s changed,” the forensic psychiatrist Park Dietz, one of America’s foremost criminal profilers, told the Guardian, “is that whereas in the past we had individuals who counted on the news media to make them famous and punish the world, now we have individuals inspired by organizations that use the news media as a weapon to disseminate propaganda and fear.” Indeed, Dietz said, the anxiety felt by the general population in learning about these events is one of their most insidious effects.


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  2. balaperdida

    eastern idaho
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    "...extremist ideologies..." = islam

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