Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Rob Morse: What We Know About the Next Mass Murder

We can not identify the next public murderer. We do not know his name or where he lives. Despite the unknown details, there are clear trends from past events. We do know that he is probably not a trained terrorist, but an individual who lashed out with this one violent act. The most important fact is that we know there will be another public mass murder. We also know there are actions we can take now that will reduce the damage to come. This is what is likely to happen.

Who is the murderer?
Like his predecessors, the next mass murderer will have a history of mental illness. He will not be flagged as a mental health risk to himself or others despite that history. The murderer will have either failed repeatedly as a student or have been fired by several employers depending on the murderer’s age and the onset of mental health problems. The murderer will also have broken relationships with his family and friends. Some will be his fault, and some of the broken relationships will be due to unfortunate circumstances.

In his mind, these slights justify the murder of innocents. The murderer will probably play violent video games as he substitutes an online fantasy where he can succeed for the literal reality where he fails. These game become an outlet for his anger.

How will the murderer attack his victims?
The murderer may plan his attack for years before he acts. The murderer will use a mechanical device to gain an advantage in the attack. The tool may be a knife, a car, a bomb or a gun. The murderer will scout and analyse the location where he plans to attack his victims. The murderer will pass a background check if he buys a firearm. The murderer will probably attack innocent victims in a so called “gun-free zone” where honest citizens are disarmed.

What will happen during the attack?
If armed civilians are present, then the murderer will kill 2 to 3 people before he is stopped. The murderer will kill 14 to 15 people if the murderer can kill freely until the police arrive. The murderer will not get into a protracted gun battle with armed guardians. He will take his own life or surrender.

How will the media react?
Initially, the media will speculate wildly as to the murderer’s motive and method. The media may even mis-identify the murderer and the murder weapon. The media will eventually identify the murderer by name. They will turn the murderer into a celebrity as they repeat his name and show his face hour after hour.. for day after day. That is the all-important payoff for most mass murderers.

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