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Forensic Psychologist Discusses Connecticut Killer on The View

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 22, 2012

This week popular talk show, The View, featured the story on the minds of many Americans; the massacre at the Connecticut school.  The View invited forensic psychologist Michael Welner to discuss the tragedy with specifics relating to why mass killings are seemingly on the rise, especially relating to young victims.  As shown in the videos linked below, The View, which usually takes a liberal bent, got more than a bargain for as Dr. Welner lectured them and the audience with a reality check on the subject.  He minced no words making the following comments and conclusions:

  • Becoming a killer like Adam Lanza is “the end point of a pathway.”  The carnage inflicted on the Connecticut families was not a random act of violence, but one resulting from a progression over time.
  • Tragedies resulting from killers like Lanza do not need to occur stating: “there are places we can intersect and intervene to make a difference.  It starts with someone who is fundamentally resentful and alienated and blames others.” In addition, “it progresses from there to someone who identifies with the idea of destruction as a matter of stature.”
  • While mass murderer has increased over the past two decades, guns and mental illness existed long before.
  • People who become killers are often withdrawn as children and blame others for their circumstances.
  • The media plays a role in problem creation as the 24 hour news make killers larger-than-life.  Other troubled individuals then identify with them.  In addition, the media often concludes that society failed these troubled individuals, which then leads them to conclude that society deserves their punishment.
  • The problem with mass killers is irrespective of mental illness.  It is a life’s choice, with an example being the mass killer in Norway.
  • Violent video games feed the addiction by rewarding players with points for maiming and killing.  Lanza’s use of multiple bullets for his victims is in keeping with the extreme violence of the games.  Children do not benefit in any way from violent video games and they need to be stopped.  This is a parental responsibility.

Finally, Dr. Welner concludes that it is a mistake to focus on guns and mental illness.  While a gun types may be a facilitator, mass homicides are social phenomena that will likely to get worse, but can be substantially reduced.  Parents must teach children at a young age to take personal responsibility and not blame others for failures.  In addition, children must be taught to be resilience and to come back from failure.  This is not in keeping with modern educational theories that attempts to reward all equally, even those with substandard results.

Since the Connecticut massacres the Country’s grief and anger has been profound.  However, these emotional responses should not get in the way of the Country’s needed reflection as to why the murders are increasing.



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