With the recent trend of senseless massacres in the U.S. (seven in the past month according to AP), the MSNBC headline reads “Experts: Many motives drive mass murder.”
Mass murderers are as different as their killing field — be it a nursing home or a suburban home — and as diverse as their reasons for killing — whether it’s spousal betrayal or the loss of a job.
But experts say most people who embark on such wholesale slaughter share certain key characteristics: A catastrophic event that triggers a suicidal rage and an unquenchable thirst to get even.
And there is often no way to see it coming.
The article would have you believe anyone — anyone at all — is capable of these horrific crimes. Kind of makes you eye that neighbor a little differently.
Meanwhile at The Stranger, Charles Mudede is actually making sense.
What is missing in each of these reports of recent killings is as any mention of mental illness. What’s the meaning of this hole in the reporting? Why is mental illness something that is unspeakable or is transmuted into its opposite: a man just dealing with unemployment, a man just dealing with infidelity, a man just dealing with the current economic crisis? Meaning, these killers were only dealing with normal problems and nothing else. As a consequence, there is no real difference between the killers and any other person in society. Why this insistence on normality and this resistance to causes that might be medical or biological?