Mass Shootings and Madness

“Over and over again the “mental health issues” being described (outside of Loughner and his ilk) seem to be someone angry about their treatment by the outside world and having difficulty fitting in. Cho shot up Virginia Tech for precisely these reasons. I think the focus on mental health issues beats the hell out of another useless assault weapons ban, but treating these people as completely unreasonable and drastically different from the average person is a mistake I think. Violence is and always has been a trump card for the disenfranchised and powerless, giving them power and choice. Human being have been killing each other mercilessly for essentially all of our time on the planet, and everyone who has ever picked up an Xbox controller or shot zombies has touched on that part of us that fantasizes about rising above a crazy situation with violence It’s not that games and media make us violent, it’s that they reflect the violence inherent in life. We’ve made inroads on that, especially in the last hundred years or so, but I still think it’s a terrible idea to treat people like this as “mentally unstable”. It allows us to dismiss the issues as treatment and identification rather than systemic, and it’s entirely possible that there are still major adjustments that can be made in our social setting before we start treating people acting like humans have for ages as aberrations.

via Metallio comments on America’s Focus on Terrorism Blinds Us To Everyday Violence and Suffering.