School Shootings – Can Potential Shooter Profiles be Identified?

January 8, 2013

In light of the recent shootings, in Newtown, Connecticut. New debates have been sparked on the idea of gun control and identification of potentially unstable individuals who could commit such crimes.

An article on Science Daily website, School Shootings: What We Know and What We Can Do, highlighted some recent research studying past events and tragedies to accumulate a profile of potential shooters and how these individuals can be identified ahead of time. The article uses research by Dr. Daniel J. Flannery on explaining how shooters demonstrate similar features such as depression, low self-esteem, narcissism and a fascination with death. However these key aspects and similarities across shootings are not strong enough to produce conclusive profiles which could allow for future prevention of such tragedies.

Other research has produced similar findings, Leary, Kowalski, Smith and Philips (2003) analysed multiple shootings between 1995 to 2001. They found that depression, low self-esteem and narcissism were all present in the individuals involved in the shootings. However they all also shared one more common attribute and that was social rejection. Social rejection alone cannot fully explain these acts of violence as most people navigate through life and at some stage are exposed to social rejection. However this social rejection coupled with psychological problems or a fascination with death may lead to acts of violence occurring.

Unfortunately research in this area is inconclusive and therefore specific attributes and characteristics have not been idenitifed to put in place preventative measures to reduce the chances of such tragedies occuring again.

– Stefano


Vive la difference!

August 20, 2012
Rumpole of the Bailey

Rumpole of the Bailey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was recently reflecting on how my spouse of many years sees life differently to me.  This has been very effective on many occasions, as she is far better at many things than I am.

This doesn’t mean that things don’t get somewhat testy at times.  For example, I do a lot of cooking – one of the few things I am good at.  I’ll clean the kitchen bench and then have to step back as my dear wife cleans it again – it seems that my ‘clean’ is not the same as hers.  I have ceased to query why – reminds me of the ‘Rumpole’ series where he refers (secretly) to his wife as ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’. But then that’s such a trivial view of life – the benefits of being with such a wonderful person far outweigh her little quirks, as I’m sure that she has to put up with the many more of mine.

So the article about a male contraceptive really caught my attention.  Not because of the great scientific work which has resulted in this breakthrough – although it really shows how advanced drug design and manufacture is getting.

The main aspect from my point of view is the human element of how males and females will behave when, and if this male contraceptive actually becomes a reality.  How will males react – will they see it as a loss of masculinity? Will they feel impotent (sic) or will they feel empowered?  Will it be something they can point to or draw upon to get more action in the sexual department?

This leads onto the next, and in my view the most important point – how will women react? Will they trust their partner to take the pill? Will they take their own contraceptive precautions because they can’t trust the male to do so? Will they stand behind their partner to ensure that he takes it? After all, the female will be the one to bear (sic) the consequences.

So really, for all the advances in science, the basic human relationshipsthat we make will still determine how we use much of this knowledge.  Emphasizes how important our senses, perceptions, emotions, thought processes and other aspects of being human are.  These

Goodbye 'Birth Control Glasses'

Goodbye ‘Birth Control Glasses’ (Photo credit: United States Marine Corps Official Page)

aspects should never be discounted but typically are.

So I’m waiting for the line the clever marketers will come up with when they advertise this product. Because they do take note of these aspects and leverage them every day!