Dividers to the right, please.

Play the Mass Murderer Game

You suddenly learn someone you know killed a dozen people and then killed themselves. Now come up with the evidence that you knew all along they could do it. Do this for all the people you know fairly well.

It's surprisingly easy rationalize how someone turned into a mass murderer. The signs were there all along. That's also the problem the with guns.
Permalink son of parnas 
April 19th, 2007 9:06am
The ability of people to rationalize is a problem with guns, wha?

Or are you saying that anybody could go crazy and use a gun?  That's the problem with LIFE, you dumb bitch, not GUNS.
Permalink Send private email muppet 
April 19th, 2007 9:09am
> That's the problem with LIFE, you dumb bitch,

Interestingly, playing the game with you was the easiest.
Permalink son of parnas 
April 19th, 2007 9:12am
I'm not so sure it's a game when we're talking about muppet...
Permalink Send private email Philo 
April 19th, 2007 9:16am
As was mentioned before, "Hindsight is 20/20". 

But what that overlooks is that you are blind when it comes to "the path not taken".

So while you can CLEARLY identify all the steps where "mistakes were made", that doesn't necessarily show you exactly what could have been done that would have worked out better.

I'm sure, for every Cho that loses it, there's thousands who feel exactly the same way, but are able to NOT go around the bend.  We can't arrest them all, or damage their futures by locking them out of higher education.  In other words, it wasn't inevitable that Cho would lose it until he lost it.

On the other hand, we CAN make it a little more difficult for those that DO go around the bend to hurt people.  For instance, metal detectors.  And it MIGHT have been nice for somebody to have put a note somewhere that Cho should not have access to guns.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 19th, 2007 9:20am
And I wouldn't call it the "Mass Murder" game.  I'd call it the "Monday Morning Quarterback" game. 

Because I think the tendency is much more general.  It's just so irrisistable with Mass Murderers.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 19th, 2007 9:22am
> I'd call it the "Monday Morning Quarterback" game. 

That's why we don't let you make up games. What a boring game that would be!
Permalink son of parnas 
April 19th, 2007 9:26am
Sigh.  You're right.  I listen really well, but when it comes to talking, not so good.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 19th, 2007 9:39am
This is interesting: http://copycateffect.blogspot.com/2007/03/school-shooting-seasons.html -  The Copycat Effect

<quote>
Here is my prediction of what to expect in the next two months: There will be new school shootings with increased violent outcomes by "outsiders." Plots will be discovered, and students, especially girls and women, will be targets, victimized by adults using the vulnerable landscape of schools to work out their bloody and brutal homicidal-suicidal plans in a greater mirror of the scenarios of last fall.
</quote>

Being a copycat with a gun is simple. It's low skill and the path of least resistance. Otherwise it would simply be too much work.
Permalink son of parnas 
April 19th, 2007 9:41am
"For instance, metal detectors."

Abominous contraptions of anti-liberty.

"And it MIGHT have been nice for somebody to have put a note somewhere that Cho should not have access to guns."

Yes, might. The only problem I see with that is that if someone does start to slip, it is another factor that makes it seem like a bigger deal. You want people like that to seek counseling. I think somehow marking them or red flagging them could make them more evasive of attempts to help them.
Permalink JoC 
April 19th, 2007 9:48am
1.  Apparently, Cho was himself a copy-cat crime from Columbine.

2.  Cho was already avoiding help.  I would not like any "improvement" in safety to depend on voluntary actions of people like Cho.  It is a danger that knowing there's addtional "Red Flags" out there might increase a tendency to avoid help -- but that tendency to avoid help was already there.  I'd be willing to "increase the tendency to avoid help" IF it meant there'd be better protection for society should one of those 'avoiding help' go round the bend.

3.  Having said all that, I also don't want to put in place draconian policies that would affect thousands of people, merely to prevent one Cho.  We're not that prescient, except in hindsight.  I'd like to make it more difficult to get weapons to go 'round the bend' with, and reduce the damage should somebody go 'round the bend'.

But arresting somebody before they actually commit a crime "because they might", or keeping them from college "because they might", are both draconian policies which would damage more lives than Cho ever could.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
April 19th, 2007 10:01am
sop, you forgot the date of the blog piece you quoted: March 28, 2007.

I was just going to say that his books on the subject seemed interesting, but then I checked what else he has written, and it seems his other area of expertise is cryptozoology.

Nothing wrong with that as such, but I can't help thinking it does seem to distract from his credibility.
Permalink ipmal 
April 19th, 2007 10:32am
> distract from his credibility.

Why? The correct degree makes you credible? Sounds like argument from authority to me.
Permalink son of parnas 
April 19th, 2007 10:38am
That guy's prediction sounds startlingly similar to astrology predictions -- overly vague, and apply to ongoing events.

Not to mention that he seemed to zero in on there being repeats of the Amish school shooter situation -- some pathetic adult going and terrorizing a school to rage at the world. In this case the "outsider" went to the University, and he was shooting his peers, and he didn't zero in on women -- he seemed to be an equal opportunity killer.
Permalink DF 
April 19th, 2007 10:51am
> Sounds like argument from authority to me.

There's little else to go by.

Incidentally, I do believe the copycat effect is real.
Permalink ipmal 
April 19th, 2007 11:25am
The Lott study I referenced earlier analyzed for existence of copycat crimes and found inconclusive data. It did find though that if you ban guns, people do NOT switch to bombs instead (the 'substitution' hypothesis):

"Finally, the data provides no evidence of substitution from shootings to bombings and little consistent evidence of “copycat” effects."
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 19th, 2007 1:17pm
How was the study conducted, exactly?  Did they round up sociopaths intent on shooting people, take away their guns, then offer bombs that were refused?
Permalink Send private email muppet 
April 19th, 2007 1:18pm
They just found that when restrictive gun laws were passed, the numbers of mass murders by gun stayed the same and the numbers of mass murders by bomb stayed the same. But when concealed carry laws were passed, the number of mass murders went down, along with other violent crimes across the board.
Permalink Practical Economist 
April 19th, 2007 2:05pm
"They just found that when restrictive gun laws were passed, the numbers of mass murders by gun stayed the same and the numbers of mass murders by bomb stayed the same."

It sounds like all that proves is restrictive gun laws don't make guns less available.  You'd have to do something that reduces mass murder by gun before drawing any conclusions regarding whether they'd switch or not.
Permalink Lurk Machine 
April 19th, 2007 2:51pm
"The Lott study I referenced earlier analyzed for existence of copycat crimes and found inconclusive data. It did find though that if you ban guns, people do NOT switch to bombs instead (the 'substitution' hypothesis)"

If they switched from guns to bombs, they wouldn't be copycat crimes.
Permalink Send private email Сергей РахманиноB 
April 19th, 2007 4:02pm
I think one of the bigger problems that folks will recognize coming out of this is that the people who reported Cho's behavior made the huge mistake of reporting it to the campus police. The last university I attended had problems with rape on campus, until the victims started going to the real police. Also, there was a gang that had been stealing cars to export to "the islands" (mostly Haiti) and were nabbing about 150 cars per semester from campus - until the thefts started getting reported to the real police.

Other universities I've attended had similar lack of action by the campus police - a sort of "what happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas" attitude.
Permalink Peter 
April 20th, 2007 11:00am
++Peter. There is a keen interest in keeping campus crime statistics low. You don't want the next generation of potential candidates ruling you out based on your crime rates.
Permalink JoC 
April 20th, 2007 4:18pm

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