Behind cases like the recent massacre at a Texas school, there are often people who maintain a feeling that they have been treated unfairly at some point in their lives.
Knowing the psychological profile of a person who is capable of committing a crime as heinous as the one that occurred on May 23 in the State of Texas, USA, is essential to understand the reasons why a young person of only 18 years he can get up on a normal day, like any other, pick up the weapons he has acquired with total impunity and go to a school and take the lives of 21 people, including students and teachers, in addition to injuring another 15.
Important is the detail that, before leaving his house, according to local authorities, the subject has an argument with his grandmother, which ends with a shot to the head. He leaves the woman seriously injured and does not request help for her at any time. Thus begins the day of Carlos Ramos who, after this incident, decides to go out into the street, take his truck and drive until he arrives at the educational center. That is when Carlos gets out of the vehicle, jumps over the fence of the school center and starts shooting indiscriminately.
Is it possible that the subject had not actually deliberately decided what he was going to do prior to the incident at his home? Is it possible that the choice of the place was due to a coincidence that can only be explained because the vehicle stopped right in front of the school? And the most important question: could it have been avoided?
It is difficult to understand that a young man adapted to society, with no known prior criminal record, at least so far, has been involved in this tragic event that apparently has no explanation. As far as is known so far, he had no relationship with the center or with any of the students and teachers beyond the fact that he belonged to the same community.
A complicated childhood?
Without falling into topics that could only harm all the people involved, it seems difficult to believe that family members, friends or close people have not detected a red flag indicating that something was wrong. A complicated childhood with an absence of brotherly love, emotional distance from people in their immediate environment, lack of empathy, early violence with other children or even with small animals, low levels of assertiveness, difficulties in socializing and interacting with others are some of the traits that can define a psychopathic profile that is consistent with a murderer.
However, this is only a brief sample of the signs that can occur without the person presenting a mental pathology. What seems common in these cases is that the person who commits such an atrocity maintains a feeling or perception that he has been treated unfairly at some point by some person or group of people.
But none of this can explain what happened, nor does it explain the increase in mass murders in schools and other public places that has been taking place in recent years in the US. It can be argued that an important reason is the easy access to weapons in a country where the number of firearms far exceeds that of citizens and where it is only necessary to be of legal age to be able to acquire any type of weaponry with peace of mind. and without any psychological requirement.
It is true that these events do not usually appear in other parts of the world with the same frequency and cruelty. For this reason, it seems logical to think that a modification of the laws is necessary in this sense and a greater control of the risks associated with the possession of weapons from such an early age.
On the other hand, the rapid access to information may be a reason that, although it cannot explain the origin of the initial idea of killing other people, it can explain why an individual who has such a thought finds a way to carry it out. and feel comforted by being able to share what you feel with other people of similar ideology. It therefore seems likely that this increase in murderous raids has been reinforced by the possibility of imitation and by greater exposure to these examples in different forums.
Too fast access to information
Young people have immediate access to information shared on social networks, data and content of practically anything are shared in real time, and violence is becoming established as a normalized way of dealing with a problem when the profiles on social networks of these subjects their visits and interactions increase if these types of situations are published and commented on. Morbidity is encouraged, the curiosity to be part of something that is outside the standards defined by society. And the images, videos and comments go viral and go around the world in a matter of minutes. All this will stimulate and motivate these people who desperately seek to excel, who need the attention of others.
We can and should seek an explanation for these attacks, try to identify cognitive and behavioral patterns that allow us to prevent them from occurring too often and too cruelly. However, it is not easy to find action guidelines that are effective in all cases because each person is different. In each case, a specific event can function as a trigger for behavior that has never occurred before.
This article has been published in The Conversation
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