Another day of sorrow; time to act
The poet Auden wrote “For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?”
Thomas Wolfe is even less hopeful when he wrote “Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?”
We all seek some form of identity generally within a frame work of acceptable interactive social relationships, however those who react as the shooter yesterday have a compelling need to be recognized. Too often, as in this occasion, if that need is unmet they react in an overt, significant manner.
Misfit, misunderstood, miscreant mystery none of these label explain tragedies as this one. Self centered, self absorbed, self prompted, angry, alienated, emotionally labile and unstable does.
They do show some signs that are of predictive of explosive, destructive behavior. They are those who reflect, among many behavioral cues, “You have no idea how I feel” or show an unusual reactive anger to what others feel. Isolated, marginalized now in their own separate world-self directed- feeling superior, and imbued by a consuming focused hatred of that which has confronted their needs, belief, sins, failures, error or defeat they react with one self confirming act.
This type of reaction will be replicated with minor variation until we recognize and take steps to assist the me and only me “self entitled, callous, shallow affect, and emotionally reactive “Now “ individual.
They are not those who have experienced a period of youthful disenchantment while evaluating the continual input stream of life options.
They are those who have developed a level of narcissism or faulty self serving interpretations that shut out the usual customary, external corrections a normal environment provides .This number is increasing .
We have called a small percentage of our population sociopathic or psychopathic and generally felt helpless to design or implement a successful strategy to treat them. The many I speak of are not just of that psychiatric definition. They compose a much larger group. We have a cold, shallow restless non empathetic demanding personality developing that is unlike by number and intensity yet seen.
Gun control may lower the number killed but this ugly end of the continuum of behavior is widening and worsening. Acts of this nature will without active factual intervening programs put in place, get more frequent. We can significantly lower the number of events of this nature, but lip service alone won’t help.
Ronald John, Sandy, Utah