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Ever known someone...

and then try to process your feelings after you discovered they did something so heinous that you couldn't wrap your head around it if they had been a stranger? I knew the Las Vegas shooter.

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Comments

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Ooh, that's a toughie. Unreal.
    They used that worn out phrase of he's a loner or something like that...
    So sorry.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    That's crazy man! I get someone killing themselves (well I don't really but you know what I mean) but why would you be so cowardly as to take others with you like that? It's just so bizarre.....

    Apologies if you knew him well but sheesh I'd be distancing myself from that one.....

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Just wondering how many universe cycles he'll be burning in the hell realms!

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    The human mind is such a fragile thing...There's no question that it was an heinous act and so many lives lost and their loved ones now suffering/having to mourn their loss...
    My heart goes out to all
    Metta <3

    What must have been going through his mind, what has happened in this person's life which had caused him to commit such an act...

    Misguided/blinded by anger and hatred...Sadly he must have already been in the hell realms....

    Metta <3

    lobsteradamcrossleyyagrSnakeskin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well that would certainly make my mind go for a spin, @yagr. Not an easy thing to come to terms with... I'm not sure how well you knew him but in your shoes I'd be asking myself whether anything I could have done would have made any difference. At least for a few moments.

    He must have had serious wrong views or delusions, in order to cause so much unnecessary suffering before being shot and killed himself. Suicide would have been simpler and cleaner.

    Snakeskin
  • It's very sad. Easy to feel for the shooting victims, but an important chance also to put the dharma into practice and extend our empathy and compassion for the shooter. He must have experienced many years of torment to lead him to these actions. I don't know what, but desperation, loneliness, frustration... all feelings we know too well, that lead us all to poor actions, and may we hope that never too much to lead us to such an awful conclusion. But what we know is that no human is born a monster nor is destined to be a monster - the greatest good and the greatest evil exists in us all. I pray this crazy world and all its pain never leads me to hurt others.

    BunkssilverSnakeskinTraveller
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Well said @federica and @mindatrisk - I just saw footage of it and was feeling nothing but anger toward him.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 3

    @federica said:
    Distancing one's self is one thing. Separation is not possible.
    Feeling his pain may be difficult, but all we have to do is imagine a mind-set so twisted and distraught, that all we want to do is reach out and hug it.

    Exactly so.
    Nobody can hate country music that much ... o:) (I'll be in the naughty corner if anyone needs me ...)

    Don't double up and indulge on experiencing peoples calamity and tragedy. Of course that is terrible.

    Extend the hand of friendship right into the hell realms and beyond.
    It is a hard job but someBodhi has to do it ... o:)

    SnakeskinTravellerRandy
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited October 3

    When the news was breaking about the shooting in Vegas, there was another banner they showed (a teaser, I guess) about Tom Petty being hospitalized, and at first, I thought he was shot in Vegas. Turned out he had a heart attack at his Malibu home, and he's gone now. His family honored his do-not-resuscitate and he's gone. I couldn't help but wonder if the shock of the Vegas shooting helped to bring on his heart attack.

    What I read about your friend/acquaintance, @Yagr, is that his dad was on FBI most wanted at some point. Did you know his dad, too?

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 3

    And on that very subject -

    ... Benjamin Paddock [his father] was a diagnosed psychopath and therefore "extremely dangerous." The FBI reported he had suicidal tendencies.

    He was also apparently, "Glib ... egotistical and arrogant."

    I think it's fair to say that Stephen Paddock's role model was hardly a good one....The guy was kicked to the ground before he could even stand up.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Some humans hold their suffering in secret for such vast amounts of time that it comes pouring out inexplicably in ways perhaps they don't even understand. It's hard to imagine that those closest to him didn't notice any type of withdrawl or shift, but it didn't sound to me like he had such regular contact, even with family, that small changes would be noticed. People who are so inclined can hide so much. It will be interesting to see what comes of interviewing his girlfriend. I understand she was not in the country, but perhaps there was a reason for her timed trip. Or his timed attack to coincide with her trip so she wouldn't be implicated.

    It just goes to show that no matter how much we think we know a person, we often don't. If you consider how little we truly know and understand ourselves though, thinking that we can truly know another person is a stretch. We mostly only know what they allow us to know. Don't be hard on yourself thinking you should have known something, @yagr. Even those closest to him didn't know.

    It's such a difficult thing, to try to consider what anyone could have done. It is a symptom of a very sick society, one that we all contribute to in some way. All we can truly do is be honest at how we do so, and help people to learn to work with their minds and understand the workings of it. And to recognize when it's gone off the rails and needs help. We need to all learn better how to slow down and stop being so distracted. If we truly knew how to be with people, how to listen to people, I think we'd see a lot more. But I also think we distract ourselves so intently because we don't want to see.

    yagrlobsterSnakeskin
  • yagryagr Veteran

    @karasti said:
    Don't be hard on yourself thinking you should have known something, @yagr. Even those closest to him didn't know.

    nods It's been years since I've seen him, and that's a lot of time to change. We used to play poker together - it's just a serious disconnect between the playfully sarcastic fellow I used to know.

    Randy
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Sadly it would seem Depression can be a "killer" in every sense of the word...
    When it grips the mind, it 'can' kill reason and drive people to do all kinds of unwholesome things to try to escape its grip/stranglehold ...

    Inwardly it's an ongoing hell realm pressure for many sufferers, even though outwardly it might look like business as usual ..... until the levee breaks...

  • yagryagr Veteran

    @silver said:

    What I read about your friend/acquaintance, @Yagr, is that his dad was on FBI most wanted at some point. Did you know his dad, too?

    No, and I only knew him through the poker tables. Knew his name, he knew mine - friendly banter without really knowing each other.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited October 3

    @yagr said:

    @silver said:

    What I read about your friend/acquaintance, @Yagr, is that his dad was on FBI most wanted at some point. Did you know his dad, too?

    No, and I only knew him through the poker tables. Knew his name, he knew mine - friendly banter without really knowing each other.

    It's got to be really hard to deal with knowing him. What about his girlfriend, had you ever met her? News said he sent her $100,000 - I'm betting she didn't know what he had been planning, and he knew he wouldn't be alive much longer.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited October 3

    I also can't help but wonder if having a dad who's wanted by the FBI etc., he may very well have said to himself 'If you think my dad's bad, just wait until you see what I'm capable of.' and in a sense cover for his father. Men typically expect each other to be tough, strong, being able to 'take it' - whatever life dishes out - and to make some sort of mark in the world. He quietly came unglued.

    I know this is sheer speculation, though.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @silver the news said they only started dating this past spring so she was a new girlfriend. On the flip side I wondered if he told her to leave the country, knowing what he had planned and wanted to make sure she wasn't held responsible in any way. I try not to speculate too much because what is truth and what is imagination already gets mucked up. I think sometimes we spend so much time trying to figure people like this out in an attempt to distance ourselves from them. So we can solidify that we aren't like that person, and the more ways we find differences the more solid we feel in our confidence that we are good people.

    In reality, any of us could be in that same position if the right conditions present themselves in our lives. Maybe we should be looking for the ways we are similar, so we can deal with it, rather than the ways we are different from such people. I actually wrote about this some today:

    We're grasping at straws to distance ourselves from his insane actions and the further solidify our labels and assumptions about ourselves. If the man was a republican, then we are further justified in how we feel about them. Same if he was a liberal and we aren't. But are having trouble finding that distance this time. Maybe he did, somewhere, talk about how much he hates country music, or conservatives or liberals. But how many of us haven't said similar things, especially at family gatherings? How many of us have spent time ranting online or to friends/family about the things that drive us nuts? But now we'll try to gather those comments and use them to dissect who this man really was and why he did what he did. What if every conversation, every online rant you did was party to that kind of scrutiny? What would be found about your biases and the potential they hold to cause you to commit violent acts when by all accounts your life seemed perfectly stable and normal?

    yagr
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited October 3

    I don't think that his thinking is all that different from the average person -- but MOST of us don't act on things like this. Most of us know better than to let these kinds of thoughts take hold. Thank god for small favors.

    How many people over the years have I had conversations with about what the heck do they do with people in prison for heinous crimes (e.g. Manson) and supposedly (!) they 'study' them psychologically, and so on, but seemingly with little to show for it, little to nothing to gift / grace society for all this supposed, so-called study. Proof's in the pudding as they say.

    All that sewage hidden underground - what to say...

    lobsterShoshinTraveller
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @silver said:

    I know this is sheer speculation, though.

    @silver It's about all one can really do is speculate on the cause... especially when this person 'randomly' shot strangers from a distance ...and now he is also dead...Who really knows what really went on inside his tormented mind...All that one can say for sure, is that he wasn't functioning well within and the sickness got the better of him/his 'nature' ...

    silverTraveller
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    @silver said:
    All that sewage hidden underground - what to say...

    Nothing can be said. It is a hell realm.

    What can be done:
    http://m.befriendingourselves.com/Tonglen.html

    What can be said ... well mantra I suppose for victims ...
    https://studybuddhism.com/en/advanced-studies/prayers-rituals/preliminaries/the-seven-limb-prayer-as-a-complete-practice

    OM MANI PEME HUM HRIH

    silverTraveller
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Fwiw, @karasti, the last thing I'm doing is grasping at straws to distance myself from him or anyone else.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited October 4

    @silver it wasn't directed at you nor was it even written for this forum. It was just a general comment on what I see from a whole lot of people making comments about it. But I do think a lot of the time our so-called quest to understand is just another way to compare ourselves to others and ensure we are still "ok" and not like them. It's a big part of why "reality" shows are so popular. Intervention, Hoarders, 600 pound Life etc. We watch them because they make us feel ok when compared to those on the shows. Again, generally speaking.

    For context, my comment was because my uncle made a comment on FB saying "that's BS if we are supposed to think his family didn't know. He has to have said something about how he hates certain groups of people, or posted about his political leanings or talked about them somewhere." While all the time my uncle spends time on FB doing exactly the same things, but he refuses to look at his thoughts, words and actions has harmful in any way because he hasn't brought them to action. But the thoughts were only thoughts for Paddock, too, until he chose to act. My point was that instead of saying "oh but I'd never ACT on them" maybe we need to be looking at why we think them to begin with.But we mostly don't. We just push aside the fact that we think harmful and awful thoughts because we haven't acted on them.

    Most people won't admit to thinking that way. That's why law enforcement can look at posts online and other behaviors and attempt to determine what was going on. They'll make assumptions (because they can't do anything else) based on things he said and we'll all accept it as the official explanation for how a person could do such a thing, without being willing to look at the ways we have similar thought patterns to him. But we excuse it as "just thoughts, not actions." Which is exactly my point. Until that moment, they were "just thoughts" for him, too.

    Vastmind
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran

    @yagr said:
    and then try to process your feelings after you discovered they did something so heinous that you couldn't wrap your head around it if they had been a stranger? I knew the Las Vegas shooter.

    I sympathize for you, as I did for his brother. I saw reporters interviewing him on TV, probing for an explanation. He struggled to find one. That's not the person he knew. It occurred to me that on top of trying to wrap our heads around those heinous actions he also just lost his brother.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @karasti said:
    @silver it wasn't directed at you nor was it even written for this forum. It was just a general comment on what I see from a whole lot of people making comments about it. But I do think a lot of the time our so-called quest to understand is just another way to compare ourselves to others and ensure we are still "ok" and not like them. It's a big part of why "reality" shows are so popular. Intervention, Hoarders, 600 pound Life etc. We watch them because they make us feel ok when compared to those on the shows. Again, generally speaking.

    For context, my comment was because my uncle made a comment on FB saying "that's BS if we are supposed to think his family didn't know. He has to have said something about how he hates certain groups of people, or posted about his political leanings or talked about them somewhere." While all the time my uncle spends time on FB doing exactly the same things, but he refuses to look at his thoughts, words and actions has harmful in any way because he hasn't brought them to action. But the thoughts were only thoughts for Paddock, too, until he chose to act. My point was that instead of saying "oh but I'd never ACT on them" maybe we need to be looking at why we think them to begin with.But we mostly don't. We just push aside the fact that we think harmful and awful thoughts because we haven't acted on them.

    Most people won't admit to thinking that way. That's why law enforcement can look at posts online and other behaviors and attempt to determine what was going on. They'll make assumptions (because they can't do anything else) based on things he said and we'll all accept it as the official explanation for how a person could do such a thing, without being willing to look at the ways we have similar thought patterns to him. But we excuse it as "just thoughts, not actions." Which is exactly my point. Until that moment, they were "just thoughts" for him, too.

    I don't agree with your view on this - we'll just have to agree to disagree.
    Can't even relate to some of your statements, so I dunno...

  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    And on that very subject -

    ... Benjamin Paddock [his father] was a diagnosed psychopath and therefore "extremely dangerous." The FBI reported he had suicidal tendencies.

    He was also apparently, "Glib ... egotistical and arrogant."

    I think it's fair to say that Stephen Paddock's role model was hardly a good one....The guy was kicked to the ground before he could even stand up.

    Until the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, the vague notion of a lone-gunman, i.e., some level of crazy, made a nice, little box to put these things. But at Columbine there were two--, two kids. Didn't fit in the box. I concluded some people are just evil. But psychopath makes sense, esp. if that extends from Benjamin to his son. My understanding of that is also vague, but this quick read helped with a comparison between psychopaths and sociopaths. Nice little box.

    From the article:

    A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out,” Tompkins says.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    It was mentioned in one of the many articles yesterday, that the possibility existed that he 'joined' ISIS or Muslims or what-have-you - a political thing seems like a good possibility - thinking in terms of what I read about what his brother had said, that the change in him was of a recent nature - his brother supposing that the way he had been known by himself and others closer to him, was this just wasn't the way he had always been. Another card to lay down, another supposition to add.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Snakeskin said:

    @yagr said:
    and then try to process your feelings after you discovered they did something so heinous that you couldn't wrap your head around it if they had been a stranger? I knew the Las Vegas shooter.

    I sympathize for you, as I did for his brother. I saw reporters interviewing him on TV, probing for an explanation. He struggled to find one. That's not the person he knew. It occurred to me that on top of trying to wrap our heads around those heinous actions he also just lost his brother.

    My heart went out to his brother :( I imagine life won't be easy for him or the rest of the family in the aftermath.
    _ /\ _

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited October 4

    @silver said:
    It was mentioned in one of the many articles yesterday, that the possibility existed that he 'joined' ISIS or Muslims or what-have-you - a political thing seems like a good possibility - thinking in terms of what I read about what his brother had said, that the change in him was of a recent nature - his brother supposing that the way he had been known by himself and others closer to him, was this just wasn't the way he had always been. Another card to lay down, another supposition to add.

    My thoughts on that, honestly......

    I think people really want to be able to chalk it up to an Islamic terrorist act because people can't face the fact that, like Australia, the worst shooting on home soil in American history is by a white American man who obviously liked his guns and just lost his shit and went beserk.

    I'm not going to lecture or postulate on Australian gun laws vs American gun laws - there's plenty of people out there who can do a much better job than I. I'm also biaised as I was unfortunately caught up in the Strathfield plaza massacre that killed an acquaintance (Roberta Armtrong) and my friend's father (George Mavris -
    who owned our hangout there - The Coffee Pot).
    I worked for a real estate agency in the plaza owned by a family friend and literally ran for my 16 yo life, all the while trying to find my mother who was there doing some shopping https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strathfield_massacre. I'm biaised because I petitioned people to sign for a tighter gun law and garnered over 10,000 signatures with my friends which we presented at Parliament House. Sadly we had to wait another 4.5 years and watch the Port Arthur massacre unfold. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia).

    Now, to get back to my point. I know Satan will skate to work before any American will give up their guns because - Second Amendment (which till 1980 was purely about militia's right to defend themselves post Civil War). But you gotta at least CONSIDER more effective restrictions. And I think the reason a lot of Americans (collectively, not speaking for any members here) so desperately want it to be a rabid, radical Muslim is because they don't want to think for one moment that maybe, their gun laws aren't infallible.

    Just my 0.02, offered as an outsider who's seen shit go down on a smaller scale personally.
    _ /\ _

    federicalobsterSnakeskinTraveller
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited October 4

    @dhammachick said:

    @silver said:
    It was mentioned in one of the many articles yesterday, that the possibility existed that he 'joined' ISIS or Muslims or what-have-you - a political thing seems like a good possibility - thinking in terms of what I read about what his brother had said, that the change in him was of a recent nature - his brother supposing that the way he had been known by himself and others closer to him, was this just wasn't the way he had always been. Another card to lay down, another supposition to add.

    My thoughts on that, honestly......

    I think people really want to be able to chalk it up to an Islamic terrorist act because people can't face the fact that, like Australia, the worst shooting on home soil in American history is by a white American man who obviously liked his guns and just lost his shit and went beserk.

    I'm not going to lecture or postulate on Australian gun laws vs American gun laws - there's plenty of people out there who can do a much better job than I. I'm also biaised as I was unfortunately caught up in the Strathfield plaza massacre that killed an acquaintance (Roberta Armtrong) and my friend's father (George Mavris -
    who owned our hangout there - The Coffee Pot).
    I worked for a real estate agency in the plaza owned by a family friend and literally ran for my 16 yo life, all the while trying to find my mother who was there doing some shopping https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strathfield_massacre. I'm biaised because I petitioned people to sign for a tighter gun law and garnered over 10,000 signatures with my friends which we presented at Parliament House. Sadly we had to wait another 4.5 years and watch the Port Arthur massacre unfold. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Arthur_massacre_(Australia).

    Now, to get back to my point. I know Satan will skate to work before any American will give up their guns because - Second Amendment (which till 1980 was purely about militia's right to defend themselves post Civil War). But you gotta at least CONSIDER more effective restrictions. And I think the reason a lot of Americans (collectively, not speaking for any members here) so desperately want it to be a rabid, radical Muslim is because they don't want to think for one moment that maybe, their gun laws aren't infallible.

    Just my 0.02, offered as an outsider who's seen shit go down on a smaller scale personally.
    _ /\ _

    FYI, I'm not one of those people who 'want' it to be a terrorist act. In this situation, I feel like Jack Webb - 'just the facts, ma'am' or whomever. I don't give a wt, what caused it, but like pretty much everybody else, want to know more about the why's and how's.

    I've never been one to lose sight of the powers that be and how they are able and willing to use people, situations, 'facts' and cover up the whole truth with the ol' smoke n mirrors ... god knows what else. I've never been able to do that, and that's just me.

    I'm sorry for what you had to go through.

    dhammachicklobster
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    What must have been going through his mind, what has happened in this person's life which had caused him to commit such an act...

    Immense suffering, worthy of compassion.

    ShoshinTraveller
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited October 5

    the majority of Americans support gun control. Only about 40% of Americans own guns. But the gun lobby and politicians who take money from them are immense, and our wishes don't matter. Not until the issue is important enough to enough people to vote out politicians who are owned by the gun lobby.

    Americans struggle, for whatever reason, with empathy in a lot of ways. We tend to only change our mind when it becomes personal. Just as you saw with the other country music singer who said he was an adamant gun rights supporter. Until the other day. When it happens to you, or someone you care a lot about, then you change your mind. So I'm pretty pessimistic that we will see significant gun reform (which will probably require changes to the constitution at this point which is a stiff bar to pass) until a majority of Americans have been directly impacted by mass gun violence. We're getting there. That's when the change will come because that's the only time it comes here.

    Funny enough, when I was looking for the right gun ownership stats, this article came up:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/10/03/americans-who-live-closer-to-a-mass-shooting-are-more-likely-to-support-gun-regulation/?utm_term=.f811c68828e9

    Snakeskin
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Unfortunately with the apparent increase in mental illness and the gun culture so prolific in the US, I can't see things getting better any time soon.

    We'll just keep reading about this stuff and shaking our heads in bewilderment.

    Snakeskin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 5

    I find it extraordinary that, as far as I can ascertain, every single person guilty of mass shootings has had a personality/behavioural/mental disorder. Elaborate and detailed reports have subsequently emerged, of some psychotic diagnosis, or have outlined a chequered personal history of the perpetrator, which would explain the whys and wherefores of their actions.

    Nobody, AFAIK, has ever simply committed these crimes simply because they wanted to, or because they felt like it, or because they were simply, genuinely nasty people.

    This makes me think two things:

    One - the media will go to all and any lengths to attempt to give psychological grounds for a person creating mayhem and committing murder, because by and large, the USA and their media are pro-gun, so they can't actually bring themselves to admit that gun law are too lax and people literally can get away with murder because the law is slanted towards not only letting them, but implicitly encouraging them -

    • or -

    Two - the regulations regarding the sale of weapons is far too lax and undemanding, and really should be tightened to include a personality profile of some kind.

    I prsonally believe it's a hefty dose of both.

    BunksNirvanaSnakeskin
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    Nobody can hate country music that much ... o:) (I'll be in the naughty corner if anyone needs me ...)

    Not as nasty as the thought I had: "What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas" might not be the best Las Vegas marketing catchphrase anymore.

    Most people won't admit to thinking that way. That's why law enforcement can look at posts online and other behaviors and attempt to determine what was going on. They'll make assumptions (because they can't do anything else) based on things he said and we'll all accept it as the official explanation for how a person could do such a thing, without being willing to look at the ways we have similar thought patterns to him. But we excuse it as "just thoughts, not actions." Which is exactly my point. Until that moment, they were "just thoughts" for him, too. ???

    Sorry, the man was on a mission. He had his own evil reasonings and well-executed plans.

    When someone goes into a restaurant and encounters people on the same level and shoots them, we all share somewhat in that action due to our societal blindness towards them, our apathy —our not befriending them and helping them. But when that shooter goes up on the thousandth floor of a building and throws down fire upon a multitude of his fellow beings, there can be no societal reason there. (And also, the man was a millionaire...)
    Federica's first post in this thread on interconnectedness was beautiful, but IMO this guy was an outlier.

    @federica said:
    I find it extraordinary that, as far as I can ascertain, every single person guilty of mass shootings has had a personality/behavioural/mental disorder. Elaborate and detailed reports have subsequently emerged, of some psychotic diagnosis, or have outlined a chequered personal history of the perpetrator, which would explain the whys and wherefores of their actions.

    Nobody, AFAIK, has ever simply committed these crimes simply because they wanted to, or because they felt like it, or because they were simply, genuinely nasty people.

    This makes me think two things:

    One - the media will go to all and any lengths to attempt to give psychological grounds for a person creating mayhem and committing murder, because by and large, the USA and their media are pro-gun, so they can't actually bring themselves to admit that gun law are too lax and people literally can get away with murder because the law is slanted towards not only letting them, but implicitly encouraging them -

    • or -

    Two - the regulations regarding the sale of weapons is far too lax and undemanding, and really should be tightened to include a personality profile of some kind.

    I personally believe it's a hefty dose of both.

    Definitely both, Fede!
    On another note, though, I cannot understand anyone categorically claiming that anything of this magnitude should not be subsumed under the label of terrorism, as I think others have said above. Or maybe it was just one "gentleman's" war on humanity? (One of the talking heads on TV referred to him in those terms the day after.)

    Snakeskin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @nirvana said:
    Sorry, the man was on a mission. He had his own evil reasonings and well-executed plans.

    Definitely true that, and interestingly those are often signs of people who are functioning quite well, not the signs of someone suffering psychotic illness. Psychotic people are often not so well controlled...

    That doesn't rule out the fact that he may have deserved some psychiatric diagnosis, such as narcissisism or a delusional state, but I do agree with Fede that the press seems awfully keen to blame these kinds of attacks on such illnesses.

    Ordinary people if they boil over can be far more controlled and dangerous. It reminds me of the film Falling Down with Michael Douglas.

    Snakeskin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    The problem is, no matter what we think, what any of us thinks, gun laws won't change much because they can't change due to them being rights and not privileges. Until something happens that will ensure the US can make major changes to the constitutional amendment regarding guns, there will be no significant changes. If the murder of dozens of babies in a school doesn't change the minds of enough people, then I don't think anything will. Not any single awful event, anyways. That's why I said that major change isn't going to come until a majority of people have someone close to them who has been directly involved/impacted by a mass shooting. We'll get there, at this rate.

    Some things should be common sense and I'll never understand why they are so easy to get around (well, I do understand why). What is the point of making automatic weapons illegal to own if you can sell accessories to turn guns into automatic weapons?

    It's kind of funny because based on what you read, you assume the US has a huge gun loving culture. But it's not really true, it's just how vocal they and the gun lobby are and how much they own our politicians. Depending on the factor considered (ie banning assault weapons, making guns harder to get for people with mental illness etc) 60-90% of Americans support better gun control. 60% of Americans don't own guns. The media often makes it look like we all own them because of how many there are "There are as many guns are there are Americans." True, but 40% of Americans own all those guns.

    Snakeskinperson
  • techietechie India Veteran

    @Nirvana said:

    Nobody can hate country music that much ... o:) (I'll be in the naughty corner if anyone needs me ...)

    Not as nasty as the thought I had: "What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas" might not be the best Las Vegas marketing catchphrase anymore.

    Most people won't admit to thinking that way. That's why law enforcement can look at posts online and other behaviors and attempt to determine what was going on. They'll make assumptions (because they can't do anything else) based on things he said and we'll all accept it as the official explanation for how a person could do such a thing, without being willing to look at the ways we have similar thought patterns to him. But we excuse it as "just thoughts, not actions." Which is exactly my point. Until that moment, they were "just thoughts" for him, too. ???

    Sorry, the man was on a mission. He had his own evil reasonings and well-executed plans.

    When someone goes into a restaurant and encounters people on the same level and shoots them, we all share somewhat in that action due to our societal blindness towards them, our apathy —our not befriending them and helping them. But when that shooter goes up on the thousandth floor of a building and throws down fire upon a multitude of his fellow beings, there can be no societal reason there. (And also, the man was a millionaire...)
    Federica's first post in this thread on interconnectedness was beautiful, but IMO this guy was an outlier.

    @federica said:
    I find it extraordinary that, as far as I can ascertain, every single person guilty of mass shootings has had a personality/behavioural/mental disorder. Elaborate and detailed reports have subsequently emerged, of some psychotic diagnosis, or have outlined a chequered personal history of the perpetrator, which would explain the whys and wherefores of their actions.

    Nobody, AFAIK, has ever simply committed these crimes simply because they wanted to, or because they felt like it, or because they were simply, genuinely nasty people.

    This makes me think two things:

    One - the media will go to all and any lengths to attempt to give psychological grounds for a person creating mayhem and committing murder, because by and large, the USA and their media are pro-gun, so they can't actually bring themselves to admit that gun law are too lax and people literally can get away with murder because the law is slanted towards not only letting them, but implicitly encouraging them -

    • or -

    Two - the regulations regarding the sale of weapons is far too lax and undemanding, and really should be tightened to include a personality profile of some kind.

    I personally believe it's a hefty dose of both.

    Definitely both, Fede!
    On another note, though, I cannot understand anyone categorically claiming that anything of this magnitude should not be subsumed under the label of terrorism, as I think others have said above. Or maybe it was just one "gentleman's" war on humanity? (One of the talking heads on TV referred to him in those terms the day after.)

    If the guy had been associated with some org promoting subversive ideology, then yes, he would have been declared terrorist. Not every act of violence is terrorism. It has to fit into certain criteria.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @techie there is a difference between meeting legal and justice department definitions for reporting and recording crimes, and calling it what it is. On their end, yes, specific requirements are necessary to properly record incidents of terrorism, otherwise one could argue that anything that terrifies someone is terrorism. But that is what it is ,and the rest of us don't have to abide by limited government/legal entities and their definitions.

    Definitions aside, the fact remains that in the US, it is quite rare for a white person to be labeled a terrorist, even when they meet the definitions. Eric Rudolph wasn't, Tim McVeigh wasn't, Ted Kaczynski wasn't. The guy in CO who shot up the abortion clinic a few years ago wasn't. Some called them what they were -terrorists - but the term was not widely used whatsoever, in the media or elsewhere. Even though they clearly met the definitions of holding an ideology and committing violence on behalf of those beliefs. . We just don't like to call white people terrorists in the US. Foreigners (even if they only look foreign) are terrorists.

    John Allen Muhammed, the Beltway sniper, was charged and convicted of terrorism even though there was no evidence his beliefs or religion contributed to his spree killing. But, he was brown and Muslim, so it fit. He was convicted because he chose to terrorize the public. So did this Paddock guy, but he would have been unlikely to be charged with terrorism.

    TravellerKeromeSnakeskin
  • That is difficult to wrap your head around, indeed.
    Perhaps it is helpful to remember that all harmful actions arise from internal unhappiness. The truly happy are compassionate.
    And to remember that until we are fully enlightened, we are likely to hurt others at least somewhat, from time-to-time.
    Or, as the Buddhists say, "Just like me, all beings want happiness and do not want any unhappiness". This was true, too, for the shooter. Like you and me, he was trying to become happy .. but was far less skillful at seeking it.
    Have compassion, too, for the harmful and negative imprints (karmas) he has set in motion within his being. His ignorance and lack of skill cause him great suffering.

    TravellerBunksSnakeskin
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @karasti said:> What is the point of making automatic weapons illegal to own if you can sell accessories to turn guns into automatic weapons?

    I suspect partly because somebody is making money out of it.

    BunksSnakeskin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    @SpinyNorman :lol: well yeah, someone always is, and they are always connected to the politicians who make our laws. I just find it funny the logic they use to make such determinations.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    An idiot can find justification for anything if he wants it enough; and no amount of good sense and logic will shift them from the idea.

    I have found, generally speaking.....

    Bunks
  • nakazcidnakazcid Somewhere in Dixie, y'all Veteran

    @karasti said:
    It's kind of funny because based on what you read, you assume the US has a huge gun loving culture. But it's not really true, it's just how vocal they and the gun lobby are and how much they own our politicians. Depending on the factor considered (ie banning assault weapons, making guns harder to get for people with mental illness etc) 60-90% of Americans support better gun control. 60% of Americans don't own guns. The media often makes it look like we all own them because of how many there are "There are as many guns are there are Americans." True, but 40% of Americans own all those guns.

    The reason the gun lobby is so powerful is explained here by John Oliver:

    In a nutshell, gun owners are passionate and actually show up for things like hearings and write letters (not emails or Facebook posts, real letters) to their congressmen. In contrast, when a massacre like Orlando or Las Vegas occurs, there is an initial public outcry, and then the public's interest is recaptured by the truly important things, like Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian. The National Rifle Association also has a simple, easy to understand rallying cry, and viciously punishes any politician who dares impinge in the slightest way on gun rights.

    BunksShoshinSnakeskin
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Perhaps the leaders and lobbyists for the NRA should be made to meet with the families of those killed in these massacres? Or have to attend the autopsies?

    dhammachickShoshinSnakeskin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited October 10

    @Bunks part of the problem is that no one can force them to do anything, because they are a stand-alone entity unto themselves with extraordinary power. Any action has to come from congress, and they essentially own congress. that entire part of our political system needs to stop. But too many people making money as a result for that to happen. The NRA donated $6 million to republican candidates last year. And $105,000 to democrats. And I can about bet that those democrats are really republicans in blue clothing, like Heidi Heitkamp in ND, who is a "democrat" that operates as a republican and engenders very few democratic ideals. Paul Ryan gets almost $200,000k from gun lobbies and is, of course, one of our big wigs in congress.

    More than half of our congressional members get money from the gun lobby.

    ShoshinBunksSnakeskin
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @karasti said:
    @SpinyNorman :lol: well yeah, someone always is, and they are always connected to the politicians who make our laws. I just find it funny the logic they use to make such determinations.

    Another "triumph" of the free market?

    Snakeskin
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:

    @karasti said:> What is the point of making automatic weapons illegal to own if you can sell accessories to turn guns into automatic weapons?

    I suspect partly because somebody is making money out of it.

    I heard on the news the "bump stocks" that simulate automatic weapons are made in a single factory in a small, Texas town of a little more than 200 people. The National Rifle Association (NRA), the lobbying group that dictates U.S. gun laws, is surprisingly open to restrictions on them. If the NRA gives it the OK, those restrictions will pass. Sadly, that tiny town will collapse when that factory closes.

    Bunks
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited October 11

    The cycle of samsara doesn't stop, even when we try to do the right thing. If we all gave up nuclear arsenals, lots of people would lose jobs there, too. People lose their jobs every day as we automate our world, buy more stuff online, start low carb diets, stop eating meat, etc etc. Someone is always affected and has another perspective. There is bi-partisan support for a bill introduced today so we'll see where it goes.

    SnakeskinBunks
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @karasti said:
    The cycle of samsara doesn't stop, even when we try to do the right thing. If we all gave up nuclear arsenals, lots of people would lose jobs there, too. People lose their jobs every day as we automate our world, buy more stuff online, start low carb diets, stop eating meat, etc etc. Someone is always affected and has another perspective. There is bi-partisan support for a bill introduced today so we'll see where it goes.

    This is something I have always maintained, and I'm sure (or at least, hopeful) that others remember me saying it:
    No matter how much "Good" kamma you generate, something, or someone, somewhere along the line (be it linear or non-linear) will 'suffer' as a consequence.
    There is always a Yin to the Yang, a reaction to the action, a minus to a plus, a dark to a light, a down to an up.
    One, without the other, is dead in the water. Everything HAS to have an opposite, in order to be recognised.
    So when we do 'good', elsewhere, in a connected manner, something 'bad is, or will be, going on.

    Snakeskin
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