Whenever there is a horrible mass shooting, we have come to expect rampant speculation about the mental status of mass murderers as well as the ugly politicization that comes almost immediately after such horrific events.
As a formerly practicing mental health professional, (MSW, Columbia University) I would never diagnose someone without a personal interview and at the very least, a thorough exploration of his or her family history.
Plenty of books have been written about what these monsters have in common. Much as we would like to lump them together, they are still individuals with their own history, motivation, and diagnosis. The tendency to make broad generalizations and collectivist conclusions is part of the problem. This makes it easier to place the blame on everyone else but the killer himself.
Collectivism is endemic to the poisonous ideology of Leftism (read: Socialism.) It robs people of their individual identity and therefore, personal accountability–particularly in those who are already psychologically vulnerable.
The tenets of socialism encourage:
- Victimhood (Isn’t that the root of paranoia?)
- Poor impulse control coupled with continuous rage and popular culture that is progressively more tolerant of criminality when perpetrated by members of certain protected groups.
- Depersonalization as a result of viewing oneself solely in collectivist terms.
- Subjugation and eventual eradication of individualism and free will, leading to a sense of fatalism, helplessness, hopelessness and clinical depression.
- Emotional fragility and regression into a childlike state.
- Eradication of boundaries, structure and accountability
- Class envy, a sense of entitlement, resulting in increased government dependency.
- An inability to tolerate conflict and even differences of opinion
- Black and white thinking (as to race and much more) which lumps people into groups of “all-good,” or “all-bad.” This is typical of the older diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.
Which of these is not familiar as a basic tenet of socialism?
One more point before I take off my clinician hat: When an individual has had a grievous loss, he is often discouraged from making big decisions or drastic changes in his life. Yet, that is just when political opportunists want us to make drastic changes in our policies and laws.
Intentional or not, laws which disarm victims while creating a more dangerous environment are what Democrats are clearly advocating. Republicans have shown themselves willing to roll over to avoid the political heat of the moment. Consequently, everyday citizens are once again blamed and punished for the criminal behavior of a few. That collectivist ideology has been pushed by the Left for decades.
How I wish I could tell President Trump to put on the brakes in supporting policies in the heat of grief and emotion. It remains to be seen whether his recent speech will yield fundamental policy changes but I for one, hope not. Not only do sweeping, federal laws do little to address the complex issues of this problem but the only people who stand to lose are law-abiding citizens.