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  1. #131
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    How about a sociological explanation as to why men are so over-represented?
    Not to mention that, despite men being over represented, there is still not a clear-cut social factor saying "Yes, men, go out and be violent." Infact, we've seen a recent trend of 'herbivores' and men that are the exact opposite of the overly-manly-meme. Men are becoming less violent, more sedentary, more mind-over-body oriented. The trend is mostly motivated by money as far as I can tell (better jobs require more difficult degrees lately, more power is in the white collar jobs, etc. etc.) but I think when it comes to illnesses of the mind in extreme situations like this you just cannot look at the whole gender and see an issue with it. There's too many completely normal guys that would never do anything remotely like this sort of crime.

    It really is such a small minority of people to study and figure out the roots behind. Correlation vs causation is a really hard thing to rule out and pinpoint when the pool is so small.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Executions create martyrs for their "causes", and give the culprits a quick, relatively painless end. Better to throw them into some standard maximum security prison, with the usual run of convicted felons, to languish in obsurity until they fall victim to standard prison violence.
    I think it is interesting the difference in perspectives on these matters. I mean, you make it seem like this is the harsher, more cruel sentence than death--despite execution having a barbaric undertone of days past. This is pretty logical, and I understand it.. but to me, death is so absolute. In life, someone can go through all sorts of changes and things--they can repent, find religion, lose religion, change their mind sets and stances, or not really care at all the whole time.

    They won't get to experience any of that in death--no pain, or pleasure, or laughter or crying, or discovery or repenting or anger. They lose it all in death. To me, that's a much harsher sentence than 'making' them live under the premise of potential subtle social torture the rest of their days.
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  2. #132
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I think it is interesting the difference in perspectives on these matters. I mean, you make it seem like this is the harsher, more cruel sentence than death--despite execution having a barbaric undertone of days past. This is pretty logical, and I understand it.. but to me, death is so absolute. In life, someone can go through all sorts of changes and things--they can repent, find religion, lose religion, change their mind sets and stances, or not really care at all the whole time.

    They won't get to experience any of that in death--no pain, or pleasure, or laughter or crying, or discovery or repenting or anger. They lose it all in death. To me, that's a much harsher sentence than 'making' them live under the premise of potential subtle social torture the rest of their days.
    Since none of us really knows what happens after death, the highlighted is just an assumption. Perhaps Muslim terrorists really do go to that heaven where 99 virgins await them. I doubt it, but have no more proof for any alternative. When I wrote this comment, I was thinking of Ariel Castro, recently convicted of keeping 3 women captive for a decade in Ohio where he raped and tortured them. He killed himself in his cell, and was called a coward for it: not able to endure for a few weeks what he subjected the women to for years. Death is the easy way out in many respects.

    Mostly, though, terrorists should be denied access to the world stage, as much as possible while preserving the transparency of the criminal justice process.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  3. #133
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Since none of us really knows what happens after death, the highlighted is just an assumption. Perhaps Muslim terrorists really do go to that heaven where 99 virgins await them. I doubt it, but have no more proof for any alternative. When I wrote this comment, I was thinking of Ariel Castro, recently convicted of keeping 3 women captive for a decade in Ohio where he raped and tortured them. He killed himself in his cell, and was called a coward for it: not able to endure for a few weeks what he subjected the women to for years. Death is the easy way out in many respects.

    Mostly, though, terrorists should be denied access to the world stage, as much as possible while preserving the transparency of the criminal justice process.
    Maybe.. I mean, I definitely see the philosophical stance there. (So, indeed, maybe it is more humane to kill them rather than let them live on that side of the coin.) But.. since I don't know what's on the other side. To make it so absolute, without any going back.. it seems like the ultimate end-all. I mean.. we're meant to try to survive at all costs--we go to great lengths to avoid falling prey to death.

    I don't, personally, see death as being an easy way to do anything. Giving up one's life goes against every instinct we are born with. And we will never know what goes through that man's head.. Which philosophy criminals follow. Whether life is the absolute value, or if there are worse things than death.

    It could just as easily be said that he finally felt the gravity of what he'd done when he, himself, was a prisoner with no escape, and felt he did not deserve the last bit of life he had held onto up until then.
    Or, he could have been a coward, knowing that he'd never be capable of torturing women again, felt life had no meaning left.
    Or, as you said, that he just couldn't handle being a prisoner and was a total wuss in reality in comparison to the girls he'd held captive.

    But, if we knew the philosophy prisoners follow.. would that influence your decision to sway and change? If, say, I were a prisoner, and at least having A life, any life, was better than death, would you be more likely to sentence me to die than, say, a prisoner that wanted death compared to thinking about what they'd done?
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  4. #134
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    But, if we knew the philosophy prisoners follow.. would that influence your decision to sway and change? If, say, I were a prisoner, and at least having A life, any life, was better than death, would you be more likely to sentence me to die than, say, a prisoner that wanted death compared to thinking about what they'd done?
    My decision would be based primarily on preventing the prisoner from accomplishing his destructive ends. Terrorists thive on publicity (people ignorant of their crimes can't be terrorized), so I would deprive them of this as much as possible after capture. If they could be executed quietly, without fanfare, but also without secrecy, that would be ideal. If their comrades would just use their death to gain more converts or otherwise trumpet their cause, however, I would deprive them of this ammunition. Terrorists are the big, grown-up, highly destructive equivalent of a toddler having a temper tantrum because he cannot have his way. The last thing one does is reward a child for his tantrum.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #135
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    Here’s an interesting new article in the Wall Street Journal on mass shootings, based on scientific studies: Who does it, why they do it, etc.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...81702252120052

    In brief:

    There have been scientific studies of mass shooters. Basically, sociologists and psychologists are finding that mass shootings occur pretty much like suicides, that is, both tend happen in waves of copycat incidents.

    Using suicides as an example: Sociologists have known for decades that suicides have a "contagion effect": Take a prominent suicide, make a big news event out of it, and that particular suicide will tend to kick off waves of copycat suicides. (The broad psychological phenomenon is called "social proof." To read more on the subject, look up "Social proof" or "Copycat suicide" in Wikipedia, or see the book "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini.)

    Now they’re deciding that mass shootings appear to work in a similar manner. A big mass shooting in the news tends to serve as a focus point for young men of a certain psychological profile, who obsess on it and then copy it or even try to outdo it. And so on.

    The article also provides some concrete ways to prevent further copycat shootings: Keep the details of such shootings and shooters out of the news, so that potential future shooters don’t have so much fodder to obsess about.

    I haven’t read this current thread by the way; I just thought the article might provide some useful background. As for why the shooters might be mostly male and white, that may also derive from the "copycat" nature of mass shootings. "Copycats" tend to obsess about people similar to themselves or someone they want to resemble.

  6. #136
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    ^ great article

    selected quotes:
    ...
    But the criminologists and psychologists who study mass killings aren't so baffled. While news reports often define mass shootings solely by body count, researchers instead look at qualitative traits like the psychology of the perpetrator, his relationship to the victims and how he carries out the crime. Building on Dr. Dietz's seminal 1986 article on mass murder in the Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, researchers have used these characteristics to develop a taxonomy of mass killing outside of warfare. The major types include serial, cult, gang, family and spree killings.

    But it is another kind that dominates the headlines: the massacre or rampage shooting. Whereas the other types of mass murder usually occur in multiple incidents or in a concealed manner, massacres occur as a single, typically very public event.

    In 2004, Paul E. Mullen, then the director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health, wrote an illuminating study based in part on his personal interviews with rampage shooters who survived their acts. He notes that rampage shootings tend to follow a definite pattern, what he called a "program for murder and suicide." The shooter, almost always a young man, enters an area filled with many people. He is heavily armed. He may begin by targeting a few specific victims, but he soon moves on to "indiscriminate killings where just killing people is the prime aim." He typically has no plan for escape and kills himself or is killed by police.

    Among the more pervasive myths about massacre killers is that they simply snap. In fact, Dr. Mullen and others have found that rampage shooters usually plan their actions meticulously, even ritualistically, for months in advance. Like serial killers, massacre killers usually don't have impulsive personalities; they tend to be obsessive and highly organized. Survivors typically report that the shooters appear to be not enraged but cold and calculating.

    Central to the massacre pattern is the killer's self-styling. James L. Knoll IV, the director of forensic psychiatry at the State University of New York's Upstate Medical University, describes in a 2010 article how perpetrators often model themselves after commandos, wearing military dress or black clothing. Investigators usually find they had a lifelong fascination with weaponry, warfare, and military and survivalist culture. Their methodical comportment during the act is part of this styling.

    Contrary to the common assumption, writes author Michael D. Kelleher in his 1997 book "Flash Point," mass killers are "rarely insane, in either the legal or ethical senses of the term," and they don't typically have the "debilitating delusions and insidious psychotic fantasies of the paranoid schizophrenic." Dr. Knoll affirms that "the literature does not reflect a strong link with serious mental illness."

    Instead, massacre killers are typically marked by what are considered personality disorders: grandiosity, resentment, self-righteousness, a sense of entitlement. They become, says Dr. Knoll, " 'collectors of injustice' who nurture their wounded narcissism." To preserve their egos, they exaggerate past humiliations and externalize their anger, blaming others for their frustrations. They develop violent fantasies of heroic revenge against an uncaring world.

    Whereas serial killers are driven by long-standing sadistic and sexual pleasure in inflicting pain, massacre killers usually have no prior history of violence. Instead, writes Eric W. Hickey, dean of the California School of Forensic Studies, in his 2009 book "Serial Murderers and Their Victims," massacre killers commit a single and final act in which violence becomes a "medium" to make a " 'final statement' in or about life." Fantasy, public expression and messaging are central to what motivates and defines massacre killings.

    Mass shooters aim to tell a story through their actions. They create a narrative about how the world has forced them to act, and then must persuade themselves to believe it. The final step is crafting the story for others and telling it through spoken warnings beforehand, taunting words to victims or manifestos created for public airing.

    ...

    Especially interesting to contrast personality disorder from a mental illness.

    Short version:
    rampage killers are typically:
    - organized, meticulous, they don't just 'snap'
    - are often styled in a certain way (part of their persona) as 'commandos' - often exhibit interests in weaponry, warfare, and survivalism
    - they aren't insane or looking to derive pleasure from their actions, but are looking to make a statement
    - typically marked by personality disorders which derive from a need to preserve their own egos by casting themselves as victims ("collectors of injustice"), exaggerating their own past failures and blaming others for their failures instead of accepting responsibility
    - public expression is a goal of the shooting
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  7. #137
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Also @Coriolis and @kyuuei 's discussion above:

    What these findings suggest is that mass shootings are a kind of theater. Their purpose is essentially terrorism—minus, in most cases, a political agenda. The public spectacle, the mass slaughter of mostly random victims, is meant to be seen as an attack against society itself. The typical consummation of the act in suicide denies the course of justice, giving the shooter ultimate and final control.
    I'd posit that it doesn't really matter if we execute them or if we keep them alive, as long as they aren't in control of the outcome.

    However, in either case, they may claim some sort of control. If execution is inevitable they'll see it as a form of suicide, part of their plan. If they're kept alive, they'll probably publish their bullshit from behind bars and broadcast it over the internet.


    Transparency gives them loopholes. It seems the ideal way of dealing with it after the fact would be, back alley, no cameras, no tv, a bullet in the upper spine, unmarked grave, and bury their manifesto with it. That's it. That would curb the motivation for others. But that's not exactly transparent or how our society works.

    I'd hypothesize based on the above that rampage shootings/killings in general probably don't occur in places like, say, North Korea, where they'd likely never get a chance to be broadcast. If that can be shown to be true, that it really shows what the problem is. (or at least a correlation) If that isn't true, maybe something else is going on.

    (of course there is a great loss in freedoms for everyone else because of these policies, and i'm not suggesting we dump transparency, but that sort of case study could help 'prove' the hypothesis...figure out the source and you can figure out how to fix it)
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  8. #138
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Bambi, this is what I was trying to get at. The philosophies are so different that you can either be doing the precisely right thing or the wrong thing at any point in time. I think people that deranged can justify anything in their heads. Even if they valued life enough to take it away from others during their acts, in prison they can say that they knew they were getting sentenced to death and that they'd prefer that to living.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    I'd hypothesize based on the above that rampage shootings/killings in general probably don't occur in places like, say, North Korea, where they'd likely never get a chance to be broadcast. [B]If that can be shown to be true, that it really shows what the problem is. (or at least a correlation) If that isn't true, maybe something else is going on.
    A really interesting theory.. Since the news is so dampered--we actually have no idea if these things are just as common in Korea (proportionate to the size/population ratios) because the news is completely controlled. Also, I think that the lack of freedom of thought sort of creates a push against these sort of things.

    But I think what we could do here to take the stage away, is to dampen the hand of the assailant in the news articles we write and discuss. If one were to, say, mention the details of what happened, and then put a focus on the victims and recovery processes vs say, who did it and why and how much destruction they caused and how and how long they've been planning it and what kind of coffee they drink in the mornings.

    It would be a really interesting way of taking the power out of the criminal's hands. Like, no one is ever going to remember that YOU did that. Your name was mentioned in passing to what's truly important.
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  9. #139
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    A really interesting theory.. Since the news is so dampered--we actually have no idea if these things are just as common in Korea (proportionate to the size/population ratios) because the news is completely controlled. Also, I think that the lack of freedom of thought sort of creates a push against these sort of things.

    But I think what we could do here to take the stage away, is to dampen the hand of the assailant in the news articles we write and discuss. If one were to, say, mention the details of what happened, and then put a focus on the victims and recovery processes vs say, who did it and why and how much destruction they caused and how and how long they've been planning it and what kind of coffee they drink in the mornings.

    It would be a really interesting way of taking the power out of the criminal's hands. Like, no one is ever going to remember that YOU did that. Your name was mentioned in passing to what's truly important.
    Yeah, hard to say what's going on in a lot of these places. Perhaps among populations where there is considerably less access to news reports you could find something.

    I think the suicide contagion effect described in the article is possibly a similar enough indicator, but I'd still be interested in other places and a clearer picture about rampage shootings in particular.

    Quote Originally Posted by wall street journal article
    There is a precedent for this approach in dealing with another form of violence: suicides. A 2003 study led by Columbia University psychiatrist Madelyn Gould found "ample evidence" of a suicide contagion effect, fed by reports in the media. A 2011 study in the journal BMC Public Health found, unsurprisingly, that this effect is especially strong for novel forms of suicide that receive outsize attention in the press.

    Some researchers have even put the theory to the test. In 1984, a rash of suicides broke out on the subway system in Vienna. As the death toll climbed, a group of researchers at the Austrian Association for Suicide Prevention theorized that sensational reporting was inadvertently glorifying the suicides. Three years into the epidemic, the researchers persuaded local media to change their coverage by minimizing details and photos, avoiding romantic language and simplistic explanations of motives, moving the stories from the front page and keeping the word "suicide" out of the headlines. Subway suicides promptly dropped by 75%.


    FWIW I do think that American news outlets have a distinctive alarming style (even small things like CNN's loud trumpeting and fast, loud news casters, constant advertisements) compared to say, BBC or Al Jazeera.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  10. #140
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    FWIW I do think that American news outlets have a distinctive alarming style (even small things like CNN's loud trumpeting and fast, loud news casters, constant advertisements) compared to say, BBC or Al Jazeera.
    I do like BBC far better than our news castings. Even the French news was more like "Oh, here's the stuff that happened today btw."
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