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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Remembering our Modern American Mass Shootings, and Those to Come.

On a cold January Thursday morning in 2010, Timothy Hendron was in his car preparing to enter his work at the ABB Power Factory of ST. Louis. What was different this morning was that Hendron was armed this time with an AK-47 style assault rifle, two hand guns, a pump action shotgun, and hundreds of rounds of assorted ammunition in which to re-load them with.

Timothy Hendren then proceeded to ruthlessly cut down and kill two innocent fellow co-workers in the complex parking lot, and then killed another person and injured two others when he entered the industrial building shooting indiscriminately throughout the facility. His mass shooting spree continued unhindered until an employee with a concealed handgun started firing back at Hendron as he approached potential victims who were hiding down the hallway in a break room.

Timothy Hendron then went on to take the easy way out as many mass shooting spree perpetrators do; he blew his own brains out before the cops could get to him.

It would be fairly obvious to conclude that Timothy Hendren was not very happy with his employer or fellow employees, that fails to explain his extreme actions though. Hendren’s neighbors seemed surprised when told the news of his psychotic rampage and the outcome of his deeds. The only real clue to what sent this man over the edge was that he was active in a labor lawsuit involving the ABB Company’s pension plan. Now a pension plan would obviously stir emotions in most of the people it pertains to, but going on a killing spree over it is certainly like cutting your nose off despite your face, especially if you don’t intend to be around to enjoy retirement anyway – What are these people thinking when they turn into homicidal maniacs over daily life issues? – Are these newly indoctrinated killers a different breed than your run of the mill serial killer, or hopefully you and me?

What makes seemingly “normal” people do such unreasonably abnormal violent things? That question has been in debate for as long as the problem has existed without a clear cut scientifically proven theory as of yet, outside of the basic age old faults of human nature itself.

Envy of ones co-workers would seem to be an obvious factor in wanting to shoot them, along with of course a basic sense of daily aggravation with the people they work with, but still these common irritants rarely end up in a mass shooting spree. There has to be something about these “types” of people that set them apart from the rest of us who don’t kill several people when things start to not go our way.

 Mass shooting perpetrators are said to have similarities to their serial killer cousins such as hurting animals in their youth, or some form of past abuse in their childhood. This may tie them together according to an on-line article in the Huffington Post Science section that was posted soon after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Although their killer traits may be similar to that of a sociopathic psychotic killer, they have a major difference, a serial killer kills from obsessive compulsion or mental defect, or just plain because they are evil rotten human beings, but these “mass shooters” held down jobs and lived with family members.  These people weren’t there just for a cover story to elude detection from law enforcement and the rest of society; these people dealt with these future mass murderers on a daily basis, and they still had no clue or prior warnings about their neighbor, family member, or co-workers evil intent welling up inside them.

 Something made these people snap and suddenly have no regard for any life what-so-ever, including and especially  their own; call it an ultimate inferiority complex that serial killers rarely share with mass shooters.

This type of mass shooting epidemic was nothing new to the year 2010, society had already endured a long string of violent, senseless shooting sprees. From Virginia Tech in 2007 when Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 innocent souls on campus, and then of course killed himself last instead of first like normally depressed people would have, to the shocking shooting betrayal in 2009 at Fort Hood when Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded 30 before being brought down by a police officer. Obviously with Major Malik the strains of the gulf war and the rhetoric of Al-Qaeda had something to do with this shooting spree; but then again the military found him “sane” enough to counsel their troops as an active duty officer and trained psychologist – ooops to say the least, obviously this had more to do with Major Nidal Maliks general mental state at the time of the incident,  rather than the mental stresses of dealing with the war on terror,  along with the strain of simultaneously being an American Muslim officer in the U.S. Army.

Over and over again,  be it school, workplace, or movie theatre, the main theme in these maniacs picking places to enact their twisted revenge on the rest of us,  is designed to hit us exactly where we usually feel the most safe,  at school, at work, and of course a military fort or movie theatre. These violent nuts have one thing in mind and in common during their mass shooting sprees – teach society a terrible lesson they won’t soon forget for kicking them around mentally or financially for so many decades,  and then of course after their terrible deed immediately opt out of life’s contract. This suicidal tendency of snubbing their nose at society one last time by giving us the same guarantees they were given when arriving on earth, seems to serve as their final explanation of their heinous actions – No One Said Life Was Fair! This mortal trait seems to be another defining difference between the mass killing spree shooter and the average serial killer – I’ve never heard of a serial killer wanting to commit suicide on purpose, even when surrounded or caught red handed by the police. A serial killer’s ego usually would never even consider taking such a societal commoner’s mentally un-superior way out such as self-murder.

The modern accepted definition of a “spree killer” is someone who has committed two or more murders without a cooling off period. This is what separates them from your ordinary serial killer. Not having a proper cooling off period seems to be another of the most prevalent traits that all “shooting spree killers” have in common. If someone in their lives saw the warning signs a head of time,  possibly these terrible incidents would be growing  fewer instead of more frequently,  if the perpetrators simply had a cooling off period to get their heads together and realize that shooting co-workers, or  perfect strangers simply because your angry has no basis in rational “normal” societal thought and should be deemed as what it is – absolute insanity with still no definite reliable diagnosis, prognosis, nor cure to imply this national epidemic of indiscriminate shooting sprees will end anytime soon.

 With Newtown’s 26 dead being freshly remembered, let us remember all the other shooting incidents that fell before it, and also remember that without some sort of drastic action, regardless of the latest politics on gun control, we will still have no more control over stopping mass shooting tragedies in the future, than we do today.