Friday, January 11, 2008

The uneducated masses and mass murder

Andrew Kehoe never played a single violent video game in his life. He did not watch violent television or have an extensive collection of pornographic DVDs. He did not listen to rap music or rock and roll. Kehoe was not into Harry Potter books, didn’t suffer from not having after school programs, or buy guns at “Wal-Mart” or steal them from a family who neglected to lock them up.

Yet he killed more children in a school massacre than anyone else in American history. Kehoe was responsible for the bombing not shooting, but bombing of Bath Consolidated School in Bath Township, Michigan.

In 1927.

Long before the excuses of violent video games, movies, TV, or rap music could be used to identify “why” someone commits such an atrocity. While much of his childhood remains a misery, Kehoe did exhibit several behaviors common to such violent individuals. He was cruel to animals, exhibited agitation and inordinate anger towards others often, and came from a home where unhealthy conflict was reported between he and his stepmother. (He watched her burn for some time before dousing her with water after a stove explosion. She later died of her injuries.)

There would be no “quick fix” to the problem of Kehoe’s violence. We so often hear of “experts” who have all the answers about what causes violence. Too often those answers are quick fixes. Get rid of guns, violent video games, movies, and the like are often touted as the solution.

It goes much deeper than that. And sometimes folks, there are no solutions.

There are signs and symptoms, if you will, of some individuals careening towards acts of violence. Often these signs are ignored, disregarded, and simply overlooked because of lack of communication. Too often the media feeds us these quick fixes and we buy them. Without ever looking into the characteristics of those prone to killing.

The point of this article is not to go into every sign of violent prone individuals. There is a great deal of information in this blog on that. The point of this article is to help people realize that nothing is a quick fix, nothing is just a “simple answer”, and no single cause is to blame. Be cautious of those who claim they have a simple solution, all the answers, or innovative approaches for sale. Be careful who educates you on the ills of the world and the solutions to them.

Educate yourself. It may just save your life.

(Note: The sign shown in the picture above was found posted on a fence by mass murderer, Andrew Kehoe.)