- The April 1999 shootings that took place at Columbine High School in Colorado are arguably one of the most heinous acts of violence to be perpetrated on America’s youth.
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Right now, America has an unacceptably high number of mass school shootings. Nicole Hockley, who lost her son, Dillon, in the Newtown shooting, wrote a to the mother she used to be and said, No matter how many lives get saved in his name, or in the name of others, I cant go back. But you can go forward and make a difference. With the victims of these tragedies in mind, the media, politicians, schools, and communities must evaluate what influence they can have and push forward to make a positive difference.
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But there is a further problem with the argument that mental illnesses substantially increase violent tendencies: it has little empirical support. Yale professor Jeffrey Swanson that mental illness has only a weak connection to general violence. Metzl and MacLeishs research adds that several specific mental illnesses, like depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit disorders, have no correlation with general violence. In an interview with the HPR, Metzl said, Statistically speaking, the persons who demonstrate symptoms suggestive of mental illness are proportionately more likely to commit mass shootings, but I dont think the mentally ill are more likely, if they are going to commit a crime, to commit a mass shooting.
As a result, when the various versions concerning the causes of the massacre started to appear, the fact of their exclusion and problems with their peers were named among the major cause of the shootings. To put it more precisely, the investigators of the Columbine shooting suggested that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold decided to organize the massacre because they were not accepted by the school community . Their inability to get integrated into the social life in their school led to the growing opposition and the desire to revenge on other students and teachers for their exclusion. In such a way, one of the causes of the shootings may be some sort of revenge.
This transformation resulted not from violent actions committed by the mentally ill, but rather from diagnostic frame shifts that incorporated violent behavior into official psychiatric definitions of mental illness, according to Metzl and MacLeish. They add that these changes in the societal definition of mental illness have encouraged psychiatrists and the general public to define violent acts as symptomatic of mental illness. Consequently, school shooters are often deemed mentally ill because society views their violence as a symptom of mental illness. Attributing mental illness to school shootings becomes challenging when the definition of mental illness is changing with societal views and developments in clinical psychology.
Metzl added that considerably higher than three percent of Americans could be defined as mentally ill under current standards. However, his research with MacLeish shows that less than three to five percent of U.S. crimes involve people with mental illness, and the percentages of crimes that involve guns are lower for the mentally ill than for the national average for persons not mentally ill. Rather, their analysis of police reports show that people diagnosed with schizophrenia have much higher victimization rates than the general public and are more much more likely to be victims than be perpetrators. Mental illness alone does not lead to the comparatively high number of school shootings in America.
In public opinion, video games cause more aggression in comparison to traditional violent media contents because video games have more features of interactivity, "due to the active engagement and participation of players" (Hummer and Wang et al.
Froman argued that mental health records should be available in the NICS if someone has been adjudicated by a court to be mentally ill or violent where a court has actually had a hearing where person has been represented. She added that a court ruling was the only way to determine whether someone should be barred from purchasing a firearm because of mental illness because the opinions of doctors differ and the definition of mental illness is so vague. Moreover, Froman noted, all states must use this federal database for it to be truly effective, since its only as good as the records that are put into it, and a lot of states have not put records into it.
They simply wanted to be significant or noticed by their surrounding, they wanted to emphasize that they should not be ignored and, strangely enough, they chose shootings as the means of drawing the public attention to their personalities. However, this version does not seem to be very convincing because at the end of the massacre Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold committed suicides so they could not benefit or enjoy their notoriety. Consequently, the desire to draw the public attention postmortem is quite a strange cause but, it is strange only for a normal people in a normal life situation, while the act the two students committed is absolutely abnormal that makes it possible to doubt whether psychological state was normal or probably they really had such a strange desire to become noticed by other people and demonstrate their significance.