Denise C. McAllister is a cultural and political commentator, a senior contributor at The Federalist and her work can be found at several outlets, including PJ Media, Real Clear Politics, Hot Air, and Ricochet. She has been a guest on Fox News, CNN, and Newsmax. Denise joins Dave at Whiskey Politics for an in-depth discussion on what society must do facing yet another tragic school shooting. Other subjects: GOP/Never Trump rift and conservative complacency, Adam Schiff’s massive fundraising machine, #MeToo’s secret blacklists impacting innocent men’s careers (and how men can protect themselves). Denise and Dave finish off discussing the genesis of television news punditry with William F. Buckley v. Gore Vidal. It’s a fascinating and varied discussion and we hope you enjoy it.

Find Imprimis Magazine at imprimis.hillsdale.edu.

Out Music: Denise, Bob Dylan

Subscribe to Whiskey Politics in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!), or by RSS feed. For all our podcasts in one place, subscribe to the Ricochet Audio Network Superfeed in iTunes or by RSS feed.

There are 63 comments.

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  1. Contributor

    Further to the discussion on violent video games, @dcmcallister wrote this today at PJMedia.com.

    https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/note-to-matt-bevin-there-is-no-direct-link-between-video-games-and-teenage-violence/

    • #1
    • February 16, 2018 at 2:13 pm
    • 2 likes
  2. Member

    Listening now- as always, D.C. boldly and intelligently speaks to the most important issues of our time.

    • #2
    • February 16, 2018 at 8:53 pm
    • 3 likes
  3. Coolidge

    Ms. McAllister seems to be telling me that GOP voters have to choose between big government, big spending Republican elites and Trump. Also that “Trump wanted to cut spending”. Really? We are stuck with Trump but we could have done so much better.

    • #3
    • February 17, 2018 at 11:43 am
    • Like
  4. Contributor

    Julia, thank you for listening. No, I don’t think those are our three choices. Not at all. I think we need to choose conservatism and understand how populism and elitism are both equal parts. Whether it’s elitism or populism, either that deviates from the goal of limited government is on the wrong track.

    • #4
    • February 17, 2018 at 6:17 pm
    • 2 likes
  5. Contributor

    Dave, thank you for the great conversation. You and my other favorite Dave (Carter) on Ricochet are always a delight.

    • #5
    • February 17, 2018 at 6:19 pm
    • 3 likes
  6. Member

    Thank you, D.C.

    • #6
    • February 18, 2018 at 5:04 am
    • 2 likes
  7. Thatcher

    Great podcast. We miss you around here, D.C. You bring common sense to every discussion. BTW, my husband is in total agreement with you on video games and violence.

    • #7
    • February 18, 2018 at 7:28 am
    • 2 likes
  8. Contributor

    Blondie, my girl. Always good to hear from you! Yeah, the violent video games issue is interesting. I think playing too much of any game for hours on end, especially the games you do alone, has a dulling effect on people. On developing brains it sets in a pattern of malaise, again when there’s no interaction with real people in the gaming.

    I’m just not convinced by the actual evidence and common sense that watching video games makes a normal person violent. The numbers just don’t bear that out. Millions play these games across the globe and a tiny, minuscule fraction become mass murders.

    Not only that, violent crime in the US has declined significantly even as use of violent video has increased. If the premise that violent video games cause violent behavior, we should be seeing astronomical increases in violent crime, not a decrease.

    What we have is an increase of mass killings by both video players and non-video players. What then do we look at to find the cause here? What do these people have in common, and why the willingness to kill? Mental illness is one, especially the normalizing of it and over-medication. Broken homes is another. Lack of a strong masculine presence in their lives is a significant one. A culture of anger fueled in the Internet, which also adds to isolation as well as reinforcement of deviant behavior is another.

    A mass shooting is done by a sick individual and it is cowardly violence. A typical aggressive man fights, as in gang warfare. But a sick twisted violent individual doesn’t engage. Going into a gun free zone and picking off defenseless people is done by a mentally ill person who feels extremely powerless in life and thinks that taking life for the sake of it is empowering. There is no check on this twisted aggression by a stronger, better, more personally authoritative force in the man’s life. In fact such a force is deemed dangerous in itself in our society.

    Anyway, there are lots of reasons I think violent video games are not causal in these mass shootings. That is not to say that playing or watching anything for hours instead of actively engaging your mind and other people is good for the soul. It has a socially deleterious effect, but I don’t think it makes criminals. The isolating effect and even patterns of aggressive play can, I believe, influence an already twisted mind. But even in this there is evidence that video games give a safe outlet for already twisted minds so that they actually don’t go out and kill people.

    Back in the day, we had asylums and lock-down facilities for these people. We had intact families to influence and control them. We had strong men who were armed and put a check on anyone considering doing such a thing. Nothing curbs violence like the fear of a more powerful force bringing you down.

    • #8
    • February 18, 2018 at 8:15 am
    • 5 likes
  9. Contributor

    And thank you, Blondie, for the kind words. You and your husband are awesome. :)

    And, thank you, John, for listening. :)

    • #9
    • February 18, 2018 at 8:16 am
    • 3 likes
  10. Thatcher

    You and Dave said it in the podcast. There needs to be parental interaction with time limits, etc. on these things. I agree with your points above. We had this discussion over on the member feed, of course. For those who aren’t full members, that’s where the “real” conversations happen.

    • #10
    • February 18, 2018 at 8:27 am
    • 1 like
  11. Contributor

    Yes! When the two most fundamental elements of society are broken–an individual and the family–the most distant elements of society like government can’t fix it. All it can do is institute controls, and that creates no virtue and erodes freedom.

    • #11
    • February 18, 2018 at 8:36 am
    • 3 likes
  12. Member

    The “it feels right to me” explanation of the principal effect of violent video games involves “disinhibition.” The argument goes that if you hand a gun to a kid and say “Shoot that guy…” that we have a genetic predisposition to inhibition, that we won’t do it. But if that kid has skillfully and deliberately shot hundreds of people, that inhibition will be lowered. Getting rid of that inhibition is why soldiers are trained using those same video games so they won’t freeze up in battle. I think you are right that this and other correlations are just that, but not causation.

    Concerning school shootings in general, I just came across a fascinating post-Parkland podcast (direct mp3 link) by San Diego based radio host Mike Slater. His argument is that all recent school shootings are not new shootings. Based on the well-established field of Riot Psychology, Mike argues that all of these shootings are part of the same shooting, the same “riot” – Columbine.

    A majority of fatal school shootings have direct links to Columbine. Previous praise by the shooter for Klebold and Harris. Several had made exactly the same video made by one of the Columbine shooters. A mall shooter who killed 2 people, who was then confronted by an armed citizen and thus decided to commit suicide, began his attack at 11:54 am, the exact time Columbine began.

    Slater argues that this indicates, based on Riot Psychology, that this riot is likely to continue and even grow.

    • #12
    • February 18, 2018 at 9:38 am
    • 1 like
  13. Contributor

    D.C. McAllister (View Comment):
    Dave, thank you for the great conversation. You and my other favorite Dave (Carter) on Ricochet are always a delight.

    It was a great discussion, Denise, thank YOU!

    Yes, @DaveCarter is one of the better Dave’s here and anywhere.

    • #13
    • February 18, 2018 at 10:17 am
    • 2 likes
  14. Contributor

    Hi Eeyore, I’d like to address your point on use of video games in military training as it relates to inhibition and our discussion of mass shootings. Some argue that because the military trains soldiers with these games it follows that use of these games by anyone else turns them into a killer. And indeed the same game makers create both civilian games and military grade games.

    This argument, however, fails because it is based on erroneous presuppositions about the purpose of military training. The use of video games in the military is not to turn men into killers and remove their natural moral and conscience-psychological inhibitions to kill. In other words we are not grooming psychopaths (as some anti military liberals claim).

    We are training men to become competent at killing. The more competent they become, the more confident they will be to act according to their training in a combat situation. A soldier who fosuses on his training and is made highly competent due to his training is less likely to freeze during combat.

    A soldier is not trained to lose his value of human life. This is why many soldiers suffer from PTSD. They did their job, they acted according to their training, but after the adrenaline wears off and they are removed from combat, their psychology, with all its intact inhibitions about taking human life, kicks in. Guilt, fear, pain. Trauma.

    This isn’t to say that some soldiers don’t become psychopaths, but again this is an underlying condition, not the result of military training.

    This kind of virtual training that puts men in a variety of scenarios to teach them how to maneuver different fields of battle and to condition them in the Skill of battle with familiarity and repetition (practice) is not what is being said about the causeal effect of video games and mass killers. This argument is that video games are training boys to be killers, to become uninhibited to taking human life because it has been devalued through repeated action, that they’re causing boys to be aggressive, erasing their morality and human psychology.

    This case has simply not be proved. Soldiers are not made aggressive and dehumanized by video training. Neither are boys who play video games. Only those who enter into the gameplay with a preexistent psychology toward violence and devaluing of life use the gameplay with that in mind. You could argue that videos games train psychopaths. But you can’t make the argument that video games turn people into psychopaths.

    • #14
    • February 18, 2018 at 11:09 am
    • 4 likes
  15. Thatcher

    @dcmcallister – Welcome back, T’Pol!

    • #15
    • February 18, 2018 at 11:49 am
    • 3 likes
  16. Contributor

    T’Pol: “This situation must be analyzed logically!”

    • #16
    • February 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm
    • 1 like
  17. Thatcher

    Archer: “No great victory comes without sacrifice.”

    • #17
    • February 18, 2018 at 1:29 pm
    • 1 like
  18. Thatcher

    Unfortunately, the Archer-T’Pol relationship got off to a rather rocky start… 😉

    • #18
    • February 18, 2018 at 5:53 pm
    • 1 like
  19. Thatcher

    D.C. McAllister (View Comment):
    Hi Eeyore, I’d like to address your point on use of video games in military training as it relates to inhibition and our discussion of mass shootings. Some argue that because the military trains soldiers with these games it follows that use of these games by anyone else turns them into a killer. And indeed the same game makers create both civilian games and military grade games.

    This argument, however, fails because it is based on erroneous presuppositions about the purpose of military training. The use of video games in the military is not to turn men into killers and remove their natural moral and conscience-psychological inhibitions to kill. In other words we are not grooming psychopaths (as some anti military liberals claim).

    We are training men to become competent at killing. The more competent they become, the more confident they will be to act according to their training in a combat situation. A soldier who fosuses on his training and is made highly competent due to his training is less likely to freeze during combat.

    A soldier is not trained to lose his value of human life. This is why many soldiers suffer from PTSD. They did their job, they acted according to their training, but after the adrenaline wears off and they are removed from combat, their psychology, with all its intact inhibitions about taking human life, kicks in. Guilt, fear, pain. Trauma.

    This isn’t to say that some soldiers don’t become psychopaths, but again this is an underlying condition, not the result of military training.

    This kind of virtual training that puts men in a variety of scenarios to teach them how to maneuver different fields of battle and to condition them in the Skill of battle with familiarity and repetition (practice) is not what is being said about the causeal effect of video games and mass killers. This argument is that video games are training boys to be killers, to become uninhibited to taking human life because it has been devalued through repeated action, that they’re causing boys to be aggressive, erasing their morality and human psychology.

    This case has simply not be proved. Soldiers are not made aggressive and dehumanized by video training. Neither are boys who play video games. Only those who enter into the gameplay with a preexistent psychology toward violence and devaluing of life use the gameplay with that in mind. You could argue that videos games train psychopaths. But you can’t make the argument that video games turn people into psychopaths.

    That’s very true. I’ve known many people (men and women) who enjoy shoot-‘em-up type video games, and absolutely none of them are psychopaths or sociopaths. The one individual who did much to popularize that questionable connection was Dave Grossman in his controversial book On Killing.

    • #19
    • February 18, 2018 at 5:58 pm
    • 3 likes
  20. Member

    I suffered through the first segment, then dropped out. This was a vague, general, unfocused, unhelpful discussion of the Fl shooting. Absolutely nothing about concrete action to avoid future events. In fact, action (like laws) must await a better understanding of the underlying cause of dysfunctional families, social unrest, video games, teen chemical unbalance, etc. What’s wrong with us? Hell, I don’t know, and neither do the Sussman and his guest. It’s as if the world was never as screwed up as it is today. We need a better understanding of human nature. No we don’t. If McAllister doesn’t know what people are capable of by now, she never will.

    The emphasis on civil liberties over commonsense measures to protect ourselves is misguided in this context. What is law, other than a measure by society to control impulse. Even if we knew the motivation of aberrant behavior, like our boy Cruz, you’d need a method (rules and regs) to keep it from happening. No discussion of practical ways to keep the psychopathic Cruzes out there from buying guns they intend to use. “See something, say something” seems to be eschewed. But someone did in this case. And it only came to nothing because of FBI inaction. Would McAllister argue that Cruz’s rights were infringed upon? What about the snowflake kids who knew he was dangerous. Maybe they were intimidated. Intimidation never happened before I guess. The school knew, the cops knew. What prevented action? Civil liberties? If so, legislation that curtails civil liberties, would provide a confiscation – in this or similar, specific fact situations.

    No mention of beefing up security at schools either. I could go on but I’m tired. The root causes arguments are often advanced as an excuse for violence. Identity groups use it, even terrorists. Not for a second do I accuse Sussman and McAllister for participating in this rubbish. It’s just that we can examine the fault lines in out world to death, and come up with nothing that actually works.

    • #20
    • February 19, 2018 at 7:26 am
    • Like
  21. Contributor

    Mikescapes (View Comment):
    I suffered through the first segment, then dropped out. This was a vague, general, unfocused, unhelpful discussion of the Fl shooting. Absolutely nothing about concrete action to avoid future events. In fact, action (like laws) must await a better understanding of the underlying cause of dysfunctional families, social unrest, video games, teen chemical unbalance, etc. What’s wrong with us? Hell, I don’t know, and neither do the Sussman and his guest. It’s as if the world was never as screwed up as it is today. We need a better understanding of human nature. No we don’t. If McAllister doesn’t know what people are capable of by now, she never will.

    Agreed, we have no answers. Neither does anyone else. Sure, we would all like to see Israeli-like concealed weapon permits for teachers and school staff and we could hash out the gun-rights issue ad nauseum, but you can hear that on every other discussion about this in the media.

    Our goal was to try to get a better understanding of WHY. WHY do we see these shootings every few months? What happened in our society, with our children over the past few decades that has made this a now common occurrence?

    Also, if you want to create new laws, you better understand the sociological implications of that law as well as how it can impact your civil liberties. I happen to think that’s rather important.

    Thanks for listening to the first part. It’s a shame you didn’t hear the rest, I think Denise was well worth the listen.

    • #21
    • February 19, 2018 at 10:23 am
    • 3 likes
  22. Contributor

    Mike LaRoche (View Comment):

    D.C. McAllister (View Comment):
    Hi Eeyore, I’d like to address your point on use of video games in military training as it relates to inhibition and our discussion of mass shootings. Some argue that because the military trains soldiers with these games it follows that use of these games by anyone else turns them into a killer. And indeed the same game makers create both civilian games and military grade games.

    This argument, however, fails because it is based on erroneous presuppositions about the purpose of military training. The use of video games in the military is not to turn men into killers and remove their natural moral and conscience-psychological inhibitions to kill. In other words we are not grooming psychopaths (as some anti military liberals claim).

    We are training men to become competent at killing. The more competent they become, the more confident they will be to act according to their training in a combat situation. A soldier who fosuses on his training and is made highly competent due to his training is less likely to freeze during combat.

    A soldier is not trained to lose his value of human life. This is why many soldiers suffer from PTSD. They did their job, they acted according to their training, but after the adrenaline wears off and they are removed from combat, their psychology, with all its intact inhibitions about taking human life, kicks in. Guilt, fear, pain. Trauma.

    This isn’t to say that some soldiers don’t become psychopaths, but again this is an underlying condition, not the result of military training.

    This kind of virtual training that puts men in a variety of scenarios to teach them how to maneuver different fields of battle and to condition them in the Skill of battle with familiarity and repetition (practice) is not what is being said about the causeal effect of video games and mass killers. This argument is that video games are training boys to be killers, to become uninhibited to taking human life because it has been devalued through repeated action, that they’re causing boys to be aggressive, erasing their morality and human psychology.

    This case has simply not be proved. Soldiers are not made aggressive and dehumanized by video training. Neither are boys who play video games. Only those who enter into the gameplay with a preexistent psychology toward violence and devaluing of life use the gameplay with that in mind. You could argue that videos games train psychopaths. But you can’t make the argument that video games turn people into psychopaths.

    That’s very true. I’ve known many people (men and women) who enjoy shoot-‘em-up type video games, and absolutely none of them are psychopaths or sociopaths. The one individual who did much to popularize that questionable connection was Dave Grossman in his controversial book On Killing.

    Again, as said on the show, I am just trying to identify what has changed in society over the past couple/three decades since we were young and didn’t have these shootings every few months. I fully agree with video game violence not being a cause. There are millions of kids (and adults) playing these things and they lead normal lives. But what about triggering those ‘broken machines’ and desensitizing their already sociopathic disposition? Yes, the number is only .00000something %. Tiny. Again, no answers on this one. My feeling is if we only look through the lens of our political perspective and ideology, and not at the greater question of how we can identify, manage and prevent people from doing this again, we are only going to rinse and repeat.

    Also fwiw, personally as a Father, I would not want my sons spending hours in this environment.

    • #22
    • February 19, 2018 at 10:48 am
    • 1 like
  23. Thatcher

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):
    Our goal was to try to get a better understanding of WHY. WHY do we see these shootings every few months? What happened in our society, with our children over the past few decades that has made this a now common occurrence?

    Is it that society has really changed or is it copycatism? I have to wonder how many of these school shootings would have occurred if the Columbine massacre hadn’t happened. For thousands of years, teenagers didn’t eat laundry detergent. Now some hundreds are doing just that for the chance of a little fame. It’s not even admiration they’re getting from their audience, just the thrill of knowing that people are watching them eating a Tide Pod. Heck, maybe eating Tide Pods is a good thing. Maybe a couple of the stupid Tide Pod-eaters got their fill of fame and won’t shoot somebody to satisfy their desire for notoriety.

    • #23
    • February 19, 2018 at 11:02 am
    • 3 likes
  24. Contributor

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):
    Our goal was to try to get a better understanding of WHY. WHY do we see these shootings every few months? What happened in our society, with our children over the past few decades that has made this a now common occurrence?

    Is it that society has really changed or is it copycatism? I have to wonder how many of these school shootings would have occurred if the Columbine massacre hadn’t happened. For thousands of years, teenagers didn’t eat laundry detergent. Now some hundreds are doing just that for the chance of a little fame. It’s not even admiration they’re getting from their audience, just the thrill of knowing that people are watching them eating a Tide Pod. Heck, maybe eating Tide Pods is a good thing. Maybe a couple of the stupid Tide Pod-eaters got their fill of fame and won’t shoot somebody to satisfy their desire for notoriety.

    Hasn’t copycatting always been there though? Did you ever follow or have your buddy follow you off the 100′ cliff into the lake?

    Tide pods were about social media fame and the narcissistic element fueled by getting clicks and dopamine-triggering likes. IMO let Darwin naturally occur; less traffic on the freeway for the rest of us.

    But in each of these cases, these copycats or social media junkies only endangered themselves. Shooters are mowing down innocent kids. Think this is altogether different.

    • #24
    • February 19, 2018 at 11:19 am
    • Like
  25. Thatcher

    Dave, I think some mass murders happen because the murderer has a grudge against a particular group of people, like the Boston Marathon bombers who thought they were killing infidels. In these school shootings, it seems like a desire for notoriety is a primary motivation.

    • #25
    • February 19, 2018 at 11:28 am
    • 4 likes
  26. Contributor

    Mikescapes (View Comment):
    I suffered through the first segment, then dropped out. This was a vague, general, unfocused, unhelpful discussion of the Fl shooting. Absolutely nothing about concrete action to avoid future events. In fact, action (like laws) must await a better understanding of the underlying cause of dysfunctional families, social unrest, video games, teen chemical unbalance, etc. What’s wrong with us? Hell, I don’t know, and neither do the Sussman and his guest. It’s as if the world was never as screwed up as it is today. We need a better understanding of human nature. No we don’t. If McAllister doesn’t know what people are capable of by now, she never will.

    The emphasis on civil liberties over commonsense measures to protect ourselves is misguided in this context. What is law, other than a measure by society to control impulse. Even if we knew the motivation of aberrant behavior, like our boy Cruz, you’d need a method (rules and regs) to keep it from happening. No discussion of practical ways to keep the psychopathic Cruzes out there from buying guns they intend to use. “See something, say something” seems to be eschewed. But someone did in this case. And it only came to nothing because of FBI inaction. Would McAllister argue that Cruz’s rights were infringed upon? What about the snowflake kids who knew he was dangerous. Maybe they were intimidated. Intimidation never happened before I guess. The school knew, the cops knew. What prevented action? Civil liberties? If so, legislation that curtails civil liberties, would provide a confiscation – in this or similar, specific fact situations.

    No mention of beefing up security at schools either. I could go on but I’m tired. The root causes arguments are often advanced as an excuse for violence. Identity groups use it, even terrorists. Not for a second do I accuse Sussman and McAllister for participating in this rubbish. It’s just that we can examine the fault lines in out world to death, and come up with nothing that actually works.

    Thanks for listening in part. A couple of points. As Dave said, we were analyzing how we got here, which I think is absolutely necessary. If my kids keep coming in from the backyard with welts all over their legs, I would be doing nothing to actually solve the problem if I only bandaged and medicated the welts. As soon as they healed, they’d head back out and have it happen all over again.

    When I do discover the thorns that are cutting them, I should do two things. One, do what I can to rid the area in the yard that’s infested with thorns, and two put a barrier up around the area so my kids are properly protected as much as possible.

    Dave and I were discussing the “looking for the cause” and felt frustrated about how to get rid of those thorns. But that absolutely needs to be a discussion in our society, particularly at the most fundamental levels of society.

    What you only want to discuss is putting up the protective barrier. You seem frustrated with any other type of analysis, which I don’t understand because we can have a variety of conversations on this topic, analyzing it from different sides. In our discussion, we simply didn’t get into immediate action, not because we don’t think it’s important but because we wanted, in this podcast, to analyze root causes. The thorns.

    Now if you want to know my opinion on protective barriers. I think we should first only pursue avenues that are both protective of individuals and of their civil liberties–Have better response by law enforcement to reports about possible suspects. Use local organizations and groups to deal with that, especially if the family is absent. Additionally, I think we should arm adults in the schools. Not every teacher, but those trained in concealed carry. I think we should also re-examine our approach to mentally ill people and be more honest about who is, or potentially is, a threat to himself or society.

    Beyond that, I don’t think there is much else to do. I don’t advocate a new watchdog department within homeland security. I don’t advocate violating privacy rights on mere accusation. And I don’t advocate gun control. Bottom line, I don’t support instituting new laws or expanding the federal government to deal with this.

    I take civil liberties seriously. A wise man once said if you give up freedom for security, you lose both.

    I am well aware of the depravity of human behaviors. I’m a student of history. I’m also a Christian and believe we need to look at human behavior not only physically but spiritually. The solutions to the ills of society are not only in instituting protective measures, but rooting out the fundamental problems. We don’t like to deal with this approach because it’s complex and long-term. We are a society of single variables and instant, tangible answers. Life isn’t like that.

    The law is supposed to restrain evil through punishment, not to control behavior. This doesn’t mean that we don’t agree to some regulatory mechanisms for security, but we should be restrained in creating these regulations. The best controls of behavior are self-control or self-government. We are failing to teach our children to self-govern due to a variety of factors. When people can’t self-govern, other aspects of society step forward to control them. But there is always a place to examine how to better encourage self-governance in society rather than simply imposing government control en masse.

    • #26
    • February 19, 2018 at 11:36 am
    • 3 likes
  27. Contributor

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):
    Our goal was to try to get a better understanding of WHY. WHY do we see these shootings every few months? What happened in our society, with our children over the past few decades that has made this a now common occurrence?

    Is it that society has really changed or is it copycatism? I have to wonder how many of these school shootings would have occurred if the Columbine massacre hadn’t happened. For thousands of years, teenagers didn’t eat laundry detergent. Now some hundreds are doing just that for the chance of a little fame. It’s not even admiration they’re getting from their audience, just the thrill of knowing that people are watching them eating a Tide Pod. Heck, maybe eating Tide Pods is a good thing. Maybe a couple of the stupid Tide Pod-eaters got their fill of fame and won’t shoot somebody to satisfy their desire for notoriety.

    Hasn’t copycatting always been there though? Did you ever follow or have your buddy follow you off the 100′ cliff into the lake?

    Tide pods were about social media fame and the narcissistic element fueled by getting clicks and dopamine-triggering likes. IMO let Darwin naturally occur; less traffic on the freeway for the rest of us.

    But in each of these cases, these copycats or social media junkies only endangered themselves. Shooters are mowing down innocent kids. Think this is altogether different.

    One appeal of the copy-cat is the “fame” aspect. In the past these frustrated individuals probably would have just killed themselves. But we live in the age of Internet fame. Everyone wants to be noticed. The lone killer is a selfie murderer. This is particularly attractive to someone who feels invisible or reduced. Couple that feeling with wanting fame, along with the psychopathology, and you have a recipe for a mass shooting–particularly since the model has already been set. These disturbed individuals saw it in Columbine and they want to emulate it instead of killing themselves quietly.

    This guy though didn’t kill him self in the end, which shows the depth of his pathology. He went to Subway after. Completely dissociative. But the element of copy-cat could still be in play. Maybe.

    • #27
    • February 19, 2018 at 11:43 am
    • 4 likes
  28. Contributor

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):
    Our goal was to try to get a better understanding of WHY. WHY do we see these shootings every few months? What happened in our society, with our children over the past few decades that has made this a now common occurrence?

    Is it that society has really changed or is it copycatism? I have to wonder how many of these school shootings would have occurred if the Columbine massacre hadn’t happened. For thousands of years, teenagers didn’t eat laundry detergent. Now some hundreds are doing just that for the chance of a little fame. It’s not even admiration they’re getting from their audience, just the thrill of knowing that people are watching them eating a Tide Pod. Heck, maybe eating Tide Pods is a good thing. Maybe a couple of the stupid Tide Pod-eaters got their fill of fame and won’t shoot somebody to satisfy their desire for notoriety.

    I really like the laundry detergent analogy.

    • #28
    • February 19, 2018 at 11:44 am
    • 3 likes
  29. Contributor

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Dave, I think some mass murders happen because the murderer has a grudge against a particular group of people, like the Boston Marathon bombers who thought they were killing infidels. In these school shootings, it seems like a desire for notoriety is a primary motivation.

    I’m sure there’s some of that. Loser’s needing the worst kind of notoriety shows how deeply maladjusted they are.

    But that’s my point; losers also existed in the 70’s and 80’s. There were fights, drugs, and other abnormal or antisocial behaviors. We also had guns then too. But mass shootings? I only remember hearing about Whitman, that Texas clocktower sniper, as it was so outside the norm.

    Lone gunmen destroying entire communities was unthinkable. Now it’s almost common.

    • #29
    • February 19, 2018 at 11:49 am
    • Like
  30. Contributor

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    Dave, I think some mass murders happen because the murderer has a grudge against a particular group of people, like the Boston Marathon bombers who thought they were killing infidels. In these school shootings, it seems like a desire for notoriety is a primary motivation.

    I’m sure there’s some of that. Loser’s needing the worst kind of notoriety shows how deeply maladjusted they are.

    But that’s my point; losers also existed in the 70’s and 80’s. There were fights, drugs, and other abnormal or antisocial behaviors. We also had guns then too. But mass shootings? I only remember hearing about Whitman, that Texas clocktower sniper, as it was so outside the norm.

    Lone gunmen destroying entire communities was unthinkable. Now it’s almost common.

    A few statistics might help. You mentioned the UT clock tower shooting in 1966. There was also the mass murder by Robert Bejamin Smith in 1966 at a beauty college, which was determined to be a copy-cat of the Richard Speck murders (also in 1966) and the clock tower murders. (1966 was a bad year for mass shootings)

    There were also the Cal state murders in 1976, the Stockton schoolyard mass shooting in 1989; university of Iowa shooting in 1991; the 1998 massacre by two middle school kids in 1998; then came Columbine in 1999. In the last 19 years we’ve had 11 more mass shootings, 4 of which were done by high schoolers.

    • #30
    • February 19, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    • 3 likes
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