Why is there a ‘rash’ or cluster of so many elementary school shootings or shootings in malls where young parents are walking with children in strollers? The act brought tears to President Obama’s eyes. This trend of young men, usually in their twenties (or even high-school students) as shooters appears to be a way of emphasizing the disconnectedness of people during the season of connections and giving..and also testing how one measures up from the inside. The alleged shooter has been identified by the police as Adam Lanza, who allegedly shot himself on the school premises.
The shooter allegedly first killed his mother (at home). Then he went to the elementary school to fatally shoot others, including himself. The Friday morning massacre in Newtown, Connecticut is the second-deadliest shoot event in U.S. history. It took place in an elementary school where 20 children, mostly kindergartners were fatally gunned down in a school where more than 600 children from kindergarten through the fourth grade spent their daytime hours.
The heroic acts of some of the teachers and the library clerk hid the rest of the children ages five to 10 from the gunfire. The teachers managed to lead the rest of the children to safety, keeping calm, reading to the children, and hiding them from the onslaught.
Notice that most of these shooters are taking place either around holiday times or movie openings, where people are gathered together in the form of a “captured audience” on a perceived “stage set” with the intent to experience connection, togetherness, education, entertainment, or any type of perceived ‘joy’ or at the least, a chance to forget their worries or thoughts about themselves and enjoy the distraction of an event, whether it’s a school day or a shopping excursion to experience an event outside their own anxieties. And why did the shooter begin by shooting kindergarten students and their teacher at Sandy Hook elementary school?
In each case, there appears to be a gulf that can’t be bridged between the shooter and his captured audience, a gulf so wide, that the only way a connection can take place is by pulling the ‘captives’ down to the emotional level of the shooter (by shooting them). In essence, the shooter transfers the pain he’s feeling to his captured audience. Then relieved, he moves to gun down himself to connect to his audience. Thus, he has made the connection between his disconnected self and the perceived joy the crowd was supposed to be feeling that he was missing in his depressed life.
By raining on everyone’s parade, by targeting innocent children, the shooter is reigning. And at the same time, the shooter spreads his death wish on others in a season celebrating life unfolding — the antithesis of Santa Claus’s gift-giving ambiance. The season of festivals of lights is thereby extinguished, the dark replacing the aura of lights — the blinking in replaced by the blinking out in the twinkling of an eye shared between the shooter and his captured ‘prey.’
In the latest shooting, in the holiday season of supposed joy, at Sandy Hook Elementary school, the act has left 28 dead. Most victims were kindergartners, and included children ages five to 10. The shooter, his mother, six adults were fatally shot. Among the dead are the school principal, several teachers, and the school psychologist, according to law enforcement sources. You can check out the December 14, 2012 Washington Post article by y Sari Horwitz and David A. Fahrenthold, “Sandy Hook Elementary shooting leaves 27 dead, law enforcement sources say.” Or See the December 15, 2012 Sacramento Bee article, “Our Hearts Are Broken.” The small Connecticut town is about 90 minutes from New York City.
Shooting has left 28 dead
This time, a video appears on the Washington Post article’s website showing President Barack Obama teared up this afternoons he addresses the nation after a mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. left 28 people dead, including 18 children and the suspected gunman, not yet identified in news sources. The shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Friday morning killed 28 people, including 20 children, 6 adults, the shooter, and the shooter’s mother (at home), police reported to the Washington Post and other media outlets.
Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut is located about 60 miles northeast of New York City. Police said that the shootings were carried out in two rooms, located in the same section of the school. Law enforcement sources told the media that 18 of the children had died at the scene, and two more died after being taken to hospitals.
For updates on this news you can check out sites such as the following: The dead at Sandy Hook Elementary. You can also check out the news article, School shooting in Newtown, Conn.: An official with knowledge of a shooting at a Connecticut elementary school says 27 people are dead, including 18 children. Or view the video of President Obama speaking on the event: President Obama speaks on Newtown, Connecticut school shooting. The president wiped tears from his eyes as he addressed the mass shooting in Newtown.
To see updates, check out the Live Blog: Updates from Connecticult. Law enforcement identified the shooter who had ties to the school as the officials recovered his two guns and bulletproof vest. As is common in many shooting cases, the shooter also shot himself. The Washington Post newspaper also lists the links to social media tweets on the shooting, such as seen on the live blog: ‘I am ashamed to be an American’ and The world’s deadliest mass shootings.
There’s the local station NBC Connecticut is at the scene in Newton, Connecticut at the link: Live: On the ground at Sandy Hook. Ironically, the police related to the media a “secondary crime scene,” elsewhere in Newtown, where another adult was found dead.
In the shooting a kindergarten teacher at the school had been among the first killed, and many of the young victims were her students, according to sources reporting to the Washington Post. Check out the video of President Obama, in one of his most emotional speeches as president, wiped away tears as he spoke about the shooting from the White House’s briefing room.
Why are shootings clustered close together?
If you ask human behavior experts why all the shootings in a cluster in a close time frame, they may relate it to the season of holiday events and emotions surrounding the winter holiday season as contrasting with the type of emotions or disconnectedness from the joy of the season of the shooter. The same may apply to the element of surprise and anticipated joy of theater. For example, people gather at not only political speeches and the grand openings of movies, but also in shopping malls to experience the pleasure of gifting or shopping which is supposed to be a joyful experience and the gift has an element of surprise.
The shooter, on the other hand, offers an element of surprise at the opposite end of emotions, where the shooter connects by transferring the disconnect felt in the midst of people gathered together for supposed connectedness as in family shopping or children gathered in a classroom–connected for one purpose to learn and to make friends with people seen daily in school.
Falling from innocence with no ‘catcher’
There’s an aura of innocence about an elementary school classroom just as there’s an aura of innocence in a shopping mall where strangers experience the window decorations for holiday celebrations and the joy of buying gifts. The shooter is there to take away the aura of innocence, the fall from ‘grace’ so to speak, to act as the ‘catcher’ (As in the book, Catcher in the Rye) which usually the shooter has never read since it’s from another generation. In most cases, the shooter is a young male who appears to transfer his disconnection to a situation where children, as innocents are connected or where families shop together or attend movies or political speeches in a perceived aura of connectedness.
The Connecticut shootings come just a few months after a gunman killed 12 in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. in July and a few days after the shooting in the Oregon mall where families where holiday shopping. The solution the nation has to face is how to prevent this from happening again, since with all the security systems the school had to keep out trespassers, all the shooter had to do, allegedly, was break the windows and enter without permission to enter through the locked doors. Even the police had to break windows in order to enter the school.
The sanctuary of a children’s school room represents innocence
To worsen the evil act, the massacre appears to copy the 1989 shooting in Stockton, California, where a drifter with an AK-47 rifle opened fire on a schoolyard and five children died. In that shooting, 29 others were wounded before the gunman killed himself. The holiday season targets–children appear to be related most closely to the Christmas season as being a children’s holiday, about the birth of a baby.
If experts analyze the events as a line connecting the ‘dots’ an assault weapon has been used in most of these shootings, whether in a mall, theater, or school room. The captured audience is a similar group of people coming together to experience an act of connectedness. And the shooter, being the opposite in a ‘war’ between good and evil becomes the “take-away-man.” He takes away the connectedness of the innocence of people sharing the joy or educational experience of distraction from their own woes and worries. The shooter by destroying them and himself also destroys the ability to apply the season of joy and giving and turn it into the season of stress.
When it comes to health, the stress of the times appears also to be global. Check out the article, “An Overview Of Cardiovascular Disease Burden In The United States” and “The Lancet: Volume 380, Number 9859, 15 December 2012.” And see the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010: research led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reports life expectancies and mortality rates in 187 countries from 1970 to 2010; leading causes of death; severity of disabilities; more than 1000 consequences of disease and injury; and the contribution of risk factors to global burden of disease.
Apparently the season of giving by shooters and those who think along the same lines has been turned into the season of stress, rage, and fear. As an act of ‘giving’ the shooter has given his own gift, that of the “takeaway man.” He has taken away not only their seasonal joy but their lives and/or health. The nation mourns these losses as we rush to help, care, and support the victims with responsibility, compassion, and empathy.
Even with the security system set up so that the doors are locked and guests have to be let in by permission after they buzz the office and someone comes down to open the door of the school, the vulnerability loop is that someone determined to wreak havoc and chaos can just shoot out the nearby windows and enter, since there are no bars on the windows or electric fences. The school can’t be run like a prison.
Security is an issue, since anyone with a weapon can find a way to enter. No elementary school is totally windowless. Another solution needs to be found for this type of invasion of elementary schools and similar environments where children are supposed to be in a protected environment.
Even under such pressure, the teachers who saved the rest of the children did heroic jobs and kept their cool under the pressure of a life and death situation. The shooter probably planned the massacre just a few days before Christmas, when most of the children would be celebrating an event of gift-giving and joy to the world. As an act of evil, the outcome for the parents of those who can’t hug their children, a veil of evil has acted out the opposite of what the holiday spirit is supposed to inspire in people, a season of lights, candles, and walking out of the darkness.