[FoRK] "..he was angry at God."

Stephen D. Williams < sdw at lig.net > on > Tue Oct 3 17:56:38 PDT 2006

Someone wanting to kill a bunch of random people, or even a particular 
person along with other random people, could do more damage with a big 
SUV, let alone a Semi, into a crowd, minimal building, etc. than they 
could likely manage with a gun.

This guy was on a slippery slope and lost his footing.

The way you prevent these kinds of things is to try to get everyone, 
especially the partially developed psychopaths, to detect, alert, and 
try to deflect these kinds of things. Unfortunately, mostly people have 
or feel they have no recourse or way out until they go over the edge and 
then suddenly everyone wants to respond, help, etc.

Still, you can't be 100% safe so crazy things will happen periodically. 
If you are priming most of the population with the kinds of beliefs that 
allow this, then eventually you are going to get someone who has either 
a defect or a an unfortunate enough experience who loses their grip. If 
you were instead reaffirming reality and rationality at every point, it 
seems it would be more likely that you would notice someone who was 
drifting away.

At a fairly large crossover point you can't tell the difference between 
a "devout" believer and someone who's crazy.


Jim Whitehead wrote:
> On Oct 3, 2006, at 9:44 AM, Tom Higgins wrote:
>> from a cnn piece on the recent Amish school shooting...
>> http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/10/03/penn.shooter/index.html
>> "
>> "According to an obituary, Roberts and his wife lost a daughter
>> shortly after she was born in 1997, the AP said.
>> Police said investigators who reviewed notes left by the gunman for
>> his wife and children indicated he was "angry at life" and "angry at
>> God."
> I wonder whether shootings like these are an inevitable aspect of our 
> large-scale civilization.
> With the US population homing in on 300million 
> (http://www.census.gov/), if you have a 1 in 50million chance of a 
> mentally disturbed person capable of a school shooting, this means 
> there are ~6 people in our population capable of this.
> I don't know how a society can guard against occurrences that have 1 
> in 50million probability.
> Reducing access to guns presumably just reduces the body count when 
> someone goes off, it doesn't eliminate the core problem.
> It is feasible to find a 100% accurate evaluation for mental illness? 
> Probably not. Even 99.999% wouldn't cut it. Oy.
> What I just don't understand is how this man could commit this crime, 
> and have kids. How could he not understand the pain he would inflict 
> on the other families, and on his own?
> - Jim
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