The Origins of Rage – Reasons For Mass Shootings Rage develops over a period of time and originate in early childhood

The Origins of Rage – Reasons For Mass Shootings

It is simply absurd how politicians use the tragedy to attack their opponents. In the aftermath of the recent back-to-back mass shootings in the US, political parties were blaming each other for the shootings. One wonders about their IQ level and their level of understanding.

Enough studies have shown that hate, rage are the products of a dysfunctional home environment. Just changing gun laws will not stop the killings. Though gun possession increases the casualties, it does not control the rage and hate that drives a person to harm another human being.

rage anger killing mass shooting gun violence
Mass shootings stem from bottled up rage

Profile of Mass-Shooters

A vast majority of these mass-shooters are loners, who had trouble fitting in the school environment. They are socially awkward and find it difficult to have meaningful relationships. Over 95% of these shooters are male.

According to Dr. Michael Stone, professor of psychiatry at Columbia, mass murderers are generally dissatisfied people and have poor social skills and few friends.

There is an underlying and innate feeling of rejection within their psyches. And because they have been rejected by everyone, they harbor deep hatred and rage towards their fellow humans. Gradually, the revenge monster grows within their messed up minds – to show them, teach them a lesson.

Violent video games offer them the perfect outlet to vent their rage against the world.  They get to play out their violent fantasies of revenge in their minds. However, tragically something happens in their lives that snaps their link between reality and make-belief.  They are pushed over the edge to act out their fantasies of revenge.

Did Adam Lanza go berserk because his mother was planning to institutionalize him? And did the Dayton killer go on a spree after coming to know his idealized sister was a transgender man?

Rage can be extremely quiet, it builds up slowly but steadily till it erupts into homicidal madness.

From where does this rage come from

Repressed Anger – The Origins Of Hate and Rage

Anger is not a bad emotion, it is part of our survival response. When someone violates our rights or a space we jump up to defend ourselves. We are pre-wired to react in anger to any perceived injustice.

However, what happens when we are not allowed to protest. The angry feeling does not go away, it festers. We begin hating the person causing us pain – the pain of rejection.

Very often the origins of this hate stem from our babyhood days, When our cries were ignored, we were left alone, our nappies were not changed, milk was not given. Being ignored and rejected by our parents, particularly our mothers damage our right brain – the seat of our emotional self.

Most children are born with a healthy need for connection but if this need is continuously ignored and derided the child will grow up feeling defective. It is from the position he deals with the world. –I am not good enough. He feels envy and jealousy for those who have what he doesn’t and thus he begins hating humanity at large.

He does not remember the origins of his sense of his hatred, his primary caregiver – his mother.

One common thread that connects many of these mass shooters — other than access to powerful firearms — is a history of hating women. Did it stem from a deep hatred for their rejecting mother?

Being Rejected By Your Parent

Nothing is more painful to a human being than to be rejected by one’s parents. Being unwanted and considered a burden is devastating to a child. However, the truth being too painful, the child suppresses this crucial fact.

The mother-infant bond is interlinked to a child’s brain development. It is the blueprint for all our future social interactions. Growing up being rejected by our parents sets us for maladaptive social interactions. We relate from a sense of lack, being not good enough. This, in turn, sets us up for more rejection.

Nonetheless, we get caught in a vicious cycle of not belonging, being the outcast. We resent others for their good fortune – having the love and acceptance of a stable home.

Gradually, this resentment festers, into hatred, till an innocuous trigger turns them into raging maniacs. The violence that these killers unleash stems from chronically repressed anger that has turned into toxic rage.

Dysfunctional Families & Rage Build Up

The inter-relational dynamics of any family are largely hidden to an outsider. Moreso in a dysfunctional family, all is not fair and equal. The abuse most times is insidious but psychically devastating. The subterfuge, the denial, the hate, the animosity all hidden behind a cloak of normalcy.

No child is born defective or having a mental illness. It has been amply proven that mental illness is not a chemical imbalance rather it is a relational disruption. The lack of deep bonds, respect and freedom to communicate, More often than not, it is toxic. family dynamics that lead a child to act out

One can only imagine the rage the El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius, must have felt when his mother just abandoned the family, that too on Christmas day. Neighbors at his childhood home told how Crusius looked uncared for – wearing the same clothes every day.

Santa Barbara murderer Elliot Rodger in his manifesto before his death states that he hated that his parents divorced and he had to move into a smaller house. Not only that he had to contend with a cruel step-mother and a half-brother who seemed to have taken his place in his father’s affections.

Thwarted Needs and Rejection

As humans, we all have basic fundamental needs and wants, Besides the physical needs like food, clothing, and shelter we also crave for a sense of belongingness. Without feeling that we are loved and accepted for who we are, we will always feel a deep sense of aloneness.

Moreover, as a survival strategy to stop ourselves from being overwhelmed by these strong feelings that our parents don’t give a damn we shut out from feeling. We also do so to avoid parental wrath, disdain or outright rejection,

Unfortunately, memories of abuse don’t abuse just go away.  Our unconscious compels us to repeat the same trauma on others.

Breaking Down the Wall of Silence

Psychoanalyst Alice Miller, in her seminal work on childhood maltreatment, states that not only parents but also therapists and religious leaders refuse to accept the real truth about child abuse.

According to her, the danger does not lie with individuals, however criminal they may be. Rather it lies in the ignorance of our entire society, which confirms these people in the lies that they were obliged to believe in childhood.

Teachers, attorneys, doctors, social workers, priests, and other respected representatives of society protect parents from the mistreated child’s every accusation and see to it that the truth about child abuse remains concealed.

James Garbarino on Gun Violence

Can Mass Shooters Be Stopped?

Psychologist James Garbarino who spent a decade interviewing murderers on Death Row found that murderers are made at home.

Angry young people don’t fall from the sky their environment shapes them into killers. Stopping them by institutionalizing them or sending them to psychiatrists is like putting bandaid on a gaping wound.

Prevention is the best cure. And it starts when they are babies, nurturing them, loving them and bonding with them. Then it will not matter how easily guns are available. No person who feels loved by his family ever wants to kill and destroy another life. They will only think of protecting and saving lives.

Blaming Trump, lax gun laws, psychotropic drugs, video games, mental illness will not solve the problem.  It’s time parents realize, evolve and takes total responsibility for their kids’ well-being, both emotional, physical and spiritual. The only other alternative is selecting who will have kids – issuing a license to parent.

Further Reading:

For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence -Alice Miller

Banished Knowledge: Facing Childhood Injuries – Alice Miller

Thou Shalt Not Be Aware – Alice Miller

Listening to Killers: Lessons Learned from My Twenty Years as a Psychological Expert Witness in Murder Cases – James Garbarino

Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience: Confronting Global Realities and Rethinking Child Development – James Garbarino

Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them – James Garbarino

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