Mass Murder: A Perspective on Young Male Killers

Loyola University’s James Garbarino, author of Listening to Killers: Lessons Learned from My Twenty Years as a Psychological Expert Witness in Murder Cases, addressed the questions (two years ago), why do males do most of the mass killings:

Some of it appears to lie in their (“our”) biological vulnerability. … about 30% of males (versus 9% of females) have a form of the MAOA gene that reduces the levels of an important neurotransmitter, and this in turn impairs their ability to deal effectively and prosocially with stressful situations …

But [genetics] is only a part, perhaps a small part, of the larger story. Males are also especially immersed in a culture that glorifies and justifies violence, and particularly male violence. …

These cultural messages and themes poison male consciousness. To put it bluntly, although the mentally ill on average are no more violent than the sane, even “crazy people” act within a cultural framework. They respond to cultural scripts that tell them “if this, then that.” For example, no account of the massacre of nine African Americans in a Charleston, South Carolina, church in June of 2015 is sensible without the recognition that there is a long tradition of racism as a rationale for killing black people in America…

All of these factors are compounded when the issue is young males. In recent decades, neuroscience researchers have demonstrated that human brains do not mature fully until people reach their mid or even late 20s, for the most part. These immature brains are particularly prone to make mistakes in interpreting the meaning of emotions in others, of judgment, and in assessing the risks and benefits of action. …

What is more, when young males have had an accumulation of adverse childhood experiences, the odds that they will have problems with both emotional regulation and executive function increase….

Finally, of course, there is the matter of arming troubled young male with lethal weapons. It is the access to guns that makes young male people so dangerous, especially when they are troubled, angry, or somehow “crazy.” …

Despite growing gender equality with respect to access to guns culturally and physically, it remains true that males are more gun-identified than females. And it is guns that make American violent behavior so lethal. Guns make suicide attempts particularly deadly (85% lethal vs. less than 10% for pills). It is guns in the hands of males that make domestic disputes—mostly violence against women—so dangerous. It is guns that make cop–civilian confrontations so deadly (most of which involve males on both sides). It is guns that make racist ideologies in the heads of troubled young males lead to nine dead bodies in a church in South Carolina, because “guns don’t kill people; people with guns kill people.” Or more accurately, “male people with guns.”

From the commentary, “Mass Murder: A Perspective on Young Male Killers“, Violence and Gender. 2:3, September, 2015.

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8 thoughts on “Mass Murder: A Perspective on Young Male Killers

  1. Wait. I thought we were all about the guns…now we’re studying people?!!!
    Men and women are different?!!
    Pioneering information!

    1. Nobell pioneering info, Ron.

      This could have been a topic of interest, until Professor
      Laden decided to once again to interject “beige racism” into
      the debate. It appears to me, dat all of societal illness are
      in one way or the other impacted by whitey.

      It is an effective method – always someone else whom is to blame.
      (Mein Fuhrer syndrome)

      Please, Professor,please mitigate yourself consciousness of white guilt
      and be intellectually engaging.

  2. Now do one on how many drugs are prescribed to boys to get them to “focus”….but wait a few weeks…so nobody can make the connection.

    1. Do you work hard to fail to understand these studies or do you simply do your best to distract from the message? Vile, either way.

    2. @ ron : That connection supposedly being ____________ with what extraordinary evidence for it please?

      Of course gun control issues will focus on both the technology and the people using it, I’m not sure why you have a problem understanding this or why you think its “pioneering”to notice the very different ratios of male vs female shooter mass murderers.

  3. Your Deanship, Ron is vile?? You need to find a safe place because
    it takes little to offend you !

    By the way, where is your reply button? But then reply to what ?

    1. Ron has a history of linking to racist sites, Nazi articles, and making comments dismissing issues of all sorts: mental health, racism, etc. Vike is too good a description for him.

      Your history puts you right their with him bb.

  4. Your Deanship:

    “Ron has a history of linking to racist sites, Nazi articles, and making comments dismissing issues of all sorts: mental health, racism, etc. Vike is too good a description for him.”

    Your history puts you right their with him bb.

    Well, if that is indeed the case, then he shall discredit
    himself without any effect from others.

    I have a history already, Dean? Are you the Director of KGB Archives?

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