Thursday, September 19, 2013

Let's deal with this Violence in our Society.

CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS / @CSI?cafe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ok. Last week I was appalled by the violence in the Navy yard in D.C. This is a subject that I am sick and tired of occupying the news cycles. So I am going to look at this from a slightly different stand point. This is a social issue, it's not something that can be legislated away. We have to make sure that we are not looking for solutions in the wrong areas. So let's start looking at the ways in which we should be focused on these violent tragic events.

First let's take a look at the mental aspect of this. It's apparent that there are some inherent mental problems in the perpetrators. Some experts believe that the people who commit these crimes are somewhat self loathing and are looking for someone to notice them. Anything that can bring them fame and notoriety. They have this huge ball of rage locked into the core of their being and it's a direct response to feeling lonely and abandoned. On the other hand, some studies suggest that it's poor decision making and impulse control that characterizes these individuals, these same effects, according to the study can be found in people with serious brain injuries.

So let's explore the first notion a little more. Below you will see a link to an article by a psychiatrist entitled, "The Psychology of Mass Shootings". It appeared on the opednews site in December, 2012. In it this author postulates that these people are locked in a maelstrom of negative emotions, despair, anger, frustration and rage and it's these emotions that are backed by a sense of powerlessness and that their only expression is negatively charged and destruction. He also theorizes that these people begin to reject all that is good within them and outwardly manifest an evil destructive life taking power.

What this means to me, is that these people are hurting. A deep seated pain that cannot be easily relieved. They are locked in a battle within, filled with outrage, and frustrated that they are not able to control their desire to become, in a word, evil. Filled with this animus, and according to Dr. Michaelson, they begin to obsess over guns and death.

Now as you can see. These factors are inherent in perpetrators of mass shootings. Dr. Michaelson believes that these people are incapable of self regulation. He suggests that the lack of self regulation causes these individuals to hold grudges and recycle negative emotions. Ladies and gentlemen, this cannot be changed by law. It can only be changed by becoming more socially conscious and reaching out to people who we may know are having a hard go of it. More on this later.

Now let's take a look at another study, Neurocognitive deficits related to poor decision-making in people behind bars. This study was quite interesting. It shows that impulse control is one of the key factors in the people who were incarcerated for assault/murder. The authors of this study suggests that people who are arrested for assault/murder are more likely to place value on recent outcomes versus past outcomes. This indicates that these people have a hard time integrating past and present information, and in planning ahead. These deficits are also shown in people who have had damage to the orbitofrontal area of the brain. This suggests an anomaly in the prefrontal cortex  of violent criminals. This, again, cannot be corrected through the penal system.

Well, I know that you all are saying, "Mike, man, what is the answer?" But before I get to that, let's explore one more thing. Police violence. Below you will find an article entitled, "Licensed to Kill: The Growing Phenomenon of Police Shooting Unarmed Citizens. All I am going to say about this is read the article and the one entitled, "Stop The Violence".  They are easy reads. Go on I will wait, then we can talk about what we need to do about our police force.
Police State 2- The Takeover
Police State 2- The Takeover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, Welcome Back. There are volumes of psychological studies about power and uniforms. However, we are going to talk about the article linked below, "The Psychological Influence of Police Uniforms. This article states, "The police uniform serves to identify a person as one vested with the powers of the state to arrest and use force. The uniform also serves to establish order and conformity within the ranks of those who wear it by suppressing individuality. The psychological and physical impact of the police uniform should not be underestimated. Depending on the background of the citizen, the police uniform can elicit emotions ranging from pride and respect, to fear and anger." 

Now since we have established how uniforms are supposed to be viewed and I know that you have read the two articles that I asked you to read, let's get into it. WE DON'T DO ENOUGH PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING ON POLICE OFFICERS. They are not conflict resolution competent. The shoot first and diffuse later. It seems to me that those mass shooters we talked about earlier are in the police department. That fraternity that has it's own rules and regulations that functions outside the law.

Mentally ill equipped, lawfully given a gun, badge, and uniform, we send these men and women
out among the population to "control" escalating situations and the first thing they can think of is use the gun that they were given. It doesn't matter if the person is armed, they were creating a disturbance. SHOOT THEM. Psychopaths and sociopaths with guns and badges. Madness. Now you can see why gun control is not an option. The ones with the guns are just as bad as the ones without.

So now the solution! Ladies and Gentlemen, we need a new mental health system. One that is not derived from the archaic idea that mental illness is a criminal issue. We need to do away with the insanity defense. We need a consciousness awareness model that shows how to deal with persons who are unstable. We need social programs geared toward raising awareness of depression and other mental illnesses. We need to move away from the idea of rugged individualism and toward one that creates a social consciousness that will allow us to reach those that are afflicted. We have to start speaking life into people and stop the negative attacks on people's psyche. Destroy the idea of a "hater" and replace it with the concept of "supporter". It's high time we really understand the concept of "it takes a village". The time has come to begin to build bridges to those who feel abandoned, to help heal those that are wounded, to provide light to those who only know darkness. The human condition demands that we are social creatures, yet we become more and more isolated. Tearing ourselves from the world around us because we are afraid to go outside, we are afraid to speak to strangers, we are afraid to travel to certain areas after dark. We caused this problem with our "laissez faire" attitudes. We caused this problem with our selfishness. We cause this problem with our easily bruised egos. Now ladies and gentlemen we must rise above this quagmire that we created by being so nonchalant. Right now we need to change our focus and work toward creating a better society for future generations. If we don't, this problem is going to get worse. We are going to see more and more of this type of crime if we don't work together as a society. Together we can do it. WE ARE AMERICA. WE ARE THE FUTURE.

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