Bushman, B. J. (2018). Narcissism, fame seeking, and mass shootings. American Behavioral Scientist, 62(2), 229-241.
This scholarly source is related to the discussion of the profile of people who are likely to become mass shooters, analyzing psychological characteristics that are not related to the typical features such as low self-esteem and personal insecurities. Instead, the author suggests paying attention to the fact that mass shooting can be seen as the act of self-representation because the majority of the killers are likely to be egoists who have narcissistic characters, thus shooting people to seek fame and popularity. Accordingly, the given source makes it easy to understand that there is a direct link between narcissism and manifestation of aggression and violence. The author of the article discusses the most common features of narcissist people and notes that clinical and forensic samples prove the connection between narcissism and violence. The narrative presupposes that unlike the burglars who can kill people in the heat of the moment, mass shooters commit this crime deliberately, exposing themselves to the public. Among the most common predictors of mass shootings that were committed by the people with narcissistic characters are threats to their ego. For example, such cases encompass dismissal, suspension from school, rejection by a partner, and other incidents that are associated with humiliation and personal crisis.
Gill, P., Silver, J., Horgan, J., & Corner, E. (2017). Shooting Alone: The pre‐attack experiences and behaviors of US solo mass murderers. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 62(3), 710-714.
This article is concerned with the description of the characteristics of perpetrators who were the leading figures in the cases of mass shooting, focusing on the individuals that were solo mass murderers. The authors analyzed 115 incidents of a mass shooting to understand the antecedents of these cases that happened between 1990 and 2014 and resulted in deaths of four or more victims. Referring to socio-demographic characteristics, the scholars accordingly find that among mass shooters, males prevail. As much as 93.2% of all mass shootings were caused by men. When it comes to education and career, only 24% of the shooters had a university degree, while 28% were unemployed, and 33% of them had rather low-profile jobs. Most of them were single. 56% of them had a criminal history, being arrested for non-violent offenses, while 20% had committed violent offenses before. 43% of the mass shooters are previous convicts. Yet, the most crucial characteristics refer to the psychological and behavioral features of the shooters. 63% of them had long-term stress; frustration; failure in learning, employment, or business; financial debts; and a vast array of mental health issues such as depression, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Many of them were victims of sexual or physical abuse as a child. There were also a lot of shooters who failed to maintain a happy marriage or a romantic relationship. Before the attack, the majority of the shooters made pre-event warnings and threatening statements, implying their real intent and motivation to commit mass murder of people. All of these characteristics mean that it is possible to predict the proneness of people to become solo mass shooters.
Lowe, S. R., & Galea, S. (2017). The mental health consequences of mass shootings. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 18(1), 62-82.
The scholarly article discusses the adverse effects on the human psyche that occur in the aftermath of the incidents of mass shootings. The authors of the research note that even though these cases are widely covered in the media, it is impossible to minimize the negative consequences of these events that are highly detrimental to the emotional and psychological stability of people who managed to survive the attacks, as well as the representatives of the communities that were affected by the incidents. Therefore, the given source presents an extensive list of the post-shooting mental health outcomes that are experienced by the victims. Among them, prevail psychiatric disorders that have posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). The majority of the cases of PTSS are associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Another psychological consequence that is most frequent is major depression (MD). The authors imply that the most affected communities are children who are most subject to PTSD. Among other psychiatric disorders that occur after in the victims of the incidents of mass shootings, there are generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), acute stress disorder, alcohol-related disorders, drug use disorder, panic disorder, adjustment disorder, and social phobia. Another goal of the researchers was to identify the significant predictors of such adverse effects on the human psyche. They find that women and children are more likely to develop posttraumatic stress symptoms and psychiatric disorders in the aftermath of mass shootings. Also, incident exposure is another crucial element as those people who were in the center of the attack, knew people who did not survive and were subject to the higher scores of exposure to the mass shooting are likely to develop more adverse mental health outcomes.
Schildkraut, J., Elsass, H. J., & Meredith, K. (2018). Mass shootings and the media: Why all events are not created equal. Journal of Crime and Justice, 41(3), 223-243.
The given source describes the disproportionate representation of the incidents of mass shootings in the media. While some of them receive a broad coverage in the press, others seem to be not represented in details. Accordingly, the authors of the article discuss the so-called “newsworthiness” of the cases of mass shooting in such media as The New York Times. The cohort of researchers decided to understand which factors of the given instances were essential, influencing the journalists’ opinion whether the news was worth presenting. Therefore, in their study, the authors review several factors such as victim and offender demographic characteristics, the ruthless nature of the crime that can involve atypical elements, the uniqueness of the event, and the implications of the crime that can have a high amplitude. Basing their research on these characteristics, the scholars formulated five hypotheses, implying that mass shootings that result in the high number of deaths and injured people will be more newsworthy, as well as the cases that involve female perpetrators, non-white shooters, and perpetrators who survive after the shooting. The last hypothesis holds that mass shootings that happen outside of educational establishments are also more newsworthy. Accordingly, the authors of the article proved that race/ethnicity and the number of casualties were the most powerful characteristics that defined the newsworthiness of the cases of mass shooting.
Webster, D. W. (2017). The true effect of mass shootings on Americans. Annals of Internal Medicine, 166(10), 749-750.
The given article is concerned with the description of the psychological and behavioral effects of the cases of a mass shooting on the majority of the American population. The narrative informs that the coverage of such situations in the media and press is indeed associated with the fear and anger of people. Accordingly, the cases of mass shooting trigger the desire of the public to minimize the chances of such incidents in future, and as a result, it is evident that they boost their activity in terms of buying firearms. The article implies that all the cases of the mass shooting that received extensive press coverage and publicity were followed by the higher rates of handgun purchases. At the same time, the narrative makes the readers understand that it is rather hard to rely on the data that is taken from the retail gun sellers. The background checks might also present irrelevant information because it is difficult to learn the intentions of people to purchase firearms and whether they are buying their first handgun or they already have several ones. Yet, the article refers to another scholarly study that finds that indeed, the incidents of mass shooting have a direct effect on people who decide to become handgun owners, while the impact on the number of firearms that a person owns is lower to the particular extent. Therefore, it is evident that the article notes that mass shootings make people mobilize their self-protection behaviors as people are willing to buy their first handguns, and it becomes legal and reasonable to carry firearms in public places. It is apparent that with mass shootings becoming more frequent, the gun culture becomes more lenient, and a lot of policies define the ownership of firearms more common.