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Friday, April 19, 2013

What makes a person want to kill?

In light of the recent Boston Marathon tragedy, we (humans) want to know why? What made these two young men want to do something that would ultimately lead them to death or prison? Being disowned from your family, god, and heaven above, what leads these young people to wanting and thinking it is perfectly a good idea to make bombs and kill, maim, or just scare the crap out of people.

Will you be seen that much of a hero? What leads you to want to kill others? Killing has been going on for centuries. We can read in the bible about wars and killings. Murder has always been a part of our so called “heritage.” Do these people who kill have underlying mental disorders?

Not that long ago we were reading about the Sandy Hook incident. We were reading about the fact of the young man being Autistic (on the Asperger end) and then you read research articles on the subject, and you see that there is a connection on some sense. But do we then blame the autism? I have worked with people with developmental disabilities since 1991 and I never thought any one of them would go out and kill any one person.

So the next culprit to blame is “guns.” Now is it the guns that people have access to that are killing? Yet, many people have guns and they don’t kill anyone with them. For the majority of humans we don’t want to hurt someone that bad and if we did usually we know enough about what will happen to us if we did.

Is there a minor few than that think about killing and want to kill others. Does it lead to some kind of freedom that you feel you are missing in your life now? How is it that people who are terribly abused seem to be more resilient than others and don’t try to kill anyone, including the one who abused them?

Is it innate and in us as Darwin’s theory suggests? Is it all about survival of the fittest? Well that would say that it is all about control and that we are control freaks wanting to be in power of everything. Studies have been conducted showing that at least for evolutionary psychologists, which say that each of us have this instinct in us and that it is genetics. We all have the ability to kill but what makes us do it?

You don’t have to be some rugged looking messed up individual to kill. Most killers look like the perfect person (the person next door). A study conducted by Dr. David Buss found that 13,670 FBI cases that included men killing their wives. What he found in this study that the more fertile and younger a woman (wife) was that he would kill her when he found out that she was messing around.

During Buss’s research he found that separation was a huge influence on the murdering of the leaving spouse. He found staggering evidence that these women were killed by their husbands within two months to one year of the separation. He also found that woman who killed for separation usually stalked their victims first. He warns women not to ignore the warning signs, and if you are being stalked do something about by telling the police because it will end in death.

In Buss’s research he found that 91% of men and 84% of women have vivid fantasies about killing someone. So, it is not insane to think that we all at one time or another in our lives thought of killing someone. The difference is those that do it and those that don’t. Many of them are too afraid of the consequences for their actions and this keeps them from committing such a criminal act. (Want to read more go here http://www.utexas.edu/features/2005/murder/index.html).

I think we are always searching for the truth but come up short with no answer. It breaks our hearts when we read about children killing their parents. What about bullying behavior? This has become quite an issue over the years, and I can contest to watching both of my own children be bullied.

A friend of mine’s son was bullied and the gang threatened his life and he is only 11 years old. So it makes sense if there are guns available it seems almost warranted that a child think that they could just grab it for extra backup. However, than accidents do happen, and another senseless death has happened.

What about suicide? I know from being a mental health clinician that if there is a viable plan and the access to something that could do the job to take it serious enough to warrant calling in for help. So do these people tell us first or is the act of the crime our first inkling of what is happening to them?

Many times we act out first because we don’t know how to communicate our needs and wants to others. We attempt to get other people’s attention through acts and some of these are acts of crime. If no one notices you before and everyone knows about you after seems like an easy way to get known. Not that this is the way to get it but unfortunately it works for most. I know from working with kids with autism who can’t talk verbally, they act out to get their message across. It takes teaching them a way to communicate that is more effective and easier to do. Once this happens their communication in the proper ways goes way up.

If we ignore we do not teach anything to another person. We only teach how to shove our feelings aside and that we are not important. We sort of set them up for failure in the beginning. We have to be willing to listen in all ways and to teach a better way to get your message out.

It can be easy for someone to take the life of others if they choose to take their own life too. There is no punishment other than being dead. So lock up your guns to keep them safe or what? I know many people who don’t lock up their guns and they believe it is ok. They believe it won’t happen to them. Should we continue thinking this way?

I am not one to say we shouldn’t have guns (they keep us safe) but when is it enough? Watching what happened during this Boston Marathon made me think about these questions and what questions have been raised for others. I am curious about your thoughts too so feel free to comment.