School Shooters: A Path From Humiliation to Gun Violence

College Shooters: A Path From Humiliation to Gun Violence


On Tuesday 5/26/22, an elementary faculty in Uvalde, Texas was the positioning of yet one more faculty taking pictures on this nation. The previous pupil gunman took the lives of 19 treasured elementary faculty youngsters and a pair of heroic academics. It broke the hearts of a nation—once more.

How will we perceive this?


Whether or not in childhood, our household of origin, the schoolyard, the neighborhood, or the office, most of us have suffered humiliation. As such, most of us have felt the ache, disgrace, and anger of being made to really feel smaller, disrespected, and undesirable. Why and the way we react and whether or not the ache is interrupted by connection and help or intensified by extra rejection bears on the hyperlink to violence.

Definitions of Humiliation

  • To be humiliated is to be lowered to a decrease place in a single’s personal eyes or one other’s eyes, i.e., to be made to really feel ashamed or embarrassed.
  • Whereas humiliation could trigger disgrace, it’s truly considerably totally different. Whereas, we will really feel disgrace and really feel lower than for one thing we now have carried out or did not do with out anybody figuring out, with humiliation there may be at all times a perpetrator.
  • For Dr. Linda Harting (2007) humiliation is a relational violation that causes a person to really feel degraded, devalued, or unworthy of connection.
  • Underscoring this, psychologist and professional Dr. Clark McCauley (2017) describes humiliation as at all times together with a perpetrator, a sufferer, an unjust decreasing, and unequal energy. With humiliation, there are sometimes many perpetrators, and whether or not that interprets to a schoolyard of bullies, a racist tradition, or a office that belittles on the idea of gender, the presence of many perpetrators exacerbates the expertise of being humiliated.

Impression of Humiliation

Experiences of disgrace or humiliation—together with experiences of being scorned, ridiculed, belittled, ostracized, or demeaned—can disrupt our potential to provoke and take part within the relationships that assist us develop.

The Connection Between Humiliation and Violence

“All of the merciless and brutal issues, even genocide, begin with the humiliation of 1 particular person” (Whack, 2013)

Humiliation as Enduring Ache

In her analysis on humiliation and violence, Hartling, (2007) discovered that prime scores on a Humiliation Stock got here from those that had just lately endured humiliation in addition to these whose humiliating expertise occurred many, a few years up to now. She questioned if the enduring nature of humiliation contributed to and intensified the aggressive responses to humiliation. She identifies two attainable causes for the enduring nature of humiliation and the violent response that follows.

The Social Ache/Bodily Ache Overlap Concept (SPOT)

Eisenberg and colleagues (2005) discovered that social ache, like humiliation, triggers a few of the similar mechanisms within the mind as bodily ache. In contrast to the kid’s separation misery which reduces with maturity, Eisenberg et al. counsel that social ache could endure over a lifetime.

The Ache of Social Exclusion and Lack of Self

Hartling (2007) stories on analysis that finds that when individuals really feel humiliated there’s a lack of self-awareness which is required for self-regulation. The excluded highschool child does not wish to however cannot cease fascinated by being the outsider.

  • Baumeister and colleagues (2003) counsel that social exclusion impairs regulation such that there’s a tendency to withdraw right into a deconstructed state characterised by numbness, an altered sense of time, an absence of significant thought, and little concern for penalties of violence to others and to self to flee.
  • Twenge and colleagues (2002) counsel that suicide would be the final self-defeating habits to keep away from self-awareness.
  • In The Violence Venture, a group of information on mass shootings, Jillian Peterson and James Densley (2021) underscore that faculty shooters hardly ever have an escape plan—for them, their violent assault on victims can also be a suicidal disaster—an ending meant to hurt self and others.

The Violence of Revenge

In response to Clark McCauley, the connection between humiliation and violence is the extreme want for revenge.

Of their ebook Revenge: On the Dynamics of a Scary Urge and Its Taming, Bohn and Kaplan (2011) counsel that ideas of revenge are frequent. Most of us have had revenge fantasies. In a method, they serve a regulatory perform that helps us reset our sense of self and our sense of integrity.

I hope his enterprise falls aside so he’ll know what it feels prefer to be embarrassed in entrance of the opposite staff.


Teenage Boy Being Bullies at College

Supply: lakshmiprasad/iStockphoto

I might like to see her face if I’m going public with what I find out about her.

Precise revenge is extra possible when there may be not solely violation however vulnerability.

  • Power humiliation, regardless of the trigger, is like every extended emotional trauma. For some, the result’s an lack of ability to re-regulate, come out of struggle/flight mode, and broaden perspective past a hopeless one. As such, regular judgment is impaired.
  • Revenge can really feel like the one possibility when there may be little or no reference to others; no emotional help to buffer and reframe humiliation; restricted constructive definitions of self; and lowered capability to acknowledge an extra lack of self by turning into the perpetrator.
  • Researching 172 mass shooters described in The Violent Venture, Drs. Peterson and Densley utilized public information, first-person accounts in diaries and suicide notes in addition to interviews with shooters themselves. They discovered sure repetitive patterns that mirror childhood abuse and publicity to violence by mother and father, home violence, and extreme bullying by classmates. They counsel that this violent publicity and unaddressed trauma feeds later rage and despair.

A Homicidal-Suicidal Disaster Level

  • Primarily based on their findings, Peterson and Densley (2021) report that almost all mass shooters attain an identifiable disaster level within the days, weeks, or months earlier than the violence that pushes them over the sting.
  • Be it relationship loss, the dying of a mum or dad, or a psychological well being disaster, potential shooters escalate and formalize their plan. On this state of mind, social media is commonly the imagined connection, the place to publish overt or cryptic feedback a couple of plan. Remoted and wanting notoriety, the varsity shooter usually seeks to determine with and duplicate former shooters in gown, look, and selection of weapon.
  • Related to understanding the desperation of the varsity shooter is Peterson and Densley’s essential discovering that faculty shooters seldom have an escape plan. For them, this can be a homicide of others and a “dying of despair” for self ( p.16).

Embarrassment Important Reads

Deadly Means—Weapons

A lot as Dr. Michael Anestis, creator of Weapons and Suicide: An American Epidemic, maintains that weapons are “a central element” (p.133) in American suicide, so too are weapons integral to the killing by faculty shooters.


  • In response to the Violence Venture, 98% of mass shooters, together with faculty shooters are male. Substantial analysis finds that the presence of aggressive environmental cues like weapons can result in aggressive ideas and habits.
  • The dealing with of weapons was discovered to extend aggression by rising testosterone in male faculty college students by Klinesmith, Kasser, & McAndrews (2006).
  • In a research by Lubin and Colleagues (2010) that speaks to the affiliation between lethality and availability of weapons, they report that when the Israeli Protection drive (IDF) famous that younger troopers have been dying from self-inflicted gunshot wounds on weekends, they modified the coverage to ban bringing weapons dwelling. The suicide fee dropped by 40%.

Availability of Weapons—Legally and Illegally

·The common age of the varsity shooter is taken into account to be between 16 to 18 relying on the supply. For these underneath 18, it means they can get hold of weapons illegally.

Weapons are authorized from age 18, but when bought from an unlicensed supplier, no background test is required.

In response to the Johns Hopkins Middle on Gun Points:

Most faculty shooters have used assault weapons or weapons with large-capacity magazines (LCMs) which have 60%-67% increased fatality counts and 100%-200% increased wounding counts than mass shootings with out LCMs.

At present, solely seven states and Washington, D.C., ban the 2 units, and two states, Colorado and Vermont, solely limit LCMs.

Solely 19 states and the District of Columbia have legal guidelines in place permitting authorities, and generally non-public people, to hunt red-flag orders, often known as excessive danger safety orders, to grab weapons from somebody discovered to be a risk to self or others.

If we acknowledge the humiliation and potential violence of college shooters, we have to deal with their vulnerability and shield them and their victims from the deadly capability of weapons.


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