Posted February 22, 2019 07:00:30 When does a shooting make it more important to focus on the perpetrator or the shooter?
The answer, as we know, depends on how the situation unfolds.
In an effort to understand this question better, we asked experts in the field.
Dr. Jeffrey Loeber, a neuropsychologist and director of the National Institute of Mental Health, has been conducting research on the issue for several years.
He said, “One of the things that I’ve found is that the most important thing to be able to say about a mass shooting is how it was carried out.
It is what you would think if you were watching a movie.”
Dr. Loeberg explained that when a person is shot, the brain goes into a “fight-or-flight” mode.
He says that when people experience a traumatic event, there is a surge in cortisol, a hormone that increases activity in the brain’s amygdala, which is involved in emotion regulation.
Cortisol levels can then rise and the brain is then more prone to react in ways that lead to a mass death.
This can happen when a shooter fires more than once or when people are exposed to more than one weapon.
The next step is for the body to try to cope with the stressors that have occurred.
But in the case of the Aurora shooting, the shooter, James Holmes, had a history of depression, anxiety and panic disorder, which may have led him to react with violence.
Dr Loebert said that “he is also known to have bipolar disorder, so his stress-response systems may have played a role in triggering his decision to kill and injure people.”
The final factor in this scenario is the perpetrator.
If the perpetrator of the shooting was a teenager, this might explain why he didn’t stop, Dr Lueber explained.
Dr John Kessel, a psychiatrist and the author of The Mental Illness Checklist, has also researched the impact of traumatic events in the past.
Dr Kessel said that the shooter’s actions are important to take into account because they may have triggered a cascade of emotions in the shooter and his family members.
“It may be a traumatic experience that led to a violent reaction in his family,” Dr Kess said.
Dr Paul DeFries, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a member of the American Psychiatric Association, said that if the shooter was a child, he or she might not have had the mental and emotional capacity to react to a situation in the same way that adult adults might.
Dr DeFrys said that in his own practice, “I have seen people who have been traumatized, and have a history, and are very ill, and yet when I talk to them, they say, ‘I was so tired.
I couldn’t do anything.'”
Dr DeFloshes also explained that the person with the PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, has an extremely difficult time with the thought of killing or hurting people.
“When you’re traumatized,” Dr DeLees said, that makes it difficult to control your impulses and your actions.
“The person is often able to control their behavior, but they don’t feel the pain and they have a difficulty in coming to terms with it.
They feel guilty.
That makes it very difficult for them to come to terms.”
So when a mass killing takes place, does it affect how we view it?
“I think it’s very important to keep in mind that people do have a right to life and the right to self-defense,” Dr Loesber said.
“They don’t have the right of retaliation against others.”
Dr Lofreberg also said that this mass shooting, while traumatic in itself, “has a much bigger impact than a mass stabbing, a carjacking, or an armed robbery.
That is because people are living in a very different world, where people are being killed and hurt and there are a lot of consequences.
And it doesn’t just impact those who were killed, but it affects all of us.”
So, what is the solution?
Dr Loperman said that for now, he and Dr Kressel have two questions.
One is: Is there any hope that this tragedy will go away?
The other is: What can we do to help those who have experienced it?