Free «mass murders in US» Essay Sample
The terminology "mass murder" refers to the killing of more than four people during a certain event. For example a mass murder would include killing many individuals in the course of a robbery, or setting fire in a busy nightclub where many deaths occur. The most famous of the mass murderers in modern US were Richard Speck and Charles Whitman. Majority of American citizens are familiar with the mass murders that happened in their society. Even mass killings committed by Carol Fugate and Charles Starkweather are well-known in the minds of Americans. Excluding some of mass killers like Charles Whitman, Timothy McVeigh etc mass killers are not visible to most of the American public and receive less media focus. The FBI maintains that there are more than thirty serial murders currently taking place in the United States (Bloom, 1996). The exact figure is not known. It is true that mass killers are responsible for a number of murders every year. Usually the victims of mass murders ideally are known to the killer. The American public usually fails to protect themselves in the case of mass murder scenario. A general sense of awareness and refusal to place oneself in dangerous and susceptible circumstances thus reducing the individual risk of victimization is not possible in the case of a mass murder scenario (Miller, 1995). Although methods can be adopted to identify frustrated employees or citizens or persuade them for medical help, there is simply no method to adapt self-protective methods to prevent falling prey to mass murder. People cannot simply avoid walking alone at night or refuse to travel by getting free rides from motorists. Strangely, with the mass murders, especially one who kills victims outside his or her family, there is usually no characteristic that can reduce their vulnerability to destroy. Thus from a wider view, every one is at risk of becoming a victim of this type of crime, independent of occupation or any lifestyle methods. Killers who commit mass murder usually fall into any of a number of categories, including destroyers of their own family, of colleagues, of kids, and of unknown people or strangers.
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The motives of murder will be different in most of the cases. Several other motives are also possible, which includes the want for attention or money (Bloom, 1996). People who assault their colleagues sometimes called "disgruntled employees," but this is usually a misnomer, as many such criminals are ex-employees. They are laid off from their jobs and eventually turn up with weapons and assault their previous colleagues. In the 1980s, when two laid off postal employees carried out such massacres in independent incidents in the US, the term "going postal" became assigned with employees striking and setting out on murderous rampages(Bloom, 1996). One of the most notorious "disgruntled employee" cases consisted of computer programmer Richard Farley who, after being fired for hunting one of his colleagues, a lady by the name Laura Black, returned to his former office and shot to death almost seven of his colleagues, although he was not successful in his attempt to kill Black herself. In certain particular cases mass murders have been carried out during prison disorders and uprisings. During February 1980 New Mexico State Penitentiary riot, 33 inhabitants were assaulted to death. Majority of the dead, 23, was staying in the Protective Custody Unit, and were assaulted by neighboring inmates using knives, axes and also burnt alive over a 2 days period( Mark Colvin ,1992). Sometimes there is rarely a sexual motive to individual mass-murderers, with the only exception of Matuschka, an Austrian guy who apparently enjoyed sexual pleasure from burning up trains with dynamite, obviously with people in them. This lethal mass murder claimed more than 20 lives before he was finally caught in the year 1931 As per Loren Coleman's book Copycat Effect, publicity about several deaths tends to provoke more, whether workplace or school shootings or mass suicides.
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Mass murderers usually suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder and may look absolutely normal or charming, sometimes named as the "mask of sanity." Sometimes there is a sexual factor to the killings and they may have a commonality like gender, job, external appearances etc. Let us now see the case of a cold blooded mass murder committed by thirty-five-year-old George Hennard on 16th October 1991. Hennard in a pick-up truck drive through the main gateway to the car parking of Luby’s restaurant, one of the most busy eateries located in Bell County, Texas. Hennard suddenly pushed his foot down on the accelerator and catapulted the pick-up through the plate glass front window, throwing glass and debris at the diners and smashing one person beneath the truck. As the vehicle stopped, he jumped himself out of the driver’s place shouting: ‘This is what Bell County has done to me!’ As the horrified person trapped beneath the truck managed to come outside struggling, Hennard shot him dead right on the spot using a Glock-17 semi-automatic gun. The first bullet actually tore right through the fleeing man’s head, after which Hennard turned his focus to the crouched group of remaining people. With an insane anger, Hennard then began firing at the crowd methodically with his fully loaded gun. The massacre continued until police arrived on the scene. Hennard was actually at point-blank range choosing his victims apparently randomly. During the early panic one person had thrown himself forcefully through a huge unbroken side window, enduring serious wounds himself but helping others to escape and blow the alarm. It was a police bullet that ultimately stopped George Hennard, and bleeding from a wound he flew into the corridor behind the eating area and shot himself. The mass murder lasted almost ten minutes; twenty-two people died on the spot and eighteen people wounded. As helicopters and military and hospital ambulances were transporting the wounded people to nearby hospitals, a refrigerated lorry was arranged for use as an ad hoc morgue to protect the dead bodies out of the severe Texan heat. Aside the revenge motive, mass murderers usually share some common psychological or behavioral attributes, as the experts point out .Grant Duwe (criminologist, Minnesota Department of Corrections) who has written a book of mass murders which had taken place in America, says about five common factors:( Roth,2009 ) • The murderer blames other people for his problems. • There are high possibilities that he possess a mental illness, especially paranoid chizophrenia, than homicide killers in general. • He is usually a loner, with few friends or social network. • He tactfully plans his attacks, taking a very long time to get ready.( Roth,2009 ) • He always possesses a high tendency to suicide than an identical killer. The mass murderer considers his life no longer worth living; and either kill himself or force the police to murder him as per Dr.Duwe. ( Roth,2009 ) For his research Dr. Duwe went through 909 cases of mass murder in US from the year1900-99 and discovered that among the116 mass public shoots in that database, 47 % ended with the murderer killing himself in the end, compared with less than 5% between homicide offenders generally( Roth,2009 ). The experts say that most of these murderers never plan an exit strategy beforehand and usually the strategy of these guys is like, they sit down and say “come and get me”. In another incident 3 Pittsburgh police officials were massacred and two others were injured after a heavily armed guy began shooting at them as they arrived in response to a domestic call on April 04, 2009 a house located in Stanton Heights( Violanti, Gehrke, 2004). This 22-year-old murderer, Richard "Pop" Poplawski, who told friends he was wearing a bulletproof jacket, surrendered to police by about 11 a.m., 4 hours after the incident started.
He was shot several times in the legs and was being admitted at the hospital. While the Stanton Heights shootings have some of the factors cited by the experts, it also was strange in certain important ways. Franklin Zimring, a renowned criminal justice researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, said the fact that Mr. Poplawski's mother was spared is highly unusual (Roth, 2009 ). In most mass murders, family members are often the first to be killed, especially if they are in conflict with the shooter. An incident March 21 in which a man killed four Oakland, Calif., police officers and then was shot to death himself also does not fit the usual mass killing pattern. Although economy is a stressor there are lots of other stress factors in life, so there's no systematic explanation for these really wild happenings. The economy did not directly cause any of the murders it has also been an important trigger point Miller, L. (1995). The fact is that bad economic situations make more catastrophic losses, and in almost every one of the mass murder cases, there is some triggering point that takes the shape of a catastrophic loss, such as a job loss, a loss in the share market, a breakdown in a relationship -- some kind of loss that precedes the attack and kind of pushes the person towards the maximum endurance level. During the recession period during 1990s, the United States was experiencing multiple killings per week. While mass murders often concentrate their attention on the type of people who commit such crimes, it's important not to lose sight of larger issues like gun regulations. Dr. Hickey says:"I'm not against guns, but I just think there is a lot of people who should never possess guns, yet they do."Anyhow we all know that mass murder creates terror to all humanity and sorrows to all victims and their family members in particular. It is high time that we set up a non violent, loving and considerate society who cares the values and believe in the principle of “Live and Let Live” Miller, L. (1995).

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