As opposed to the mainstream media.....
The truth is that people with developmental disabilities are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.
Yes, it is a tragedy. It's awful. I haven't looked at any media footage regarding it at all, because it will haunt me for a very long time. I am not in any way downplaying what happened; it's clear that there are simply no words for the horror. But that horror and future events like it are not going to be alleviated by painting an entire segment of society with a broad brush in a color they/we don't deserve. We don't lack empathy and feeling. We do often have a hard time expressing our feelings with our face and body language.
I don't know what was wrong with this guy, but if I had to guess, my guesses would include:
- An undiagnosed personality disorder or other co-morbid disorder. Co-mormids are very common with autism spectrum disorders. And if, for example, that disorder was anti-social personality disorder, well, that would certainly explain a lot.
- Medication side effects. I don't think the negative effects of certain meds have received enough attention. Big Pharma will probably see to it that this continues to be the case. Meds can be life-saving, but they need to be monitored and they need to be the right meds for the person and the problem.
- Misdiagnosis. There's more to being aspie than being a highly intelligent social outcast. He may, for example, have been schizoid. Believe it or not, there are people who are really smart and really fucked up who don't have Asperger's.
- Other contributing factors. So, let's say he was an aspie, not on any meds at all even though it sounds like he should have been, without anything else wrong with him (highly unlikely). When a dog snaps and starts biting and ravaging everything in sight, people start squealing, "blame the owner, not the breed!". I don't necessarily agree with this, because disposition is in fact hereditary to some extent, as most livestock breeders will tell you. However.....are we seriously giving dogs more credit than people here?? Some dogs and some people can tolerate being abused and mistreated without getting mean. Most will, in fact, even at their own expense, rather than going nuts. Sometimes though, they don't. That doesn't justify it in any way, shape or form, but this should not be discounted as a possibility.
- The guns. I think it was wildly irresponsible for mom to allow this kid to have access to firearms. It doesn't sound as though he had good coping skills. Guns are a tool and they should be used only as a tool by people who are in a position to use tools responsibly.
Anyway. Not really in a frame of mind to wrap this up concisely. Horrible. :-(