School Shooting Essay

A new article attempts to parse out what we have learned from past events, and what we can do about stopping the next attack.Since the early 1970s school shootings at American elementary, secondary and higher education institutions have been a painful reality for American society.

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That’s why for some of us, there remains what feels like an urgent question about what motivates such violence and destruction, and why the pace and deadliness of such events seems to have increased so dramatically in recent years.

The answers may lie somewhere between the issues of gun control and mental health, in the space where individual and collective problems converge.

But shows that people’s expressions of social or emotional distress and the form these expressions take differ across time and place because they are closely tied to their social and cultural contexts.

Such expressions, rather than being universal manifestations of organic pathology, are locally meaningful expressions of locally generated distress.

The authors conclude that the most effective way of trying to prevent these tragedies is through threat assessment, which requires fundamental testing of such traits as: suicide risk, homicide risk, thought processes, reality testing, mood and behavior as well as relevant social and developmental histories.

Also helpful is to pay particular attention to any obsession with firearms or violence, and the presence of writings or drawings with violent themes.

In this sense, what we call mental illness is not an individual phenomenon, but a highly social one., for example, that anorexia is an expression of self-hatred that grows out of cultural messages disvaluing femininity and female bodies, and prizing self-control and self-discipline.

Expressions of distress such as this are thus intelligible only when understood in context.

As a psychological and medical anthropologist at Northwestern University, I study how people’s social and cultural backgrounds affect the way they think about and experience mental illness.

Such knowledge is crucial to understanding not only what is motivating these mass shootings, but also why we are so locked into a futile debate concerning what to do about them.


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