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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

The making of a mass murderer

The shooter in the Uvalde, Texas school massacre was “a lonely 18-year-old who was bullied over a childhood speech impediment, suffered from a fraught home life and lashed out violently against peers and strangers,” reports the Washington Post.

Amerie Garza, 10, was killed with her classmates and teachers on May 24.

His father was absent. His mother, relatives said, was addicted to drugs.

A friend recalls him driving around town shooting at strangers with a BB gun. Apparently, it wasn’t reported to police.

Another friend said he cut himself with a knife on his face for “fun.” He was never treated for mental illness.

He stopped attending high school, and was not on track to graduate with his classmates this year. So when the class of ’22 visited Robb Elementary in their caps and gowns on Monday, May 23, he wasn’t there.

After a screaming fight with his mother two months ago — posted online — he moved in with his grandmother. He shot her in the face before driving to Robb Elementary School to kill 19 children and two teachers.

Uvalde High’s graduating seniors visited Robb Elementary on Monday, an annual tradition, to show students what they have to look forward to.

Gun control laws do little or nothing to disarm people who have no criminal record, writes David French on The Dispatch. He thinks red flag laws might help.

The idea is simple — if a person exhibits behavior indicating that they might be a threat to themselves or others (such as suicidal ideation or violent fantasies), a member of his family, a school official, or a police officer can go to court to secure an order that permits police to seize his weapons and prohibit him from purchasing any additional weapons so long as the order lasts.

After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey proposed a school safety plan that includes “enhanced background checks, an increased security presence at schools, and increased mental health resources,” plus a red-flag law, writes French. Ducey analyzed all the significant school shootings since Columbine. In every case, “the shooter exhibited behavior before the shooting that could have triggered a well-drafted red flag law.”

A large majority of mass shooters (not necessarily school shooters) have an untreated mental illness, concludes a study by Ira Glick, a Stanford psychiatry professor emeritus. Of 32 shooters for whom there was sufficient data, 18 had schizophrenia and 10 met the criteria for other psychiatric disorders, researchers concluded.

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