this image came to me and i couldn't get it out of my head. that ghostly, emaciated, empty visage--haunting life before his death: adam lanza as another victim, but a victim of himself. it does not glorify the individual who perpetrated this mass-murder; it merely shows the world from his perspective. back in the early '60s, mike wallace did a think piece on malcolm x called "the hate that hate produced"--and that title is another thing that keeps coming back to me.
what happened was as much a reaction as a decision. you can't get to that kind of state without some kind of internal knee-jerk that is as intrinsic to the personal character as breath to the chest. and you don't get that overnight. no one knows what triggered anders brevik either; we only know he was captured alive to spew his twisted philosophy, which told us nothing more about his prime motivator, the tipping point. which is when they know, in their hearts, that... "that's the last straw...the final indignity...something MUST BE DONE, and DONE NOW!!!"
and what lies ahead after that? suicide (usually, the final victory; "now they'll never know!") or "...revenge...justice...peace from the voices..." or any combination of them. but what is obvious is that all that has come before is all that influences their decision. not merely the bitterness and shame they bear every day of their life, no. they have seen that killing is the sole solution for all the crimes against their selves...because they see it in every media and medium of entertainment.
whatever we learn about james holmes will never show us how to stop someone like him either, but we do know it was also the open secret of fame which was a major component of his enormity. one does not choose "the joker" without the joker existing. if we see it on the big screen, it has to be true! and it has to be good. because any slumping star with falling box office receipts need only pick up a shiny handgun or large-bore automatic weapon to see his value rise exponentially to his body count. we were once shocked when james bond shot a man twice, and calmly blew the smoke out of his silencer. today, when neo in "the matrix" says: "guns. lots of guns", we cheer. because we know "the secret": it's all a computer simulation--none of it is "real". and you're not killing anyone because they don't exist...only you do!
which is, of course, the same thing we find in the other simulations many find in this world. you only think you're real--they know the difference. but we don't. oh no! we say: the qualitative difference between the actions of the above-cited persons and the lead gun-character in any popular RPG shooter is negligible. and they also know "the secret", that it is all a game...because the popular kids laugh and call them "loser". kinda like "san andreas: no fault".
and now for the obligatory Wiki quote:
"In game theory and economic theory, a zero–sum game is a mathematical representation of a situation in which a participant's gain (or loss) of utility is exactly balanced by the losses (or gains) of the utility of the other participant(s)."
which means that the last man standing wins. the reason their reason is without reason is that they never consider this is also a "no-loss" situation; when you have nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.
with all the hand-wringing and resolutions and shouts for change, the basic fact of the matter is that no legislation for gun safety or mental health, no policing or vigilance on site, no buy-backs, no anti-NRA campaigning--none of it--will do anything to stop this mind-numbing horror from happening again until we do something about the culture of violence.