Deterrence of Crime: Mayor’s address in the town of Desperation
In the shadow of the recent Sandy Hook killings, America has forgotten that the fact that Adam Lanza could kill was made evident to us years back.Congress was alarmed at the frequency of these shootings between 1992 and 2001. In 2001, The National Research Council in response to a request from Congress made a detailed study of “school shooting incidents” and came to the certain conclusions, of which a few are cited below.. (Moore, Petrie, Braga & McLaughlin, 2003)
The NRC failed to find out any scientific theory and proof, which led to these incidents. By default therefore, it could not recommend any steps to be taken. But certain details contained in the reports are fascinating and highly relevant. In all cases studied it was found that youth perpetrators experienced alienation from adults, be they parents or teachers. No one had any idea as to what the children were capable of.(Moore et al.,2003). In the context of community teaching, there are no words to express the teachers attitudes, save for “incompetent”. I will like to say here that among a large portion of the teaching staff, I find an increasing feeling which supports ‘corporate professionalism’ which is least desired.
After every such incident, we have seen that there is a cry for gun control legislation and reviews of mental health laws. I will point out here that assuming not a single gun is sold from here, the guns which have already been sold to the American Public are capable of carrying out these crimes. Again, there is no positive definition of what can be done regarding mental health legislation improvement. People talk about it in detail but remain strangely silent on as to what measures these can be. I implore all these thinkers to either give me a theory or stop wasting my time.
Next we have another line of atrocious thinking which is application of the criminal theory of trait and the theory of choice. Much as I regard the original great thinkers who formulated these theories, it is clear and obvious that they cannot be relied on . This is because these children are not criminals. Therefore, how can you apply these theories to them?
All were male, 80% were white, 70% were described as loners, 43% had been bullied by others, 37% came from divorced or separated families, 42% had a history of violence of some sort, 46% had an arrest history, 48% were preoccupied with war or weapons, and 23% had a documented psychiatric history.(Meloy, Hempel, Mohandie, Shiva & Gray 2001). We even have their profile “A white male from a working or middle-class background living in a rural area or small city. Dysfunctional family background and relationships are likely. Parental discipline is often harsh or inconsistent. Problems with bonding and social attachments are common. Most likely depression manifests through sullen, angry, and irritable moods or actions” (McGee and DeBernardo 1999)
Therefore citizens, I exercise my executive powers as a Mayor of this city, declare all schools in this town as closed for a week’s time till we come to know what is to be done by discussions at my office, interviews and case studies. I hope you will support me in this endeavour.
– McGee, J.P. &DeBernardo, C.R. (1999). The Classroom Avenger: A Behavioral Profile of School Based Shootings. The Forensic Examiner, NYC
– Meloy, J.R.,Hempel, A.G., Mohandie, K., Shiva, A.A. & Gray, B.T; (2001).Offender and Offense Characteristics of a Nonrandom Sample of Adolescent Mass Murders.(Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry); NYC
– Moore, M.H., Petrie, C., Braga, A., and McLaughlin, B.L. (2003). Deadly Lessons: Understanding Lethal School Violence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
– Rose, Ingrid (2009) ; School Violence : Studies in Alienation, Revenge and Redemption; Karnac Books, London, GBR