What Makes A Person Homicidal, Wanting To Shoot Up, Blow Up Public Places?
Snap Out of It…An ounce of prevention is worth much more than a pound of cure“…Wising-Up
Joseph W. Ferrara, EdD


An individual needs and wants to bomb and/or shoot up a school, restaurant, movie theater, church or any public place. Although the person could be any age, the police who raid their homes find copiously written plans on where the bombs should be planted for maximum destruction or meticulous details on executing a shoot-up with shocking follow-up carnage. With staggering public violence increasing, people want to know and are asking what makes these children, adolescents and young adults or any killer tick and what to do about public violence.


From infancy, our common recording, organizing integrated brains become a perceptive and rivalrous, uncommon human mind with a peerless self-evaluating mechanism, unique intelligence, an I-Max imagination and memory through diverse family, interpersonal and social sensory-channel experiences.  Violent-prone individuals do not manifest typical psychiatric symptoms, so meticulous interactive family, personal and social history details with baseline psychological evaluations can disclose their most important motives for predictive violence. Violent-prone individuals’ histories and comprehensive psychological evaluations designate repressed vengeance is the greatest need in their life. Above all else, these trivialized, inhibited, subjugated and essentially non-aggressive persons now vehemently need to get even with those who mercilessly inflicted humiliating private and public teasing, alienating ridicule and taunting, bullying insults both physically and mentally/emotionally which profoundly diminished their personal sense of relevance, worth, belongingness, acceptance and adequacy/mastery. Thus, these bullied, subjegated, defenseless and victimized persons are prepared by this chronic abuse to spend whatever time, resources and energy needed to assert their sense of self to even the score and to prevent the return of any future arrogant, overbearing bullies. Unfortunately and catastrophically, their subconscious mental defense mechanisms of both projection and displacement involuntarily transfers to less threatening individuals their chronic feelings of humiliation, belittlement, inadequacy and inferiority and their denied, suppressed and repressed hatred for menacing, threatening persons with pretensions of superior importance or rights who have abused and insulted them in their humiliated and ancient tortured past.

The role of social status can be another compensatory need for overt violence. They know blowing up a school or bus or shooting-up a theater, church or public place can make them famous in their community and maybe get them on television and newspaper headlines as a desperate and irrational way to impress others to prove their worth and adequacy and that their life matters. Social recognition, acceptance and status motivates people to gain attention, i.e., look at me, like me. Our common, irrational/insane human unconscious mind reasons that we are accepted, important and worthwhile when others pay attention to us, and we are rejected, unimportant and worthless when we are ignored, i.e., our life doesn’t count. Much more than their peers, inveterately bullied/violent-prone people desperately need to feel accepted, important and worthwhile as a result of chronic interpersonal abuse and social mistreatment. People who feel unconditional self-acceptance, worthwhile, adequate and that their life is important do not need or want to kill themselves nor others.


Snap out of it.  Shooting up or blowing up people and places is a chronic mental health issue of impoverished self-esteem, not the irrational regulation of weapons as a cure!  Guns are inanimate and do not cogitate nor aim themselves or pull their triggers.  The human mind will invent and substitute weapons in the place of any restrictive regulations and use various other ways and means to kill.  These public killings will continue due to the current immutable fact that we live in an avaricious, rivalrous and violent social order where people indirectly and directly viciously and lethally attack each other’s overt and covert degrees of self esteem.  We need a social order which affirms, nurtures and protects the following human self-esteem traits, i.e., unconditional sense of worth/importance, acceptance/approval, belongingness/companionship, usefulness/productiveness and adequacy/mastery.  Additionally, we need to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public by identifying these individuals and families as early as possible so we can intervene immediately with appropriate analytic mental health counseling and psychotherapy. Preventative and crisis analytic psychotherapy needs to:

I. mandate that public schools teach primary, intermediate and advanced classes in unconditional covert and overt degrees of self-esteem and states of human awareness,
II. nurture both bullies and their bullied victims’ personal sense of worth, belongingness/acceptance and adequacy, i.e., testing and treatment of covert and overt degrees of self-esteem and their states of awareness,
III. teach the bullies, their families and their bullied victims that their life in this social order is equally needed and important,
IV. restore survivors and their families’ sense of emotional and social safety, security and stability, and
V. educate through home, school, workplace and public/social forums that people are never, ever for name calling, teasing/belittling, ridiculing and/or insulting which are vicious and violent, bullying acts of personal and social humiliation.
VI. Rational regulation of mass media’s glamourizing, deifying and horrifying/terrorizing human sexuality and violence.


Due to the total hourly life experiences which makes up each of our backgrounds, level of awareness, type and degree or strength of covert/overt self-esteem, we can’t always like and agree with each other, but we must learn to accept, understand and collaborate/cooperate with each other as our destiny depends on insightful comprehension and action.  These shooters and/or  bombers did not just wake up one morning and choose to kill their fellow citizens.  Fire arm violence is just one component of human interpersonal and social verbal and/or physical violence.  The human tongue is the most deadly weapon of all fire arms.  Our tongues fire off causing disputes, sadness, anger/hostility, public violence, depression, suicides and homicidal action.   Insulting, belittling and humiliating self and others regarding their human worth, importance and the value of their life is equally an act of volcanic public violence.  What we see, hear, feel, imagine and remember is the convergence of our past and present hourly experiences shaping our sense of self, which if healthy, can in the future be more powerful than empires and more radiant than the promising diurnal sunlight. In view of the preceding dynamics, sibling and peer homicidal rivalry is inevitable but we can create a kind, just and loving society in an avarice, rivalrous and violent financially-structured world.  You can take part in the solution by sharing today this article with others.