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Monday, January 07, 2013

Police Foil Teen's Bomb Plot on School

That's the good news, a murder plot in Russell County, Alabama, foiled.
Are we surprised that the age of the terrorist is so young, seventeen?
Not anymore.

Kudos to the teacher who found Derek Shrout's journal, had the brains to read it. There, in the young man's hand, a plan to kill six students and one teacher. The weapon? Homemade grenades.

Derek is assumed to be a racist. There is nothing Caucasian about six of the seven potential victims.

The seventh he suspected to be gay.

Derek Shrout, ABC News 

The journal is dated back to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, a few days after the event.  A little over three weeks ago, is all.

In his defense, Derek is saying, "It's fiction!"  Police doubt it, believe the young man learned how to make the devices on the Internet. But you know, there are excellent instructions on television shows. They could be wrong.

He apparently collected tobacco cans and liked to fill them up with shrapnel. Dozens of them. But before he filled them up, he punched holes in the cans, ready for fuses. 
I hear the clickety-clack of the writers at Burn Notice putting an episode together for next season.  
In a way, I'm glad this happened. Nobody hurt, and all's well that ends well. More exposure to a serious issue. 
We learned that when teachers (and parents, too, they are great teachers) pay attention, it pays off. There are a lot of angry, confused kids out there, and unfortunately, anyone can get a weapon. Gun control might help, but what will we do about templates on how to make a bomb?
Kids don't necessarily want to talk, but they do communicate. This kid left a journal out for a teacher to read!
So we could start by listening to our own kids, and to their friends, even the weird ones, especially if they only came over that one time and felt too socially inadequate, maybe, to ever come by again.  What ever happened to ____? is what we have to ask Little Joey.
Maybe he's in the garage with tobacco tins. That odd kid collecting nails? Check him out.
My slant on this blog, when it comes to mass murder, at least those we've witnessed in the past seven years, has been to diagnose the perpetrators as likely having suffered paranoid schizophrenia. Not everyone agrees, and readers write to tell me I'm seeing schizophrenia in my sleep, am overly diagnosing. After all, the kids do watch violence on television, and the video games, oy vey, totally encourage aggression. 
As if our culture, as if video games, no matter how violent, actually insert murderous impulses into heads:
 KILL PEOPLE IN THE PARKING LOT, AND THE SENATOR! 
KILL PEOPLE AT THE MOVIE THEATER! DRESS UP LIKE BATMAN! HE'S COOL! 
KILL LITTLE CHILDREN IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, BE SURE TO GET YOUR MOTHER, WHILE YOU ARE AT IT, SHE'S EVIL.
KILL COLLEGE COEDS. DON'T FORGET THEIR TEACHERS, KILL THEM ALL
AND OF COURSE, KILL YOURSELF.
I'm the first to hate video game addictions, and agree that they do make kids aggressive. No question. But people who murder en masse are probably hearing voices in their heads that instruct them to do it. And yes, the slaughter is premeditated, according to this theory.

It is premeditated because delusions, voices that are heard in a sick person's head, can build with age, strengthen, become louder as the illness progresses, without medication or intervention,  until they sing/scream like a choir, a cacophonous one at that.  And to shut them up, yes, the sufferer does as he is told, kills others, or attacks, because he is a good soldier, under orders. And then, he rebels, is he hasn't been told to kill himself, too. Or his suicide is the very best way, at the time, to relieve himself from his pain and severe mental anguish. We don't call it mental illness for nothing.
Just my thinking. 
But what goes on with racism? What' is it about homophobia? What's with White Supremacy?  
Hitler found that if you scapegoat people for your problems, if you can point to an entire class of individuals, or classes of people, types, you might suggest, 
if only they were gone, all would be well! 
Tap into the unhappiness of  the unhappy masses, give them hope for a better tomorrow. They will believe you.
There are so many unhappy people out there.
So no, Derek Shrout probably has no mental disorder, although there will surely be discussion about depression, anger, maybe even borderline personality disorder or anti-social personality.
More than likely he's merely another follower, a believer.  A guy who can build himself up by putting other people down. 
If we watch the story closely, maybe we'll find out who it is he really wants to impress. Kids look for approval in the craziest ways.

therapydoc



3 comments:

Mound Builder said...

I had read about this young man on the internet yesterday, too. In a way, it would make me feel better if all of these folks who've been committing mass murder were schizophrenic because if they aren't, I'm at a total loss to understand what's going on. I am about to make a gross generalization, but I can't help noticing that for the most part, the people doing these things are white males between the ages of about 16 and 30, roughly, and generally come from what sounds like are middle class backgrounds. If it's not paranoid schizophrenia, then I keep wondering what is happening, what's going on in families that is seems to be leading to such violence?

I was thinking in the past couple of days that as a child, siblings and friends and I often played games of war of one sort or another. We had cap guns and/or were used sticks as pretend guns and we hurled acorns as pretend grenades. We didn't have real guns in our homes, though. And as an adult I've never owned a gun, nor felt the slightest temptation to own one, the point being that my childhood behavior nor did the many things I saw on TV or in movies lead me to plot violence. So I keep wondering, a lot, what's going on that's leading young men toward so much violence?

I am glad that in this particular case, there were people paying attention who stopped this before he did something terrible. We definitely need more people who pay attention to those they have contact with. I can't help thinking that part of the problem with being white, male, young, and of reasonable affluence is that if you're descending into paranoid schizophrenia and no one has quite figured that out yet, you're probably also smart enough to plan and plot, you may have money enough to buy the supplies, and it's relatively easy to get access to the things that allow such a person to follow through, a recipe for disaster.

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Lorri said...

There was a teen who managed to get onto a high school campus in California, yesterday, also. He shot a specific person and and adult. I believe, from what I read, he wanted to shoot another person, also.

He was talked into putting down his weapon, by a teacher.

It seems to be the rage (no pun intended, but maybe it should be intended). The underlying anger involved seems to eventually exert itself. Paranoid schizophrenia at its worst? It boggles the mind.