Identifying adolescents and young adults with serious emotional and mental issues and giving them access to the appropriate services is crucial to stopping rampage killers. The majority of troubled youth will never commit horrific crimes. However, all rampage killers showed some signs of needing intervention. More focus needs to be placed on the emotional and mental needs of our youth to prevent tragedies such as rampage killings. Parents need to take an active role in their children’s lives including during adolescence. Parental monitoring by knowing where and with whom the child is with is crucial during the impressionable adolescent years. This is a difficult time for the majority of children because it involves rapid changes both physically and emotionally. There are many influences both genetically and environmentally that can contribute to the makeup of rampage killers.
Parental involvement is vital in children’s lives at all stages. Even if adolescents act like they do not want parents around, they still crave adult attention, love, and approval. Lack of parental involvement and affection can lead to low self-esteem in children. In an interview for the documentary, Mind of a Rampage Killer, Jeff Williams, the father of Andy Williams, said “Yes, I love my son very much. Ironically, first time I told him I loved him, that I can remember, was when I saw him for the first time at Juvenile Hall, on March 8th (Brien, 2013).” Even though Jeff said he loved his son, he never expressed his love until it was too late. Children often feel rejected by their families and their peers.
The majority of the rampage killers experienced being bullied in middle school. Most of them did not retaliate against the bullies or confide in adults about the abuse. This led to these children internalizing the frustration and humiliation that they faced. A reason that former victim of bullies commit rampage killing could be that they wanted the respect and notoriety that bullies often get from their peers. They were going to do something so horrific that they would become infamous. Victims of bullies most likely have fantasies of getting even with the bullies. Although, most victims do not turn out to be killers. An involved parent can identify if their child is the victim of a bully by maintaining an active role in their child’s life and looking for any changes.
The article, “Focusing on Violence before It Happens”, tells how school officials, mental health professionals, and law enforcement agencies can form networks that work together to identify students who could potentially commit rampage killings. In Los Angeles, California the program is an excellent example of how important it is for agencies to collaborate. An attribute that makes this program work is that the agency continues to follow up with students that they identify even after they leave school (Goode, 2013).
Rampage killings are different from other types of killings because the perpetrators...