Mass Violence Essay

2129 words - 9 pages

Perpetrator was a 15 year-old student at Thurston High School at the time of both events. In the hours leading up to the shootings, he believed that his parents were extremely embarrassed and disappointed in him after he was caught with a gun at school and thus felt as though he had to kill them ("Who is Kinkel: Chronology", 1998; Blanco, 2014). Though he did not display any thought psychosis or disorder, he did suffer from anxiety as a child and was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in January of 1997, just a year prior to the shooting ("Who is Kinkel: Chronology", 1998). In the years leading up to the shooting, he developed an interest in homemade bombs and guns. In fact, he even ...view middle of the document...

As a group, we not only learned about an array of intervention techniques and training modules (i.e. active shooter training, workplace violence awareness training, workplace security training, etc.), but we also thoroughly examined acts of violence and assessed how the criminal justice system goes about investigating the motivations and risk factors of the perpetrator after an event occurs. Additionally, we spent a great deal of time reflecting on what we would do in instances of workplace or school violence.
While many people unfamiliar to this particular segment of criminal justice investigation might assume that a single profile for school/workplace shooters exists, the reality is that, although these individuals share many commonalities, each perpetrator is unique in how they act and how they deal with risk factors (i.e. contact with weapons, use of violent video games, absentee family members, moving, a death in the family, etc.). Consequently, investigators trained to investigate these types of violence acts must be open to all possible motives. More importantly, investigators must spend a great deal of time interviewing known associates, gathering medical/psychiatric reports, talk with victims, analyze the crime scene, and perhaps even meet with the perpetrator. If there is one thing I have learned from this course, it is that the people who investigate workplace and school violence are some of the most dedicated and hardworking members of law enforcement. Indeed, I never knew how grueling the process of writing a case analysis was until I had to write this paper.
As stated above, the research and writing process that goes into a project such as this is incredible! Although I knew that a great deal of research would be needed, I never thought that I would have such a hard time finding articles on my specific case or that most of the information reported on the incident was hearsay. Aside from the time consuming nature of this project, I was fascinated to learn more about the shooter and see beyond the actual acts of violence that he committed.
Unlike other projects, where the topic is fairly cut and dry, my case analysis on Kipland Kinkel was incredibly complex and fascinating. Depending on the material or the article I chose to read, the perspective and theory behind the shooting generally shifted. In newspaper articles from around the time of the shooting, journalists stereotyped Kinkel as being a typical school shooter that did not seem like the type of person who could carry out such heinous, violent acts. Meanwhile, articles written months or even years later describe Kinkel’s life more realistically. Rather than describe Kinkel as being a nice boy that seemingly snapped, these articles discussed how Kinkel was taking medication for depression, collecting weapons for years, researching how to make a bomb, and getting into physical altercations with fellow students. Clearly, the articles written later on were less biased than the...

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