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Spree Shooter's Psychology

Uploaded 9/7/2010, approx. 2 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

Most spray-shooters are loners. They are either schizoid with deficient interpersonal skills or paranoid or even paranoid schizophrenic, psychotic and delusional.

The dysfunction of spray-shooters is all pervasive. Family life, career, romantic relationships, professional and material accomplishments are all adversely affected by their mental mayhem.

Spray-shooters feel excluded and shunned and are profoundly ashamed of and frustrated with their inadequacies and with their sadistic, self-destructive, suicidal and self-defeating inner judge.

The inner interjected voices or narrative that are carried forward from early childhood abuse and trauma.

This frustration builds up and results in pent-up aggression which ultimately manifests a furious, uncontrollable rage.

The typical spray-shooter is in love with all things violent, guns, the military, police work, virulent racism and crime.

Since spray-shooters have no one to share their emotions with, these tectonic and volcanic shifts get shunted. They get displaced.

In other words, when the spray-shooter seeks to explain to himself why he is so angry and why he is so angry so constantly, he blames it upon his ultimate victims and their behavior or idiosyncrasies, not upon himself.

Members of despised minorities, Roma, Jews, Blacks, homosexuals, etc., are perfect scapegoats precisely because their persecution is socially centric.

This spray-shooter by attacking these minorities catches two birds with one shotgun. For the first time in his life, he feels that he belongs, that his conduct is socially acceptable and fear condoned and he vents his fury on easy, vulnerable and essentially risk-free targets.

During the attack, during the spray-shooting, the spray-shooter feels elated and his anxiety is relieved and abated.

Contrary to persistent myth, the shooter is aware of his environment but he suspends morality, judgment and his sense of danger.

The shooter usually takes his life as an act of defiance, not of desperation. By committing suicide, he renders himself out of the reach of the law.

His suicide is a grandiose gesture, a sort of twilight of the gods.

At the same time, self-annihilation tends to uphold the shooter's view of himself as worthless, as a paternal loser and incorrigible failure.

The timing of the spray-shooting is usually determined by a life crisis, losing one's job, divorce, incarceration, personal bankruptcy, the death of a loved one or a significant other.

The spray-shooter often hits rock bottom before he rots.

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