The Mental State Of A Mass Shooter — Who Is Responsible?

Pradeep Aradhya
6 min readMay 26, 2022
Mass shooters and murderers

Yes mass shootings in the USA are very distressing. Yes, our hearts ache for little defenseless kids and their grieving parents. Yes, most of us would like a solution. No, the government is doing nothing to provide a solution. Even though us voters seem to have little influence on the matter, I am all for gun control. Even though I am not a parent I wonder what goes on in a mass shooter’s head and how he got there. Is their psychology always off the spectrum? Are there emotions built up over time? Have there been any female mass shooters?

Mass shooting since Sandy Hook (click for details)

While I hate the NRA and think the 50 republican senators holding up the vote on this are hypocrites, I do wonder what it takes for a society to manifest the mentality of a mass shooter quite as often as we are witnessing.

Are they motivated by blood lust and wanting to see others die? By hatred for those who maligned them in some way? By the power of wielding a gun and causing damage? By racial or some other difference based bias? Such things cannot possibly be genetic. So where did the mentality originate? And how did any of that build to enough of a fever pitch in them for them to act on it? Were there no preventative, empathic, alternative frames of mind? How did our society not perceive this bubbling cauldron and actively douse it? What could we as a society have done to preclude such mentalities and mounting intent?

Mass shootings can probably be categorized broadly into three types:

School shootings: By far the most distressing type of mass shootings are school shootings. While we can rail on about gun control, perhaps we should also ask how such situations manifest. It would appear that a common theme in school shootings is that of a young man being ostracized or cut out or insulted by fellow students. While this happens a lot in schools, not everyone picks up a gun to remedy it. In the cases that it does not escalate quite that far, many preventatives manifest: guns are not available, other destressing outlets are available, the idea of killing never enters their heads etc. However, the best possible preventative is empathy for others’…

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Pradeep Aradhya

Exploring boundaries on culture, business strategy, and technology. Film maker, Kidlit Author, Technologist, Philanthropist, Investor, CEO