From a news account: "A longtime neighbor in San Diego, where Holmes grew up, remembers only a 'shy guy ...a loner' from a churchgoing family. In addition to playing soccer at Westview High School, he ran cross country."

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... never a "heathen, people person"

I saw that bit in one of the early detailed news reports. Still, I'm having a bit of a problem using this atrocity as an excuse to bash theists. Until we know more, I'll lean toward believing he had other issues. Who knows, maybe he suffered terribly at the hands of his soccer coach ;-)

Question for anyone interested:

Has anyone done a study on what makes a person break?  The initial conditions which surrounded the event and the dynamics once said break was underway?  If they haven't, I shouldn't wonder.  This kind of break is a discontinuity, like a steel beam under stress, finally fracturing.  Understanding that situation and creating a viable engineering model is likely child's play compared with doing the same thing for a human being.

Still, I'm an engineer, not a psychoanalyst.  This kid was a brilliant kid, right up to the point where something when seriously south, and I'd like to know if we're any closer to understanding exactly how that happens than we were back in the days of Richard Speck.

I enjoyed the movie of the Philip K. Dick story, Minority Report, in which psychics are made to predict violent crimes before they occur so that operatives can be sent to the locales and prevent them.  A wonderful twist on the old SciFi plot of predicting the future and thereby changing it for the better.  Far fetched?  Yes, but fun.  Forget the fact that Tom Cruise is in it.  He does a pretty good job, God bless him!

Problem is, where do you find an actual, functioning psychic?  I think I'd rather understand the present than have to resort to looking into the future, especially since such a skill isn't likely to be genuinely found.

You and I both ascribe to the Gospel of the Great Randi, but Dick was simply saying "What if?" and that is poetic license to fiction writers.

Yeah, true enough.  Sometimes I get too pragmatic for my own good, I think.

I went to a few trainings on campus shooters. The stuff I heard related to the millennial generation, The factors tended to be:

1. Desire to be famous (for these guys "infamous" is just as good)

2. Past victim of bullying

3. Untreated or under treated mental illness 

Part 2 was the central focus of the movie, Elephant, by Gus Van Sant (2003).  In that one, the disturbed high school friends who were loosely based on the pair at Columbine turn out to be gay, or at least are shown taking a shower together at one of their family homes.  Many gay people are bullied, but not all bullying victims are gay. I would not be surprised at all if this kid was bullied.  But alienation does not depend on bullying. Even Holmes's school friends describe him as a "loner."  That in itself might warrant close examination.  If one can get along without society one begins to feel its lack of necessity, sometimes with such alienation from them that getting rid of them is fairly easy to envision.

Well I'm a loner and I would never hurt anyone. That guy is just insane.
And I have a group for Loners like me on the site. I explain the myths of being a loner and introvert.

Steph, as long as the person is mentally stable, being an introvert/loner type is just as viable as me. I'm extroverted, love being in the thick of things. Love crowds of people. Just because that might fall within more of a normal area of the bell curve, it can lead to as much, if not more unstable personality types, than the introvert. Each of us still think mostly the same, it just seems the reactions are somehat different. Example, if an emergency happens, the extroverts jump right in, sometimes to the detriment of the situation, while most introverts I know have a tendency to hang back, sizing up the situation more throughly. Both have their place, and the co-operation of the two seem to generate a more equitable outcome. I'm very far from an expert, but this has been my experience more often than not. Both are a necessary ingredient for a successful society. As are a number of things, of course. Just some of my observations, my 2 cents. Anyway, be well. Talk at you later. Tony.

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