RobertaX laid out the psychological underpinnings of what happened; one aspect of it at least. There's really nothing more I can add to that part of it. I was honestly unable to turn off the news coverage, so I'm a part of the problem there. It was certainly a lesson in everything that is wrong with such event coverage. Listening to the talking heads (for the record, I was listening to the stream of WSB radio, as is my wont on weekdays) churn through every rumor and pontificate on it as though it had been handed down to Moses was frustrating as hell. There were initial rumors that a .223 had been used; the reporter averred that this had to be an AR-15. When later it was said that the weapons were "only" handguns, the same man said there must have been extended magazines used.
It might be worth noting that they also said, early in their coverage, that this wall-to-wall yapping about it they were doing had been shown to encourage similar attacks and then they went right on talking.
Liberals, of course, didn't let the bodies cool before calling for gun bans. Not just "sensible" gun control, but outright bans. We horrible conservatives love our guns more than the little children.
Now that many people have, rightly, pointed out that mental health is still the relevant issue, we're still at fault. Because we oppose Obamacare. Nevermind that the law isn't actually going to do much of anything to improve matters. (I actually read several articles other than the one linked; they all say that Obamacare will improve access to mental health services, but only for poor people--and these shooters are never impoverished.)
We need improved mental health care in this country. Improved is not analogous to expanded. Giving three million people the same shitty mental health care we've been offering isn't going to do a single damned thing. And make no mistake here--Psychology is dominated by liberals. Bless their hearts, they mean well. But they marry themselves to a given theory when very young and seldom let reality intrude thereupon. (This is how psychoanalysis dominated for so very long.) And so care has degraded and insurance companies have been rightly skeptical of treatments which have little to no research to back them up.
And that has spiraled outward and now we sit here today, where parents with autistic children might as well just give them high doses of vitamins 'cause that shows as much efficacy as anything else, and an idiotic number of people who don't know anyone affected by it think the mental illness would disappear if parents simply beat their children more often. So these kids aren't being taught how to function in the real world, and parents aren't getting help to control the occasional rages, and once in a blue moon we have shit like this and hey--GUNS!
Update: Read this. All of it. It's not something we can safely turn away from because of politics.
She's not the only one living with stuff like this. Not even close. I know several moms who have had to damn near hang themselves to get their kid accepted for in-patient mental treatment. Thank community-based mental health care, y'all. I've bitched about it before. It's stupid, and it's deadly.A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.