Pathetic Crybaby Shoots up Nightclub
On June 12, 2016, a pathetic crybaby lashed out at the world by shooting up a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing nearly fifty people and injuring a little over fifty more. There is outrage about this, of course, because this is just another in a long line of shootings. Some blame the easy access to firearms. Some blame a lack of mental health resources. Basically, people are blaming the things they normally blame. I have another idea.
A few decades back, some people realized that successful people had higher self esteem. This also appeared in children. With the best of intentions, they decided that if the can boost the self esteem of children then the children would become more successful. As a result, children were told that everyone's a winner and there would be no losers. Participation awards became the norm.
Since then, there have been plenty of articles about the Millennials growing up to unprepared for some of the harsh realities of life. Though they are adapting better as word has gotten out that jobs don't pay for self esteem, there are still some issues out there. As with all humans, some adapt better than others.
The Freudian psychologists will tell you that the superego is what defines your concept of where you fit in the world. What's more, they say this image is formed in early childhood, often by the age of five. Imagine that your early childhood is filled with participation ribbons and an artificially enforced level result field (not a level playing field where one's strengths and weaknesses apply). It would tell you that everything should be handed to you so that you have what everybody else has.
Now, that same person grows into their teens and twenties. Nobody is giving you anything and you are seeing, not learning, that there are winners and losers. This world is abhorrent in the eyes of your superego. It is wrong! How do you deal with that? For some, they may struggle with mental health, either with or without treatment. Some may just drift through life, sort of giving up on effort or understanding things. For a few, though, there is a clear way to cope.
This is where the second part comes in. Every time there is a shooting, it is big news. The perpetrators have gone out in a blaze of glory and will be remembered forever. Even dead at the end, these people have done something. To the few people who see a severe conflict between their childhood ideal world and the adult version, this provide the socially mandated way to deal with it.
"Socially mandated?" you ask.
Yes, that is the method we all talk about. That is the thing we all discuss at great length. These shootings fit into the category of Notable Event and that is all one of these shooters need to regain their self esteem. Even when someone says they are only going to talk about the victims so as not to glorify the shooter, they are still acknowledging the shooter's work. You've basically given the shooter the title of One Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken, and that is way cool in the mind of one of these people.
There are only three things we can do to minimize these shootings, and they must be done together. First, start teaching kids that they will be judged on their efforts and that, due to social and economic factors, some of them will have to try harder to get the same results (but they can get results through hard, intelligent work). Second, we need to address the kids who were already told that everyone's a winner and provide them tools to cope and adapt to actual reality.
The third thing is probably the most important and the one that will be the hardest to pull off. We have to remove the positive self esteem factor from being a shooter. It is important that every shooter be described as a pathetic loser who has basically thrown a temper tantrum. Was it a major temper tantrum resulting in carnage? Sure, the shooter did it because he was a loser who just couldn't deal with life like a normal person. We have to make it clear that even the lowest members of society (regardless of how you define that) are more capable of coping with life than one of these crybabies that had to lash out with a gun because they were so pathetic. This is the only way to remove the positive self esteem factor from these shootings.
Unfortunately, there is no way to make this happen. Glorifying shootings is big business for news outlets. Other businesses sell t-shirts and bumper stickers mourning the tragedy. Politicians get a vehicle to spout whatever they typically spout. The general population is titillated by the horror of other people's suffering and the mystery of the culprit. Except for the shooting victims and those closest to them, almost everybody gains something they want from the shootings. That makes it hard to paint the shooter as a loser.