Tales from the Outback

By Bryan Lutter

Why do we have people who shoot into crowds of random strangers? What’s wrong with them? Why didn’t this sort of mass-slaughter happen 100 years ago?
One hundred years ago everybody was too busy with menial labor to dwell on their own oddness. Think about it… It was damn tough to get shunned when everyone is milking cows by hand. Putting in 16-hour days in the sweatshop didn’t exactly expose one to all the things in life you miss out on because everybody else is in the same boat.
This must be a hard era to not be able to connect with people? Never in history has so much leisure time been available. I’d venture the average urban dweller spends 100 hours or more per week shooting the breeze with co-workers and friends. The gap between those who can’t relate to people is so wide.
I was in high school 20 years ago and all anybody did was pick on the odd kid. There was TOO much spare time when I was in school. After graduation though, it wasn’t like that anymore. It was long days of manual labor without text messages or e-mail or internet or Facebook or cable television. Those days are long gone. Now it seems life is perpetual high school were nobody has anything to do except determine who is cool and who is not. In the Facebook world, life is an endless popularity contest.
I’m not being critical of today’s society at all. Besides, I’m not going to change it. That said, it’s my opinion that the likelihood of somebody with that neurological disorder losing their nut is dramatically higher given loads of leisure time. The media makes some sort of fame out of them. The President gives you a speech, interrupting the Packers telecast no less, all about this thing you did when you went off the deep end.
Unless we go back to a laborious society, I think people who tend to find numbers and statistics their only friends are gonna nut out more and more. It seems like the common thread with these guys who decide to shoot mass bullets into crowds of random strangers is that they can’t make friends, they tend to repeat themselves and they seem to like math. Clearly they have a neurological disorder that makes them bizarrely and freakishly gifted in some area of expertise, but inter-personal communication isn’t one of them. From what I’ve read about mass-shooters is that they don’t know how or when to laugh. They can’t empathize with other people’s feelings.
In my opinion the treatment for people with this neurological disorder is constant work. Keep them occupied. I think they need to stay busy or they degenerate. Also the idleness gives them time to reflect on their oddness. I can see how a person with this ailment who is an accountant would be very productive. Right up until the point they join some chat room. Then their lack of ability to communicate gets them off-track in their own home or office.
One place that brings out the worst in people who lack ability to communicate and to laugh is school. I think it’s all the interaction with the catch-phrases and modern lingo, pop culture, etc. It’s like the Hunchback of Notre Dame working at a Vegas nightclub. Just a reminder of what you are not. School plus time is a combination that’s pretty tough on anybody who is naturally socially awkward.
My guess is this sort of person going postal will happen more and more because they have increasing levels of free time. We need to be prepared and armed at all times, because you never know when somebody like that is going to strike next.

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