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Bullying, mental illness and family background the real cause for Sandy Hook massacre.
The world was shocked into silence with today's newspaper headline - a 20-year-old guns down 27 people in New England, Connecticut making it one of the worst school killings in the US. Everyone was asking themselves the same question - why did the boy commit such a heinous crime? What was the circumstances that led him to kill off his own mother and 26 other people? And how does a 20-year-old boy lay his hand on guns?

WHILE THE answers to the specific case are yet to come, we have seen a history of US school murders by teenage boys. The similarity of the pattern in their behaviour and in their family background can send chills down the spine in any of as - as they are not incidents in isolation but can easily occur again.

The second most safest place after home is school and yet families in the United States have been tormented time and again by sending their children to the place that has been invaded by people who have created history with guns. Three of the deadliest school shootings apart from the present one were: 2007 Virgina Tech massacre where 23 year old Seung-Hui Cho killed 30 people; 1999 Columbine tragedy where Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, both of 18 years, murdered a total of 12 students and one teacher and injured 21 other students; 1966 University of Texas massacre where 25-year-old Charles Whitman killed 14 people. Each of the killers had guns, strategies and left behind notes, letters or videos either to gloat over their deeds or to apologize.

Like Adam Lanza of Sandy Hook, others had some problem during their formetive years. Seug-Hui Cho was uprooted from South Korea by his parents to move to US, which might have been a cultural shock for him. Moreover, reported Washington Post, he was bullied at his school in America, which might have added to the trauma of a small, frail child, who was always aloof.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, again, were subjected to heavy bullying during their high school years. In a journal that was left behind, Eric Harris wrote, “Everyone is always making fun of me because of how I look, and how fucking weak I am and shit. Well, I will get you all back: ultimate fucking revenge here. You people could have shown more respect, treated me better, asked for my knowledge or guidance more, treated me more like a senior, and maybe I wouldn't have been as ready to tear your fucking heads off...That's where a lot of my hate grows from. The fact that I have practically no self-esteem,” reported Wikipedia. 

Charles Whitman, on the other hand, was from an abused family. His father, who had rules and was quite authoritative continuously and physically abused his mother and him as well as his siblings. One of the greatest fear that Whitman had, according to his friends, was that he would turn out to be like his father.

Everyone of them had low self esteem, inspite of the fact that these students in their early 20s were exceptionally bright. Charles Whitman's IQ was tested to be 172 and the actions of the others lead us to believe that they had the ability to do wonderful things in life but their intelligence were not channelized in the correct direction.

Like the movie, 'A beautiful Mind', normally people with exceptional IQ's have certain mental imbalance and that was present in all the four mass murderers. Adam Lanza was suffering from autism, as his own brother says. Inspite of being from a conservative Asian family, Seug-Hui Cho were taken to a doctor who diagnosed him to have selective mutism. Interestingly, Cho was transfixed with the Columbine massacre. Charles Whitman on the other hand was the most accomplished of the four killers having served in the US Marine, married a good girl.

But frustrations became the order of the day when he was court marshaled for gambling. This was noted to be one of the triggers that compelled him to take his mother's, wife's and lives of university students of Texas. All the four killers with Adam Lanza did nothing at the spur of the moment. They had planned, strategized, got themselves the required weapons but they all killed random people at schools and Universities. It seemed as if they were furious against the society as a whole and wanted power over them. Eric Dane and Dylan Klebold after the killings were profiled as malignant narcissists.

The fact that all these people could so easily get access to guns, takes the media's attention to the gun laws in the country again. But we must not forget another important aspect that eventually leads to these kind of killings. All the killers had some mental inability and yet they were not given treatment at the time of their outbursts - for clearly it was a cry for help that they made them do these things. A cry for help that was for many years not properly listened to. Parents, who ignored their child's symptoms and friends who looked the other way when their behaviour seemed odd to them.

Let's just hope that in future with proper treatment and good social as well as family environment we do not create any more Adam Lanza, Charles Whitman, Seug-Hui Cho or Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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