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Bombs for bullets: Why are mass shooting suspects almost never taken alive?

Bombs for bullets: Why are mass shooting suspects almost never taken alive?

Why is it that mass shooting suspects are almost never taken alive? Here we analyze police training, psychological profiles, and the politics of fear to find out why.

When law enforcement detonated a bomb attached to robot last week in Dallas, the felled perpetrator became the latest mass shooting suspect that will never be able to give an explanation for his actions.

In the case of the Dallas sniper, a technology never before utilized in the killing of a suspect was deployed with a lethal detonation.

According to a spokesperson from Pedsco, the manufacturer of the robot, “he did not ‘know of any instances of an explosive used to disable a suspect’ attached to a robot owned by law enforcement.”

A pathological pattern

Last month in Orlando where the so-called “worst mass shooting” in America’s history took place, the suspect, who had already been investigated by the FBI, was killed during a shootout with the Police.

Last year’s shooting in San Bernardino left 14 dead and 22 injured, and both suspects were killed by police in the shootout.

The list goes on. Sandy Hook, 2012 – the official story is that the suspect opened fire in an elementary school killing 20 First-Graders and 6 adults before turning the gun on himself with a mortal blow.

The Virginia Tech shooting left 33 dead in 2007 after the suspect shot himself to death, but not before releasing a manifesto to the media, which still doesn’t provide a clear motive.

Similarly and more recently in Isla Vista in 2014, the shooting suspect released a manifesto condemning society before killing 6 people, wounding 14, and then taking his own life.

Murder vs Murder/Suicide

According to Psychology Today, there are two types of mass shooters, and their psychological profiles play a role in whether they kill without wanting to be killed or whether they kill with the intention that they won’t live through the aftermath either by suicide or by the police. One type is the psychopath, and the other is the psychotic/traumatized.

“It is interesting that the highest percentage of non-suicidal shooters seems to be found among the psychopaths. Given their narcissism, it is not surprising that they would be less likely to take their own lives. Also, the psychotic and traumatized shooters tended to experience far more depression and anguish than the psychopathic shooters, which made them more suicidal.”

Death’s shadow lingers on mass shooting suspects

Whether the shooter wants to be killed by police or wishes to live to see another day, the suspect is almost never taken alive. There are exceptions, such as the Aurora movie theater shooter who was apprehended after killing 12 and injuring 70.

However, just four months ago, the convicted murderer had to be transferred to another prison after being attacked by another inmate, despite being “closely monitored.”

It seems that death follows these shooters closely.

Shoot to kill or don’t shoot at all

So, why don’t police try to bring suspects in alive? According to Candace McCoy, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, “Officers are trained to shoot at ‘center mass,’ roughly the chest region, because they’re more likely to hit the target and stop an imminent threat.”

“As a policy, [shoot to wound] is a really bad idea because it would give the police permission to take that gun out of the holster under any circumstance,” she added.

“A shoot to wound policy could lead to more unintentional police killings by expanding the range of circumstances in which an officer would be allowed to use his or her weapon.”

What McCoy said may be accurate; however, it is alarming to note that despite the never-ending “war on terror,” American citizens are 9 times more likely to be killed by their own law enforcement than by a terrorist.

If that isn’t shocking enough, between the 1980s and 2014 there were 567 people killed in 157 mass shootings, but in 2014 police killed about twice the amount of Americans as those killed in all of the mass shootings combined!

The 2nd Amendment

While the United States Defense Department spends over $600 Billion a year to fund war, death, and destruction abroad, at home the same government is trying to ban weapons for its citizens and is using the media coverage on all of the mass shootings to further the agenda of eradicating the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution.

The 2nd Amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The key part, “being necessary to the security of a free State,” was understood by the architects of the document as they had seen first-hand what happened when a government turned tyrannical.

Before the Nazis were able to load German citizens on boxcars to the concentration camps, they had to first disarm them, and the reason why? Armed citizens do not allow themselves to be rounded up like cattle for the slaughter.

With more gun control legislation, the less likely the people have a chance at defending themselves from a government that does not have the best interests of its people in mind.

ISIS, Race Wars, and Terrorism

James Madison has been credited as saying, “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

How true those words echo. With the “War on Terror,” we have an ever-changing foreign enemy that can never be eradicated, and ever since 9/11, basic liberties have been gradually chipped away in the name of National Defense.

The Mujaheddin became Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan with the help of the CIA. ISIS was born out of resistance in Iraq and Syria after the US-led military coalition – none of which ever posed a threat to the United States.

Clashes between police and African Americans has erupted into an all-out race war while the crimes of politicians go unchecked, and their stories buried under the wave of shocking reports of mass shootings and hate crimes.

The politics of fear

Unless we begin to stop falling for the hype and the fear perpetuating through the media, and until we realize that citizens should be in control of their governments and that united we are more powerful than those who mean to manipulate us, we will continue to be divided as we succumb to fear until the point that we are begging our politicians to take away everything the Constitution was founded upon — all under the guise of Homeland Security and Personal Safety.

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Tim Hinchliffe is a veteran journalist whose passions include writing about how technology impacts society and Artificial Intelligence. He prefers writing in-depth, interesting features that people actually want to read. Previously, he worked as a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa, and Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co

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