This morning, two news reports grabbed my attention. One was from China and the other took place in the US. Both were similar and elementary-age children were the targets.
From China, the BBC News reported, “A man with a knife has wounded 22 children – at least two of them seriously – and an adult at a primary school in central China. The attack happened at the gate of a school in Chenpeng village in Henan province. … Security at China’s schools has been increased in recent years following a spate of similar knife attacks in which nearly 20 children have been killed.”
So far, in China’s most recent grade school assault, no one has been reported dead but in the US, in a similar incident, the death toll was shocking.
Fox News reported, “At least 26 dead in shooting at Connecticut elementary school. … Authorities say at least 26 people, including 18 children, were killed Friday when a gunman clad in black military gear opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school.
“A law enforcement official said the shooter, who is dead, was from New Jersey and had ties to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Authorities recovered a Glock and Sig Sauer 9mm handgun, but it was unclear who killed the shooter, who wore black combat garb and a military vest.”
To understand why, I Googled “profile of mass murderers” and discovered that unlike serial killers mass murderers are hard to profile and are unpredictable.
Dr. Michael Stone told The Daily Beast, “Usually you’re dealing with an angry, dissatisfied person who has poor social skills or few friends, and then there is a trigger that sets them off.” … adding that 96.5 percent of mass murderers are male, and a majority aren’t clinically psychotic. Rather, they suffer from paranoia and often have acute behavioral or personality disorders.
The only difference that I can see is that in America, the US Constitution, the law of the land, says citizens may buy weapons such as the pistols and rifles used in the assault in Connecticut, but in China deranged mass killers have no choice but to resort to a knife leaving more survivors.
Because these types of killing sprees offer no explanation and are unpredictable, then what is similar between these two tragedies? Is it because of rampant consumerism? Is it because of nutrition-starved fast food and sugary drinks changing the environment of the body and mind? Is it the virtual social media world of the Internet? After all, China and the US have the most Internet users—China has more than 500 million and the US 245 million. For example, third place goes to India that has more than 150 million Internet users or 12.4% of the population.
When I checked the list of school massacres by rampage killers, 155 were listed as killed in the US and 58 in China.
What is it about the changing environments and cultures of these capitalistic, consumer oriented nations that leads to such attacks? Have family values changed that much?
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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