As the economy worsens, there is debate about whether it is to blame for the rash of shootings that have recently occurred across the country. In the past month there have been at least eight mass homicides with 59 casualties. In the most recent shooting, in Binghamton, NY, a man entered the American Civic Association building, killed 13 people, and took his own life as well. Reports said that the shooter was angry about being laid off and being shown a lack of respect because he did not speak English well. In another shooting, three policemen were killed in Pittsburgh, PA, after they responded to a domestic disturbance call. Friends of the gunman said the shooter was upset about being laid off from work.
Some experts are saying the reasons for these acts of violence are the dismal state of the economy. When people are frustrated and angry with how the economy directly affects them, they will take desperate measures because they feel as though they have nothing to lose.
We can't anticipate what's in the minds of murders and criminals, but we all should look for warning signs that a loved one or friend is in distress. It is important to recognize suspicious behavior. For example, is the person making "jokes" that are hurtful and mean-spirited? Is he or she making passing comments about violence or saying things that seem unusual? We shouldn't ignore odd behavior from a loved one or friend; they may be expressing a need for help.
Are the recent tragedies cited above a coincidence—or a window into the effects of the declining economy?