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The Psychology Behind Las Vegas’ Mass Shooting

Sunday night a man holed up on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel with ten rifles killed at least 58 and wounded 500 people enjoying a country music festival across the street. In a chilling scene, most people mistook the gunfire for fireworks as chaos ensued and heroic bystanders stepped up to help the wounded until police and ambulances arrived. In the wake of all that horror—horror becoming increasingly familiar.

Former British Army Officer Chris Bird has some lessons to share as well as questions to ask ourselves. Bird is the author of “Surviving a Mass Killer Rampage” and a former San Antonio Express-News crime reporter.


According to Coleen Rowley, Most Americans still do not connect the dots that the increasing violence occurring domestically: mass shootings, ‘active shooters,’ hate crimes and acts of terror (which frankly all blur together) are not only blowback from but the natural result of a war culture that glorifies war and war violence in the form of violent movies,

video games, and military culture.” 

Rowley is a former FBI special agent and division counsel whose May 2002 memo to the FBI Director exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures was named one of TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. 



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