Are there any warning signs that a person maybe getting ready to commit an atrocity such as this?
There are always countless warning signs observed by nearly everyone who has had contact with the person and often for years. Unfortunately, those warning signs are not very specific and so they apply to many people who will never be violent toward anyone but themselves and they apply to many people for short term reasons that will go away. In order to be able to catch in your net, everyone who will do a mass murder, you need to err on the side of catching hundreds or thousands of people with similar behaviors who will never commit a mass murder no matter what you do. When prediction suffers form that problem, it is necessary to be very thoughtful about what you do to the false positives who you identify as having some of the warning signs. This is easy to prevent among employees or students on a campus or patients in hospital, and very difficult to prevent in society at large under our system of law.
Now, though this article is a few years old, it does support the concept of generalized removal of rights, group classification, and scrutiny that we've discussed. Please allow me to restate one partial sentence to reiterate and let you read it as it stands alone...
you need to err on the side of catching hundreds or thousands of people with similar behaviors who will never commit a mass murder no matter what you do.
Does that not scare anybody else? We need to err towards "precrime"? Am I reading this correctly and in context?
Another really interesting read I found is from a police related site, discussing the psychology of a mass shooter. I recommend reading it here.
One of the statements made in this article ( out of context to the rest of this post ) did strike me as it directly addresses the argument that too many guns are the problem. Read carefully:
He explains the difference between the suspects whose goal is to kill from suspects who just have an affinity for guns. For example, Welner says in a very security-conscious country such as Israel, where heavy arms proliferate, mass shootings of this kind do not happen. Welner attributes this to the differences in a person's sense of identity, accomplishment and masculinity, one that does not derive from the capacity to destroy others for the sake of destroying.
From above source and emphasis mine
I look forward to seeing the discussion tabled by these articles. And allow me to take a moment to thank everybody who has participated in this thread. This has been a very enjoyable debate for me. I hope for you all as well. ( That's not implying I'm nearly done - so don't smile! )
edit on 8/16/12 by Hefficide because: BB code error