Gunman with Aspergers syndrome - AIBU to think that will be focussed on and used against other people with Aspergers

(99 Posts)
kim147 Sun 25-May-14 10:08:51

I'm not sure how to express this.

www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/california-driveby-shootings-seven-dead-after-gunman-goes-on-rampage-in-santa-barbara-9430598.html

The gunman is reported to be someone who :

"Mr Schifman said Rodger had been diagnosed as a high-functioning patient with Asperger syndrome, and had been bullied throughout his life. His parents had recently reported a series of disturbing YouTube videos made by their son to police, who had interviewed Rodger and found him “polite and kind”."

A terrible tragedy - targeting people, predominantly women, because he had been rejected all his life.

I really worry that somehow the fact he had Asperger's syndrome will be used against other people with the condition. I vividly remember the Sun headline about "mental patients and killing people". I fear this might be used the same way against vulnerable people.

StarSwirl92 Sun 25-May-14 10:17:34

I think its more likely to be blamed on his father bekng involved with The Hunger Games and the manifesto about being a virgin. If they do latch on to aspergers it would be at the expense of their favourite topic, how any violence leads all teens/young adults to murder. YANBU to worry though.

PrincessBabyCat Sun 25-May-14 10:28:40

If anything it might add them to the list of people not allowed to purchase guns, lumping them in the umbrella of mentally ill people. If you have certain MH problems you're not legally allowed to purchase guns. As it is, they're barred from certain careers like the military and police, which rely on guns to do their job, so it's not a far stretch to ban them from weapons.

As always, there will be some politician hoping to get votes and pass some ridiculous anti-gun law that looks good in headlines, but really doesn't accomplish anything useful in practicality. Adding people with ASD to the restricted list wouldn't be a stretch of the imagination. It wouldn't be hard to sell either, would you want someone with empathy and cognitive problems being allowed access to a deadly weapon?

snakeandpygmy Sun 25-May-14 10:28:50

I've seen a lot about this and the Asperger's is not the focus of a single article. It's mainly been focused around misogyny and the Men's Movement/PUA.

Acciosanity Sun 25-May-14 10:41:57

I thought the same as you OP.

DS just been diagnosed with Aspergers so I am incredibly sensitive about it all at the moment.

kim147 Sun 25-May-14 10:44:12

It's just something else to attack people with Aspergers with. I hope it doesn't.

Vinomcstephens Sun 25-May-14 10:54:21

I've not seen it as the focus of a single news article either so I think it's an unnecessary worry.

JapaneseMargaret Sun 25-May-14 10:59:42

The fact that the gunman has Asperger's is mere detail to me, and beside the point.

The salient point, to me, is the fact that it's another male.

Correct me if I'm wrong... but these mass shootings that America is so notorious for, are without exception, carried out by men.

If the opposite were true, and they were ALL carried out by women, wouldn't that be so completely incredible, that people would be searching for some sort of explanation as to why women behave like this, and try to remedy it?

Instead, it's just accepted as one of those rather unfortunate things. And in the meantime we wait for the next one, which will happen - carried out by a boy/man - in another few months' time.

Mind boggling, quite honestly.

FatalCabbage Sun 25-May-14 11:03:54

My paper said he had HFA "which is not associated with violent conduct". It sounds like this young man had additional problems though.

I felt that the reporting I saw today was deliberately discounting his HFA as a cause for violence, although possibly relevant in the context of his not understanding why girls weren't attracted to him.

YANBU to worry - it's been happening for years with people with mental health conditions. My Dad has BPD and you'd be surprised at the amount of people - including adults - who've made jokes about him being a 'psycho', or worrying that he's going to be an axe murderer. But if they believe that - just like, if they believe that all people with Aspergers will do something like this - they're idiots, and aren't worth your time.

manicinsomniac Sun 25-May-14 11:04:24

A couple of years ago I would have of course YABU, why would people pick up on, it's like thinking that a red haired gunman means all redheads are dangerous etc.

But the Connecticut shooting and dawndonna's stories of the comments her children got because of that and/or similar incidents opened my eyes.

Yes, it probably will happen and YANBU.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Sun 25-May-14 11:04:43

Have you see the statement given by the father of one of the victims? He was very clear in laying the blame at the door of ineffectual politicians and the NRA. It was really powerful and heartbreaking to hear but very forceful and clear in exactly where the blame, in his opinion, lies.

I know some of the media focus on other aspects, but I think that fathers statement was really powerful and should shift the focus to the NRA etc.

SetPhasersTaeMalkie Sun 25-May-14 11:05:07

I knew about the shooting as it has been on the news. I'm afraid I hadn't picked on that the shooter had AS until I read this thread.

Is it really a focus of news reports? I thought they were more interested in his father than anything else.

caruthers Sun 25-May-14 11:09:19

JapaneseMargaret these types of incidents in the US are not ALL committed by males believe it or not there are many female students who carry out such acts.

As to the shooting recently it's very sad and it's very difficult to see how anyone can stop it happening again.

FraidyCat Sun 25-May-14 11:33:51

The salient point, to me, is the fact that it's another male.

(Warning, made up statistic follows.) 95% of all actions exceptional or important enough to make it into the news, or history books, are perpetrated by males. This applies equally to things we regard as good or bad, therefore I reject the offensive subtext I detect that maleness is particularly an issue in this case.

ProudAS Sun 25-May-14 11:45:35

Quite possibly the Aspergers was a contributory factor but not a direct cause. I know from personal experience that growing up with the condition, being bullied, struggling to make sense of the world etc can cause extreme anger and psychotic feelings. Apparently however, those of us with the condition are statistically more likely than the general population to be law abiding.

dawndonnaagain Sun 25-May-14 11:47:23

would you want someone with empathy and cognitive problems being allowed access to a deadly weapon?
And this is exactly our problem. Perhaps before you comment in a manner such as this, you would be so kind as to educate yourself a little further.

ProudAS Sun 25-May-14 11:47:50

There's no getting away from the fact that most such acts are committed by males but is that a valid reason for not allowing men to hold guns (including police and military)?

dawndonnaagain Sun 25-May-14 11:54:13

Proud AS. It would be the co-morbids that cause anger and psychotic feelings, not the Aspergers. It is also extraordinarily rare for those with AS to have psychotic feelings, let alone act upon them. In fact, as you have pointed out, we are less likely to act upon things such as this than other members of society. Our distress at not comprehending the world around is is far more likely to result in depression and vulnerability than psychosis.

GreatAuntDinah Sun 25-May-14 12:09:37

Correct me if I'm wrong... but these mass shootings that America is so notorious for, are without exception, carried out by men.

There have been several by women but they get far less media coverage (Amy Bishop, Jennifer San Marco, Laurie Dunn, to name three). They also happen more often than you'd think in Europe and elsewhere, but again they get far less media coveragethan they do when they happen in America.

ProudAS Sun 25-May-14 13:01:02

DawnI have had psychotic feelings at particularly bad times but never had any inclination to act on them.

Do I take it you've got Aspergers too?

noblegiraffe Sun 25-May-14 13:05:36

I expect he played violent video games too. If so, that will be what gets the blame.

thecatfromjapan Sun 25-May-14 13:09:37

It's to prevent any analysis of the part an regime of systematic oppression (patriarchy and capitalism) played in this tragedy, in my opinion.

I think you may well be right, kim147. I have friends with aspergers - diagnosed, undiagnosed - and they wouldn't do this. Aspergers is an irrelevant detail. Why on earth include it? It makes me fume. Perhaps the only thing to do is to use the space-of-discussion which has been opened (in a hostile fashion) in order to force more positive information into public awareness????

thecatfromjapan Sun 25-May-14 13:12:34

thanks to posters such as dandonaaagain who do the work of education. It must get quite tiring. But people such as myself do read, learn and appreciate your efforts.

Just saying.

DeWee Sun 25-May-14 14:43:59

If I was reading an article, thenit wouldn't be more than a description, same as a physical characteristic, wouldn't make me think "all XXX will do that"-for there's many more that don't than do.

If research was done by an independent committee who noted that 75% were male/redheaded/had piercings on their left eyebrow/anything else, it would still be in the interesting category because most people in that category wouldn't do it still. However I'd hope that the research would go on to try and identify what else has caused them to go down this route, because you couldn't just put all the blame on that one characteristic.

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