What to know about common patterns experts are seeing in mass shootings

“Human beings, by and large, are predictable,” said Clay Cranford, a retired Sergeant from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and child safety expert. “Like we go through a certain step of planning, preparation, things that we do to accomplish any goal. Their goal, you know, in this case is going to a particular place and hurting people or actually to kill people. But they have to go through those steps.”

According to Cranford, six of the nine deadliest mass shootings in the nation since 2018 were conducted by those under the age of 21. That age range is considered by experts to be a difficult time in one’s life, especially for young men.

“With boys traditionally being socialized to suppress, you know, their emotions,” explained therapist Dr. Rose Moten, “when they are feeling sad, [and] when they are feeling frustrated, instead of doing what girls typically do— they talk about it or they express their emotions— boys will lash out or it will manifest itself in anger or violent acts or increased aggressiveness.”

The increase in aggression can turn deadly when young men are exposed to past massacres.

“The last person who was successful is the blueprint,” explained Cranford. “Columbine was kind of a watershed moment, right? And most school shooters will often be googling and looking them up. And I think there’s also some kind of reverence for them. I think they admire them in a way.”

“There are hundreds, if not thousands, god forbid, young men right now that are identifying with the Uvalde shooter,” added Moten. “Which is frightening.”

Moten also mentioned that early childhood trauma, violence in the home, and bullying can play a major part in driving someone to violence.

“If we don’t understand the whys, we won’t fashion a solution,” said Moten. “All of these things can go into just really creating this perfect recipe of a mass shooter.”

Watch the video above to learn what the mental health and child safety expert says are startling similarities that have been discovered.

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