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Preface to The Logic of Murderous Rampages and Other Essays on Violence and Its Prevention

Preface to The Logic of Murderous Rampages and Other Essays on Violence and Its Prevention

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Published by Jane Gilgun
This brief article summarizes what I have learned from years of research on interpersonal violence. It is a preface to The Logic of Murderous Rampages. To perpetrators, violence has a logic that mystifies outsiders. In addition, violence almost always is gratifying. Occasionally people are violent to solve something they see as problems, and they may not get a thrill from that. Violence helps perpetrators feel better, but they go right back to being their usual miserable selves. Prevention involves wide-spread efforts to help children build trusting relationships, develop beliefs and actions about the importance of caring about other people, and to manage what they want in prosocial ways.
This brief article summarizes what I have learned from years of research on interpersonal violence. It is a preface to The Logic of Murderous Rampages. To perpetrators, violence has a logic that mystifies outsiders. In addition, violence almost always is gratifying. Occasionally people are violent to solve something they see as problems, and they may not get a thrill from that. Violence helps perpetrators feel better, but they go right back to being their usual miserable selves. Prevention involves wide-spread efforts to help children build trusting relationships, develop beliefs and actions about the importance of caring about other people, and to manage what they want in prosocial ways.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Jane Gilgun on Jan 22, 2013
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PrefaceToTheLogicofMurderousRampages
&OtherEssaysonViolence&itsPrevention
byJaneGilgun
Summary
ThisbriefarticlesummarizeswhatIhavelearnedfromyearsofresearchoninterpersonalviolence.Itisaprefaceto
TheLogicofMurderousRampages
.To perpetrators,violencehasalogicthatmystifiesoutsiders.Inaddition,violencealmostalwaysisgratifying.Occasionallypeopleareviolenttosolvesomethingtheyseeas problems,andtheymaynotgetathrillfromthat.Violencehelpsperpetratorsfeelbetter,buttheygorightbacktobeingtheirusualmiserableselves.Preventioninvolveswide-spreadeffortstohelpchildrenbuildtrustingrelationships,developbeliefsandactionsabouttheimportanceofcaringaboutotherpeople,andtomanagewhattheywantinprosocialways.
 
PrefaceToTheLogicofMurderousRampages
&OtherEssaysonViolence&itsPrevention
hisbookisacollectionofessaysthatIhavewrittenoverseveralyears.TheessaysshowwhatIhavelearnedaboutthemeaningsofviolencetoperpetrators,thedevelopmentofviolentbehaviors,accountability,andthepreventionofviolence.Ilearnedthatviolenceofvarioussortsmaybesenselesstooutsidersbuttoperpetratorsthemselvesviolencehasalogicandaninevitability.Notonlydotheythinkaboutandplantheirviolentactionsandenjoythemselveswhiledoingso,actsofviolencegivethrills,chills,andemotionalgratification.Theonlyexceptioniswhenperpetratorsseetheirviolenceasmeanstoanendorasanobligationsuchasteachingalessonandsettinganexampleofwhathappenstopeoplewhocrossthem.IndividualsIinterviewedcommittedmurder,attemptedmurder,rape,burglary,andphysicalassault.Ialsolearnedthatthemajorfactorsinbecomingviolentwasnotabuseandneglect,butbeliefsaboutviolence,problemsinrelationshipswithothers,andantisocialwaysofself-regulation.Evenwhenindividualshavesimilarbackgroundsintermsofabuseandneglect,exposuretoviolence,andotheradversitiesandvulnerabilities,thesethreefactorsmakethedifferenceinwhetherindividualsbecomeviolentornot.Aspartofmyresponsetothisresearch,Ireflectedonwhathappinessis.WhenIbegan,Ihadnoideathatpersonswhohavecommittedviolentactswouldteachmethis.Notoneofthesepeoplewashappy.Theywantedtobehappy.Theyeventhoughttheirviolencewouldbringthemhappiness,oratleasthelpthemtofeelbetter.Violenceoftendidlifttheirmoods,butthisdidnotlast.Theywentrightbacktobeingtheirmiserableselvesinashorttime.AsIthoughtaboutthis,Irealizedhowimportantaccountabilityis.Accountabilityisawayofclawingoutofthepitsthatweplaceourselvesinwhenweviolateotherpeopleandourselves.Hurtingothersandourselvesispartofbeinghuman.Whenweareaccountable,weadmitthatwehavecausedharm,takeresponsibilityfortheharm,apologize,makeamends,anddoallittakesnottorepeatthehurtfulbehaviors.Accountabilityleadstore-buildingrelationshipsafterbreakdownsthatharmfulbehaviorscause.Somepeoplemaynotacceptapologiesandmaynotwanttocontinuearelationship.Accountablepeopleacceptthisandmoveon.Fromthisresearch,Ihavealsoseenthatchildrenrequirelong-termrelationshipswithpeoplewholovethem,whoarethereforthem,andwhoshowthemhowtoformsecurerelationshipswithothers.Throughrelationships,childrenacquirevaluesystems,socialskills,andvocationalskills.Manypeoplehavethegood
T
 
fortunetobemembersoffamiliesandcommunitieswheretheseadvantagesaregivens.Manyothersgrowupbelievingthatyoutakewhatyouwantfromwhomeveryouwantandyoudonotoweanyoneanything.Beliefandvaluesystemarethebedrocksofthedevelopmentandcommissionofviolentbehaviors.JaneGilgunJanuary30,2013Minneapolis,Minnesota,USA

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