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Charles H. Kope ID# 74273457 P104 The Social Animal/ Winter Quarter 2010 Dr. Joanne Frattaroli University of California, Irvine 09 March, 2010
Kope, C. H. Table of Contents The Second Amendment Columbine Columbine: Understanding Why Bowling for Columbine April Showers Bang Bang, You re Dead ACT CERT References .. .. . .
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Kope, C. H. Portfolio Entry #1: The Second Amendment Reaction to the Comic by Jack Ohman
This cartoon, illustrated by political-cartoonist Jack Ohman, features Lee Harvey Oswald; the man who assassinated President Kennedy, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold; the Columbine High School gunmen, and Seung Hui Cho; the Virginia Tech gunman. All of the people in the image are holding the firearms with which they committed their crimes and is each saying a line of the second amendment of the United States Constitution. This illustration depicts how the second amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees citizens access to firearms and ammunition, which are being used in aggressive acts against others. These acts of violence have ended the lives of many and continue to concern the country about the recurrence of a tragedy linked directly to the easy-access to firearms. According to the book, Social Psychology, by Aronson, Wilson, and Akert, levels of aggression varies between societies. American culture sells violence as entertainment in movies, music, and videogames, broadcasts news of real-life violent acts to millions of viewers every day, has a soaring homicide rate, and even has a Constitutional Amendment, the second amendment, which guarantees
Kope, C. H. the citizens the right to possess firearms. The Bobo Doll Study by Albert Bandura demonstrated that children can learn how to behave aggressively by watching people model the behavior for them, and then repeat it themselves in a monkey-see-monkey-do fashion. With the prevalence of guns come people who will misuse them. Social learning theory holds that people learn aggressive acts by viewing a model of those
aggressive acts, such as on television, at home by a parent, or in society. Gun culture is present and very visible in mainstream Western culture, and as a result, many people are exposed to guns and from a very young age. This starts the process of learning early, and teaches children how to use firearms. In addition to being instructed as to the use of an instrument of aggression from a young age, many people believe, and teach their children, that in order to get rid of anger, you have to let it out. Freud s theory of catharsis states that if you want to get rid of that anger, you have to release it in an aggressive manner. The opposite has since been proven; if you release your anger in an aggressive manner, you are actually more likely to act aggressively more often. There are many causes of violence and aggression, and it is very difficult to predict who will act violently. Not all people are violent people, and not all violent people will behave in a violent manner all of the time. Also, violence is generally geographically contained in certain areas, but this is not a rule as it could happen anywhere. Because of this and many other factors, violence is a social problem that proves very difficult to correct. Another problem with attempting to prevent violence is accusing a person who is non-violent or letting a violent person get away. Because of the devastating effects of violent and aggressive actions, prevention is of utmost importance but must be done as carefully as possible.
Kope, C. H. Portfolio Entry #2: Columbine, by Dave Cullen Reaction to a book
I recently completed the book, Columbine by Dave Cullen. The book is written as both a narrative and as a documentary of the actual events that occurred at Columbine High School surrounding the massacre. According to Dave Cullen, all of the material presented as fact in the book has a citation where the information can be accessed. Columbine is an excellent book describing the psychopathology of the perpetrators of the Columbine High School Massacre, and describes in depth the circumstances surrounding the event. In addition, the author describes the community response and the aftermath of the shooting, as well as describes the healing process for the community and the victims and victims families. The book s main descriptions of the shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, rests on the finding that both of the boys were mentally disordered. Eric Harris was portrayed as a psychopath who was calm, calculating, smooth, and manipulative. Dylan Klebold, on the other hand, was portrayed as a major depressive who was always down, self-destructive, and suicidal. Together, these two personalities created the perfect storm of events which led to the tragedy at Columbine. The boys planned the attack for over a year, and modeled and reinforced each others aggressive behavior. Imitating the characters in their favorite violent movies and videogames, the gunmen took on the personas of mass murderers and planned for their attack. According to the book, Social Animal, by Aronson, Wilson and Akert, imitating violent behavior after viewing another person engage in violence leads to more frequent acts of violence. The two boys did not have the same motives for the killings. Although they shared similar motives, such as suicide, the boys differed in their psychopathology. Eric Harris was psychopathic, and wanted to hurt as many people as he could due to his intense desire for power and for the pure sport of
Kope, C. H. the actions. Dylan Klebold did not want to hurt people, but was merely suicidal and wanted to end his own life. Evidence of this can be seen by the actions of the two shooters on the day of the event. Eric Harris fired his weapons at everyone, whereas Dylan Klebold refrained and did not cause as much damage and destruction as Eric Harris. Their psychopathology played a huge role in their aggressive actions. Their personalities fueled off of the support of each other, and neither of them could do it alone. The perpetrators of the Columbine tragedy caused great distress in their community, as well as the world. Because of the magnitude of the event, the media was reporting stories about Columbine across the world, and everyone was feeling the pain of the community that suffered so much. Because the media attention was so huge, many people took advantage of the situation. According to Cullen s
novel, the Evangelical community of Littleton, Colorado where the shootings took place saw the tragedy as an opportunity to market themselves to the vulnerable adolescent community who was desperately seeking solace.
I thought this was a very excellent book, and was thoroughly well written and researched. Dave Cullen is a journalist for the news website Salon.com, and has been covering the story of Columbine for
Kope, C. H. ten years. At first, while reading the book, I thought the author was unsure of his facts and used the
tragedy to market his own religious beliefs and ideations. As the story progressed, I noticed that this was not the desire of the author, but was the effect on the town of Littleton, Colorado, the deeply evangelical community that was shaken by the tragedy.
Kope, C. H. Portfolio Entry #3: Columbine: Understanding Why Reaction to a film
I recently reviewed the film, Columbine: Understanding Why, an A&E Biography about the Columbine High School Tragedy. The film was an attempt to explain the Columbine Tragedy through consultation with sources in the FBI, Threat Assessment Group, an FBI Profiler, and a psychologist. The consultants conducted a psychological autopsy of the shooters in order to determine why they committed such heinous acts, and how intervention could help similar would-be perpetrators and prevent such acts of mass murder. The group assessed the scale for warning signs of a mass murderer, including threats, allusions to violence, references to their planned attack, interest in police or military, inappropriate or threatening comments about weapons, stalking, depression, anger, paranoia, unreasonable accusations or blame on others for their problems, and unreasonable complaints. The film did an excellent job of explaining how the psychopathology of a person can play a huge role in acting violently.
Kope, C. H. This video interpreted the killers personalities through evidence they left behind as well as through interviews with people who knew or who were close to the killers. They developed a brief
profile for both of the killers: Eric Harris was smart, somewhat of a dork, funny, and came from a normal home while Dylan Klebold was naïve, came from a compound-like home, and showed many signs of sadness. They also analyzed the interests of the killers, including violent films and computer games, and asked the question, would these sources of media contribute to these displays of aggression or would they choose these violent media representations to display feelings that they could relate to? According to Social Psychology, by Aronson, Wilson and Akert, viewing violence in the media contributes to higher levels of violent and aggressive acts. The gunmen immersed themselves in violence in the media, which is where they learned the method of their actions. The conclusion of this film was that the killers were motivated to commit these crimes due to factors including suicide, fame, anger, and revenge. These motives can be explained through social learning theory. The adolescents responsible for the tragedy at Columbine were suicidal. They knew that they would not leave high school alive, and decided that the way they wanted to end their lives was to become famous for being infamous. The gunmen learned the idea of capturing media attention on spree killing from their favorite film, Natural Born Killers, directed by Oliver Stone. The film shows Mickey and Mallory Knox, a married couple committing mass murder across the country while in the media spotlight. The film includes a scene filmed in the style of a television interview featuring a fan of Mickey and Mallory, who states, if I had to be a mass murderer, I d be Mickey and Mallory Knox, and also shows Mickey and Mallory escaping from prison amidst a riot while holding a reporter and camera crew hostage, broadcasting mass murder to millions of viewers. Similar to the Natural Born Killers, the gunmen committed a violent act in the small, quiet town of Littleton, Colorado for the entire world to see. Before the shooting ended, President Clinton had gone on air to
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speak to the nation about the tragedy at Columbine and the world was watching mass murder live from their couches. The perpetrators of the Columbine tragedy learned their behaviors from violent media, such as Natural Born Killers, violent video games, and acting the roles they set out for themselves. Violent media is not the root cause of the violence at Columbine, but it was a contributing factor. There are many different causes of violence, and many of them are yet to be determined. The Columbine case has been sealed from researchers due to an order by the courts to protect the families of the victims and to prevent others from copying the crime.
Kope, C. H. Portfolio #4: Bowling for Columbine Reaction to a film
In his film, Bowling for Columbine, Michael Moore looks to answer the question of why there is so much gun violence in American Culture. Taking its name from the alleged activity of the two active shooters of Columbine High School, the film uses the tragedy of Columbine to support his claims about the readily available weapons market. In this documentary, Michael Moore examines issues of gun control, history of firearms in America, and episodes of school violence and comes to the conclusion that conventional beliefs about environmental influences, such as mass media and violent video games, are enough to explain the large prevalence of gun violence in America.
Personally, I do not hold Michael Moore to have much credibility. I have found research that explicitly shows that Michael Moore s information is clearly not correct, and that his conclusions do not hold. My interpretation of violent and aggressive behavior and violence prevention follows the ideas of Dr. Raymond Novaco; intractability, low-base rate phenomenon, containment, adaptation, erosion of social controls, social transmission, multi-factorial risk, and the general aggression model.
Kope, C. H.
The idea of intractability is that people are inherently violent because violence is an evolutionary mechanism that serves a purpose of defense. The idea behind this is that the aggressive traits evolved in humans and exist today because violence works to get what you want. The idea of violence as a lowbase rate phenomenon is that not many people are inherently violent, and people who are inherently violent do not always act aggressively. Conclusions from this demonstrate how violence is difficult to predict, and is very difficult to stop because of its unpredictability. The general aggression model demonstrates how people act violent if they have certain predispositions, scripts, and schemes in place that contribute to aggressive action. People who act aggressively may do so due to environmental factors (such as seeing or owning a gun) and may have certain scripts in place that tell them how to react in those given situations. I believe key causes for the shooting at Columbine were intractability, low-base rate phenomenon, and social transmission. According to the idea of intractability, the gunmen at Columbine used violence because it is an inevitable part of human nature, and it works. The shooters at Columbine were violent people, but they were not violent all of the time, which follows the low-base rate phenomenon. The shooters learned and rehearsed the roles of mass murderers through their own videos and engaging in violent acts and entertainment. They blew up pipe bombs, fired guns, played Doom, watched violent films, and interacted with friends in order to learn how to be mass murderers. About Michael Moore s position on gun control, I believe that gun control is not the main problem. Because violence and aggression are multidimensional, there are many factors that work in a combination to create violent environments and behaviors. Saying one aspect holds more weight than another ignores the importance of nature versus nurture. Michael Moore took advantage of the people in his film, and used their statements to back his own agenda.
Kope, C. H. Portfolio #5: April Showers Reaction to a film
April Showers is an independent film directed by Andrew Robinson, a survivor of the Columbine tragedy. The film was inspired by real life events, but is not a story about Columbine. The film is about a community in the wake of a school shooting, and how a handful of teachers and students managed to cope with their world after it had been turned upside down. The film depicts the frenzy that can be caused by the media after such an incident; facts may be misreported, witness accounts may conflict, and victims may be harassed by the media looking for a story. Rather than focusing on the shooters in the film, the director chooses to focus entirely on the teachers and students at the school. The shooters do not even make an appearance or receive a name in the script. With the focus on the survivors of school violence, Robinson demonstrates how a quiet, middle class, suburban neighborhood can be turned into a frantic crime scene and affects the lives of all who are near.
The film April Showers is a great demonstration of the importance of managing anger. The shooter in the film was never described in detail, and his motives for his actions were never learned or
Kope, C. H. understood, foreshadowing real life when no easy answers are readily available to victims. In spite of
not knowing the contributing factors of the shooter s violent act, it is known that with proper knowledge of techniques used to control anger, the shooting could have been prevented. As it is stated in Social Animal by Aronson, Wilson and Akert, venting anger causes more harm than good. This is because any display of aggressive behavior is, by definition, intentional behavior aimed at doing harm or causing pain to another person. The theory of catharsis is that if you vent your anger, it will not build up inside you. The converse is actually true; venting your anger through aggressive action makes it more likely that a person will engage in aggressive behaviors. These aggressive behaviors may be forms of hostile aggression, which is an act of aggression intended to harm someone, and instrumental aggression, which uses aggression as a means to another end. An example of a possible motive that reflects hostile and instrumental aggression from the film April Showers is revenge. Revenge can be hostile aggression when it is enacted impulsively and simply intended to cause harm to another person. It can also be instrumental aggression, for example, if the shooter was a victim of bullying, and he committed the act in order to demonstrate the results of bullying and to raise awareness of bullying as an issue.
Kope, C. H. Portfolio #6: Bang Bang, You re Dead Reaction to a film
The film Bang Bang You re Dead follows Trevor Adams, a high school student who is brutally bullied by his classmates. In the beginning of the film, Trevor is introduced by his peers who describe his attempt to blow up the school by planting a bomb in the football team s locker room. As a result of this, Trevor is suspended and is forced to repeat his classes in summer school while attending anger management sessions. Trevor is constantly bullied even after these actions and is labeled a terrorist and is called trash can by his classmates. Trevor meets a social clique and forms a bond with them. The clique he is selected into are the Trogs, the weird, dungeons and dragons fans that everyone makes fun of.
This film explains the theory of aggression of the self fulfilling prophecy. Trevor is constantly labeled a threat, is always searched by the school, ignored by his peers, bullied by his classmates, and is under suspicion that he will attempt an assault on his school that will harm other students. This becomes true as Trevor fulfills the prophecy, and begins drinking, playing with illegal guns, and making
Kope, C. H. videos depicting the murder of a member of the school football team. He began to believe the names, and eventually trained for the attack with classmates. Toward the end of the film, Trevor learns that what they were doing is wrong and stops the Trogs from assaulting the school. The decision to foil the assault on the school comes from the play that Trevor was acting in. Bang Bang You re Dead was written about a student who murders his classmates and reflects on his
actions in prison. He is haunted by the memory of the people he killed, and reflects on the fact that once you commit murder, your life is over. He reflects that you cannot just hit the reset button and do it right the second time, you must do the right thing the first time around. The film, Bang Bang You re Dead, does a great job of demonstrating the effects of poor anger management techniques as well as proper anger management techniques. In the time prior to the events in the film when Trevor threatened to blow up the football team, Trevor was demonstrating ineffective anger management techniques. Rather than dealing with the problem of bullying at school in a civilized and rational manner, Trevor acted out aggressively with threats and even the construction of a bomb. This led to trouble for Trevor and only led to more bullying. This ineffective anger management technique resulted in Trevor becoming more hostile and continuing his aggressive behavior toward the students who were bullying him, his peers, and his teachers. This eventually led to his association with the Trogs and his participation in the planning stages of the Trogs assault on the school. Later in the film, Trevor demonstrates proper anger management techniques, which he learned through anger management therapy as well as participating in the school play, Bang Bang You re Dead. Ultimately, Trevor learns that the best way to control and respond to his anger is not to act out aggressively, but to speak out to those who can help him and to diffuse his anger through rational means. This learning experience came in perfect time for Trevor to stop the Trogs in the beginning stages of their assault on the school and to save lives.
Kope, C. H. Portfolio #7: ACT CERT Reaction to the attendance of a seminar about ACT CERT
A popular mantra regarding school violence is It can t happen here. Well, it can. Aggression can happen anywhere, and without the proper education required to survive and successfully end an attack, many lives may possibly be lost. The Attack Countermeasures Training Certification is a program designed to prepare people for an assault or terrorist attack at their place of employment, school, or public place. Trainers provide the skills necessary to successfully end an attack and subdue a shooter if at all possible, as well as teaching the methods necessary to escape and survive an attack. On February 1, 2010, a presentation was given in Dr. Raymond Novaco s Violence and Society class regarding ACT CERT. In addition to a lecture by Israeli Special Operations and program founder, Alon Stivi, a training exercise was provided in which a confederate dressed up like a shooter and participants took action in subduing him. Because the seminar was given at the University of California, Irvine, the training exercise was focused on response to an active shooter in a classroom setting, such as in the events of the Columbine and Virginia tragedies, but the training material also applies to workplace
Kope, C. H. and other settings. The program is not just for defense against school shooters, but is also defense against terrorists and other acts of violence.
The program focuses on both prevention of violent acts as well as emergency response in cases of active shooters. The program is designed to train individuals as to what mindset they should have in an emergency for optimum response in a shooter situation. This helps individuals avoid stress responses that may interfere with effective response in the matter of life and death. This program provides comprehensive education for all security needs, including personnel training, mindset training, active training, working with technology, and providing a strong foundation for a solid security system. Because violence and aggression is an inevitable part of human behavior, it is important to be properly trained as to how to respond when someone behaves aggressively. When faced with an aggressive situation, an individual may experience stress and fear responses, which may cause them to act irrationally or impulsively in a life or death situation. Learning how to suppress this response and act in a diligent and composed manner when faced with a life-threatening situation is crucial for survival as well as ensuring the survival of those in the proximity. In order to quickly end the situation, the attacker must be subdued either by law enforcement or a bystander or group of bystanders. To take this sort of situation into your own hands may cause injury or harm, but is the last resort when attempting to save lives. The instructor, Mr. Stivi, is an experienced member of the Israeli Special Ops team, has trained Navy SEALs, and is a board member of the Center of Unconventional Security Affairs at the University of California, Irvine. He has also been featured in a large number of magazines, television programs, and radio shows to discuss his viewpoints on terrorism, violence, and personal security. According to Alon Stivi, What is worse than no training at all is receiving the wrong training, which in the end may give you a false sense of security.
Kope, C. H. References
Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., & Akert, R.M. (2007). Social psychology. United States: Pearson Prentice Hall. Bell, D. (2001, March 20). Milking it. Retrieved from http://www.rudypark.com/editorialcartoons/topic_crime.asp Bullet counter points. (2007). Retrieved from http://csgv2.blogspot.com/2009_11_01_archive.html Columbine: understanding why [Television series episode]. (2002). Investigative Reports. A&E. Cullen, D. (2009). Columbine. Penguin. Keefe, M. (1999, April 23). Witch cartoon. Retrieved from http://sanfords.net/Pagan_Humor_and_Thoughts/Witch_Cartoon.shtml Matrosimone, W. (2002). Bang bang you re dead. Moore, M. (2002). Bowling for Columbine. Novaco, R. W. (1998). Aggression. In H. Friedman (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Mental Health (pp. 13-26). San Diego; Academic Press. Robinson, A. (2009). April showers. Stein, E. (1999). It Can't happen here. Retrieved from http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/wpcontent/uploads/2009/04/stein-4011.gif Stivi, A. Attack countermeasures training and certification. Retrieved from http://www.actcert.com/ Tarantino, Q. (1994). Natural born killers.
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