When silence was broken by “Evil” in the idyllic community of Newtown, Connecticut

We at the Center for Aggression Management are, like the rest of humanity, extremely saddened by the break of silence by “Evil” in the idyllic community of Newtown, Connecticut.  We said that there will be more of these horrific murder/suicides; but never would we have expected this to happen so soon and to so many truly innocent victims.  Every parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle and friend is trying to, in a caring way, understand and share the pain that so many parents who have lost the most innocent of innocents on December 14, 2012.  So many of us are glued to the reports, we see the Media voice continually talk about how this man must be “crazy” and he may have had a disorder but “Evil” is seldom “crazy.”  We hear references to Asperger Syndrome, Autism and even Schizophrenia but it is our understanding that the number of Schizophrenics who have shot and killed others is less than 1%.  How do we get from 1 percent or even 5 percent to “this is the next shooter?” 

These circumstances of mental illness fall within the category of “profiling,” or the use of probabilities, which are not necessarily reliable predictors of who will be our next shooter.  The use of profiling is not a reliable means to identify and “prevent.”   Profiling tells us that within a certain group of individuals there is a higher probability of a shooter; it does not tell us who the next shooter is!  As affirmed by the seminal study conducted by the U.S. Secret Service & U.S. Dept. of Education called the Safe School Initiative Study, which declared, “There is no accurate or useful profile of the school shooter … or for assessing the risk that a particular student may pose for school based targeted violence.”    But this study continues, “An inquiry should focus instead on the student’s behaviors and communication to determine if the student appears to be planning or preparing for an attack.”  “The ultimate question to answer …. is whether a student is on a path to a violent attack, and if so, to determine how fast they are moving and where intervention may be possible”   We at the Center for Aggression Management have concluded that if we are to “prevent” the next shooting we must focus on “emerging aggression.”  Looking for the “red-faced and ready to explode” Primal Aggressor as most security and law enforcement do, will not identify this kind of killer.  If we are to identify the next perpetrator of murder/suicide, we must focus on the calculating, detached and determined “Cognitive Aggressor.” We, at the Center for Aggression Management, have found that when an individual rises to the level where they are prepared to give up their life for a cause, their body responds to this intention by losing animation; we see what the military calls the “thousand yard stare;” but it is more than this. Their whole body language and behavior loses animation; the Israelis refer to what we, at the Center, call the 9th Stage Cognitive Aggressor as the “walking dead.”  If we are to identify the next shooter before their horrific Moment of Commitment (When they pull their weapon and begin shooting), we must identify “emerging aggression;” in other words, identify the precursors to violence, engage and prevent it.  It is imperative to understand that the shooter comes to the scene with this look.  Armed with the Meter of Emerging Aggression and the Judicious Interview, we can prevent these horrific events.   Today we will mourn the loss of these most innocent of innocents, tomorrow we must set out to establish a more effective means of preventing this kind of atrocity from ever happening again!



  1. Your comments have a loud ring of truth. Everything I have seen nationally and locally that mentions training is focused on reaction after the engagement begins. Recognition of early signs through your process can prevent active shooters, and save lives. People, even untrained, can recognize behaviors that are abnormal. If they report them at that point it is proactive and can prevent a horrific event like Sandy Hill. In Oklahoma the day before the Connetticut shooting we had a student arrested after talking about becoming an active shooter at his high school. Here is the link to the story http://www.news9.com/story/20349085/bartlesville-high-student-arrested-for-threatening-shooting-day-before-mass-shooting . The school was blessed that the kids in the school came forward. Having trained aggression managers in schools would improve the likely hood of this result versus Connecticut’s result. Excellent blog and right on the money!!!

  2. james

    Again, thank you John! Keep marketing the hell out of your website and blog. I always post on the subject of gun violence on theHuffingtonpost.com whenever it comes up and I always provide a link to your info.

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