You are posting a comment about... Dr. Michael Welner on Arizona Lone Wolf killer Jared Lee Loughner: “It’s all about fame, not politics”
Dr. Michael Welner, Forensic Psychiatrist at NYU and head of The Forensic Panel was interviewed by ABC’s Nightline Monday night and Good Morning America, Tuesday morning. We have published Dr. Welner’s remarks about Mass Shooter Maj. Nidal Jihad, the long Fort Hood Mass shooter and more recently about Canadian Afghan al Qaeda Jihadi, Omar Khadr and the controversial Guantanamo military tribunal decision. Welner has also served as an expert witness for the US. Attorneys in the trial and conviction of pedophilist and rapist Brian David Mitchell in the Elizabeth Smart abduction case in Salt Lake City.
His views on what drives mentally troubled lone wolf killers to undertake mass shootings and assassinations presents a counterweight to the speculations in certain liberal media quarters about political incitement by public figures and available of handgun anti-personnel weapons.
Note what Dr. Welner had to say about the dynamics of lone wolf killers like Loughner excerpted from the ABC Nightline interview with Brian Reed, Chief investigative correspondent:
"If we feel that civility in public discourse is going to take away mass shootings we are mistaken," said Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist at New York University and an ABC News consultant. "Because the one common threat in mass shooting is, what does the shooter get out of it? And the shooter recognizes that if you assassinate a political figure you will be notorious. I think John Lennon had more to do with this than Sarah Palin," said Welner.
"The available information does not answer the question of whether he is alienated and paranoid as a social deviant, or as a person descending into schizophrenia,” noted Dr. Welner. “But his representations about Congresswoman Giffords show more inspiration from the murderer of John Lennon (who likewise deemed his victim fake) and Robert DeNiro’s shaved would-be assassin in Taxi Driver (who almost killed a politician) than from scapegoats like Sarah Palin. Mass shooting and assassination are both notoriety-seeking crimes, and his actions definitely reflect planning and an anticipation of public discussion. It is a crime that so reflects pop culture and a copy cat influence,” he added.
“It is vital at this point to focus discussion not on his agenda but on the heroism of those who saved lives and the utter meaninglessness and sadness of the deaths of those he murdered. I will mention his name as little as possible and would urge the responsible press to follow suit. Let others not identify with the attention he is gaining from nothing more than his capacity to ruin life around him.” As for the nature of the attack, Dr. Welner counseled, “my professional experience has taught me that you learn most by studying the initial point of attack. Congresswoman Giffords is a political figure, but above all she was a celebrity accessible to him. Her being female may also prove to be relevant in a crime that is so often found in sexually inept men who blame everyone else for their failure in manhood and choose spectacle destruction as a deviant outlet