Mass Murders: Why Us? Why the U.S.?

From gun availability to a lack of therapists, experts say many factors contribute to the spate of killings

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What's more, Ferguson said, "Video games are not a commonality among school shooters."

Dale Yeager, a criminal behavioral analyst and CEO of SERAPH, a Berwyn, Pa.-based legal, liability and security consulting firm, believes that dysfunction in families -- from broken marriages to a "pop psychology" culture that coddles kids instead of teaching right from wrong -- is at the root of the problem.

"What happens is mommy or daddy or both are not taking care of their issues and that filters down to the children," he said.

As people try to make sense of the latest tragic events, Virginia Tech's Hawdon offers this advice: "Really the way that we can best control crime and best reduce violence is by looking out for each other, by having a community where people know each other, people are involved in each other's lives to the point where they can say, 'You seem to be having difficulties right now' and 'Can I help?'"

More information

There's more on mental health at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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