Economy Fingered In Mass Homicide Toll Of 57


04.08.09 ABI

With the U.S. mass homicide total reaching 57 in a month, more experts are targeting the economy as a culprit. The Washington Post says “criminologists theorize that the epidemic of layoffs, the meltdown of storied American corporations and the uncertainty of recovery have stoked fear, anxiety and desperation across society and unnerved its most vulnerable and dangerous.”

“I’ve never seen such a large number [of killings] over such a short period of time involving so many victims,” said Jack Levin of Northeastern University, who has authored or co-authored eight books on mass murder. Northeastern colleague James Alan Fox says of some struggling Americans: “The American dream to them is a nightmare, and the land of opportunity is but a cruel joke.” Experts agree, says the Post, that most mass murderers share a traumatic event such as a layoff, divorce, or separation that sets off an internal rage and a desire for revenge. “It could be the loss of a job, the loss of a lot of money in the stock market, the loss of a relationship as in a nasty separation or divorce, the loss of a child who is in a child custody battle,” Levin said. “There are just simply more catastrophic losses than there were when the economy was in good shape.”

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