The Fort Hood shooting is the most recent event causing a stir in mental health professions. Though people in various fields wish to understand the psychology behind mass shootings, these disasters seem to continue in an environment, or mind, gone bad. It is a religious belief that the evil is or was within these aggressors, but most importantly, it is not hard to imagine the devil lurking around the bend at Fort Hood.
In 2009, an Army psychiatrist opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, wounding 31 individuals and killing 12. His name was Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, and he was taken down by gunfire from a nearby policewoman or military officer, but survived. He was taken to a medical center and was stabilized. Hasan practiced for six years at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, and was also a fellow of disaster and preventative psychiatry. He allegedly received a poor evaluation.
Just this year, another shooting took place but with the suicide of the shooter, ending the act of terror. Three soldiers died, and 16 were wounded. Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, was believed to have had mental health problems.
The Examiner writes about public documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mainly discussing experiments, though conducted as early as the 60s, that induced multiple personality disorder (MPD), or dissociative identity disorder (DID) as a form of mind control. This was allegedly in an attempt of easily creating an assassin, or something that could be manipulated into doing many things.
If this is correct, it would not be far-fetched to think that military personnel would be the closest subjects for the CIA to use for whatever purpose they wish. It is not easily conceived that the government would send soldiers out for random shootings; rather, it is possible that the brain circuits simply break under pressure.
When a soldier is on tour, they are often not allowed to speak of what they are doing, or what they are involved in. The confidentiality would be easy to obtain from military personnel over civilians, who arguably have more rights. However, claims like these about the government’s secret objectives are often not backed by rich facts, but instead, are used to coerce people into purchasing fabricated articles for profit. Fort Hood does seem to have a devil lurking within its confines, but the questions is, what kind?
The psychology and psychiatric community would love to blame these acts of mass shootings on a mental disorder, but what it could really be is a health condition, requiring medical treatment.
The limbic system is a complex system and network of nerves within the brain. It controls basic emotions and drives such as fear, anger, pleasure, hunger, sex, dominance, and care for offspring. This system is located below the cerebrum, and it includes the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates body sensations, as the hippocampus stores and directs memories. The amygdala is what is involved in anger and aggression, and when a lesion or tumor affects these areas, it can cause odd, eccentric, and violent behavior.
There are many issues around why people fall to the dark side and decide to suddenly fire a weapon at nearby people. It is a curious, and very evil act that is hard to comprehend and explain from the aggressor’s perspective. Though tumors or limbic system lesions can cause varying behavior, surely a tumor cannot convince the body to load a weapon and fire upon comrades and fellow citizens. “The devil made me do it,” many claim. Perhaps there really is a devil within, stalking the next weakened mind at Fort Hood or anywhere else there is a prevalence of susceptibility.
Opinion By Lindsey Alexander