Human nature is complex. Even if we do have inclinations toward violence, we also have inclination to empathy, to cooperation, to self-control. ~ Steven Pinker
When I first started this blog in 2007, I wrote about my thoughts on the violence we see at schools and bullying. Below is that article, which, I think is worth a revisit. It is now 19 years since Columbine and 11 years since the VA Tech killings. Has much changed?
Recently, it was again brought to light the possible ramifications of bully actions. As a graduate of Virginia Tech, I followed the recent killings that happened there closely. In both the Columbine situation and the Virginia Tech situation it was brought up that these people who did the killings may have been picked on and bullied.
I can certainly sympathize with the alienation that comes with bullying, but I’m not sure that I can understand how bullying can lead to these actions, without some sort of mental illness issue also coming to light. I can certainly see how the actions of bullying could push someone to take an aggressive self-defense action (more on that later), but massive killings and pathos seem like a deeper issue.
What do you think? Could bullying actually lead a non-violent person to take a very extreme violent action? I’m interested in your thoughts.