Unusual activities or psychological problems can be clues that potential shooters have “a propensity toward violence” that calls for prompt intervention, Dr. Jarrod Sadulski, of American Military University, advises on In Homeland Security.
“The tragedies that occurred in the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, shootings bring to light the inherent danger within our society, involving individuals who have psychological problems that lead them to make such devastating decisions,” Dr. Sadulski notes. “Similar to past domestic terrorist incidents, media reports indicate that the shooters had either a troubled past or had made statements in the past that reflected a propensity toward violence.”
Dr. Sadulski adds that “If probable cause does not exist to make an arrest associated with threatening statements, law enforcement may depend on family members and friends to continue to monitor individuals who may pose a future threat. Some of the warning signs in addition to threatening statements include changes in behavior, irrational thinking, collecting weapons and comments on social media.”
Alertness to threats from troubled individuals can, therefore, be a public service. Citizens may be reluctant to report suspicious behavior, but reporting persistent concerns can avoid “a fatal mass casualty incident.”