Six Precursors to Deadly Violence

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Everywhere you look you can see traces of violence in our today’s society. It is promoted in almost every facet of our entertainment, from movies to video games, and even in some of the lyrics to some types of music. In many cases when individuals turn to violence, people tend to look back and try to recall any warning signs that may have been present to prevent those actions from occurring. According to Robert Meadows in Understanding Violence and Victimization (2007), there are 6 warning signs, or precursors, to the use of deadly violence that one should look for in loved ones and take seriously. These include threats of homicide or suicide, fantasies of homicide or suicide, weapons, obsessiveness about a partner or family member, pet abuse, and rage. Threats of homicide or suicide should be taken very seriously and the individual rendering the threats should be considered dangerous or potentially dangerous (Meadows, 2007). If an individual makes a threat it should be taken seriously. In cases such as the Columbine High School shootings, there were reports of threats being made. The word “kill” has become an extreme exaggeration in our society, people often say “oh I could kill him or her” when agitated; however when a true threat is directed at an individual person or group of people action should be taken for the safety of others. A fantasy of homicide or suicide is another precursor that should be taken very seriously. The fantasy involves a guilty mind or mens rea, which if can be proven could result in an arrest before actus reas, or the act itself occurs. According the Robert Meadows in Understanding Violence and Victimization (2007), if that individual has acted out part of that fantasy, such as through buying a weapon, he or she may be considering violence and immediate steps to leave the situation and get help should be taken (Meadows, 2007). If the individual has taken the next step of their fantasy it is important to notify...
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