Maryland Mall Shooter Intended Columbine Copycat

By Dean Weingarten


Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -( Police Chief William J. McMahon said that the Maryland shooter who killed two innocent people in a mall skateboard shop was fascinated with the Columbine shooting from 1999. A report quotes McMahon as saying that the shooter knew he had mental problems:

“He knows he's sick. He knows he has problems that need to be addressed. He writes it in his journal. He writes in his journal he's not comfortable talking to his mother about it,” McMahon said, adding that there was no indication he ever spoke with anyone about his concerns.

Media focus on mass shooting events has been known to spawn copycats for years.   Clayton Cramer wrote a paper about the ethical problems of intense media coverage of these events in 1993, and won an award for it.

Given the first amendment, it is difficult to prevent the intense media coverage of these events, which seem, in part, to be driven by the desire to use them to engender support for infringements on the second amendment.

The police acknowledge the shooter's desire for immortality through killing.  From

“We're not going to help him have that notoriety,” McMahon said in explaining why police did not release that photo Wednesday.

Police did release a different picture Aguilar took of himself holding the shotgun he used in the shooting, a picture believed to have been taken in his bedroom.

Restraint of the mass media feeding frenzy of coverage of these events seem unlikely, given that they are viewed as a means of achieving the political results that the old media finds desirable.

A  “guide” on how to push for more restrictions on second amendment rights emphasized the need to use emotion rather than reasoned arguments.  From The Washington Examiner:

 “A high-profile gun violence incident temporarily draws more people into the conversation about gun violence,” added the talking points. “We should rely on emotionally powerful language, feelings and images to bring home the terrible impact of gun violence,” said the guide, which also urged advocates use images of scary looking guns and shooting scenes to make their point.

Confirmation of the Columbine connection is reported in the New York Times:

 … had apparently waited to open fire at 11:14 a.m. — the beginning of the Columbine shooting, during which two Colorado high school students killed 12 classmates as well as a teacher and wounded others before killing themselves.

c2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 5 thoughts on “Maryland Mall Shooter Intended Columbine Copycat

    1. The media could better serve the public by presenting mass killings as the mental health issue they truly are. Portraying them as gun problems is simply rediculous!

    2. Many of the mass murderers have not been using the SSRI antidepressants, such as the Newtown shooter. There are some legitimate concerns that SSRI antidepressants are too casually prescribed (because they are relatively low risk compared to previous generations of antidepressants), but this isn’t the cause. The rise of the random acts of public mass murder predates fluoxetine by a number of years. There is also the work by Bernard Harcourt demonstrating a strong correlation between changes in murder rates and the emptying of the mental hospitals.

    3. When will the media stop talking about these sick people? All they want is the attention and by putting it online, on TV and in the newspapers for weeks and months, you’re just fulfilling their sick fantasies.

      I wish all media would just blacklist the perps names and pictures.

    4. Agree with Mr Cramer’s Comment, but I would also point out that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, referred to by the abbreviation SSRI, were not in use in the 1960’s, the best known SSRI, fluoxetine, was introduced into medical practice in 1988. SSRIs are used as antidepressants in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and some personality disorders. Check into the meds the more famous school and mass shooters were on, (or trying to get OFF of) for an eye opener. Prescribed all too often, almost casually, these drugs scare the hell out of most mildly informed individuals.

    5. The core issue here is the mental illness. Aguilar was hearing voices, he told a doctor. Hallucinations are a common problem for most of the public mass murderers. There’s a reason we did not have this massive problem in 1960, and it wasn’t gun availability. It was that we still had a functioning mental health system.

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