For many days now, the top topic of the news even at BBC and NPR has been about a horrid-sounding fracas in Connecticut. I too have read some of the media's articles on this event and subsequent events. So, this post is about an Asperger's perception of it all.
As often, I have written blog posts about an Aspergers viewpoint about what people do do. that includes what "people" do do that is not the same as what they say they do.
Well, people are often inconsistent, and I myself am not always consistent either. "People-stuff can be complicated." One's responses are to what is ongoing scenario, and the ongoing scenarios are ever changing and can be quite different from each other, thus need different responses. Evaluating responses without integrating them with the scenarios being responded-to, an result in confusing collection of responses, indeed. As it is said, we wear many hats, too, many roles in life, such as an employee, a spouse, a parent, a model-maker, a writer, a retiree, a whatever.
The media has emphasized that preliminary reports of the Connecticut fracas, may be partly in error. if I recall correctly, an early report was that the "shooter"s father had tried to hide the gun but was killed at the shooters home. More recent news items seem to consistently that "the shooters" father had remarried and was far away, and that the "shooter"s mother was dead at home. Also the "shooter"s brother's ID was found at the fracas scene, instead of "the actual shooter." So later reports have a different name for "the shooter."
This one is a bit different than the movie theater fracas awhile back. One thing seems to be that, unlike the movie theater thing, it is not the local police who were perhaps only able to be consciously aware of the drunks they were to roust out on saturday night, responding to the fracas scene, but this time the locals just called in some professionals. At least this time, the news says the investigators are going to account for every bullet, unlike the movie theater fracas, where a second handgun was found at the scene, which - I wonder - was used to finish off the person that was the actual target in the fracas - maybe was the woman who had come from Canada and who had barely escaped a similar fracas up there.
"People" seem to easily believe that there are "evil" people out there who suddenly go kill a bunch of people for no apparent reason. Comic books often have these Joker or Catwoman entities that the good guys struggle against. This puzzles me, why the apparent vast belief in such doings?
In fact, that is the main thing I feel needs this blog post written about. Because, from my Aspergers viewpoint, it seems to me that people usually do things to create an effect.
Well, most people seem to do things to create an intended resulting effect; although possibly some people are responding to a vision of the scene in front of them, that most other folks do not see. For example, it is said that soldiers have to be fully convinced that the soldiers on the "other side" are horrible monsters not fit to live, and must be killed. Without such "convincing" the folks would merely remain the peaceable folks they were before getting to be soldiers, and no way would they act to cause wreckage to some other folks.
And, I think that "people" usually do assume that people do things to try to cause an intended effect. That is how we do our daily lives.
But for some curious reason, people are not thinking that way in the Connecticut fracas news reports. It seems to me that the effects are most likely the purpose of the cause. And, "the shooter" was no dummy, entering college at age 16.
In this case, most likely an uproar about "gun control" would result. Maybe even a backlash against those "loner" socially-inept Aspergers folks too. And, "gun control" would not take the guns away from the folks who already have hordes of guns, it would only block the folks who don't already have those lethal weapons stockpiled, from getting armed if realizing the threat from the armed folks who might start a religious war or some equally strange thing all over the place, like is commonplace in some other parts of the world.
People understand that bullies exist, they were terrorizing on the schoolyard with their assaults, and gaining a loyal following by doing so. So it seems to me, that "people" (the media folks, in this case, since they are the only ones providing me with info via the internet about this latest fracas) are ascribing the intent of "the shooter" to be such behavior: bullying. After all, wasn't "the shooter" deliberately harming little schoolkids, trapped in classrooms? Had to be a bully, that is bully stuff. And the shooter was not one of the "in-group" folks other people have been buddy with, therefore that is part of the problem, might be their thoughts there. So the public cry is to take the guns away. Not from the bullies - the public is terrified of bullies from way back, and thus do not dare speak against the bullies - but somehow keep guns out of the hands of ... whom?
I have difficulty in thinking that guns are a solution to anything but the sport of dinging tin cans and bottles out in the desert, as a measure of skill.
But lots of other more "normal" folks around here brag of their high power weaponry and "hunting skills" which presumably means their accomplished "stalk & assault" skills. And others seem to be more thinking of using guns on other people, and I wonder just what picture has been painted in front of their eyes, to be what they think they are planing to gun down. Even some local little kids have been taken to the gun range and taught to fire lethal weapons; they would make good assassins, who at worst would just spend a few years in juvenile detention, then back out on the streets, now heroes to their group.
From the news reports of the recent Connecticut fracas, apparently a military assault rifle was used; I saw a posting of such a weapon's photo, had built-in tripod and telescopic sights. Great gun for disposing of the gophers far away, when the gophers peer from atop their hidey holes in the desert. Also said two handguns were involved, but not used much. Also "the shooter" was dead. The authorities have "the shooter"s body, no doubt still dressed in camouflage clothes and some kind of face mask.
Why wear a face mask, I wonder. Also the brother's ID "found" on the scene. Could be that "the shooter" intended to get his brother blamed, but events kept him from escaping and thus had to shoot himself. Right? Well he was found dead and cannot be asked, how convenient.
The movie theater similar fracas a few months back, also the "shooter" wore a face mask, then the local police found "the shooter" cowering in fright in the back seat of his car, the end point from a trail of clothing and items from the assault, that led right to that car containing the accused.
Well, am glad that I don't have to deal with the mess, figure out what really went on, and make some appropriate response to it all. For example, I would have to include as one possible scenario, that "the body of the shooter" had been placed there by one of the expert groups of operators who constantly think in terms of the resulting courtroom cases that could result from their mischief, and thus set everything up for the subsequent "investigators" to find and process in very predictable ways. Or maybe not; the public really likes to pounce on the "loners" given an excuse to do so without being called abusive themselves.
The media's articles focus on the type of person who would do such a thing. the body of "the shooter" was identified as someone named Adam L, who was so shy he would not have his photo put into school yearbooks; a classmate said she never saw him "with anyone" and was a loner; another classmate of the deceased called the guy a genius, and another item said he had been partly home schooled and then had gone to college at age 16. Thus, intelligent. A "loner" who did not talk to classmates, yet got B grades, so he was not unaware of the class ongoings.
thinking back to my own experiences - and I realize that I am not fully typical - I wonder what my high school classmates would have said of me. I recall one year, where I sat in the front row, when I frequently would find a thumbtack upon sitting down in my chair, causing me to jump up in pain. Then I would inspect the chair subsequent times going back to sit down in class, and never found a tack there. Eventually I would forget to look and sue enough ouch, I sat on another tack that had been placed on my chair seat. On and on this went, month after month. I still don't know who was doing it, and nobody was telling. Although I never thought to ask anybody else, who was doing it. I was doing my best to learn whatever the teacher was trying to teach.
So, possibly some classmates would say they did not see me with anyone. Is true that I admired the many attractive young women in class, and several of them were coming to class very pregnant, so clearly the other guys were not just admiring them. In ever was able to get a date until after graduation, and then I really did not have a good idea as to how to court a gal. But I tried. And fell deeply in love with a gal that then totally spurned me; but that goes to a different story.
And, some classmates apparently did not completely dislike me, since in my senior year I was elected to be an alternate of Boys State, and was elected president of the science club, just that year first being formed. I did not ask to be elected to those things, however. Most of my dim memories of being president of the science club are embarrassing a bit. I was sometimes called "a brain" yet I mostly was self-taught, easier to learn that way. I recall once I was sitting in class - apparently not much aware of my surroundings - when one of the cute gals of the class, Peggy B. suddenly appeared and asked me to follow her. Getting up, I noticed the whole room was empty other than we two, seemed a bit odd. She said everybody was out protesting something, and I needed to join in. I would follow such a cute gal most anywhere, and I wanted to be considered one who joined in; soon I found myself in a swirl of students who seemed agitated about something. Then from the side a huge burly man shoved his way through the crowd, red-faced in fury, and grabbed me by the arm and dragged me off to the principle's office. The big burly guy was the school's PE teacher and coach, I had recognized; but due to my asthma, I did not participate in school sports. I still wonder - a little bit - what all that was about, what the students complaint was about, or why the school coach targeted me to take the blame for the uprising. And, I don't recall anything else about the cute gal Peggy B.
Another possibly related thing comes to mind. It was in my first session of concentrated electronics schooling; I had finally gotten a gal to marry me and coming to do this training was our honeymoon; a most optimistic time of my life. The in-group of guys in the class - of maybe 30 guys - asked me to show up and spend my evenings studying with them over at their leader's place. I considered the request, but really why would I want to spend time with a bunch of guys when i could spend my evening with my new bride so wonderful? No way. But, then the guys got to acting strangely. Smoking was still done everywhere at the time, most smoked cigarettes, but I smoked a pipe. Then I noticed the group of guys smiling at me and holding up a pack of cigarettes, sowed me how to conceal some notes in to be looked at when taking a test. they pointed at my pipe tobacco pouch, clearly suggesting that I hide notes in there to help with taking tests. Well, I had no need to have such notes; I was learning rapidly about a long enjoyed subject - electronics - and was happier in my honeymoon than I recalled ever being; so, I ignored those guys; people do some strange things, it seemed to me sometimes. then during the next test, I noticed those guys with the instructor gesturing at me, and the instructor gave me a brief intense angry look. Again, to me, it seems people do some strange things; no problem. A couple days later, we had a major test. Did not seem to me as anything but usual. But after grading the tests, the instructor got in front of the class, and quietly said that he had heard of some cheating going on, and so he had created an entirely new test, and that was what we had just taken. Then with barely a look in my direction, he then said that I had gotten the highest grade in the class. Puzzling about this, I began to recall the prior events with the group of guys who had gotten angry because I did not spend my honeymoon evenings with them instead of with my sexy wife. And now once again reflecting on it, it appears to be another example of "the in-group" trying to make the "loner" be thought bad of.
I always learned best by getting involved in a task, but one thing that was being a big problem learning as I grew up, was how to be a fine part of a group of people. I even joined a college fraternity, in that effort. That was one thing that I just did not seem to be learning well enough. I kept putting myself in social groups, sink or swim, and I kept sinking. Still, all I needed to do was get more experience at it , I thought. It brought much grief to my life, but I kept trying to learn to be like the others in groups.
The break came in the form of a newspaper article. Front page news, a long article that even continued on in the back section. the article went on and on about some fracas where some SUV's had been damaged severely, and the article went on and on how something called "Asperger's Syndrome" was what this guy had. The article waxed on and on about the characteristics of Asperger's Syndrome" and seemed to be implying that thing was the cause of the guy doing damage to a bunch of SUV's. It was only on the continued article in the back section, and the very last paragraph of the article, that it said that there were two guys doing the damage, and it was all at the instigation of the other guy, not the one with the Aspergers thing. But the writer of the article was having a hissy-fit about Asperger's an attempting to associate it with violent activities.
The article did not bring up that Aspergers guys are desperate to find acceptance by others, and eagerly will join in to do what is asked of them, so as to finally be part of the group. And thus Asperger's seem to be both intensely disliked by bosses of groups, and tend to be set up to take the blame for destructive things the bosses of those groups make happen. That is something I have realized in the decade or so since I read that article about Asperger's, unfortunate that event was about.
Because, I realized I myself had many of those characteristics the article said were Characteristic of Aspergers Syndrome, such as having to divert eyes to be able to think, when asked a verbal question; and to be poorly functional in social situations, due to lake of understanding what the social situation is fully about.
I then read up on the new field of Asperger' Syndrome, finding out that that often they were socially inept, thus tended to be loners, and tended to be exceptionally intelligent in schoolwork ways.
I thus had the "Asperger's Syndrome" thing. Thus unable to learn to be social exactly like most other people do naturally. And that eventually became a most freeing knowledge for me: no more throwing myself into uncomfortable social group scenarios so as to learn how to be like everybody else, since I was incapable of being exactly social like everybody else. What a relief, to know that. I apparently did not have the mental wiring re social group behavior. And thus not trainable to be social like everybody else. Aspergers was said to be a form of autism; but true autistics also had the lack of social competency but they also had the sense to not try to be social. Aspergers had to keep wanting to join in the fun others were having.
So, OK, I am a loner, sort of. I would very much like a good woman in my life, including to take care of those social things for me; this had made my aforementioned wife an excellent companion, as she was a social butterfly, knew everybody, was skilled at getting people to do what she wanted them to do. A very practical gal, a balance to my dreamy unaware me. When my finances were going dry, the practical gal simply ditched the part of her life that included me, and went on to bigger and better relationships. Took me a lot of years to cope; the hermit's life seems about all I can do now.
Anyway, the recent fracases media articles seem to like to focus on the bad guy as being "a loner." that makes me feel a bit uneasy. Too many times in my life I have gotten harmed by bullies who targeted me for unknown reasons. And if the media stirs up public resentment about "loners" enough, it reminds me of my high school era getting grabbed by the huge burly PE teacher and dragged to the principle's office to take the blame for something even now I don't know what was going on.