Perception is Reality
July 2012 Movie theater, Aurora, CO.
April 2013 Boston, MA bombs at the finish line of the Marathon
January 2014 Columbia Mall, Columbia Maryland
February 2015 Monroeville Mall, Monroeville, Pennsylvania
What do these dates and deadly incidents have in common, other than supposedly senseless violence? I can answer that for you very simply. Despite what they will or have argued in court, it makes complete and total sense to the shooters. That’s what I said. It makes complete sense to them.
The above phrase in the title is the reasoning why. Their perception of reality is why they do these things. Like in any workplace (WPV), school (SV), or domestic violence (DV) situation. The perpetrators will figure a way to distort their reality and begin thinking they were right in doing what they did.
And it will be hard to dissuade them of their reality. And you may be thinking ‘why is it hard’? Let me give you a few examples of reality being distorted for unknown reasons;
The Jewish holocaust in WWII
The Crusader murders of Muslims during the Crusades
The wife abuser who says ‘she had it comin’
The man who shoots and kills his boss because ‘the boss didn’t like me and kept me down’
Or the teenager who says ‘I was bullied and they wouldn’t stop’
Any of those sound familiar? I’m sure they do. And mainly they sound familiar because we’ve heard it out of many perpetrators of WPV, SV, & DV. Not to mention those spouting their hate speech in the name of religion. And their reasoning? Perception is Reality.
These acts of violence were NOT senseless. It makes, and made, perfect sense! At least to the shooters. To normal people it doesn’t make sense to anyone. From law enforcement, to the media, to the shoppers who were scared out of their wits and will be for months or years, and anyone who refuses to see the vulnerabilities in our security systems and their own sensibilities.
These shooters are just a few of the people who have a distorted view of the world and a real perception of reality. The key is that while 99% of all people believe that the violence was senseless; to the perpetrators of these mass shootings it made perfect sense, and supposedly ‘just snapped’.
If you look at every incident of WPV over the past 30 years, the perpetrators had a perception of the world. And literally no one could dissuade them of their perceptions. Whether that perception is of persecution, stalking, or whatever it was there, and in their mind it was perfectly acceptable to do what they did.
So was this a senseless act? To us perhaps. To the perpetrators it made perfect sense to take other people with them when they went out. Did they have remorse after killing and wounding innumerable innocents? Most committed suicide so we’ll never know. Those who survived, for the most part, they didn’t… “They deserved it”.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.