Why women become killers in US :California shooting #SanBernadino

December 5, 2015 6:10 am

Revenge a common link among America’s six female mass shooters since 2003, writes Danielle Paquette

 Before the assailants opened fire at a holiday party in San
Bernardino, California, on Thursday, killing 14 people and wounding 17
others, they left their 6-month-old baby with her grandmother.
Syed
Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, never returned. As a married
couple, they formed an unusual profile among mass shooters in America.
Women, acting alone or with an accomplice, are especially unlikely to go on shooting sprees.
Since
2003, 160 active shooters have killed 1043 people and wounded 557
others in the , according to an FBI analysis. Only six of
the assailants were women.
Little research has been conducted on
women who commit mass shootings. The sample size is tiny. A look at
recent cases reveals one commonality: The attackers mostly targeted
their places of work and education. Some were seeking revenge while
others appeared to be suffering from mental illness.




To understand and stop gun violence, the FBI compiled
information on every active shooter in the country from 2003 to 2013.
The women all used handguns.
Even more unusual than a woman on a
shooting spree is a couple. Of the 160 active shooters in the FBI
report, only two acted with anyone else.
Before Malik, Amanda
Miller was the last woman to fire into crowds with a romantic partner on
soil. On June 8, 2014, Miller and her husband, Jared, both
anti-government extremists, killed two police officers in a Las Vegas
restaurant and then a man who tried to stop them in a Walmart. After
police killed Jerad, Amanda committed suicide. Authorities said the
couple identified with “militia and white supremacists” and believed law
enforcement was the “oppressor”.
When it comes to motive differences between the genders, science offers sparse insight.
Male and female brains aren’t inherently different, studies show. Social conditioning, however, may draw more men to violence.
Steven
Pinker, a psychologist, cognitive scientist and author of The Better
Angels of Our Nature wrote: “Though the exact ratios vary, in every
society, it is the males more than the females who play-fight, bully,
fight for real, kill for real, rape, start wars and fight in wars.”
While
insight into female mass shooters is limited, a study of female serial
killers opens a window into what could be gender-specific motives:
Women, the researchers found, are more likely to kill someone they know –
or on behalf of someone they love.
The weapon of choice is usually poison. Perhaps they’ve been personally wronged. Perhaps they’re after money.
These killers often appear to be ordinary, non-threatening members of society until they strike.
Men are more likely to kill in response to a status threat or humiliation, another report suggests.
An
analysis of 263 cases in 29 countries of male-perpetrated mass murder
found 86.9 per cent of the crimes sprang from job loss, economic
hardship or being bullied, according to researchers who studied the
reported motives.
Malik’s husband worked for the county, police said, and sprayed gunfire at his employer’s event.
Then there’s the gender gap in weapon supply.
Men are three times more likely than women to own guns, according to Gallup polls from 2007 to 2012.

The women from the FBI’s active shooter list

• On April 23, 2001, Cathline Repunte,
a school bus driver, 36, shot four people and killed one at the Laidlaw
Transit Services maintenance yard in San Jose, California. Deputy
district attorney Lane J. Liroff called Repunte “a frustrated and angry
woman”, but she never explained what prompted her to open fire on
co-workers.
• On January 30, 2006, Jennifer San Marco,
44, fatally shot six people in her former workplace, the Santa Barbara
US Postal Processing and Distribution Centre in Goleta, California. As
police rushed to the scene, she committed suicide before explaining her
actions. Before the attack, a manager at a mental health clinic reported
seeing Marco talking to herself. “Nobody knew where she came from or
what she was doing here,” wrote a New York Times reporter. “People just
knew there was something wrong.”
• On February 8, 2008, Latina Williams,
23, fired six rounds into a second-floor classroom at Louisiana
Technical College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Two people died in the
gunfire. Williams didn’t explain her reasoning before reloading the gun
and killing herself. Police at the time said she’d exhibited signs of
paranoia. Williams’ mother told authorities she had no idea what drove
her daughter to kill.
• On February 12, 2010, Amy Bishop Anderson,
44, a neurobiologist, sat in a biology department meeting in the Shelby
Centre at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama, for 30
minutes before she stood up and shot six people. Three died and three
were wounded. Anderson, who surrendered to police, had a clear motive:
She’d been denied tenure.
• On March 30, 2010, Arunya Rouch,
41, unleashed round after round into the parking lot of her former
employer, a Publix Supermarket in Tarpon Springs, Florida, killing one
person. She kept shooting as she walked into the store, passing
customers on the way to her former boss’ office. Police arrived before
she reached her destination, wounding Rouch in an exchange of gunfire.
They learned that she’d just been fired.
• On September 9, 2010, Yvonne Hiller,
43, was suspended from her job at the Kraft Foods Factory in
Philadelphia and escorted out of the building after getting into a fight
with her co-workers. She quickly returned to shoot the people she felt
had disrespected her, killing two and wounding one. Hiller also fired at
responding officers, who quickly apprehended her. “She believed they
were spraying chemicals at her, saying things behind her back,”
Philadelphia homicide Captain James Clark said.

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