The Other McCain

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Denver Shooting Rampage Update: Gunman Identified as Tattoo Artist Lyndon McLeod, Was Known to Cops

Posted on | December 28, 2021 | Comments Off on Denver Shooting Rampage Update: Gunman Identified as Tattoo Artist Lyndon McLeod, Was Known to Cops

Before the identity of the Denver shooter was known, I’d predicted that we would “eventually be told the gunman ‘struggled with mental health issues,’” and sure enough, Lyndon James McLeod, 47, “had a history of psychiatric episodes,” according to “multiple law enforcement sources.” McLeod had twice been the subject of police investigations in the past two years, perhaps because of his habit of threatening to murder people.

The same “law enforcement sources” say that McLeod “harbored extremist views,” without being more specific.

And really, if you have “a history of psychiatric episodes,” how much do the details of your delusions matter? It appears that McLeod, a Texas native, was into some kind of ultra-macho “Alpha male” trip, and had self-published novels without much success.

I’m sure we’ll get the full story eventually, but apparently the immediate cause of his murder rampage was that his tattoo business was failing, and he seems to have targeted other local tattoo artists. So the motive was revenge, probably for imaginary wrongs. That is to say, the people McLeod murdered hadn’t actually done anything wrong to him, but in his mind they were villains, because they were successful and he was not. It’s the “grievance collector” motif in action:

A grievance collector will move from the passive assumption of deprivation and low expectancy common to most paranoid personalities to a more aggressive mode. He will not endure passively his deprived state; he will occupy himself with accumulating evidence of his misfortunes and locating the sources. . . .
Grievance collectors are distrustful and provocative, convinced they are always taken advantage of and given less than their fair share.

This type of thinking is common to mass murderers — they are obsessed with the idea that they have been cheated out of their “fair share” in life. Y’know, like Bernie Sanders voters. Except, instead of trying to get their revenge against society by voting for cranky Vermont senators, the grievance collector plots actual violence against the people who, in his mind, have done him wrong. As I say, these wrongs are usually imaginary, a product of the grievance collector’s antisocial mentality. He is an unhappy failure, and therefore is likely to view as a potential enemy anyone who is happy and successful. Combine that brooding victimhood mentality with the type of ultra-macho trip that Lyndon McLeod was on, and it’s a recipe for violent craziness. You can’t lock people up simply for being weird or scary, but making murder threats is a different matter.

What does it take to prosecute such a threat? I’m not a lawyer, but it appears cops missed a chance to lock this guy up when they had a chance. On the other hand, if we’re going to treat vandalism, looting and arson as “mostly peaceful protests,” then I guess we can’t get too draconian in enforcing other laws, which means that this particular kook was on the loose. And as you know, Crazy People Are Dangerous.



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