America can reduce the number of shootings by addressing the emotional problems of angry, aggressive people before they commit their crimes, a security expert told the Akron Roundtable on Thursday.
Timothy A. Dimoff and his employees at SACS Consulting and Investigative Services studied more than 300 crimes in recent years and said their conclusions can save lives.
Angry people trending toward aggressive behavior are commonplace, he said.
“It’s not just active shooters; you can’t just focus on active shooters,” he said. “You have to focus on aggressive behavior. Aggressive behavior from the small level to the medium to the large, which is active shooters.”
Dimoff pointed to what was learned about the Columbine High School shooters to show how mistakes were made but lessons were learned.
“They were abused and bullied for 18 months and nobody said anything,” he said. “You know why nobody said anything? They said, ‘Oh, they’ll graduate in two years and we will be rid of that problem.’ We are passing our problems on.”
Dimoff said delays can lead to tragic costs.
“They are in pain and they are suffering emotionally,” he said of shooters. “We don’t interpret it and look at it and do something. This Navy Yard shooting is ridiculous. This guy had eight incidents in the military, and they still gave him an honorable discharge. He was shooting tires, he shot a ceiling, he had post-traumatic stress. They gave him a 10-year clearance for a military establishment!”
In his research, Dimoff has read the shooters’ diaries. The lesson: They research other shootings and want to become famous for killing more people than the last guy.
The media then comply by telling the public all about the dead criminals.
Evidence found after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting took 26 lives led investigators to believe the shooter was trying to kill more than 50 people to set a new high for a U.S. mass shooting, Dimoff said.
He also criticized the media for its “breaking news” coverage.
“The news media now is forced to get information out and not verifiable information. We are really hurting ourselves,” he said. “Years ago, the news media did not release information unless it was verified. Today we have unverified information.
“The Navy Yard situation had three shooters down to two and then down to one.”
Dimoff also attacked video games.
“We are creating video games where they blow heads off and blow body parts apart,” he said. “We have blood and guts squirting all over the video games, and we give you bonus points.”
He concluded by asking for help.
“The bottom line is this: Everybody here has a duty to protect yourself, your family, your community, your school, your church,” he said. “We all have a duty to participate in the overall security. We all have to start thinking about being part of that security. ... Safety and security is no longer a spectator sport.”
Dave Scott can be reached at 330-996-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Scott on Twitter at Davescottofakro.