Why do people attribute mass shootings to spoiled kids?

I am not defending these shooters, Its obvious that they have major problems but It seems that a number of people consistently misunderstand why they commit these acts.

If it is indeed overindulgence from their parents should we see mass shooters from both genders, and from all races since their are many spoiled kids from all variations? But no. In America it is only seems to be white males. We hardly see Paris Hilton shooting up a school.

Could they be talking about their sense of entitlement? I suspect that has to be because of lacking something in their life not food, water or shelter but something social.

Anyway what do you think?


I never heard anyone say overindulgence caused any kids to become mass murderers. Some parents didn’t recognize that their overindulgence was enabling a seriously disturbed kid, but that’s not the same as causing them to murder people.

  1. False premise—I don’t think many people are attributing mass shootings to poor parenting.

  2. It’s a cultural go-to explanation. We also used to blame indulgent parenting for producing gay men, and maybe some still do. We like simple explanations for complex troubles, and preferably ones that make it clear that only other people are to blame.

Are you talking about “Affluenza” as related to Ethan Couch?

I don’t think anyone believes that’s the only factor. As far as gender goes, women simply don’t seem to be disposed toward mass violence against strangers. There are only a couple of dozen of known female serial killers, and only two female spree killers I can find: Brenda Spencer, the original “school shooter,” and Jennifer San Marco, a postal worker.

We shouldn’t expect different genders to respond the same way to the same stressor (“bad parenting”) since gender is both a social and biological construct. Aggressive, maladaptive girls certainly exist. But maybe instead of gravitating towards guns and physical violence, they become those crazy chicks everyone talks about when the conversation turns to failed relationships.

Or maybe women are more resilient to abuse, childhood trauma, and parental excesses because they tend to be more verbal and emotionally expressive. A lot of the mass shooters in the news had received received psychotherapy at some point in their lives. Perhaps women respond more favorably to therapy for whatever reason.

Did I miss a bunch of shootings committed by rich kids? These guys tend to be psychos or losers mad at the world because they can’t get laid. Severe testosterone poisoning.

Good movie on this subject on Netflix…We Need to Talk About Kevin. The mother went through hell in this movie.

No. The OP didn’t back up his claim, and it’s likely he never will. He has 1 total post on this MB, which is the OP to this thread.

Biology professor Amy Bishop shot 6 coworkers at a staff meeting, 3 of whom died.

Apart from the non-white couple (male plus female) who murdered in California, you mean? Apart from the non-white pair who tried to go on a murder spree in Texas, you mean?

I think there is some merit to this thread.

My theory is that upper middle class and wealthy families have the resources
and wherewithal to better deal with children that are mentally ill. Once the
children become full adults and well into their college years, the parents lose control
and their offspring explode into violence. Less affluent children most likely get into
drugs and become lower level criminals and are incarcerated at an earlier age before
they can become mass murderers. Their mental illness is less contained where as the affluent is bottled

I don’t think that’s a very good explanation. Petty criminals tend to serve short sentences then get released, so they have plenty of opportunities to kill people if that’s what they’re into.

There’s really no evidence to suggest that “spoiled kids” make up the bulk of spree killers. It’s pretty well established that serial killers are mostly white males, generally from low socionomic strata; there is not such a clear “profile” among spree killers (except that they’re still male). The public perception is likely tainted by overreporting of mass school shootings, which have overwhelmingly involved white male perpetrators.

Yes, I’d forgotten her completely! Thanks.

The petty criminal gets the course of his life changed by the justice system. For a young person not yet fully formed their homicidal tendencies may come under control, or I’m afraid more often just redirected into more typical criminal activity. So your mass killer may just turn into the guy shooting the clerk at the liquor store he just robbed, or spending the rest of his life in prison for killing another inmate.

I think its confirmation bias. Wasn’t there some movie producer’s kid that shot some people in 2014 or 2015? He was kicked out of a party, then complained that girls didn’t like him even though he thought he was good looking. Stuff like that gets stuck in the public’s mind moreso than random shooter guy killing a few people on the streets.

And correct me if I’m wrong, but the typical shooter isn’t poor and destitute. We’re always surprised by how normal or middle-class their upbringing is. Off the top of my head, the Sandy Hook shooter, the Virginia Tech shooter, Dylan Roof, the Columbine kids, were all not poor and suffering but regular white kids from the suburbs.

The previous few post discuss this and postulate on the reason this is associated with affluence. But I think if you add all the ‘robbery gone wrong’ cases where people end up dead to the list of mass murders you won’t find any big socio-economic imbalance.

Please OP – give us an example of a mass shooter who has been branded as “spoiled” by the press.

Wasn’t he Asian? Or does Asian count as white now?

Picture of Seung-Hui Cho, for forming your own opinion on the matter.

Because while it’s people who kill other people, the first set still need representation in court.