Those who were permitted to act appropriately throughout their childhood – ie with anger – to the pains, wrongs, and denial inflicted upon them . . . will retain this ability to react appropriately in late life too. When someone wounds them as adults, they will be able to recognize and express this verbally. But they will not feel the need to lash out in response. this need arises only for people who must always be on their guard to keep the dam that restrains their feelings from breaking. For if this dam breaks, everything becomes unpredictable . . . [they] will experience occasional outbursts of inexplicable rage . . . or will resort repeatedly to violent behavior such as murder.
— Alice Miller, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, November 14, 2002.
There is seldom ever any one single cause for such an outrageous act of violence as a mass murder, especially when aimed at school children. In the case of Nikolas Cruz, as in others, there are multiple complex causations – including both environmental (nurture) and genetic (nature) – that come together, and then often one event that lights the fuse.
Cruz’s public defender described the perpetrator of The Valentine’s Day Massacre as a “deeply disturbed, emotionally broken” young man who is coming to grips with the pain he has caused.
What made Nikolas Cruz go on the murderous rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing 17…