Mass murders seem to be a regular occurrence these days. While big city statistics say that the murder is down, whenever some nut job decides to kill himself and take a lot of innocent people with him, you can bet it will make the headlines. Some people, including the current President of the United States, believe that gun control is the solution to preventing cases such as what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary school on December 14, 2012, when 20-year-old deranged gunman, Adam Lanza shot 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7, as well as 6 adult staff members of the school. Or what happened at Isla Vista, California on May 23, 2014, when Eliot Rodger killed 6 people and injured 14 others near the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara. He then killed himself. These types of incidents make the news if for no other reason than to illustrate the utter horror of realizing that they can happen anywhere and anyplace. While it would appear that mental illness is the primary motive for such heinous acts, it does play a role in some cases, but not all. The most common illness affecting those who commit such acts is often severe depression. Gun control is not the answer to preventing such crimes, since criminals and those who seek to harm or kill others can always obtain a "Saturday Night Special," or an unregistered firearm. A better way to deal with this problem involves first identifying those who show psychological risk factors that may lead to a breakdown that results in a suicidal bout of violence. An even more effective technique to deal with mass or lesser level violence is to temper the aggressive states that ultimately lead to such acts. But first, we must consider whether aggression is a natural trait or just a symptom of the lack of control associated with mental illness.
Does aggression lead to violence?
In the sports and bodybuilding world, whenever an athlete or bodybuilder displays antisocial behavior, which can range from abusing their wives or girlfriends to crashing cars to the extreme violence that includes murder, the public is conditioned by the mass media to write it off as something called "'Roid Rage." This implies that men who use anabolic steroids undergo personality changes making them prone to unseemly behavior that can harm themselves and those around them. Does 'Roid Rage really exist? Yes and no. There is little doubt that testosterone increases aggressive tendencies. Aggression is built into human genes since it can provide some survival benefits, or at least it did in prehistoric times. In animals, aggression is conducive to preserving life. It permits animals to obtain food, defend against predators, and reproduce with females. Some of the mating fights of . . .