Obviously I, as well as everyone else on the internet, have a lot of thoughts and feelings re: the Colorado shooting, ie gun control, the randomness of life and tragedy, etc, but I’d like to hone in on one particularly troubling thing  (and by troubling, I mean in that deeply unsettling but also sickeningly fascinating sort of way.) So as we’ve all now read, the killer James was always a good, quiet kid, good student, etc etc, until lately, he underwent some sort of shift in personality – dropped out of school, dyed his hair, started buying guns and ammo, convinced himself he’s Joker. Seems like the delusional behavior of schizophrenia which oftentimes afflicts young men in their early 20’s. (I became a bit preoccupied with the disorder when I started researching the Maxwell family murder for House of Home, though Billy was in his early 40’s when he started to shift – rare.) I think schizophrenia has been attributed to mass shootings before, Gabby Gifford’s attacker, for one. But the thing that really gets me about this guy – he was a graduate student in neuroscience. To what extent was he sort of aware of what was happening in his brain, if at all? If you’re a person who studies the brains deepest workings, would you be at all aware when something starts to shift within your own? Or, did knowing so much about this beautifully complicated thing somehow drive him insane? It doesn’t really help understand why the shooting happened, or provide any sort of comfort, it just kind of makes me go Hmm. But also, GUNS: NO / WHY.

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