Every so often you hear about the police hunting some bad guy down who you just can’t help but want to take up sides with. The so called bad guy had his buttons pushed, his life and future taken away, and or just got caught up in some internal politics at work or whatever. As many of us can relate to that because of some similar personal experience we had, we can’t help but cheer him on.
We can’t condone genuine crimes that harm people like shooting and killing, that would simply go against morals and ethics of what we have been taught. But to see some guy take out his frustration on property and infrastructure with a stolen military tank, you can’t help but see some sort of David and Goliath story being played out.
There is a lot of history to this and perhaps the first real story that broke into the public’s eye was the Rodney King beating by the Los Angeles police. That was the first time video evidence set a chain of events in motion. That video triggered riots in Los Angeles as thousands of people simply connected with Rodney King.
Even in Syria and the civil war there, for the most part the whole world has sided with the people who are standing up to a brutal dictator. Despite tens of thousands of people killed, the support is there.
But not only in Syria, for the most part much of the Arab Spring movement is supported as it is the people going up against abusive authority. Although the eventual outcome may not be to the liking of some, it is the act of defiance that is supported.
In the case of Christopher Dorner, if you believe his account of what happened that lead up to him getting fired from the Los Angeles police, and consider the code of silence police have to protect themselves, the possibility that Christopher Dorner side of the story being an accurate account is greatly increased. Seeing that his lifelong desire and efforts were to work for the Los Angeles police, and to see that dream being extinguished by a lie to protect someone else, you begin to understand the seeds of his rage. We doubt someone would go to the extreme act of vengeance he did if he did not feel he was wronged. He simply can not lie to himself. It is tragic that people died, but his motivation is understood. If he worked for the Post Office, this would be simply classified as Going Postal.
As for how much mental health plays into this, we would have to say a lot. The one consideration is it seems the mental health problem likely started from a single event. If a person’s personality causes them to lose job after job by doing things their way and not the way they should, the mental health problem was a pre-existing condition, and chances are less those people would pick up a stone and throw it.
The bottom line is supporting a person on a rampage is more common than many think, and particularly so if there is some connection through a personal experience. Some gratification is felt when the so called bad guy scores a few points.