From Lose Friends Radio comes this ‘Believe it or not’ segment Number 29, called ‘Sniper psychology’. You can read the transcript below, or listen to the original broadcast by clicking on the green play button:
Believe it or not, according to Jonar Nader, the public have a strange grip on reality.
For example, during the sniper crisis in Washington DC a few years ago, ten people were randomly shot over a three-week period. That created a crisis during which millions of people changed their entire living habits. They shopped in different locations, they travelled different routes to work, and many refused to send their children to school, because of the fear associated with those sniper attacks.
What is amazing is that during that same three-week period, 1600 other people were shot around the USA. Murders and hold-ups seem to be accepted as normal run-of-the mill occurrences. Isn’t it weird that the average citizen does not mind, and rarely reacts, to the loss of 1600 lives, but a whole town was almost paralysed when 10 people were shot in that same period of time? Think about the psychology of fear, and the notion of normality, working in that community.
When the snipers were caught, the people of Washington DC were able to relax and get back to their normal routines, even though in the subsequent three weeks, another 1600 people died of gun-related crime. Nobody felt the need to change their routine because those deaths were part of the norm.
Normality is about what we accept as regular and predictable; and predictability is comfortable even when it is horrible.
Believe it… or not.