The Montreal Massacre - Assignment ! What motivates a person to shoot 27 women, killing 14 of them, before turning the gun onto themselves? Could it be their culture, their personality, or the groups they are involved with? Just after 5pm on Wednesday, December 6, 1989, Marc Lepine disturbingly shot and killed many women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, before killing himself. Lepine purposely ordered the men out of the classroom, giving him a clear shot of the women. He claimed that, “They were the type of people that ruined his life. Lepine was known to be a loner, with few close friends as well as domineering with women. Different social scientist such as Anthropologists, Sociologists and Psychologists will interpret Lepine? s motives differently and each claim that they have the answer to the question everyone is asking, “Why did Lepine do what he did? ” I believe that a psychologist has the best reasoning for Lepine? s behavior. ! One in ? ve women have been or will be sexually abused and one in four have been or will be physically abused. From an anthropological perspective, the culture that Marc Lepine grew up in plays a signi? ant role in ? nding out the reasons behind what he did. Growing up, Lepine was always domineering with women and had dif? culty establishing close relationships with them. These factors in Lepine? s life in? uence his actions in 1989 when he killed many women in the school. Lepine? s inability to establish relationships with women caused him to feel frustrated. Clearly, Lepine did not know what to do with his frustration, so he dealt with it the only way he knew possible. Another explanation for Marc Lepine? s behavior is the media. In our culture, the media plays a very important role in our lives and in? ences the decisions that humans make. Movies tend to glamorize violence towards women and advertisements regularly use women as sex objects to sell things. This cruelty to women is seen everywhere we go, and it causes humans to think that it is okay. In? uences like this from the media concerning violence towards women made Lepine feel that his assault was justi? able. From an anthropological point of view, Marc Lepine killed many women at the Ecole Polytechnique because of his past with women, and the media making it seem that violence towards women is justi? ble. ! Mass killers all have very similar characteristics, for example, they are often loners with few friends. From a sociological perspective, the way in which Marc Lepine interacts with others can be compared to cases dealing with the same type of crime. It is often seen that murderers who go on killing sprees similar to what Lepine did, will appear calm on the out side. However, inside they are tormented by the lack of control they have in their lives. This need for control leads people like Lepine to commit crimes such as mass shootings.
Factors such as past life experiences affect a person greatly on the inside and may have played an important role in why Lepine did what he did. It is noticed that men like Lepine who victimize women in this way tend to have dif? culty dealing with their emotions and in turn take out their anger in a negative way. It has been found that mass murderers tend to be the “outcasts. ” They are usually loners with few friends and tend to blame others for their perceived lack of respect, freedom and companionship. Lepine had lived in an apartment with a friend that he had known since childhood and had dif? ulty creating new, lasting relationships with others-especially with women. As well, Lepine claimed to the women that, “They were the type of people who had ruined his life. ” This blame that Lepine puts on women shows a direct relation to other murderers who have committed the same type of crime. From a sociological view, it is noticed that there are similarities between what Marc Lepine did and the crimes of other murderers and there are common factors that drive a person to kill other human beings. These factors consist of: having few friends, physical and/or sexual abuse as a child, family trouble, or other past life experiences. To ? nd out the reasons behind why an individual will commit such a horrible crime, past life experiences must be taken into account. From a psychological perspective, Marc Lepine? s actions were a direct re? ection of his thoughts, feelings and past. Lepine had always felt like a loner and an outcast. When he tried to join the Canadian Armed Forces he was turned down because his personality was considered unsuitable. This rejection only added to Marc? s feeling of not being good enough and made him feel like he was not accepted in society. When faced with dif? ult situations in his life, Marc showed a tendency to violent behavior. Because he did not know how to deal with the emotions he was feeling inside, he used weapons as an outlet for his problems. The fascination that Lepine had with guns from an early age, and the fact that he spent time hunting at his Uncle? s farm proves that he would be capable of a mass shooting. Another reason for Lepine? s actions is the way he grew up. Lepine and his mother were both regularly beaten by his father. As well, his father continually expressed his belief that women are inferior to men.
Clearly Lepine? s father is an important factor in why Lepine killed many women in the Montreal school in 1989. Lepine? s father did not show any respect towards women, and since that is what Marc saw every day of his life, he thought it was right, or normal. To a psychologist, Lepine? s childhood played an important role in the type of person that he grew up to be. He did not know how to deal with the emotions he was feeling and so he took out his anger on the women of Ecole Polytechnique. ! In conclusion, each of the social sciences claim that their perception of Lepine? motives are the correct one. I believe that each of the experts have valid points and any of them could be the reason Lepine shot and killed many women at a school in Montreal in 1989 before turning the gun onto himself. However, I do believe that the psychological perspective has the strongest points. It is our past experiences that shape us into the person we are. Lepine committed the crime he did because of his thoughts and feelings which turned violent from the regular beatings him and his mother had received from his father.
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Growing up with his father who had no respect for women, made Lepine think that violence towards women was justi? able. As well, Lepine had few friends and was considered a loner. He was not able to join the Canadian Armed Forces, which just added to his sense that he was not good enough. All these factors built up in Lepine? s life when ? nally he could not hold it in any long and he snapped. The blame that he put on women for his lack of companionship resulted in the mass shooting. After he realized what he had done, the guilt was immense, so he turned the gun on himself and pulled the trigger.
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