Nelson author Steve Bareham.

Nelson author delves into what makes people kill

A local author and teacher has penned a new book that examines a question many ponder as they view conflict

A local author and teacher has penned a new book that examines a question many ponder as they view conflict between humanity playing out around the world.

War, Murder & Human Nature: Why People Kill? is Steve Bareham’s ninth book and he’s well aware the topic is a morbid one.

“People are always attracted to the morbid, but I didn’t do the research or write the book to be morbid; it’s not full of graphic detail,” he said. “It’s intended to aid understanding of a societal ill that confronts us daily. Understanding and education is always important and better than ignorance.”

Bareham’s early career included working as a journalist for the Nelson Daily News along with other newspapers in Alberta, BC and Ontario. Then, he entered the field of public relations, marketing and human resources. An instructor with Selkirk College since 1992, Bareham currently teaches conflict management at Selkirk College at the 10th Street Campus in Nelson.

“My research into the human proclivity for violence started some years ago,” he said. “The book came to fruition after a spate of mass gun murders in the US in recent years and persistent questions people kept asking both at college and in my personal life, like: ‘What’s wrong with society today? Why so much violence?’ So, I thought I’d see if I could assemble coherent explanations.”

Bareham understands how easy it is to become pessimistic about the human condition. Simply tuning into the news takes one on a violent trip.

“I’m as disturbed as everyone else, though, by the increased level of gun violence in the US and simply can’t understand how reasonable people, i.e. the politicians in the US, can cling so stubbornly to the Second Amendment about the right to bear arms,” he said.

Even though Bareham has taught on the matter, he did find some things surprising in his research for War, Murder & Human Nature: Why People Kill? He was taken aback and shocked to discover nearly a half million murders occur each year around the world.

It was also surprising to see the number of emotions that can lead to murder, emotions people are all subject to, he said.

Murderers are often unhappy and have feelings of worthlessness or persecution, or both.

“When life events go too far off base for too long and a person becomes irrational, actions and behaviours can become dangerous, particularly when a person believes that his or her place in society is devalued and when they suffer extremely low self esteem,” he explained. “Men who are shunned repeatedly by women and disaffected males tend to be the most common among killer profiles.”

A sense of understanding of the issues can help stem violence before it occurs. It isn’t right that a person feels very negative about everything. “Ideally, we can step up and help in some way to avert a potential meltdown that can be violent,” said the author.

War, Murder & Human Nature: Why People Kill? is available on Amazon and Kobo.

 

Just Posted

Bernie Brown campaigning to be Nelson’s mayor

Brown says affordable housing, mental health and food security are her priorities

COLUMN: A selection of local election reflections

Observations on West Kootenay/Boundary election races following Friday’s close of nominations

Cougar sightings increase in Nelson area

WildSafe BC’s Dave White offers advice on avoiding confrontations

UPDATED: Trafalgar student hit by car while walking to school

Nelson Police say charges are being considered

Expedia: Nelson is historic and hoppin’

The travel website put Nelson on two best-of lists for its history and beer

VIDEO: Lydia Kania is here to skunk you

The Vallican track athlete has turned to cribbage in her senior years

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read