Our Expressed “National Disgruntlement” and Violence Risk

One of the more valuable presentations this August at the annual meeting of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) was offered by Dr. Mario Scalora of the University of Nebraska and Detective Bill Zimmerman of the United States Capitol Police. For several years they have been conducting research on threats to members of the US Congress.


When U.S. Army Major and psychiatrist Malik Hasan committed a mass murder at Ft. Hood, Texas, in November, 2009, it was the culmination of a pathway to violence that began several years earlier. It was not impulsive nor reactive. It was planned and purposeful, and may serve as a harbinger of future acts of workplace violence which are motivated by religious and political extremism.

The Paranoid Employee

Who hasn’t encountered the troubled and troubling employee who seems to be saying, “I need your help, but I don’t trust you, and you may even be part of the problem!”
Recognizing the Paranoid Employee. The hallmark of the paranoid individual is a pervasive suspiciousness, mistrust, and great sensitivity to any negative feedback. Perceived slights are exaggerated as signs of the malevolent intentions of others.