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Topic : 01/07 Omaha Mall Shooting: A Mother’s Guilt

Number of Replies: 87
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Created on : Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 05:12:36 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
On December 5, 2007, Robert Hawkins walked into the Von Maur Mall in Omaha, Nebraska carrying an AK-47 rifle and 30 rounds of ammunition. The troubled 19-year-old gunned down eight people and wounded two others before taking his own life in what's been called the deadliest mall shooting in U.S. history. Robert’s mother, Molly, says she can't get over the guilt. Could this massacre have been averted? Did the grieving mom miss warning signs that would have foretold her son’s shooting spree? Dr. Phil asks the tough questions and takes a brutally candid look into this tragedy. Then, he speaks with Debora, a woman who says she took Robert in after he fell out with his parents. Find out what Debora says she witnessed just days before the teen’s murderous rampage. And, Jeff, a survivor of the Omaha mall shooting, faces off with Molly for the first time on Dr. Phil's stage. Plus, don’t miss the warning signs that your child is headed down a dangerous path. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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January 7, 2009, 3:23 pm CST

Guns are only tools used by sick as well as sane minds.

The AK47 didn't kill anyone in the closet! It wasn't till a severely neglected child pulled the trigger. Fix what is wrong with the Family and the gun will stay in the closet. Criminals are using guns where the law forbids guns. Outlaw guns and the Criminals will have a hay day.

Guns are dangerous. But myths are dangerous, too. Myths about guns are very dangerous, because they lead to bad laws. And bad laws kill people.

      
— John Stossel   

 
January 7, 2009, 3:50 pm CST

Omaha shooting

Quote From: cndrlla

You know, you have some valid points, but I have to disagree with you when you say that those two women were not to blame.  Yes, they were! They had a huge role in this whole problem. Did you listen closely when the mother said she wasn't in this boy's life for 10 years from the ages of 7 to 17? Did you hear her say she smoked pot with her son? Did you hear when she alluded to the fact that she was a drug addict and that that's why she wasn't able to have custody of her son? Were you listening when she said she knew the gun was there,  that she knew the night before that the gun was missing and "had a feeling" she'd better check out the Jeep...but ignored that feeling? Did you miss it when she said he'd told many people, including her, that he was going to commit suicide? 

 

What kind of mother decides to just ignore all the signs, the direct statement that her child is going to commit suicide; and all the other blatantly screaming signs that this kid was headed for major trouble? AND decides to do drugs with this messed up kid, on top of all the rest of her (and the father's) bad parenting decisions?

 

And the stepmother wasn't much better.

 

You cannot be your child's friend when they are growing up!! You HAVE to be a parent....strong, consistent, and sober!!  You, as a parent, are all that stands between your children and disaster until their brain grows enough to make good decisions on their own.

 

On that stage this morning, I saw a whole lot of crooked-little-finger-pointing at others, but not a whole lot of genuine honesty when the hard questions were asked.

 

It always amazes me how when something like this tragedy happens, and kids go totally out of control, the parents seem to say, "Oh I just don't understand how and why this could have happened"...and then you look at the ridiculous parenting methods and you will see why and how!

 

It's time to pay attention to your children and stop being so self-involved and immature yourself!

 

I understand that this was supposed to be a show about how to prevent a tragedy. But in my sincere opinion this was all about the MOTHER, who it's or wasn't even apart of the KILLER's life. I have no respect for this lady or the lady that he was living with him at the time. In the time that this show was on ,1 hour ,everyone in the world who watched could see all of the signs and as normal people, would have done something about him having a gun, writing a suicide note/text, and worst of all writing that he was going to take people with him, if that isn't an eye opener that there is something bad about to happen than I guess I don't know what signs you would need.

 

One of these victims was my family and because of these peoples responsibilities of being a parent and closing their eyes to what was going on the day before the shooting, I no longer have that family member. She was the youngest victim of this shooting and was a wonderful person, who now, because of the neglectfulness of the people in the KILLERS life, she is not here. No one can change the past, but this should of never happened. I don't feel sorry for these parents, if you can even call them that......

 

This show did in my opinion give this KILLER exactly what he wanted-FAME.

 
January 7, 2009, 4:23 pm CST

PEOPLE KILLS PEOPLE NOT GUNS

WHY IS IT THAT EVERY-TIME SOMEONE FLIPS OUT THAT THEY WANT TO TAKE GUNS OUT OF THE HANDS OF THE INNOCENT PEOPLE THAT OWN GUNS I DON'T OWN AN AK47 PUT HOW ARE THEY ANY DIFFERENT THEN ANY OTHER AUTOMATIC WEAPON THEY ALL CAN KILL THE GUN CAN NOT PULL ITS OWN TRIGGER ***SOME BODY*** HAS TO DO IT THERE ARE MILLIONS OF GUNS OUT THERE AND ONLY A FEW EPISODES WHERE PEOPLE LOOSE THERE MINDS AND KILL OTHERS . EVEN IF GUNS ARE OUTLAWED THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO RESPECT FOR THE LAW AND THE LIVES OF OTHER WILL GET THOSE GUNS NO MATTER WHAT THE LAW WILL ONLY TAKE THE GUNS OUT THE LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AS FOR THE MOTHER I FEEL SORRY FOR HER LOSS I KNOW HOW IT IS TO LOOSE A CHILD
 
January 7, 2009, 4:30 pm CST

Been there....

Quote From: justmedeb88

I think it is easy to blame the mother but I think it is way off.  It is hard to be a single parent and when you have all the odds stacked against you that you don't know where to turn.  I have a 19 year old in jail right now for stealing.  It is not because I didn't try.  I called the police on him when he didn't come home at 12 and 14 for a week at a time - only for the juvinile authorities to put him back in the house.  What he learned was there was no punishment.  A week on his own doing what he wanted to do - then an hour spent in the police station and back home.  He would then go to school and I wouldn't know when I would see him again.  If he was home he was causing so much havic that it was miserable for his younger brothers and I.  I tried to get help from police, DFS, counselors - nothing helped.  I lost jobs because of the situation and have trouble with my younger kids to this day.  The police did nothing to my then 15 year old when he stole my vehicle out of my driveway and went to town - he was bored.  I wasted my time by calling them - he was in  and out of jail within a matter of hours.  At 17 he moved out because my rules were impossible - he had to go to school, he had to be home at  a decent hour and I would not allow him to smoke and do drugs.  The only thing he gets out of going to jail is how to become a better criminal and live his life without working and being a respectful part of society.  So don't  be so quick to think badly of the parents - unless you have resources and finances at your fingertips its not always that easy.

I was also a single mother of three: a boy and two girls. No one said it was "easy".  Being a GOOD parent is the toughest job anyone can EVER do!  Being a lousy parent is "easy".

 

Please do not take what I'm going to say as a personal attack; it's not meant that way. I have no way of knowing what kind of parent you personally are. I'm just going to give an example of what I did when faced with a similar situation, and when I use the word "you", I am using it in a general sense.

 

When my son was twelve he took something that didn't belong to him. It wasn't a big thing, but it didn't matter.  My reaction was immediate and tough; I made sure that kid's whole world came crashing down. I completely stripped his room of EVERYTHING except a mattress on the floor, a pillow and blanket.  He was not allowed to watch TV, nor could he use the phone. He was restricted to the house and no friends were allowed to come over.  He could go to school..period....and I took him there and picked him up....and I notified the teachers and the principal as to what was going on and told them if he tried to leave his classes or school they were to notify me immediately.

 

I told my son that he had to earn every single thing in his room back, and he had to earn all privileges back as well. There was no sass allowed; I put him to work in the yard pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, washing dishes, vacuuming, etc., everything I could think of.  His homework had to be done, and be done right. I kept him pretty busy...and when he wasn't busy, he had to sit quietly and think about his crime. I also made him write an essay as to why stealing was wrong.

 

In other words, I made life miserable for him. (And, by the way, I never laid a hand on him; I don't believe in smacking your kids around...nor did I yell at him.)  I told him that his punishment was a small taste of what he would experience if he stole something and went to jail. I also told him that the way he felt losing things that meant something to him (remember, I stripped his room and took away all his things) was how the person felt when he took their possession. 

 

He got it. It took him about a month to earn back everything and he never did it again.

 

The point being that I came down hard on him the FIRST time. There was no second chance, no feeling sorry for him, no letting it slide, no excuses accepted. All three of my kids knew the rules, knew what the consequences would be for breaking those rules, and knew I wouldn't let them get away with anything.  When you have a two parent household it's tough enough, but when you are in it alone you have to be twice as tough! There are some battles you simply can not lose. EVERY kid has their currency and it's up to you to figure out what it is and use it.

 

If you love your children, you take the time and trouble to discipline them from the time they are little...consistently, creatively, intelligently, and you set a good example for them so that they can respect you...because THAT'S real love!

 

 
January 7, 2009, 4:30 pm CST

The gun was NOT to blame

I watched the show with intense interest.  I found it extremely disturbing how many people "dropped the ball" with this boy (killer).  That statement isn't necessarily to lay blame - but we should all learn from it.  The thing that bothered me the most was how the show ended.  When the victim and mother decided to band together for an assault rifle ban - it blew my mind.  THE GUN DID NOT KILL EVERYONE.  The boy did - a very disturbed, damaged, lost, sad, IGNORED boy.  That gun was not locked away and obviously neither was the ammunition.  If the boy used a knife to kill people, would we ban knives?   If he made a bomb using household chemicals, would we ban those also?  I'm sick of irresponsible idiots leaving guns and ammunition around only to have the wrong people get their hands on it and do damage.  To turn this show into a "gun" issue is ridiculous.  Of course the mother wants to ban them - it takes the blame off her!!!
 
January 7, 2009, 4:34 pm CST

AK 47 ban?

Banning AK 47 type assault weapons or any gun won't stop people from shooting each other.  Change the LAWS.  I don't want my rights of owning a gun infringed upon.  This may be blunt but....execute people that use a weapon in the commission of a crime.  They might think twice before acting.  A complete ban on guns would only put guns in the hands of criminals.  For the people that live in the City, I don't expect you to understand.  I'm a Firefighter and I have seen numerous people shot, stabbed and beat to death but the instrument didn't commit the act..the person did.  I have a concealed weapons permit and carry a gun 99% of the time.  I would of shot back at the attacker in Omaha.  Gun control is the ability to stay on target so don't penalize the rest of us!!!!       
 
January 7, 2009, 4:36 pm CST

What is needed to prevent future shootings...

Dr. Phil did a good job keeping idle blame out of the conversation. But his question didn't get answered fully....what is missing is a process put in place to act on the warning signs that are noticed. If each person who had a "hint" knew who to go to and had the confidence that the people who are the professionals will take the ball  until there is a resolution..or  partial resolution. Number one- the adults need to talk to eachother responsibily. Number two- when you call county mental health and tell them you are worried about someone....this is what they say in Southern  Oregon, " Your appointment is three months out." If you tell them  they are suicidal the response in Souther Oregon is,  "If you are worried, then call 911". Well, obviously that won't do, because the person made the threat but is currently acting appropriate. 911 does not respond to appropriate.  Dr. Phil please help communities put a protocol together. Sort of a "Neighborhood Watch", not for burgulars, but for our kids. The ones that are hurting do give us clues, but they don't allow the parents to help them. We need a team, a community partnership to haul these kids in and prove to them that there is a way through it. Especially after years of mainstream "intervention"- the kids feel hopeless. The parents cannot do this alone, with defunct county services that are a 3 month wait, again, even after intervention and treatment throughtout the childhood. We need an organized community protocol, but us little people do not know how to do it. We need help. A flow chart of Step 1, Step 2 etc. Even then there has a chance for failure until the child has to want it as bad as the parents want it for him. We cannot do it  "to" them. They have to be enrolled in the process. There is no mother in the world that can "make " someone do something. I know many that almost died trying...I am the queen of perservance in that department. I have intervenened professionally and legally , on my son's behalf for 22 years. He is worth it, he has something to give to the world, but he doesn't believe me yet. And in the 24th year he was still angry enough and full of blame for others that he hurt someone. He will be in prison. He will have time to think about what HE can do for himself, because I cannot help any more. The state of Oregon and my son hold the reigns.
 
January 7, 2009, 5:06 pm CST

01/07 Omaha Mall Shooting: A Mother’s Guilt

Quote From: rustyblade

The AK47 didn't kill anyone in the closet! It wasn't till a severely neglected child pulled the trigger. Fix what is wrong with the Family and the gun will stay in the closet. Criminals are using guns where the law forbids guns. Outlaw guns and the Criminals will have a hay day.

Guns are dangerous. But myths are dangerous, too. Myths about guns are very dangerous, because they lead to bad laws. And bad laws kill people.

      
John Stossel   

Anyone who believes AK47's have any business being in people's homes contributed to these deaths. Period.  GUNS KILL.  THEY KILL QUICKLY.   This wouldn't have happened w/o GUNS.
 
January 7, 2009, 5:12 pm CST

AK 47 ban?

Banning AK 47 type assault weapons or any gun won't stop people from shooting each other.  Change the LAWS.  I don't want my rights of owning a gun infringed upon.  This may be blunt but....execute people that use a weapon in the commission of a crime.  They might think twice before acting.  A complete ban on guns would only put guns in the hands of criminals.  For the people that live in the City, I don't expect you to understand.  I'm a Firefighter and I have seen numerous people shot, stabbed and beat to death but the instrument didn't commit the act..the person did.  I have a concealed weapons permit and carry a gun 99% of the time.  I would of shot back at the attacker in Omaha.  Gun control is the ability to stay on target so don't penalize the rest of us!!!!       
 
January 7, 2009, 5:22 pm CST

Thank you Dr. Phil

Quote From: nannyr

Shame on you for placing all the blame of this tragedy on this mother. Unless you have walked in someone shoes.....DO NOT judge them. Of course, I don't agree with all of this mother's actions, but I can tell you, I have lived with the same exact issues. I gave up custody of my three children to their horribly abusive father. Thankfully, I spent all the time I could with them, weekends, etc... despite their dad's CONSTANT HARASSING behavior, as this mom described....being accused of being neglectful, etc, He used the system to harass me for 25 years. He has taken me to court hundreds of times, Leaving me broke.
Thank God, my children came back to me before high school and are grown now, doing well.
But....there were years where I was scared to death that my son or one of his stepbrothers would shoot their father or commit suicide. It wouldn't have surprised me one bit.
These types of ABUSIVE fathers have total control over everyone involved and there is nothing you can do to stop them. Especially if they have more money and use the courts to bring mothers misery after misery. The long-term affect upon women, after this kind of abuse, should not be judged. What it dose to women, psychologically, are indescribable, let alone the children they love, and the hurt these kids feel for feeling abandoned by the one who gave birth to them.
The blame lies on this father's shoulders.....not all hers.
Thank you for showing the dangers of guns to your viewers.  And thank you for speaking out against physical punishment.  If you had not accomplished anything else in your career, you're a hero for speaking out against AK47's and physical punishment.
 
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