A Secret Service study of political assassins in the US concludes that the major motivation is a desire for fame, not political goals.
The study found 83 people in jail who'd attempted or completed political assassination and interviewed them (the subject line is part of the pitch to get them to talk about their motives) and researched what could be found out about them. A major motivation turned out to be wanting to be famous rather than invisible.
I wouldn't be an American if I didn't tell you what you and everyone else must do right now to prevent assassinations. And blame you for not having done it already.
One option is to be kinder to people you'd rather avoid. If you're not feeling flattened enough, here's a complaint about geeks not ostracizing enough people. Little did you know that geeks were keeping politicians safe.
Another is to not publicize assassinations.
Perhaps another is to teach social skills. Or encourage hobbies. I don't know if it's been studied, but I also wouldn't be an American if I didn't float an opinion based on no evidence, and I suspect that assassins are people who don't have enough harmless fun in their lives.
The web may make assassination less likely if it's easier to achieve small scale fame for people with bad social skills. Who knows, maybe even trolling makes assassination less likely.
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