CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- In the two weeks since a gunman killed 17 students and staff members inside a Florida high school and injured many more, law enforcement agencies across the nation and here in the Carolinas have been inundated with school threats.
NBC Charlotte counted at least 20 threats across the Charlotte viewing area since Valentine’s Day. In the past 24 hours, CMPD responded to at least four threats of violence at local schools.
“To be able to control that many people at one time is a very powerful thing,” said Psychologist Dr. John Simpson.
Dr. Simpson said these threats usually are made from teens feeling marginalized by their peers, feeling invisible and unimportant.
“Teenagers sometimes have difficulty remembering just because you think about it you don’t have to do it," he said. "You know better.”
He said every threat should be taken seriously and followed up with continuous mental health counseling until medical professionals are confident that person is no longer a threat to themselves or anyone else.
“I think it makes a difference to ask a question, 'So what is behind all your anger?'” he added.
NBC News is reporting President Trump is set to meet with video gaming executives next week as pressure mounts for the lawmakers to make schools safer.
“I think they have the ability to desensitize people to a certain amount of violence. I don’t think it makes them violent,” Dr. Simpson explained.
But he does believe constant gaming for the average person has a similar effect of simulation training for police and military personnel.
“It prepares them to say I can coolly look down at the sight of a gun and imagine using it because I’ve been doing it in simulation over and over and over again,” Dr. Simpson said.
Some of the students accused of making threats have been arrested. CMPD announced it is investigating each of these threats and students will be held accountable.