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Hannity

Coping with tragedy in Colorado movie theater shooting

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 20, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And joining me now with reaction to the shooting massacre is psychotherapist, Dr. Robi Ludwig and the author of "Columbine," Dave Cullen is with us. Guys, thank you for being here.

You know, these incidents happen, Doctor, and it's so senseless. You say, why? Where were the signs, the evidence of symptoms. The only thing that I heard today that made me think that there was some evidence is when the mother said, yes, it's him almost immediately.

DR. ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: Right. It's very hard to predict who is going to be violent, especially if somebody doesn't have a history of violence, and this man didn't have a history of violence.

So very often when people see signs there's denial. We don't want to think that the people that we know are capable of this kind of violence, but it sounds like there was some sort of break that went on with this man and in his mind he became part of the movie.

HANNITY: It's almost -- the Joker, right?

LUDWIG: He became the Joker, and the first night of the movie, that's the most important night. And who knows who the audience became in his own mind. Were they Batman sympathizers? I mean, this is a man who was trying to make himself feel powerful.

HANNITY: The level of detailed preparation is chilling. As I was listening to Police Chief Oates out there, you know, described how he had literally, you know, prepared -- basically for a war.

DAVE CULLEN, "COLUMBINE" AUTHOR: Right.

HANNITY: And then, of course, the booby trapped apartment of his. It shows the level of thought and preparation that went into this.

CULLEN: Right. And most shooters do. The public, you know, frequently a lot of journalists use a lot of words like "snap" and that's one of the words we need to take out of our vocabulary.

Because it's almost like a gradual buildup. Whether it's a mental illness with it going down or if it's depression building up or whatever, regardless, it's gradual. We don't have great studies on shooters in general, but school shooters, which are pretty good, close --

HANNITY: Columbine, which is nearby.

CULLEN: Yes, the Secret Service did an exhaustive report of all the shooters for about a 25-year period, 93 percent of them had planned it in advance. It's almost never a spur of the moment thing.

HANNITY: Can we glean anything, Doctor, from the fact that he didn't use social media a lot, his neighbors talked about he was quiet, he lived alone.

And social media, even though the police chief was warning that, you know, what you are reading may not be true, but there's not a lot so far that they were able to find on social media about it.

LUDWIG: It's so hard. I mean, hindsight is 20-20 and there are people who don't use social media who are very healthy. I mean, I think we need to understand better these people who might be more fragile and get a better sense of a person who might be more inclined to be violent. But it's very hard and we don't really know all of the answers.

CULLEN: Yes, I think we have to take a really big breath. The media has been actually responsible today I think in not jumping to conclusions and with Columbine we jumped to all sorts of conclusions, and these were hardened into facts and turned out to be myths, but they are still with us today. Everybody has to take the next few days, as we get pieces of information, not to jump to conclusions too soon.

HANNITY: Joining us now, by the way, is the founder of the Jay Lowder Harvest Ministries, and Jay, welcome to the program. Thank you for being with us.

Talking about, you know, a psychologist or psychiatry and the spiritual side of people. I mean, I can't put any other words except this is an evil act of somebody that has absolutely no understanding of human life or compassion or empathy.

You deal with this in the ministry, as well. There's a spiritual side of people here.

JAY LOWDER, JAY LOWDER HARVEST MINISTRIES: Well, there's no doubt about that. The spiritual component is often not one that is talked about. But the realities of evil and good are prevalent all through society. And you look at a situation like this and you realize how brief life is. And you realize that the best way to combat this type of thing is through faith. It's through a relationship with Christ. It's through trust in him. As an evangelist and a person of faith I have to believe that is a solution for this.

LUDWIG: Listen, it's always important to be spiritual and to have faith, but this is a person who was feeling rejected, who was feeling angry, who was feeling vengeful and was not well.

HANNITY: Obviously not living rooted in reality.

LUDWIG: No. It seemed like he -- you know, he became part of the movie.

HANNITY: It was frustrating to me as some people go out on social media and they start a gun control debate or they want to blame talk radio and so on and so forth, but can't there just be people who are bad people that are disconnected from reality?

LUDWIG: Absolutely. There can be people who are bad, who are nasty and evil and don't care about other people. I don't know if this person fits into that category.

HANNITY: All right, thank you all for being us with.

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