I came across this post on WordPress’ Tag Surfer and it really set me off on a rant. The blog’s owner apparently dislikes dissenting opinions and deleted my comment, so I’ll quote him verbatim below and add my commentary.
December 14, 2007 by nightbird16
Just a week ago, Richard Dawkins, a distraught and mentally ill teenager in Colorado, shot eight shoppers. Sunday morning, another young mentally disturbed young man, Matthew Murrey’, shot five members of a missionary training center and church, also in Colorado. Although a few years older than Richard, Matthew exhibited the same symptoms of an isolated, depressed and failure-plagued young person: relationship problems with parental figures, isolated from possible friends his own age, feeling a failure and abused, and at last hearing voices in his mind, he struck out at a christian community he felt had rejected and let him down.
His parents chose to take him out of the public school to home school him in a strict Christian fashion, which he resented because it deprived him of opportunities to make friends. He felt unable to “live up to the strict behaviorial standards set for him by his parents and fundamentalist theology and that plunged him into a deep and suicidal depression. His parents put him on medication to control the depression, but that apparently didn’t help. He sought aid from church and missionaries, and they too failed to heal his panic and suffering.
Finally, he armed himself with an assault rifle, handguns and 1000 rounds of ammunition and went to take revenge on a Christian community which he could not join and could not escape.
Guns and mental illness is a fatal combination, but parents and church must share responsibility for what happened. Without support and effective counseling, many teens fall by the wayside in America. And the story looks dreadfully similar: isolation, failure, unrelenting pressure and control leads to tragedy again and again. When something goes wrong, parents blame “the wrong crowd.” The church blames evil values. Politicians blame evil children.
I blame a sick society that devours its own children.
Yes, Nightbird16, America suffers from a sick society. That sickness is manifest in the people that put on their oh-so-comfortable blinders and claim any sort of evil or selfishness as an illness. Evil exists! Selfishness, Evil’s bastard spawn exists! They don’t magically go away because people mislabel them as some sort of illness, or blame them on society.
Dawkins and Murrey were a pair of selfish, self-centered losers who wanted to die in a blaze of fame and supposed “glory” – nothing more. They weren’t mentally ill; they were evil, selfish and useless. Do their parents share the blame for that? Yes, they raised a pair of misborn freaks who turned to evil. Does society share them for that? Only insofar as it doesn’t have an effective means of culling such human trash before they can harm others.
It’s is decades past time for America to start forcing people to be responsible for their own choices and their own actions. It is decades past time to stop excusing the criminal and evil behavior of individuals because we’re too cowardly to look evil in the face and pull the trigger.
I blame it on a sick society who’s too afraid to face evil.