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Worldwide Ace » Reflections on Murder

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Reflections on Murder

3 October, 2006 (01:19) | Social Commentary


Image by Richard Marchand

With the Amish School Shooting atop all the headlines, Stormy felt compelled to talk with me. Honestly, neither of us feel very connected to the event–we don’t know anyone involved, nor do we know anyone near the area involved–but like any tragic and illogical event, we both feel very disturbed.

“It really bugs me that someone could go out and shoot some random person,” Stormy said. “There must’ve been warning signs, yet no one around that person noticed something was wrong or did anything about it.”

“Well, who’s to say it was a rational act?” I asked. “When you notice something is a little off with a friend, how often do you get a straight honest answer without spending some serious time poking and prodding. Usually, even if you notice something’s wrong, you aren’t going to be able to do anything about it.”

“I’m sure he reasoned it out a million times, not that that matters,” Stormy retorted. “It’s extremely rare that someone is plagued with that many issues–the 20 year revenge thing–and can completely keep all those feelings to themselves until shit finally goes down. With the amount of planning that went into it, someone should’ve seen it coming.”

“We can only hope it gets spotted beforehand. Regardless, it does happen, and it’s likely a few little things that set it off over time. The point being, that even if he was disturbed, there are plenty of ways to avoid getting seriously noticed,” I stated. “When being abnormal becomes something for people to fear, we’ll be in bigger trouble than if bad things like this happen occasionally.”

“I doubt there’d be a huge epidemic of people shooting random people because they are tired of life. But still… it’s easier to stomach people killing people they know,” said Stormy.

“For whom? To us as bystanders, perhaps. If you were the killer,” I continued, “would you rather have good reason to think you killed out of insanity, or out of personal desire? At least with a random victim, there’s no personal attachment. If I kill someone I know, I’ll have a justification and logic to the act. I’ll rationalize it and commit murder in complete sanity, knowing full well I’ve come to this decision. That’s not something I’ll ever be able to forget or forgive myself for, nor do I think I’d want to. I would be without remorse. By killing a random person I have no connection to, it would allow insanity to be a possibility.”

“I mean when there are reports of murders… When people kill people they know, it’s over disputes, relationships, insurance claims, and so on. I’m not saying it is any less heinous, but someone going out and killing a random person is beyond disgusting. There’s no rationality to it. I mean, it’s different for everyone because some people would rather kill strangers like you said, but some would rather kill people they know when they’ve been wronged. At least with people they know, there’s rhyme and reason to the act.” Stormy paused, almost shocked at the twist the conversation had taken. “Anyway, I did mean as bystanders. When we know there’s a reason for a crime, we can understand it and write it off. When it’s seemingly for no reason or when it’s against a perfect stranger, it fills us with fear.”

“It’s certainly sad, regardless.”

With that, the conversation ended. We sat there, contemplating the roles of killer, victim and bystander, the connection between the three precariously intertwined. In the end, there’s no winner, no matter how scenario had played out.

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  • While the victims may have been unknown to the killers in Pennsylvania and Bailey, I don’t think “random” is quite the right word – both of them targeted girls they didn’t know.

    I’m going way out on a limb here, but I think their actions are just the extreme end of behaviors I see from men all they time. If a woman refuses a man’s unwanted advance, many men think it’s OK to continue pawing at her, and if she firmly rejects him, he calls her a bitch, and tries the same crude moves on someone else. After repeated rejection, his behavior becomes more boorish, ensuring further rejection. He starts complaining that all women are bitches, because they aren’t interested in soothing his injured male ego. He has this problem because he’s been taught that, as a man, pushing people around is the way to get one’s way, and that because of his privileged place, women are supposed to submit to him. No, he may not think this consciously, but his actions speak for themselves. Some of these guys sober up and get a clue. Some become rapists. Others keep it inside until they break. When they break, they blame women, especially young women who they see as rejecting them.

    I’m in no way saying that this is how all men behave, but that if one pays attention, you can see those who do. I suspect that some of the more scary ones you don’t see, because they internalize rejection, and aren’t as overt in their attempts, and expecting rejection, see slights where none are intended.

    The culture as a whole works hard to portray a woman’s role as being subservient to, and providing pleasure for men. Different men buy into these assumptions to different degrees, but it’s hard to avoid them altogether. A scary number of men buy into it enough that they don’t see women as people, but as something less.

    Remind me not to try to be coherent after 2 am.

  • While the victims may have been unknown to the killers in Pennsylvania and Bailey, I don’t think “random” is quite the right word – both of them targeted girls they didn’t know.

    I’m going way out on a limb here, but I think their actions are just the extreme end of behaviors I see from men all they time. If a woman refuses a man’s unwanted advance, many men think it’s OK to continue pawing at her, and if she firmly rejects him, he calls her a bitch, and tries the same crude moves on someone else. After repeated rejection, his behavior becomes more boorish, ensuring further rejection. He starts complaining that all women are bitches, because they aren’t interested in soothing his injured male ego. He has this problem because he’s been taught that, as a man, pushing people around is the way to get one’s way, and that because of his privileged place, women are supposed to submit to him. No, he may not think this consciously, but his actions speak for themselves. Some of these guys sober up and get a clue. Some become rapists. Others keep it inside until they break. When they break, they blame women, especially young women who they see as rejecting them.

    I’m in no way saying that this is how all men behave, but that if one pays attention, you can see those who do. I suspect that some of the more scary ones you don’t see, because they internalize rejection, and aren’t as overt in their attempts, and expecting rejection, see slights where none are intended.

    The culture as a whole works hard to portray a woman’s role as being subservient to, and providing pleasure for men. Different men buy into these assumptions to different degrees, but it’s hard to avoid them altogether. A scary number of men buy into it enough that they don’t see women as people, but as something less.

    Remind me not to try to be coherent after 2 am.

  • anonymous

    That picture owns.

  • anonymous

    That picture owns.

  • Very sad matter:

    I know this is a hard call and you really have to be there but I wonder if people of this day and age are less likely to take and chance of giving up there life in order to save other. I don’t know If I could leave an armed man with young children like that without a fight. you don’t always just keel over went you get shot and can often do a lot. At least I hope I woul;d do that sort of thing. I could on the other hand be a chicken shit like everyone else so….anyway

    Seems like we have had a lot od school shooting in the past month…

    I remember someone told me that school shooting were down the year of Columbine. I there point was that it only made the news when white kid shoot up white people…or when white people get killed…anyway I don’t have the stats so…

    Well those are a few of my thoughts

    Peace

  • Very sad matter:

    I know this is a hard call and you really have to be there but I wonder if people of this day and age are less likely to take and chance of giving up there life in order to save other. I don’t know If I could leave an armed man with young children like that without a fight. you don’t always just keel over went you get shot and can often do a lot. At least I hope I woul;d do that sort of thing. I could on the other hand be a chicken shit like everyone else so….anyway

    Seems like we have had a lot od school shooting in the past month…

    I remember someone told me that school shooting were down the year of Columbine. I there point was that it only made the news when white kid shoot up white people…or when white people get killed…anyway I don’t have the stats so…

    Well those are a few of my thoughts

    Peace

  • Oh wow I missed the art until just now…wild stuff

  • Oh wow I missed the art until just now…wild stuff

  • I’d like to say that if I were in a situation like that, I would try and do something, but the fact is that I’d be very afraid. I wouldn’t be scared of dying or getting hurt, but the police and hostage negotiators are trained at this. If I rush the guy or attempt to do something, whose to say that I don’t cause more damage than what would’ve aoccured without my interferance. That’s what I’m afraid of. Perhaps by jumping him, I not only kill myself, but four others in what might’ve ended with no bloodshed. Whatever the case, it’s not an easy decision to make.

  • I’d like to say that if I were in a situation like that, I would try and do something, but the fact is that I’d be very afraid. I wouldn’t be scared of dying or getting hurt, but the police and hostage negotiators are trained at this. If I rush the guy or attempt to do something, whose to say that I don’t cause more damage than what would’ve aoccured without my interferance. That’s what I’m afraid of. Perhaps by jumping him, I not only kill myself, but four others in what might’ve ended with no bloodshed. Whatever the case, it’s not an easy decision to make.

  • Your coherency actually wasn’t that bad. You’re even dead on about the frustration some men feel. Still, I don’t think the warning signs are as clear cut as you make them seem. Thre are plenty of people who are frustrated, visibly and invisibly, with how the world works who aren’t going to go shooting up a school.

    This is one of the reasons video games have been so maligned; people just don’t want to believe that most of these tragic events happen without some sort of impetus behind them. Instead, they try and blame what they feel they have the least control over: the media.

    … of course, that sort of deviated from my original point, which is that there’s far less of a coherent reason for most of these random acts of violence than there was for the Amish school shooting or even Baily. Sometimes, there is no explanation and we just have to be content understanding that these things happen and there’s nothing we can do about it.

  • School shootings, at least by students, are nothing new. I wish I had the source, but my ex dug up research (shortly after Columbine) that showed, for the population, the number of kids being shot in school was about the same now as it was a hundred years ago.

  • Your coherency actually wasn’t that bad. You’re even dead on about the frustration some men feel. Still, I don’t think the warning signs are as clear cut as you make them seem. Thre are plenty of people who are frustrated, visibly and invisibly, with how the world works who aren’t going to go shooting up a school.

    This is one of the reasons video games have been so maligned; people just don’t want to believe that most of these tragic events happen without some sort of impetus behind them. Instead, they try and blame what they feel they have the least control over: the media.

    … of course, that sort of deviated from my original point, which is that there’s far less of a coherent reason for most of these random acts of violence than there was for the Amish school shooting or even Baily. Sometimes, there is no explanation and we just have to be content understanding that these things happen and there’s nothing we can do about it.

  • School shootings, at least by students, are nothing new. I wish I had the source, but my ex dug up research (shortly after Columbine) that showed, for the population, the number of kids being shot in school was about the same now as it was a hundred years ago.

  • I think so too. I wish I could create art like that.

  • I think so too. I wish I could create art like that.

  • I was trying to say that the ones who keep it inside are hard to predict.

    What bothers me is that the really violent ones are written off as being crazy, and are seen as having no connection to socialized gender roles, when their behavior is just at an extreme end of a continuum.

  • I was trying to say that the ones who keep it inside are hard to predict.

    What bothers me is that the really violent ones are written off as being crazy, and are seen as having no connection to socialized gender roles, when their behavior is just at an extreme end of a continuum.

  • yes yes…wait for the cops to send in the body bags. That is the modern way…don’t move with out orders from big brother.

  • yes yes…wait for the cops to send in the body bags. That is the modern way…don’t move with out orders from big brother.

  • I would like to see those stats. I think that may be right but facts help. I have read old papers and it seems to me that they were just as filled with death then as they are now…and I bet kids were being messed with at about the same rate then as now. we are just not so prude and we can talk about sex in the open now so the storys are being told more.

    SAME AS IT EVER WAS!!

    Did you know that 1,000,000 mil people died in the first 2 main battles of WWI?
    one was against the Germans one was against the turks.

    make todays shit look like a day at the beach

  • I would like to see those stats. I think that may be right but facts help. I have read old papers and it seems to me that they were just as filled with death then as they are now…and I bet kids were being messed with at about the same rate then as now. we are just not so prude and we can talk about sex in the open now so the storys are being told more.

    SAME AS IT EVER WAS!!

    Did you know that 1,000,000 mil people died in the first 2 main battles of WWI?
    one was against the Germans one was against the turks.

    make todays shit look like a day at the beach

  • Hey I want to send you a graduation invite. Send me your address:

    spicher @AT! colorado edu

  • Hey I want to send you a graduation invite. Send me your address:

    spicher @AT! colorado edu