Yesterday, I found myself watching TV. As it would happen, news was on and I sat down to watch it so as to keep in tune to what is going on in the world around me. Well, for the next 10 minutes or so I was regaled with stories of tragedy. People being killed, not only by ‘crooks’, but teenagers as well.
The continued escalation of violence in the schools; a student who was recognised by his peers as a smart, intelligent, nice, and people person all around. Not at all as a loner, or one who is trying to get back at those who have humiliated him or who was made to feel as an unworthy individual who did not deserve to be loved. This young teenager was just the opposite. So, what label do we put on him that would explain the horrific act he performed; shooting his schoolmates and killing at least two of them for which he then took his own life?
Or the story about the young 9-year-old girl who was shot down by gangbangers doing a drive-by? This little girl was just outside of her front door playing with her 2 younger sisters and their neighborhood friends. During the course of the incident, she immediately pulled her sisters to her to shove them down on the ground in order that they be safe from the bullets; by which she is the one who ended up struck by one of those bullets herself. She acted on love and a natural instinct to protect her little sisters because that is what big sisters do.
Then there is the story of the young woman who was found dead due to someone murdering her; and she was pregnant. As it is soon learned that her boyfriend, allegedly, was the one who killed her. Why, why would a man kill a woman who is pregnant, not to mention that he is the father of that baby?
A man enters a lobby of an apartment building that he does not live in; all in effort to rob and beat an old man for purchases he made at a grocery store and his money. The old man gives the thief what he asked for and still got beaten for it. Do we then breathe a sigh of relief because at least he wasn’t killed in the process? What about the trauma he now have to live with for the rest of his life from the random act of violence performed by a stranger he have never seen or met?
So many stories, of which are at least 50% are violent crimes, are carried out against those who were powerless to protect themselves. And, what state of mind were these individuals in that they felt the need to harm and kill people? Yes, we can argue that they weren’t in their right frame of mind, but can we say that with the belief and conviction of what is true? I don’t think so. And after all of the media’s attention to these stories have waned and directed towards more tragedies that have yet to happen, what becomes of the investigations that will take place? For those perpetrators that weren’t killed in the process of the crime, do they receive the justice that they deserve to be handed?
And what of the victims of these crimes? Do their families get justice, as in the arrest of the individuals who attacked their loved ones? How do they begin to move on with their lives in the emotional upheaval that is now a part of their existence? The many questions that they have in as to the main one being: why? Why and why their loved ones? Yes, they’ve seen the many stories before about other people, but never would they guess in a million years that they would be going through the same thing some day. And, how do they hang on to their faith (if they are spiritually inclined)? What of their stories about the devastated loss that they have experienced? The support that they will require from families and friends. These victims were someone’s daughter, wife, mother, sister, son, father, husband, and brother.
And, here, in lay the question or thought that I have; choices. The choice to go out and harm someone for selfish reasons forever impacts the lives of the victims. And do they deserve our pity for the punishment that they receive for the crime they committed? Personally, I’ll have to say no for the most part. But, what of the teenager who killed his peers and then himself? He had yet to achieve all of his growing mental abilities of those of an adult. His brain still had growing steps to go through. And, if he really was a happy-go-lucky type of person that everyone liked and found it easy to be around; what drove him to do what he did? For some reason he was dwelling in a dark place that no one knew about. Questions without answers that no one will ever learn about. He didn’t fit the stereotypical picture that we’ve all gotten used to hearing about. Was there even the slightest hint of uncertainty that loved ones may have glimpsed, but chose to either ignore or wasn’t sure and maybe believed it was something that wasn’t serious? Why should they, if there wasn’t anything hard or consistent to pinpoint about the teenager’s behavior that would’ve raised red flags?
Please note, however, that I don’t claim to have any answers nor am I trying to lump all violent acts/perpetrators in one bag. These are just thoughts that I wanted to share. Because sometimes you may not realize how much destruction is unfolding before our very eyes until you watch the news; and the number of sad stories outweigh the positive ones. As I said, it’s just a thought…
So, as a collective society, all we can do is put those victims and their families in our prayers so that they may gain strength from God. And, may the victims rest in peace…