Sunday, May 25, 2014

Disagreement

At least in part.

Amongst all the talk and writing about the recent spree killings in Santa Barbara is the idea that we shouldn't give this "loser" publicity.

I do agree with this in part: We shouldn't make a "celebrity" out of such people. (Apparently there are some people "swooning" over the killer on Twitter. I'm not going to bother linking to stories about that, as I'm sure that of my three (potential) readers, all are capable of finding the stories for themselves.)

However, that doesn't mean the case shouldn't be discussed.

First off, I don't think calling this person a "loser" is either accurate (in the way conveyed) or helpful. I haven't gone out of my way to read about this story, but it is abundantly clear that this individual was deeply disturbed and could accurately be described as broken, and had been for a very long time. He himself identifies his problems as going back to when he was fourteen. His problems probably went back even farther.

He complained that he had been rejected by girls since that age, and thought that the problem. More likely that was merely a symptom. What girl in her right mind would want to be with someone so obviously and deeply disturbed as he apparently was?

No, most likely something was very wrong with him, possibly from birth, but at least from a long time back. Since I have the advantages of obscurity I can even speculate that whatever was wrong with him was probably as severe as schizophrenia, even if that wasn't his particular problem.

In light of that, showing what was wrong with him may help others in the future identify other such broken individuals, and may help prevent similar crimes from occurring. Someone recently prevented a possible massacre, though in that case it seems that it was mere observation of suspicious behavior rather than knowledge of the suspect individual. But perhaps greater awareness of such mentally disturbed individuals might prevent future massacres.

In fact, someone in the Santa Barbara killer's family appears to have called the authorities with concerns about the state of the killer at the end of April. Unfortunately the authorities weren't able to do anything at that time to hold the individual. But perhaps greater awareness can eventually lead to more effective preventative methods.

But covering this up won't accomplish anything. Besides, the internet provides everyone with the ability to publicize their own crimes, as the killer's "manifesto" and YouTube videos prove. These things can't really be covered up anyway.

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