Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In the head of a shooter

What goes on in the head of a shooter?  Just recently we watched a program on the Columbine massacre and now, within days, a shooter kills five people in a local mall.  A mall I did some of my Christmas shopping in. A mall I take visitors to shop at. A mall where many innocent people were spending a nice evening and suddenly and forever lost their sense of safety and security.  Don't I live in one of the safest places in America?  
As often seems the case, the shooter was a young man, only 18 years old. What pain caused him to do this?  What possible satisfaction could he receive in taking innocent lives?  There is no indication of any connection with the mall that I have heard of. Why did he want to hurt people he didn't know and had no connection to? 
In some weird sense I can understand terrorism related to religion. A little part of me can step inside the head of the postal worker who's been fired, or the man who shoots his x-wife, judge and lawyer in court.  But I just cannot stretch the limits of my brain towards any kind of understanding of a shooter that kills for the sake of the thrill.
I am in pain for the five dead and their friends and family. The injured and the survivors.  The people at the mall last night are all victims, they all lost something. Perhaps all of us in this city have. 
My heart goes out to the family of the shooter. I know they are not responsible, but how do you deal with this being at the hands of your son? 
What could he possibly have been thinking???
(from my former MySpace blog)

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