Monday, January 10, 2011


I'm utterly saddened by the shooting in Arizona. And equally impressed by the folks who tackled the shooter, disarmed him, and held him until the police/sheriffs got there. It's somewhat sort of amazing to me that they didn't try to kill him in anger.

When I was a kid, my neighbors had a son who was a fair bit older who was seriously mentally ill. I never met him, but my neighbors were fearful that they would someday be told that their son had killed someone. This was shortly after the state decided it would no longer house/treat mentally ill people who hadn't actually been found guilty of a crime, and put them on the street. My neighbor's son was one of those; as an adult, he could do what he wanted, and his parents couldn't do anything really. But they lived with this fear.

I'm thinking that the shooter's family is living that nightmare now, as are the families of the victims in a different way.

(Let me acknowledge that people who are mentally ill are FAR more likely to be victims of crime, especially violent crime, than to commit such crimes themselves.)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:37 PM

    I have two mentally ill relatives (a step-brother and a cousin) and I have thought in the past that either of them could be the subject of this kind of story. My cousin had to be hospitalized after he told his parents that Jesus told him to kill both of them (he told because he didn't want to do it). And when my step brother last left his group home, the police issued a public announcement about it because they considered him dangerous. I agree that mentally ill people are much more likely to be the victim of a crime but wow, can I ever put myself in the shoes of the shooter's family.