A Worrying Time to be Alive

Last week James E Holmes terrorised a cinema in America showing the latest batman movie, shooting dead twelve people, including a six-year-old girl whose mother is still fighting for her life in hospital, unaware of her daughter’s death. He arrived through an emergency exit dressed as the Joker, causing many to assume he was a practical joker, that is until the shooting started. A few were shot at as they raced towards the exit, one man leapt from a 20ft balcony with his baby daughter as his partner was shot in the leg as she moved in front of their other child to protect her.

Most worryingly of all perhaps is that there seems to be no motive behind this attack. James Holmes had just dropped out of his PhD, and although fellow students didn’t know him as he kept to himself, neighbours described him as a “normal kid”.

Over recent years there have been other incidents which cause you to question people’s sanity. A shooting in Norway last year left 77 dead. A father killed his three children before committing suicide.

What drives these people to invoke such terror?

Is it the array of violent films and video games available? Because that’s what they thought prompted the kidnapping and murder of James Bulger in 1993 by two older children (as well as a troubled home life).

Or is it mental instability? The father-in-law of the father who stabbed his three children to death before killing himself insists there was no malice, that there was “only victims”.

I think it’s scarier if these people who commit these acts are sane, as then they are completely aware of the destruction and the heartbreak they’re causing.

Incidents like the cinema shooting really make you consider today’s society and how we are capable of creating monsters who feel no remorse after killing dozens of innocent people.

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17 thoughts on “A Worrying Time to be Alive

  1. I can’t help but wonder if part of it is a one-upmanship in the pursuit of fame, i.e. trying to be the “worst” or kill the most, or gain some other sort of notoriety. It is a sad society we live in. But I think this goes right along with the nonsense that is “reality tv.”

    • It could be, it’s just hard to imagine going that far for your 15 minutes in the limelight.
      Reality tv is certainly not like reality, I don’t really watch soaps unless my house mates put it on, but why does someone always die at christmas? Everyone waits around for the christmas episodes just so they can be depressed, I’d much rather watch the christmas dr who 😀

  2. Hate to say it, and it’s no excuse for what happened, but the relaxed attitude to guns in America doesn’t help. If these people can’t get hold of the weapons, massacres like this won’t happen.

  3. I have not been watching the news, I had no idea that this occured. I think that it has to be a mental problem that was never properly diagnosed. America does not have by any means the best or cheap mental health care. Many people can not afford health insurance or their prescriptions. Perhaps therein therein lies the problem. The government does not have a system in place in America for the mentally ill. In fact, many mental ill persons are in the prison system.

      • Yes, the mental health services here in America are basically for the weathy. I have very good health insurance, but if I ever needed a therapist it would cost me $150.00 per visit. My health insurance is some of the best in the country. Sad isn’t it?

        • Having lived with NHS all my life I can’t understand why so many Americans were against Obama’s healthcare bill. I’ve got no idea how much my on going illness would cost to treat in America but I’ve never been more grateful for the NHS (on behalf of my parents more than anything).

        • Reason being is because it will substantially raise all taxes across the board. Payroll taxes, sales taxes, sin taxes (alcohol and cigs), property taxes, and taxes for businesses.

          The taxes will be so high, that middle class Americans will not be able to afford their homes. The rich would be fine and the poor. The middle class would suffer the most. Basically, the rich and the middle class will be paying for every single immigrant and every single person that refuses to work – the rich and middle class – will have to pay for their healthcare.
          Not only that, but then the government has a right to tell you what to eat etc. If you eat badly, smoke or drink alcohol, then that persons healthcare would be extremely high.
          It is not free at all. It is basically a healthcare plan for immagrants to the U.S. that cannot get healthcare because they are not US citizens. I do not believe Obamacare requires the person to be a US Citizen, but I will have to check on that fact.

  4. Your posts give food for thought, with interesting questions. As with plane crashes, I don’t think there is any 1 cause: the absurd overdosing cocktail of pills from the corrupting pharmaceutical industry, availability of weapons, violence – though why people mention video games I don’t know, when the violence is in Iraq and Afghanistan, on TV everyday, and yes, perhaps that 15 minutes of fame after all. The military uniform does make an appearance often, though the murderers are often not military – not in USA anyway, but in Iraq…well, we know some of what happened. But the fame lasts. The TV drama will be out in a few years…

    • I suppose the violence on films and games affects children and younger people more as it shows violence in an entertaining way. Children are also far more likely to see films/games than the news – which is sad but true.
      I think you’re right in saying there are more than one causes for these incidents.

  5. a) “I think it’s scarier if these people who commit these acts are sane…” None of these people is sane. Murder, war, the taking of life is ‘not sane’. I think it important to keep this foremost because otherwise we fall into the trap of somehow justifying or excusing killing. In a very few cases (self-defense) it may be needed – but it is still not sane.
    b) “…but the relaxed attitude to guns in America doesn’t help.” Guns have very little to do with it. People can kill with many different ‘weapons’. It is our attitude… As long as we discuss it – without a real effort to stop/change it – it will go on. As long as corporations are allowed to poison people with invisible gases and chemicals, as long as wars can be fought for ‘resources’ or ‘for democracy’ or (let’s be honest) ‘for profit’ (read: military-industrial complex), as long as we forget that we are all brothers and sisters (“children, stop fighting”), the killing will go on – because the example all around us is that killing is OK, even normal (“don’t take it personal, it’s just business”), or ‘necessary’.
    c) for a different viewpoint but still relevant, check out: http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/. He has/makes a point.

    oh, almost forgot — Good post, thank you.
    M

    • Thanks for your response, I think the attitude to guns in particular in America is a problem as shooting with a gun seems less personal and perhaps ‘easier’ than stabbing someone or something.
      The attitudes and reasons for war certainly encourage killing for less than savoury reasons, the Government should lead as they wish their citizens to act. I’ll definitely check out jonrappoport’s site 😀 Cheers

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