Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Deep Sadness Amidst Unthinkable Crimes

Judie Brown reflects. To quote:
When I first heard the painful story of Santa Barbara City College student Elliot Rodger, it was extremely hard to believe. Media reports detailed the rampage that resulted in six murders perpetrated by this troubled young man prior to his taking his own life.

News reports focused particularly on the comment of one of the victim’s fathers who expressed his anger at what he called “craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA” (National Rifle Association), suggesting that perhaps gun control of some sort might have prevented this tragic event.

But one has to wonder if this story of one man’s loneliness and deep-seated disregard for himself and for those he believed had rejected him is more about how we live today and less about whether or not guns should be banned.

We know, for example, that Elliot had been having serious psychological problems for quite some time and that his divorced parents had asked the police to intervene. Yet, nobody knows what it was that provoked this violent response to his emotional pain.

Having said that, I believe that, as a human family, we should be reflecting inwardly on this heartbreaking event. In that regard, there is one cultural attitude that I feel represents a growing problem, not just for troubled young people, but for all of us. That is the prevailing sense of not wanting to get involved in the life of another human being, no matter what. It is as though each person is on an island and nobody else needs to be around. With cell phones, texting, Facebook, and the like, social interaction is nearly passé.
Then there’s the cultural reset on what it means to respect another human being.

America has lived for 40 years with this legally protected crime. Elliot and his peers are among the millions who comprise the second generation of Americans who, for the most part, never give abortion a single thought, unless of course an inconvenient pregnancy occurs.(Read more.)


julygirl said...

"Human family" is a good term and what the world should be aiming for. There is more communication than ever, but none of it has brought us closer fact current methods of communication seem to have actually erected a barrier to the internal family conversation between members. Communicating with others through cyber-space does not really create a flesh and blood connection that is so lacking in our contemporary culture.

boinky said...

Nice and fuzzy, but as a physician, could I suggest that the student was born with brain damage (a form of autism) and on top of his tendency of social isolation that is one of the symptoms of autism, he obviously became psychotic as he got older.(you can be autistic and schizophrenic, or autistic in a manic phase of bipolar illness.)

All the fuzziness in the world don't help autism, although the anti psychotics can lessen the paranoid ideation that was his secondary illness...

And no, the medicines didn't make him do it. But 40 years ago, he would have been hospitalized long term, and not trying to cope with life, and in medieval times, he would have found refuge in a monastery.

The best treatment for autism is a rigid, non threatening environment, where everything goes according to schedule, so as to limit anxiety. College in other words was a bad idea...

Indeed, one wonders if his parent's divorce was caused by his behavior as a child, not his illness caused by his parents. The divorce rate is very high when one has to cope with such a child.

elena maria vidal said...

Good points!