I struggle being someone who wants to gather the facts and background of crimes while at the same time wanting to focus solely on the victims and their family. I’ve been told you can’t really have it both ways. You know, kind of like on “Grey’s Anatomy”, when they tell the doctors not to get too involved in the lives of their patients because it interferes with them doing their job. I understand that there are some parts of yourself that you might need to tone down every once in a while to be effective at your work, but I hope compassion is not one of those things.
For this reason, I found myself feeling badly when I heard about the mass shootings in Texas and Florida last week. I felt badly because while, of course, I was shocked and sad for the victims the thing that I was most intrigued about was the shooters…because they are both still alive.
This is extremely rare in mass shootings. Most people who perpetrate crimes such as this do so with no out plan and we are left to wonder and ask questions.
The Texas shooting on a military base has so many degrees do it. It involves a war, deployments, workplace violence and unfortunately ethnic /religious discrimination. The FL shooting appears to be more of a disgruntled former employee situation. However, unlike so many cases before we will have the opportunity to talk to the shooters and ask the questions that we want so badly answered. Why here? Why these people? What could have been done to change this?
When I learned of the FL shooting, so soon after TX my first thought was that it was a copycat effect. It’s common after an attack highly publicized in the media to have many that follow afterward. They just don’t all make the news. Did that have something to do with FL shooting?
What I don’t question, as I have posted about before, is that these were random or the acts of people who simply snapped. Violence is a process and I hope these individuals will be able to walk us through that so that we can learn how to prevent such cases in the future. I’ve read the same things about these 2 individuals as I have with other cases in the past. There were warning signs. There were people that knew.
There are so many victims when someone walks into a building and starts shooting. It’s not just those who are killed. It’s the people who have to miss them every day, the ones that survived and the ones that tried to help. It’s the families of the shooters who will wonder what they could have done differently. It’s the people who watched on TV and felt a little less safe.
I shouldn’t feel badly about my interest towards the shooters. I’ve also spent a fair amount of time learning about the victims of these crimes. I think it’s ok to struggle with the need for knowledge and education in violence as well as the need to focus and feel compassion for its victims. Perhaps finding balance between the two will make me better at both.