Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Could it Have Been Prevented?

The young man who killed all those people at Virginia Tech was obviously a very troubled individual. News stories have portrayed him as a loner, someone who didn't have close friends. Students who knew him said that when they would speak to him, he'd stare right through them without saying a word. Perhaps we'll learn about his past as time wears on--I wonder what he went through to make him end up the way he was?

When we encounter people who are obviously very troubled, how are we to respond? How do you reach out to a person who no longer wants to be reached out to? Is a person ever too far gone to be helped by another human being?

If you look at all these school shootings, it seems that it was always the "weird" loner who perpetrated the crime. Have we been guilty of contributing to their weirdness? Have we ever not taken the time to become friendly with weird people because it's just so much trouble to try to relate to them? We need to do our part to make all people feel like they are treasured; otherwise we run the risk of helping to drive some people to commit these desperate acts. Jesus hung out with the social outcasts of his day, and we need to not be afraid to do the same. Perhaps we might help to save a life.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Is it possible that there was nothing to be done? Some people are just mentally unstable, and regardless of how much you love them, they are still troubled.

I agree that we should reach out to the outcast and that that may help in the future, but it may not. And by saying "if we had just talked to them" are we not in essence validating their response? People shunned and made fun of someone and what else are they going to do besides blow people's brains out?

I'm not saying its ok to make fun of people and humiliate them, but we must think about what we're saying. Lots of people get picked on in school and don't have friends and they don't go and murder 30 innocent people. Its just another product of a fallen world, and we look to it, and be Jesus to those who were hurt and the family of the killer and we move on. We can't go back and fix it, and we can't blame the collective for the actions of a deranged person. Regardless of our behavior towards a person, at some point, sane or not, he made a conscious decision to murder that not every loner makes.