It is interesting watching FB explode with comments about the Colorado shooting. It seems people are very much in the, get in line to lynch this guy mode. He is EVIL, BAD, etc etc… All we know is that he walked into a theater and opened fire. The why is not something we know yet. Does his action make him an evil person? I guess I need more information before I cast that judgement. There are others that say he is schizophrenic. I just wrote last week about media portrayal of the illness, and the fact that most people think schizophrenics are violent. If he was in fact psychotic at the time, the public will never think about mental illness the same again. While I wish there was some answer, I find myself hoping that isn’t it. It will fit the stereotype people already have locked in their heads. It will further push the stigma of metal illness into the recesses of the public psyche. That is an awful thought. Many rant that he will “get off” on an insanity defense. I don’t see that the same way. If he is ill, and had decompensated to the point of mass murder there is no “getting off”. It is a life of torment and pain, there is no getting off from there. It’s not like he will ever see the outside of an institution in this lifetime. It is just a question of whether that is a prison, or a psych hospital for violent offenders.
Don’t get me wrong. I think what happened out there is a horror. It is incomprehensible. If this guy was in fact sane, and cognizant of walking into that theater with the express purpose of death and mayhem, then sure I think he should be tried and imprisoned for what he did. I do not agree with the death penalty, so I can’t put that on the table. Though there are many calling for his execution already. It will be a long time before we have the whole story. In this world of wanting everything instantly, the public is left looking for reasons. For now it is just speculation. I do find myself hoping he is just evil, and sane. If for no other reason, than to not drive the stigma of mental illness into stratosphere. That may be selfish, but that is how I feel.