Saturday, January 8, 2011


A terrible event occurred in Tucson just an hour or two ago when someone shot a lovely young female US representative and several others. At this writing, it is unsure whether the congresswoman is alive or dead, but its hard to imagine how she would survive a close gunshot wound to the head.

The "suspect" was tackled, perhaps shot, and is in custody. On the news he has been described as a "crazed lunatic," which he may well be, though that is not a label we have officially used in close to a century. Now we use the term mentally ill, which many murderers have been found to be. Most likely he is delusional (having a fixed, false belief that logic cannot change) or responding to voices that tell him to do something bad. These folks are out of touch with reality. The mental health system has many people pass through it who are capable of the same horrible thing. Help, intervention and medication can prevent some terrible events, but not all. "Normal" people try to find reasons for such acts, but that is because they do not understand it is the mental illness that causes it. Most likely this is the case for this killer, too.

No comments: