Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Reason Do You Need To Be Shown

Those searching for an explanation for the shootings at Virgina Tech are out of luck. The young man who killed his classmates was mentally ill and there are mental illnesses we cannot cure, control or understand. Human understanding, in its present state, cannot supply an answer to why such assaults occur.

Which might explain why so many wingnuts are desparately seeking (non-existent) connections between the shootings and Islam or race or co-ed dorms or depraved secular culture and the decline of "The West." (You've already seen those links.) Anything but mental illness. Because mental illness can't be blamed on godlessness (and, more specifically, Biblical-godlessness). In fact, in the logic of the wingnut view, mental illness, because it exists, must be part of God's plan. And because it is an involuntary infliction, it can't be explained away as a deliberate rejection of godly principles.

Of course, it's more fun to bitch about foreigners or violence in the media than to rationally address the need for more and better mental health research and treatment. Or to wallow "inside the mind of a killer" for fun and profit (oh, if only there was a way to lure potential serial killers to the DatelineNBC house for some sexy talk with Chris Hansen!) But don't imagine you'll accomplish anything with such exercises, and don't pretend you're even trying.

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