While reading up on the 22 page suicide note left behind by the guy who shot three of his professors at the nursing school he was attending I was struck with how rational the letter sounded. This was an act committed by someone who understood perfectly well what he was doing and why and that it was wrong for him to do it.
I know some folks who will have a very hard time coming to grips with this. The reason? They’re like a lot of folks who, when confronted with an act they consider so horrible they can’t imagine how someone could do such a thing, try to rationalize it away with reasoning such as the person in question was a mental case, or was high on drugs, or was “evil”. Much the same way they will rationalize Hitler as being crazy and evil. It somehow makes what these people did a little less scary. It also allows the rationalizer to feel comfortable that they could never do such a thing because they’re not mental or evil.
Usually the people who go on these rampages don’t bother to leave behind much of a note to explain their actions. As a result folks are free to speculate about how insane said people where. The two kids who went on a rampage through Columbine High School are another good example. What little evidence they did leave behind shows they knew exactly what they were doing and felt they had good reason to do it and didn’t care that it was wrong, but when most people discuss those two boys they invariable describe them as either insane or evil. I suppose that line of thinking does make it a little easier to accept what happened and move on, but I think it tends to lead people into a false sense of security that doesn’t serve them well in the long run.
Hmmm. Not sure if the point I was trying to make came across properly. Oh well. It’s late and I’m tired.