I feel like something that isn’t often addressed, if at all, is the mental health of school shooters.
I’m actually pretty disappointed by the hypocrisy I see in people who adamantly advocate mental health awareness, and yet turn around and call school shooters “disgusting bastards” and say that they deserve to go to hell.
Anyone who’s ever suffered anything like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia knows what it’s like to be in that deep, dark, tangled mindset of racing thoughts and brimming fear and the desperate need to destroy and be destroyed. So why is it so hard for people to imagine that there are those out there who feel these things ten-fold? An overload of these thoughts and feelings is enough to send certain individuals over the edge, and we see exactly that in public shootings.
Something that I wish had more publicity is an attempted school shooting that happened last year in Georgia, I think. The man showed up at a school with a gun, and one of the women in the front office managed to talk him down. They have the entire thing on recording, and I’ll be honest, it made me cry. If that man had succeeded, if there had been no one there to talk him down, he would have been regarded as a sick fuck and a murderer. But as the woman speaks to him, he admits that he just wants to die. He admits that he’s been skipping out on his medication and that he’s scared and lost and confused and that he wants the police to gun him down and for everything to end. The woman says that she’s proud of him and that she loves him (he’s a complete stranger, mind you), and she convinces him to put the gun down and let the police in to take him to a hospital.
This is the reality of those whom society deems “monsters”. They’re scared and upset and they don’t want to fight anymore. I know a lot of you on Tumblr can relate to that. But these people have it so bad and so messed up in their own heads that it drives them to do horrible and unspeakable things. However, that does NOT make them bad people. It only means that they lost the fight.
If you’ve heard of the schizophrenic little girl named Jani, then you’d know that her parents had to keep her in an apartment entirely separate from her younger brother because she would constantly attempt to kill him. Are you going to insult her and call her a murderer and a sick fuck? No. Because she has a severe mental disorder. So why would you act any differently toward adults who have the same problems but no one there to keep them from hurting other people?
Should we hate them? Should we condemn them and spit on their graves? Absolutely not. Should we regard them with respect and understanding, at the very least? Yes. Yes, we should. Because, at the end of the day, they’re nothing but lost kids with mental illnesses. And it just so happens that, in their instability, to hurt other people as well as themselves is what makes the most sense to them.
You can’t only support sufferers of mental illness “to an extent”. If you’re in the fight for mental health awareness, that means that you have to accept that sometimes people with mental disorders lose their personal battles and psychologically shatter, to the point that they do really bad things. They’re not scum. They don’t deserve to burn in hell. They’re misunderstood, and they need to be helped, not condemned.