Saturday, April 21, 2007

Responding to the Tradegy and to the IMonk

Before you read my response to this, go and read the article for yourself and come back here. I would have left a comment on his blog, but I'm not signed up to leave comments there. I have some serious issues with what was written there. (Hopefully its not because I'm a mini Fred Phelps.)

As I read the article the IMonk wrote, I see a few focuses of blame coming out: unresponsive parents, an ignorant culture, foolish gun laws, and a lack of psychiatric evaluation due to a failure of the legal system. I think that this puts the blame in the wrong place: the guy with the gun who killed 33 people will bear the penalty for his crime in Great Judgment.

I couldn't help but get the feeling that the IMonk felt that this murderer was as much victim as killer. I seriously doubt that this will get him off the hook before the Lord in the Great Day when He judges the secrets of men. I'd like to hear your input on this, if you are willing.

Here's the real question: Are such rampages caused by willful sin or mental problems? Is the answer for such horror to get people more informed about mental illness? I would submit that people know more about mental illness now than ever in history, and yet this hasn't seemed to curb people's appetite for carnage one bit.

The simple question here is whether or not this guy is accountable for what he did, or does his mental condition absolve him of responsibility. I'll withhold further commentary on this until I hear back from some of you.


Anonymous said...

couldn't find imonks article

Daniel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

Rather than give my opinion outright, I will just say that it includes phrases such as "mental schmental", "sin is sin" and includes a reference or two to a rats bottom. ;-)

Lisa writes... said...

I couldn't find the article either. I've been thinking about something I read (Dr. Mohler maybe?) concerning all our efforts to lay blame anywhere other than at the feet of the perpetrator. The fact is, a lack of text messages or psychiatrists did not kill these kids. Gunshots did. Put me in the willful sin camp.

Sojourner said...

I believe that the IMonk removed the article. Perhaps he rethought his position. Or maybe he is editing the post. Until it reappears, I'll just move on.

One Salient Oversight said...

Here are my thoughts people.

I live in Australia. We have very stringent gun laws here. It is very difficult to own and buy a firearm in this country. Like most Western nations around the world, our constitution says nothing about bearing arms.

And, like many Western nations, our level of gun violence is quite low compared to America. It's not that Australia (or other nations) has less sinful madmen - we don't (at least per capita) - but we have ensured that sinful madmen find it very difficult to procure weapons.

Let me put this another way.

Let's say this tragedy was not a massacre, but the result of a terrible accident. Let's say a drunken, drug-addicted truck driver crashed his vehicle into an interstate bus and killed 32 people.

Was the truck driver at fault? Most certainly. It was his sin and madness which led to his own death and the deaths of 32 others.

But at the same time you have to worry about whether or not the truck driver should have been let on the road. Should the state prevent such people from driving these vehicles? Should people with a history of drunken driving be banned from operating large vehicles like trucks? Of course.

In the same way should firearms be restricted.

As I have said, here in Australia we have our share of sinful madmen. One guy went ballistic in Port Arthur (Tasmania) in 1996 and shot dead 30+ people. The overwhelming response to this by the people of Australia was to enact new and very restrictive gun ownership laws. Death by firearm rates have dropped quite considerably since then.

Look ladies and gents, I believe in sin. But I think it's the height of stupidity to throw up your hands and say "well we can't stop people from being sinful" and use that as an excuse not to enact laws that will restrict the damage caused by a person's sin.

If America had tougher gun laws, Cho may never have procured his firearms. This may not have stopped an outpouring of violence, but it would have saved a lot of lives.

Anonymous said...

I have a diagnosed mental illness. Let me be the first to say that such an act as Cho carried out has nothing to do with mental illness and everything to do with sinful choices. People like us struggle enough without the kinds of stigma people like Cho leave us with.

My personal belief is he chose to brood upon perceived injustices, and gave ground to Satan through things like unforgiveness and roots of bitterness. Was he unwell? Most certainly. Is he responsible for murder? Most definitely. He was aware of reality to the point he could load and reload weapons and point them at innocent victims. Period.