- Neah wrote:
- I went on A Mother's Reckoning website and Sue Klebold wrote on the main page:
- Sue Klebold wrote:
- I would gladly give my life to reverse what happened that day, and yet I know that nothing I can do or say could ever atone for Dylan’s choices, choices that I have spent the last sixteen years trying to understand. I wish I had known then what I know now: that it was possible for everything to seem fine with him when it was not, and that behaviors I mistook as normal for a moody teenager were actually subtle signs of psychological deterioration.
We can feel that she loves him and that, although she still acknowledges the fact that he murdered teenagers, she also almost sees him as a victim of mental illness, she is also sad for him. As we on this forum study the case we can go beyond the "he was a monster" theory. Yet I wonder how Sue would feel if Dylan had committed a mass shooting aged 25 or 30 for example. Because it seems that when an adult commits a mass shooting for non-political/non-religious reasons, and so probably because he had mental issues or was depressed, we are much less sympathizing despite it being very similar to a teenage school shooter, and I wonder how their parents feel. I don't know if they feel as much guilt, or if they feel that their son has changed. Given that mental illness has no age I don't think this is that different and we should see the perpetrators the same way based on their condition no matter their age.
I personally don't think age really factors into how people view murderers. It is a despicable act whether the perpetrator is 15 or 50, and even 15 year olds know murder is wrong.
As you stated mental illness doesn't discriminate on age, color or creed.
I do believe we are lacking on serious mental health reform though. It may not stop every shooting, but if it can stop even one, to me that is a success.
When it comes to Sue's comments, I think she is partially right that Dylan was a victim of mental illness, but it is by no means the end all be all.
All she really can do is talk in hindsight about the things she could of and should of done.
Like you stated, at the end of the day people need to be responsible for their actions, and blaming things on mental illness can be a cop out.
I think that the "sympathy" given to certain shooters comes from their backstory.
When their backstory is relatable or tragic, such as bullying in a high-school, or someone who was molested and abused as a child, people tend to not look at them as cold calculated monsters like serial killers who killed literally for the rush or "fun" of it.
For example, I've heard a lot of people say they were bullied in high-school and understood why Eric and Dylan did what they did.
I guess since they could relate to them, they don't look at them as the monsters that most others see them as.
Another example would be Elliot Rodger killing essentially because girls didn't pay attention to him. Most people called him a spoiled brat monster.
But if someone was sexually abused and kills their abuser, a large majority would say the abuser deserved it.
So in the end I think the circumstance behind a killing sways the public perception a decent amount.