A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Maundering - Where there's smoke there's fire

And I do mean that literally. Around here, we're surrounded by wildfires. The smoke is pretty thick in places in town. My dad woke up to ash on his cars on Friday. My dad sat down and showed me in the paper today the map they posted of the areas affected by the fires. The two major routes my family always took to go for picnics and rides are blocked by fire.

Another route we used to take is blocked by a manhunt looking for a murderer and the 16 year old daughter of one of his victims. The Valley county police force has borrowed as many officers from neighboring counties as can be spared. Someone saw the man and his victim in a state park so now they're focusing their search in that area. The guy abandoned his car but they're afraid to search it for fear it's been booby trapped.

I often wonder when I read these stories what drives people to kill, to kidnap, to rape, to physically harm another human. I don't understand what drives people to emotionally harm another human either. What is it in their psyche that drives people to do this?

Some people say it's a chemical imbalance. Others say it's due to some traumatic event in their childhood. Still others say that the offenders were victimized so they see that as the only way to be. I don't know that any of these are entirely right or wrong. I just know that there are some people out there that are so fundamentally broken that they get a rush from hurting other people.

I think it's sick. What makes it even sicker is how it's glorified by the media. Rape culture is alive and well in America, where it's okay for a man to rape a woman because "she deserved it." Murderers become something of a celebrity. They dominate the news feeds for weeks at a time. To me, this just feeds into their egos and drives them to kill even more. It also inspires a new generation of criminals to try to outdo their predecessors. I think that's one of the reasons we end up with serial killers.

We need to stop giving criminals the ego boost of showcasing their crimes on national media like they're some kind of twisted celebrity. I've heard the argument that if we don't show their crimes, they'll escalate to try to get the attention of the media and will not stop until they get the attention that they want. I don't know if that's true but I do wish mainstream media would stop glorifying crime and instead showcase something that would better our world, like scientific discoveries or medical breakthroughs. Or just the general kindness of strangers and the generosity of those who don't always have much to give. Uplifting stories, stories that educate, rather than stories that glorify violence.

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