So this morning in the car, I was listening to “Imagine.” And first off, it was kind of funny to think that the guy singing about “imagine there’s no greed” and “no possession” was, at the time, extremely rich and had plenty of possessions. But that’s not actually my point. It was after that when I took it further in my mind and made some new connections.
Lennon was shot and killed by a man (whose name I won’t mention – why glorify a killer who wants to be glorified?), and said killer was found at the scene, reading a copy of “Catcher in the Rye.” The killer said that the book was his statement. It caused a lot of blame – it was obviously Salinger’s fault for writing the book.
Reagan was shot by a man who wanted to impress Jodi Foster because of his love for her, and his need to get her attention and respect. Did anyone blame Jodi for the shooting? No, her existence wasn’t at fault. But Salinger’s book was…even though the book did nothing more than Jodi Foster did. It existed. Someone used it for a bad thing, but that didn’t make it bad, any more than what Jodi Foster did made her bad.
Then, recently, we had an arrest in Katy, Texas. A 19-year-old man who had posted multiples pages and questions about how he wanted to go out by killing a group of elementary school students, noted how long police response would take, and asked how to videotape it. Sounded pretty serious, but he claimed it was just a joke. What *made* him think about it? And would we blame the elementary school students who were killed? Or would we find something else to blame? Because, of course, there has to be blame assigned, right?
Why do we have to blame something – or someone – when something bad happens? I have nothing against blaming the person who committed the act. It’s their fault.
Does this relate to our concept of victims?
We like to blame them, too.
We put out signs in parking lots, telling us not to put our stuff out because then someone might be tempted to steal it. We tell women not to wear clothing that’s too “skimpy” or “attractive” because then someone might be tempted to rape them.
Why don’t we work on stopping bad people instead of training good ones? Last night, I watched the second episode of “The Mindy Project,” and one of the characters had a tattoo on his stomach that said “No More Stealing Cars.” He reversed the blame game – instead of making up a sign to tell other people to stop tempting him, he made up a sign to stop from being tempted. Now, I’m not saying that’s always possible, but maybe he had the right idea…