It’s all just a question of crazy. What makes someone snap and do it? How is a single murder less horrifying than a mass murder? Can we argue the point that anyone who can make the move to kill another person is in some way mentally ill? Why do we feel the need to classify and explain?
We need to see killers as different than us, as out of our mainstream. Because then we can wave our hands and do our magic and pretend it’s not us, it can never be us. But here’s the thing. It is us. It’s always us.
So my son is 10. And autistic. Does he sometimes respond violently due to frustrations? Yes. Like any 3 or 4 year old would because that’s where he is. But being bigger, he’s more dangerous. We do all we can to mitigate and fix the situation, but do we have to worry about this forever? Yup. Hopefully something will work sooner or later, or maybe we’ll have a break-through and he’ll learn to communicate instead of pinching and squeezing. Maybe. Maybe not.
He’s different. And, to be 100% honest, he may be dangerous. But who isn’t? Who’s normal? Who’s safe?
“Normal” and “safe” people snap all the time. Being diagnosed as different doesn’t mean that we should be more or less afraid – we should just be aware. Aware that everyone has the potential to go in any direction and making assumptions doesn’t help anything, doesn’t fix anything, and doesn’t change anything that’s happened.
After the school shooting in Connecticut, groups had to come forward to tell others to not blame autism for the shooting because there was a report that perhaps – perhaps! – the shooter might have been somewhere on the autistic spectrum.
He might have also had other conditions, as well. But everyone focused on his disabilities and tried to blame them; they were his reason for snapping. They made it happen.
But let’s look at this again. It anyone capable of violence somehow different or disabled or mentally unstable? Or are we all there, on an edge we don’t even recognize, ignoring what’s staring us in the face every time we look in the mirror and try to tell ourselves that it’s okay because it’s not us; it’s someone different.