A Psychologist Speaks
“Are we like sheep? ”
If we give an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we shall all be blind and gumming. Overtly we are dealing with issue of crime and punishment. Covertly we are dealing with evil, revenge, and passion. As soon as we get caught in confused web of revenge masked as justice, as soon as we re blinded by our own evil intentions, good people get lost. Revenge evolved into justice because individuals needed to give over personal retribution for good of society. The desire for revenge probably exists for all of us in most primordial parts of our brain, as do other feelings that we chose not to act upon. We chose not to act upon them because as humans we are only species that can foresee consequences of our actions. Premeditated execution is premeditated murder. If we kill McVeigh on TV-closed circuit or not---and who is naive enough to believe film won’t be hacked?--- We only perpetuate most base and heinous of crimes---premeditated murder.
An avenger acts to preserve his kin group. Primitive men and women have always acted this way. As we became less overtly animalistic, we saw ourselves as better than beasts. If we use justice as our excuse for retaliation and revenge, we hide behind our own evil and become less than animals we claim not to be.
Mourning is a natural process that goes through a series of stages in order to reach closure. One TV host asked me: “How does one avoid pain of loss of a loved one?” The answer is simple, but not easy. “You don’t.” One must not bypass pain, but instead go through it and come out other side. Those who try to sidestep agony often wind up living it forever. The only prerequisite to loving deeply is ability to sustain intense pain. Therefore, mourning a tragedy requires walking through fires of hell until one reaches healing shores and possibly even ability to forgive. This process requires more courage than many possess and it is easy to understand if one chooses to stop midway.
The death of a child goes against natural order of life and thus is rarely fully mourned and certainly never forgotten. As religion and history attest, closure comes in many forms, unveiling, visits to cemetery, perhaps birth of a new child or through religious rituals. One does not have to watch victims' death throes to have closure.
Why not call upcoming June 11th event circus it really is? Call movie by its rightful name and have participants pay for play? Make it pay per view, pay to play, sell popcorn and soda, exalt tailgate parties, and let us live with our own denied evil. Someone will make millions from this event. It may as well be government. Only then, they too would have to acknowledge their participation in “show.” We may as well be viewing a film like Gladiator. Watching an execution or ritual murder on closed circuit TV is not so different from going to latest blood and gore flick, except that some adults and most children can’t distinguish between reality and fantasy of event. Studies of children's reactions to cartoons indicate that when a cartoon character dies and then pops up again, kids expect that if they shoot someone in real life same thing will occur.—They don’t understand why dead person doesn’t bounce back to life.