The Shanty

The Shanty
where I grew up

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Different Spin

I am saddened by the events that took place in my home town of Tucson on Saturday, January 8, 2011. I am saddened by the obvious reason that innocent lives were taken, but I am saddened by much more than that. Everyone is so angry and quick to view Loughner as a monster and to put all the blame on him. I disagree. Don’t get me wrong, I in no way feel that he should not have to pay the consequences of his actions. He most certainly should. There were a lot of lives affected that day by his actions. Not just the slain, not just the injured, but hundreds and thousands more who were there and who feel their safety has been jeopardized due to the violent acts of Loughner and any others who may have the same psyche as him. What he did was wrong and with that comes consequences.

However, there is another person I feel sorry for—Loughner himself. Yes, you read that correctly. I am a believer in the thought that there are no evil people in this world, just evil acts. But no one commits an evil act (or good act) without it seeming to be beneficial to them in some fashion. I won’t go into great detail about this unless you would like me to, but it is a strong belief of mine. With that being said, I do not believe Loughner went on a shooting spree because he is an evil person. What I do believe is that he was a greatly misguided individual who no one seemed to care enough about to seek help for him. He was only 22 after all. Do you think his “craziness” started with his 22nd birthday? I highly doubt it. Chances are he was a depressed and disturbed individual for most of his life. Why didn’t his parents notice this? Why didn’t others? Did no one care enough to try and give this child the life he deserves?

Many of you reading this may strongly disagree with me and that’s okay. Let me explain where I am coming from on this. As a child I was very depressed and miserable. I hated life and just wanted to die. It brings tears to my eyes to read past journal entries of mine expressing such hatred for myself and welcoming death. The part that is the saddest to me is—why didn’t anyone notice? You would think that as miserable as I was someone would have picked up on it and tried to intervene in some way…but that never happened. Instead I intervened on myself once I was older and found the strength to do so. In all honesty, not many EVER find that strength. I’m not saying this to speak highly of myself either. In fact I’m really not even sure how I got to the point of wanting to better my life but I can say that it didn’t really begin until age 24 or so. And then following that year it has taken MANY more to get to a state of happiness and control of my life. It has not been an easy road to travel down though and it’s one that takes constant dedication and effort.

Again, I am not saying that what Loughner did wasn’t his fault. And I’m not saying that his actions don’t disgust me, because they do. What I am saying is that I get very affected and saddened when a child “slips through the cracks” and grows up so misguided. I get affected and saddened to know that there are so many out there that don’t know what to look for nor how to handle a child who is struggling so badly on the inside. This is why it is my goal to help troubled children. I know what it feels like to feel hopeless and confused and I know how quickly that can spiral into insanity and disillusionment. I’m not asking that anyone feel sorry for Loughner, especially right now when there are so many innocent people to feel for. I guess I’m just asking that you think about what I said and realize that in a way Loughner was a victim in this mess too. A victim of no one caring enough about him to be involved in his life and thoughts…a victim of being alone and misinformed about how wonderful life can be. Unfortunately he did nothing to help himself and in turn ruined many more lives. Please, if you have children, love them. If you have children, know them, care about them, hug them, and always be involved enough to guide them. Do not ignore cries of help from others, even the silent cries that can be deadly, as proven here.


  1. very deadly indeed...great post Amy!

  2. agreed completely. very, very well put.. this is sad for everyone.. and loving our children is the most important job we could ever have.