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Terrorism and Spree Killing: Are perpetrators also victims?


Ever since the Columbine HS massacre in 1999, a debate has been raging. When a perpetrator of a spree killing or terrorist attack is killed in the attack, is he or she also a victim? Would you consider a child who kills and commits suicide to be a victim, but not an adult? On one hand, it seems cruel to mourn these people who kill in a memorial for their victims - what would victims families think? On the other hand, it doesn't make sense to demonize people who fall into violence. What do you think?

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Best Answer dolphina3 says

3 years ago
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    Sid Kemp (SidKemp) 3 years ago

    Bravo! I am so glad you work with perpetrators from a place of compassion. I agree with you about labels. as facts about what a person experienced or did, the terms are useful (so we don't hide from the truth) but they say nothing about the person.

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Rebecca Shepherd Thomas (rebthomas) says

3 years ago
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    Sid Kemp (SidKemp) 3 years ago

    Thanks, RebThomas, for a beautiful answer. I'm beginning to see that, just as a person can be, say, "a literate person" and "a tall person," a person can also be "a perpetrator" and "a victim."

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RTalloni says

3 years ago
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    Sid Kemp (SidKemp) 3 years ago

    Thank you for a thoughtful answer. I'm not sure if we are up against something bigger than we are, or simply up against something bigger than we believe ourselves to be. Balancing compassion and the safety of society is indeed challenging.

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lburmaster says

3 years ago
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    Sid Kemp (SidKemp) 3 years ago

    Thank you, Iburmaster. You add to the dialog. Not only is victimhood a matter of perhaps being taught that evil is good, it is also a matter of these victims who become perpetrators being deeply confused.

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pramodgokhale says

3 years ago
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    Sid Kemp (SidKemp) 3 years ago

    Pramod, thank you, I can always count on you for insight. There is only 1 reply to your comment and it comes from one of your countrymen, Mahatma Gandhi, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Let's change our attitude that others may follow.


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LoveJewel says

3 years ago
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    Sid Kemp (SidKemp) 3 years ago

    If you are saying that, whatever happens to us, we have a choice to become from it, a victim, a survivor, or a perpetrator, I agree completely.

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