Terrorism and Spree Killing: Are perpetrators also victims?

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  1. SidKemp profile image92
    SidKempposted 5 years ago

    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?


  2. rebthomas profile image81
    rebthomasposted 5 years ago

    Interesting question.  A child in some places is raised to believe that killing is right for a common good and that if they die they will be rewarded in another place. Yes I see that person as a victim.  How can they possibly know different.  When they grow up, however, there has to be a time when accountability comes into play.  But how do these people learn that what they have been taught all their life is wrong?  That is where we come into play.  We need to teach and show that love and treating others as we would like to be treated is the answer.

    1. SidKemp profile image92
      SidKempposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      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."

  3. lburmaster profile image81
    lburmasterposted 5 years ago

    Usually, yes. Most perpetrators were victims for years. Eventually they snap and that is when these violent acts take place. It's very sad and their logic is confusing. Why do they make others victims like themselves? Normally the people who harmed them go unpunished and they use violence against innocents... It's very sad.

    1. SidKemp profile image92
      SidKempposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  4. RTalloni profile image87
    RTalloniposted 5 years ago

    There's a real sense in which everyone is a victim in this world (and many people are severely victimized every day).  Not everyone, however, goes on to do harm to others because they were victimized.  For the most part, perpetrators know that they are doing harm.  Harm was/is their intention, though they may justify it with any number of excuses. 

    A position of tolerance, as good as it sounds on the surface, is an ideal venue for those who intend to do evil.  There is an ancient warning, "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."  That truth is a major reason that legal, accountable, careful profiling is needed.

    No amount of love and treating others as we would like to be treated will change the heart and mind of one who is fully set to do evil, but that does not mean that we should stop giving that love and kindness when possible.  We need to remember a principle, though: "Freedom for one ends where harm to another begins."

    The topic is huge, and it is complicated.  The problem is, people do not want to tolerate the real answer.  They want to be able to have their cake and eat it, too, or as some say, they want to be able to eat their cake and have it, too. 

    The truth is, people are up against something bigger than they are, but the human condition is such that hubris is the rule of the day, no matter what day and time a person may be living in.

    1. SidKemp profile image92
      SidKempposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  5. profile image50
    dolphina3posted 5 years ago

    Having worked with many perpetrators, I am have found that they are also generally victims and suffer deeply.  As unpopular as this may be,  I feel great compassion and pain for the young bombing suspect who is now in custody.  He is clearly misguided and probably has his own trauma history.  He is now also isolated and the subject of intense hatred.   I  do not like to label people ultimately as perpetrators or victims because these categories are devisive.  Instead, we need to see the humanity in all beings, move to greater understanding of each other and listen deeply.  In this way, we can pave the way to healing and transformation.

    1. SidKemp profile image92
      SidKempposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      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.

  6. pramodgokhale profile image44
    pramodgokhaleposted 5 years ago

    you have a point and that is also for the mankind and her behavior .Indira's killer are worshiped in one community. They felt that killers have done right.
    Extremism in mind turns into action whether school shootings, political rivalry.
    John Kennedy's assassination shocked us then i was a school boy but still remember the event.
    Vendetta in individual life or politics,  business it still exists and attitudes did not change.
    pramod gokhale

    1. SidKemp profile image92
      SidKempposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      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.

    2. pramodgokhale profile image44
      pramodgokhaleposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you sir.

  7. LoveJewel profile image61
    LoveJewelposted 5 years ago

    Being a victim Is somewhat a choice. somewhere in their journey of life they have experiences something so tragic, overwhelming, or scares that it has detoured them from rational thinking.for others, life has become meaningless, without accomplishments, without family, and without a livable environment. life has somehow disappointed them. so can they too be a victim? absolutely! however, many people have experienced worst than most and there was a choice made to not be bound by pain. If you allow demons to rent space in your mind, you will become infested how roaches come out once the lights are out.

    1. SidKemp profile image92
      SidKempposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      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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