Is depression an adequate excuse for going on a killing spree?

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  1. profile image0
    Precious Williamsposted 13 years ago

    Terrible news from Whitehaven in the UK where a taxi driver (Derrick Bird) started a killing spree at 10.30 GMT which has resulted in the death of 12 people and twenty five people injured.  As always people are searching for reasons to explain this awful tragedy.  Of course at this stage no one knows the reason, and unless the man left a note, email, letter etc - no one ever will, they can only speculate.  One of the possible explanations already being mentioned is that he was alledgedly very depressed about an issue with the tax office, and was worried about being prosecuted. I guess this would have been worrying and possibly frightening, but does that ever justify taking such terrible action against people you don't know.  The ramifications of these actions is so awful and personal I just struggle with the idea, that someone is depressed and that somehow makes it understandable.  Not to me it doesn't.  However, strong the feelings I can never see a justification for killing people and depriving friends and families of someone they loved  Perhaps I just don't understand human nature, but in my view depression is not an excuse. This is a terrible day for the friends and families of the people who were murdered and all the professionals and members of the public who helped the victims.  I also think of Derrick Bird's family.  This is a tragedy for them too.

    1. Ben Evans profile image68
      Ben Evansposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It sounds like this person is more angry than depressed.  None the less no matter what the state he was in it is not excuse.  Because a person that is in a crazed mental state must have so much disregard for other peoples lives to take them.

      I think it is heinous and I really hate it when these awful people are painted as victims.

  2. optimus grimlock profile image60
    optimus grimlockposted 13 years ago

    no its not, however if you plead insanity you'll likely get a  lighter sentence!

  3. Rafini profile image71
    Rafiniposted 13 years ago

    H@ll No!!  But it is an adequate excuse for getting help. smile

  4. LeanMan profile image82
    LeanManposted 13 years ago

    There is no adequate excuse for what he has done..

  5. TMMason profile image60
    TMMasonposted 13 years ago

    He is dead...

    And if you all had the right to bear arms, I don't believe as many innocent people would be dead now.

    I watched a thing on current tv about vigilantes in england... you guys are out of control with crime and your govt don't care...

    And I hear more brits complain about America and guns.

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image77
      Uninvited Writerposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Such things happen a lot more rarely in the UK than in the US.

    2. Mrvoodoo profile image57
      Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      A-huh, I'm sure things would be much better if we gave all our nutters access to firearms.

    3. Polly C profile image91
      Polly Cposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      This is a real tragedy, obviously carried out by someone who was not of sound mind. And of course depression is no excuse.

      England, however, is not a vigilante country - there are small pockets with growing problems such as gun crime in parts of South London for example - but not in Cumbria, as far as I know.

      I would not want to own a gun, and as Mrvoodoo says, allowing guns to be legal just means that more people of unstable mind will be able to carry out such awful crimes.

    4. thisisoli profile image72
      thisisoliposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      What are you talking about? Britain has a low crime rate, the only crime that has actually boomed in recent years is Bicycle theft.

    5. thisisoli profile image72
      thisisoliposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      FYI Lock, Stock and two Smoking Barrels was not a documentary.

      1. Mrvoodoo profile image57
        Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        LOL, Classic.

    6. liber profile image58
      liberposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      For the most part vigilantes fight invisible crimes they've made up in their own minds about the new world order or the coming apocalypse.

  6. IzzyM profile image86
    IzzyMposted 13 years ago

    I didn't know there was 12 confirmed dead till you posted this. At the time it said on the news there was up to 10 dead, then later they said 5, now 12?
    They said earlier they thought his own mother was among the victims, and of course he turned the gun on himself at the end too.
    The whole thing is tragic!
    First person he killed was a fellow taxi driver who he had been a friend but they had fallen out the day before apparently.

  7. jondav profile image73
    jondavposted 13 years ago

    I don't think there can be any possible justification for this.

  8. profile image0
    Kathryn LJposted 13 years ago

    Or perhaps better access to mental health care.  (I think the people of Cumbria might beg to differ with you Mrvoodoo.)

    1. Mrvoodoo profile image57
      Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Today they might, because wounds are fresh. 

      But tomorrow they won't.

      As UW said these things are rare here.  And that's not because we have less people who'd like to shoot somebody else when angry.  But because the average person wouldn't have any idea where to get a gun from even if they wanted one.  So we get drunk and hit each other instead.

  9. ceciliabeltran profile image65
    ceciliabeltranposted 13 years ago

    it's not an excuse but he's not in his right mind...thats for sure. so its twice the tragedy.

  10. Uninvited Writer profile image77
    Uninvited Writerposted 13 years ago

    I know it's certainly nothing to laugh about but I heard about this from a cab driver today...that made me feel comfortable...

  11. mrpopo profile image67
    mrpopoposted 13 years ago

    I don't think excuse is the proper word here. It makes it sound like the guy had a choice.

    There's obviously a reason why this happened. Probably depression, stress and a combination of all those things. He couldn't overcome it and tried to deal with it in a very poor way, but I don't think you can blame him for experiencing these evils and not dealing with them properly.

    His mistake was severe - but we all make them, for many reasons that are often beyond our control.

  12. profile image0
    kimberlyslyricsposted 13 years ago

    Ah, but can a killing spree cause you depression?  That's the tricky part i say.

  13. liber profile image58
    liberposted 13 years ago

    That's tragic.

    I don't think it's an excuse, but we can have a bit more empathy for him.  It's like serial killers, something like 80% of them are abused as children, it doesn't make what they've done okay, but it gives a sense of "can I really say I wouldn't have done the same in their situation?"  Which makes them a bit less monstrous.

    I don't think a persons situation or past gives an excuse for current immoral behavior.  They still have a choice it's just a bit more difficult than the rest of us.

    1. mrpopo profile image67
      mrpopoposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Do any of us even have a choice in our actions?


      1. profile image0
        Precious Williamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Yes I think 9 time out of 10 we do.  Even when we feel compelled to do something by someone else, we still make a choice.

  14. brianzen profile image59
    brianzenposted 13 years ago

    Guns aren't the problem, People need ways to re-direct hostility and blame correctly. No one causes anyone else to do anything, so the excuse is irrelevant. Everyone in the tragedy needed something that sadly was not available. And if the victims here aren't the living who must now cope with it... then feelings aren't an issue and the meaning of sadness is lost.

    1. Mrvoodoo profile image57
      Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      No, in this case guns WERE the problem.  Because this man used them to kill twelve people whilst driving around in a moving vehicle. 

      If he hadn't of had guns these people would most likely not be dead.

      1. brianzen profile image59
        brianzenposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        He might have had more difficulty, but he could have used his car, or a homemade bomb, or even maybe a jet. Weapons are just a means to the end.

        1. Mrvoodoo profile image57
          Mrvoodooposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I guess that's true.  But it would seem that making things more difficult for him in this instance would have been a good thing.

  15. brianzen profile image59
    brianzenposted 13 years ago

    That is why we have straight jackets, stun guns, antipsychotics, etc. He probably slipped by a lot of peoples notice on his way to this horror.

    1. profile image0
      Precious Williamsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I think you're absolutely right.  All sorts of stories are beginning to come out, some of which are being reported as having been verified.  They seem to show that he had times when he ovbiously reacted quite badly to other people's teasing or bullying.  The problem is he did what we all do which is behave differently with different people and then no one joins up all the dots.  I feel for all the families of the people who died, but even more so for his sons and mother.  What a horrible legacy to try and lie with

  16. SomewayOuttaHere profile image61
    SomewayOuttaHereposted 13 years ago

    just got back from a meeting tonite and the first thing spoken about was this killing spree.  I don't know much about guns, but if several people died and many others injured - what kind of gun would that be - not a handgun? - figured a handgun would allow for I don't know, up to 10 bullets?  just curious - thinking about how he would be able to disguise or hide a large weapon to kill/hurt so many people or maybe it just takes small weapons now?


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