I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…
Shortly after the Tucson killings, the president of the American Bar Association declared, “Today’s tragic events are a direct attack on our American way of life and the rule of law.”
I don’t think it was a direct, or indirect for that matter, attack on either. It should rather be seen as a wake-up call that our American way of life could stand a bit of contemplation from us Americans who live it.
This man isn’t a political philosopher; he isn’t a legal theorist. He’s a paranoid schizophrenic whose symptoms were so obvious to his community that professors and students were looking at him sideways wondering when he’d pull an assault rifle out of his backpack.
This wasn’t a terrorist, and this wasn’t an anarchist. This was one of millions of Americans suffering mental illness, and suffering the more for it because the American way of life over the past decade or more has been to ignore their suffering.
Worse than that, the American way of life has been to goad the mentally ill, sometimes way past the point of rage, by, for example, painting targets on abortion doctors and politicians or anyone else we don’t agree with; or saying the American President isn’t American at all because he wasn’t even born here and implying he’s a sleeper Al Qaeda agent of some kind. And the American way of life has been to pay people millions of dollars a year to say such ignorant and hateful trash on the radio. A fair number of these radio entertainers (they’re no political philosophers either) are unfortunately some of the mentally ill and/or substance abusers many of us DON’T ignore.
If you don’t think we need to put more energy into mental health nourishment in this country, consider some of the reaction to the Tucson killer. Of course the hue and cry is to bring him to trial and kill him, not necessarily in that order. But for a guy participating in the considered and astute conversation going on over at politicalforum.com, the usual ways we execute people aren’t quite good enough. This is what a 29-year-old Cordova, Tennessee, child who calls himself “GeddonM3” and says he’s an analyst (I think he meant to say he was in analysis), has to say:
id say carve the name of every person he killed into his face, with a dull knife and no drugs to take away pain. then after wash his face in water laced with salt and lemon juice. dont clean the rust infected wounds and let them get infected and give him no treatment for it.let the pain really sink in. feed him nothing but 3 pieces of bread and 3 glasses of water a day,dont allow him a pillow or blanket for his rock hard bed and keep it chilly in his cell.then while he is at his weakest, break every bone in his hands,arms,feet,legs and then his shoulders. cut him all over his body with a very sharp blade but dont cut deep, just make it like paper cuts all over. and to end it all drop him in a container that is filled with water,salt and lemon juice and seal it shut. the pain all over his body and the drowning will be the most horrific thing he ever experienced, and it will be his last experience on earth.
make this fool a straight example. it wont bring back those lives lost by his hand, but it will be a good example of what murderers can look forward too if they want to harm innocent people.
Let’s get GeddonM3 some help (and I don’t just mean find him an apostrophe key). That should be the American way of life.