WHERE CAN the shooter’s family and friends turn for support?
I’ve been wondering this.
Shooters, bombers, and other mega-killers leave behind family and friends who loved them in spite of the sickness or perhaps the darkness within them.
If we’re a victim of the shooter, we can find comfort in the words of others once they learn that we lost a child in the shooting. Or a sister in the attack on the World Trade Center.
Who will comfort us when we say that our brother was the shooter?
If we tell someone that, what could we expect beyond an awkward stare framed within a motionless face?
It seems to me that the shooter’s loved ones deal with everything the victim’s loved ones do—and more. They have to live with the guilt by association.
Birds of birds of a feather.
These birds usually fly under the radar. Low profile. Hidden. Invisible if possible.
Pretty much alone.
Media cameras point to the family and friends of the shooter’s dead.
And perhaps it’s best that they not target the shooter’s family and friends. I’m not sure that many would sympathize much with them. Or with the family and friends of any convicted felons, for that matter.
But I think God does. And I think that we Christians should.
Perhaps these grieving souls need a hiding place for a time. A spiritual hospital of sorts. And a private room with access limited to only caring spirits.
“God is good, a hiding place in tough times. He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help,
No matter how desperate the trouble” (Nahum 1:7-8, The Message).
I think the greatest example I have seen of this was with the Amish school shooting several years ago. The shooter left behind a wife and young children who struggled greatly after the event and the death of their breadwinner and father. The elders in the Amish church that requires a strong sense of forgiveness went to the family of the shooter and offered their support however they could. If only we all could learn to forgive as they did!
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks for that reminder, Erin.
As a Christian mom who has experienced stigma because her son has mental illness, I don’t think you know how touching this blog is.
I have been heart broken because every time there is a tragedy like this that is the illness that is brought up and it always represents violence and the fact is more times than not those afflicted with mental illness are the victims of violence.
1 in 4 people in this country have a mental illness. When I sit in church or am in the mall I sometimes look around and think about that. Sadly many still don’t talk about it and that creates the fears and stigma.
I read the following blog and would like to share it here. I believe as Christians we are to pray for all the victims, and those include the shooter’s family and the shooter himself.
This illness doesn’t only affect the one diagnosed, it affects those who love him/her, who have stuck by them through the most hellish times, who have gone bankrupt monetarily and emotionally getting them the help they need.
I have not only wept for those beautiful baby’s lost and the heroic adults who tried to protect them and hundreds of others, but I also weep for those parents who keep hearing autism, personality disorder etc on the news who live with it every day and are trying to protect their babes as well.
Oh how I wish Jesus would just heal us all. If it were about prayer my son would have been healed years ago, but alas it isn’t. I have been angry about that in the past, maybe I didn’t pray right. Maybe I should have prayed harder.
Anyway…..here is the blog post link, I hope it works, it is a mom who had enough courage to share the rawest, most heart wrenching part of her life.
Politically I think it more pertinent to make sure all have mental healthcare instead of cuts to every program out there, perhaps than there would be less of this.
Thank you Steve for being Christ like and stepping out there with this blog…..God bless you.
Stephen M. Miller
Robin, Thanks for sharing this. Could you post it as a comment on my Facebook page, too? I’d like readers there to see it. Peace to you, Robin. And Merry Christmas.