12/11/2007

Responsibility

Responsibility. It's something we try to ingrain into our children. Taking responsibility for one's actions. Little kids (and sometimes big ones), when confronted with something they did, oftentimes they'll say, "I didn't do it" or "I don't know who did it." It's a difficult thing to do, to own up to doing something, either good or bad. I know I used to have a problem with taking responsibility for shit I did when I was younger. I like to think I've grown out of that by this point in my life, though I still have a problem with taking responsibility for something positive I may have done. (I don't like being fussed over, but that's a post for another time.)

The point I'm trying to make is this: people, children, adults, everyone tries to duck taking responsibility for their actions. Bill Clinton didn't inhale. He didn't have sexual relations with "that woman." George W. Bush didn't lie to the American people about invading Iraq. O.J. didn't kill his ex-wife and her friend. We don't believe any of that bullshit, yet people still try to spin it so that they don't have to accept responsibility or blame. And if you're not responsible for something, then you don't have any reason to feel guilty because of it either.

On Sunday, some schmuck who apparently had a hard-on hatred of Christians shot up a missionary school and a megachurch in Colorado, killing four people before being shot himself by a security guard at the church. Here's what the security guard, Jeanne Assam, said about having killed the gunman at a news conference Monday:

"I knew I was given the assignment to end this. I give the credit to God."


See what she did there? She took the responsibility off her own shoulders and placed it squarely in the lap of God, thus absolving her of the nasty things that I imagine come from taking a life, even a jackass like this Matthew Murray. Specifically, guilt.

By giving the credit to God, by saying she was given an "assignment," Ms. Assam is saying that she didn't kill Mr. Murray. God killed him. She just pulled the trigger. You know how people say, Guns don't kill people, people kill people? Or, Guns don't kill people, bullets do? Well, in this case, what Ms. Assam is saying is that she was the bullet and God pulled the trigger. That's like saying, "The Devil made me do it."

I'm absolutely certain that killing someone isn't fun, that it's an awful thing to go through, even if it's something you simply have to do. Jeanne Assam probably had no choice but to kill Mr. Murray (I suppose she could have aimed for a leg, a less lethal wound of some kind, but that's really neither here nor there at this point). The fact of the matter is, she shot him and she killed him. And she needs to come to terms with that. This isn't something you can pawn off on God, as if He made you do it. You can't pass the buck, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it may be.

Ms. Assam is responsible for ending the life of Matthew Murray (whether he deserved his fate is a judgment no one has the right to make), not God. She pulled the trigger, not God. God wasn't working His magic through her, or whatever.

Take responsibility for your actions, people. That's all I ask.

::UPDATE::

CNN.com is reporting that, according to the coroner's office, Matthew Murray died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ms. Assam apparently shot Mr. Murray multiple times, putting him down, as the coroner's statement puts it, but he then fired the fatal shot.

None of this changes what I said in the above post. When Ms. Assam said Monday that she "was given the assignment to end this," she didn't know Mr. Murray had killed himself. She thought she had killed him when she "[gave] the credit to God," thus abdicating her responsibility.

3 comments:

raptorpack said...

Tell me how you really feel :P

" The great FSM doesn't kill people, ninjas do"

Kit10 said...

If you're even looking for a career change - check into counseling. That's all I get - It's _______ faulth that I'm an addict/criminal/bad parent. Blah Blah Blah ummmm hello aren't you an adult?
People - sheesh

1031 said...

Ha! "Career change." Thus implying that I have a career in the first place. Oh, Kat, how you make me giggle like a schoolgirl. :)