‘Who are we to say the boy’s insane?’ … We are, the sane ones

In 1966, Charles Whitman climbed atop a bell tower on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin and over the next hour and half shot and killed 16 people and wounded another 32.

Later, Texas’ irreverent, satirical, cigar chomping, singing Jewish cowboy and gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman penned the “Ballad of Charles Whitman,” which includes the lyric:

Charles Whitman

The doctors tore his poor brain down
But not a snitch of illness could be found
Most folks couldn’t figure just a why he did it
And them that could would not admit it …

Who are we to say the boy’s insane?

Gunning down people for no one reason and gunning down people in a Paris satirical newspaper over a silly, yes, silly cartoon is by definition insane. And why should anyone have any interest in figuring just a why they did it? Wouldn’t that be insane?

But social media was alive with comments like this: “this is the harvest of the hatred that France has sowed.”

An enemy of civilization, civility, decency, liberty and free speech is not one to be understood. That mentality and insanity should be abjured, despised and defeated … with words, reason and guns and bombs.

Jihadists do not deserve empathy:


5 comments on “‘Who are we to say the boy’s insane?’ … We are, the sane ones

  1. Maureen Karas says:

    I was in high school at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX when this happened.  I remember it well.  I ended up going to and graduating from UR Austin…  Had not thought about this event in many years. Hope you are well.  I so enjoy reading your blog!  Happy new Year to you, Best Always,Mo Karas

  2. J says:

    Insanity should not play into the equation. The resulting actions of these individuals are defined as unacceptable by law and the moral standards of the community. Crime should be swiftly punished and not dismissed due to the possible lack or direction of intent. They are nuts by definition due to the abstract actions performed; enough of the pampering behavior punish the bastards.

  3. davehenry says:

    Ya, it is funny that satire gets a response from this administration..but not the video that they said caused Benghazi.

  4. I was a freshman at Arlington State, now UT Arlington, Mo.

  5. nyp says:

    Ah, yet another instance that says more about Thomas Mitchell’s standards as a journalist than it does about the subject of his post. Because Mr. Mitchell carefully excised the preceeding passage, the reader of this blog would not realize the Hillary Clinton was not talking about terrorists, but instead about a peace deal that had been brokered between Filipino rebels and the government of the Phillipines:

    “CLINTON: Consider what has happened recently in the Philippines. Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines, has been locked in a 40-year conflict. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front was battling the government. More than 120,000 lives were lost. Hope for peace was all but gone when two strong women, Teresita Quintos Deles and Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, took over the negotiations. They made inclusivity their mantra. And thanks greatly to their efforts, finally a peace was brokered in a historic deal.

    “This is what we call smart power, using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security, leaving no one on the sidelines, showing respect even for one’s enemies, trying to understand, and insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view, helping to define the problems, determine the solutions — that is what we believe in the 21st century will change, change the prospects for peace.

    “Yet in too many places, the promise of women’s participation remains largely unfulfilled.”


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