Guilty Until Proven Innocent

The thing you need to know about me first and foremost is that I’m not a mass murderer.  I have never gone into a crowded public area and shot people up, nor have I ever fantasized about doing anything so horrific.  I won’t even kill spiders.  I make my wife do that.  But man, ever since my twin brother did what he did to those poor people, everyone looks at me with the same expression: is he a ticking time bomb, too?

No, I am not a ticking time bomb.  I’m an accountant, Little League coaching father of three who is absolutely heart broken by what my brother did to those innocent folks.  So are our parents.  The news pundits and the mental health professionals all want to look at the killer’s extended family to see if his actions were the result of his upbringing.  Trust me, they weren’t.  I was raised by the same loving, attentive, well educated, middle-class people that he was.  We weren’t spanked, ignored, overly pressured to achieve some impossibly high standard, nor were we spoiled.  We were raised to do unto others as we would have done unto us and to do good in this world. Ian just chose a different path, that’s all.

I don’t know the stats on mass murderers.  Maybe one in every one hundred thousand people grows up to become one, and Ian happened to be the one hundred thousandth person born in 1993.  All I know is I feel awful about what happened.

I don’t say these things in hopes of gaining sympathy.  All the sympathy should go to the victims and their families.  But can I ask you something?  Could you stop driving past my parents’ house at all hours of the day to see where the killer was raised?  Could you tell your kids to stop bullying my kids at school?  Could you not turn your grocery cart around and go to another aisle the second you see my wife?  They had nothing to do with this.  I wish Ian had nothing to do with it either, but he did and for that I’m truly sorry.

I am so truly, truly, truly sorry.

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