The shootings in the Atlanta area spas last week, killing eight, is a horrendous tragedy. A senseless loss of life beyond human comprehension… Most media is centered around race and as someone who sees the racial divide in my everyday life, I do think that Asian Americans are unduly suffering at the hands of hate. But could there be more to this story? Certainly mental health is a factor, because the urge to kill is the outcome of a cognitive processes. The acting on that urge is a failure of it. Of all the answers needed to be had, I’d like to gently and compassionately, both to the victims and the assailant, add another perspective, the influence of the gunman’s treatment for sex addiction. Keep in mind, my opinion is merely speculative.

Until a couple of years ago, our state’s treatment towards sexual deviancy was what most would consider “shame based”. Keep in mind, I believe we are among the more compassionate states about treatment now. But just a short while ago, treatment here centered around, “If you think this, you’re a monster and bad.” While it was sanctioned treatment, the best comparison would be stopping the dog who bit the neighbor kid by ripping all its teeth out, putting a muzzle on it, locking it in a crate in the basement and consistently yelling “NO!” at it. Sure, the dog won’t bite, but is this the right approach? It wasn’t for sex based treatment here, so they changed it.

If this gunman, who lives in a largely conservative area, was made to feel evil, bad, a monster… maybe even worse… if he had those thoughts, how could this impact his struggle with his sex addiction? How did he see himself? At what point did it cross his mind that to be beyond this addiction, he had to kill and why? Like I said, I’m merely speculating, but real thought does need to be put into the treatment of addictions of all varieties. It’s taken decades to start learning that drug addiction isn’t solved by prison. My heart breaks for the families of the victims and my prayers go out to them for the required, monumental strength to move forward… I make no excuses for the murderer in any way, but as a human, my prayers go to that gunman, too.

by Rory Andes

Tragic events require the deepest of thought…

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