I’d wanted to write something funny for Guyday Friday, but I am finding that a bit difficult at present due to recent events. My thoughts and prayers are with all those who suffered the loss and injury of friends and loved ones in the Aurora, Colorado shootings., and all those traumatized by this terrible event.
And yes, my thoughts and prayers are also with this young man and his family. They will no doubt be the target of animosity for many in the aftermath of this tragedy, which is a natural human emotion, I suppose.
I am, quite coincidentally, re-watching a 2010 film entitled Beautiful Boy. It chronicles the aftermath of a mass shooting at a university. The twist is the parents who are wracked with grief don’t just lose their son in this senseless tragedy. They are delivered the overwhelming news it was their “beautiful boy“ who was the instigator of the shooting spree and its final victim, taking his own life with a bullet to the head.
Maria Bello and Michael Sheen deliver powerful performances as the grief-stricken parents struggling to understand what went wrong. What mistakes did they make in rearing their son, their only child, that would lead him to such a horrific act? What signs that he was capable of such brutality did they possibly miss? Their quiet, sweet son committed a monstrous act. Does that make him, them monsters? Why? Why?
In the aftermath of the shooting, people leave nasty messages at their late son’s Facebook page. They receive threatening phone calls. Their nephew is bullied and taunted at Sunday School, of all places. The media camps out on their doorstep and talking heads on the radio and television lambast them with remarks such as this:
“It’s the parents who are ultimately responsible so we need to find them, whatever rock they are hiding under, so that grieving parents can take a crack at them . . . do they have any other kids running around that I need to worry about . . . because I sure as hell don’t want the little psycho around my kid’s school.”
It’s a harrowing film, as one might expect, and, sadly, very timely in the wake of last night’s events in Colorado. This film puts a human face on the shooter–we see him in videos and hear his voice message on the phone–and on his extended family. When tragedies such as this occur, we have to remember there are casualties on both sides. Which makes it all the more heartbreaking.
I don’t know why this young man chose to do the inexcusable and unjustifiable last night; I don’t know about his background, his family, his friends. I just know they need our prayers, too.
I just know I wish we could bring an end to such senseless tragedy.
Back with some Guy a little later, I promise.