Tuesday, 2 September 2014

No sympathy for murder

Astonishingly, the media commentary about the man who slaughtered two people in Ashburton in cold blood is sympathetic … to the murderer. “Suspect had returned to die,” says a puff piece by the ODT, for example.

Pity he didn’t do it quietly. I agree with Lindsay Mitchell.

I have no sympathy for him. He lost his mother while still at college. So he should know what it feels like. Yet he has probably robbed children of a mother; partners, sisters and brothers, parents, friends of someone who added enormous value and meaning to their lives. Someone who was everything to them….
   It is unforgivable whatever his circumstances are. Harsh? I don't think so. My compassion is directed towards those innocent people just going about their work. Trying, in fact, to help this man…
    No. I have no sympathy. It's just a shame he didn't finish himself off and avoid all the further suffering the friends and families will have to endure as he appears repeatedly before them on their TV screens if not in the flesh.

He did have a choice, and he made it; a choice to make others suffer and die. Had I met him, I may have felt sympathy for him 24 hours ago. I have zero sympathy for him now.

Mercy to the guilty is injustice to the innocent.


  1. Thank You.
    Furthermore, I have a horrible suspicion that decades of misplaced compassion and caring regardless of an individual's actions is only leading to more victims.
    How the heck do we get the balance right?

  2. I think you might be right Lindsay. What else to explain the spike in threats against WINZ staff in the days following this tragedy? I suspect the mechanism here is that they've seen the self questioning and sympathy for the murderer, and decided that threats are a way that they can perhaps illicit more sympathy for themselves.

  3. What you have in NZ is a system wherein you invest in pets. You pay them money. Perhaps these creatures amuse you or in some way or keeping them well fed makes you feel pleasant.

    It is all a little like the man who tried to breed the perfect savage fighting dog. He feed his dogs, kept them housed. They provided nothing. They didn't hunt or herd or provide amusement or affection. They did get more and more inbred and they sure got wilder and wilder. Eventually they were all but rabid. He got killed by them.

    In the end you'll all do nothing about it except wringing your hands and pretending to anguish. Truth is that Kiwis love all this stuff.


  4. Amit - do you always have to lower yourself to the occasion?

    This is a tragedy, I am speechless at its brutality, I am sympathetic to the families of the victims; finger pointing and point scoring serves little purpose.

    Just one thing ...perhaps we can leave it up to a Jury to decide if this chappie is a "murderer"? (due process and all that)


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