Thursday, 3 June 2010

A Cumbria Single

"Why," ask both telly and radio. "Why? Why? Why?"

"But we may never know," they say next. "Let's talk about our gun laws."

"No," I say from the pillow. "Back up. There are non-terrorist killing sprees in Britain only once every ten years or so. Guns do not jump out of the cupboard and start shooting randomly. Let's go back to 'why'--or would that be too scary for you?"

And lo, this morning I check the Telegraph and discover that the Cumbria shooter was not actually a "nice, quiet" pillar of the community. He was involved in a family feud over his mother's will, he never married the mother of his children, and he apparently broke up with her because she wouldn't abort their second child. Okay, this was a man who wanted to wipe out his own unborn son, a son he had begotten on his long-term partner. Hmm.

Here follows what I found most interesting in the article, only with the killer's name removed. I have a policy that I will never name serial killers. Sometimes fame is their motive. If newspapers had a policy of calling all serial killers "X", there might not be so many of them.

X’s younger son Jamie, 16, still lives at home in nearby Lamplugh with his mother Linda Mills, 48, who has long been separated from X. They never married.

Miss Mills left X and moved to Lamplugh with Graeme in early 1994, around the time she gave birth to Jamie.

A neighbour described Miss Mills, who works as a house keeper at Center Parcs in Penrith, as ''a lovely lass’’.

One friend laid blame for the break-up squarely with X. “When Linda fell pregnant with Jamie, he wanted her to have an abortion and she refused,” the friend said.

“It put a big strain on the relationship and they broke up soon after.

“X and Linda didn’t speak at all afterwards.
But Jamie spent a lot of time with his dad.”
One of Miss Mills’s friends alleged that while typically being unassuming, X showed darker moods to those close to him.

“If you saw him in the street he would say hello to you but he was always down and moody,” she said.

“He was really tight with his money, too. He would even charge his own family the taxi fare.”

Now here is the only motive being given out yesterday:

A fellow cab driver said they thought that X may have been upset after recently being teased by colleagues about his lack of success with women.

They used to wind him up because he was a really quiet lad and kept himself to himself,” the driver said.

They would tease him about lasses and say they have had better runs than him. It’s just friendly banter, but somebody has said something to him and he has taken it to heart.

My borrowed computer just lost everything I had to say subquent to the above. It was very brilliant, IMHO, so I am very miffed.

In short, Cumbria Single seems to have been an enormously self-absorbed, selfish and bitter man. He was also quite the foot-soldier for the Culture of Death. He got his girlfriend pregnant twice without, apparently, even asking for her hand in marriage. He put pressure on this lady to kill their second child. He fought over his mum's will before his mum was even dead. He killed his own twin brother, a 60-year-old solicitor and then his friends. Then some innocent strangers. Then himself.

Why did he do all this? Was it because of some loophole in Britain's stringent gun laws? No. It was because he was a bad man.

Are we allowed to say that? Absolutely no one on telly last night said that. But I say it. I have no problem saying this serial killer was a bad man, and that very likely the Cumbria killer is in hell, whatever hell turns out to be. Maybe if he had thought a little more about hell, he would not have killed twelve people and himself.

I know perfectly well that none of my regular Single readers are going to haul off and shoot anybody. The reason I bring all this up (other than to come up with a better explanation than Our Gun Laws Are To Blame) is that Cumbria Single is a very bad model of how to live the Single Life. He seems to have exhibited the bad qualities that I discovered firsthand are the perennial temptations of the Single Life: self-absorption, selfishness and bitterness. So, my dear little Singles, I say to you, look out.

I also encourage you to keep on fighting the Culture of Death. Mother Teresa pointed out the direct relationship between the mental capacity to have one's own unborn child killed and the mental capacity to kill, or have killed, complete strangers.** I can understand why a woman, in a blind panic, might wish to do away with her unborn baby, but why a man would... Ugh! What an utter failure of manhood.

Manhood lies precisely in this: that a man wishes to protect and sustain women, children and weaker elderly folk. (You don't have to be married to do this, boys. Every time you give up your seat on the bus, you are behaving like a real man. Every time you send a cheque to a charity, you are behaving like a real man. Every time you take your nephew or niece to the park to give your sister a break, you are behaving like a real man.) Christ was THE man, incidentally.

The Culture of Death, though, is not just the big things like abortion, suicide and murder. It is also enjoyment of violence and becoming a slave to the glamour of evil. It is one thing to fire off a gun because you enjoy target shooting. It is quite another thing to play violent video games because you think blowing off heads (with gruesome graphics) is so cool. Given the widespread popularity of such games, I find it significant that the Cumbria killer shot so many people in the head.

(How sad I am I lost my much better end to this post.)

Update: To those wondering, I now have no regular access to facebook. Sorry! It's because my computer died, and BA's computer is a work-controlled one.

**Update 2: Mother Teresa said this over and over again, including in her acceptance of the Nobel Peace prize. Here is one version--and remember, I do sympathise with women who are in an utter panic: most of the world is not kind to pregnant women in distress, even if that distress is only feeling sick on the bus and no-one will give them seats--If we can accept that a woman can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other? Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.

And that's my last word, my dears. Although I am pro-life, this is not "a pro-life blog" per se. And this is not a post about abortion: it about a man on the island where I live who yesterday killed twelve people and wounded 25 others. I seek to cut through the "He was the nicest man; he just snapped" crap.


theobromophile said...

Cumbria Single is a very bad model of how to live the Single Life.

Well, if he did not wed the mother of his children, his Single state takes on quite a voluntary aspect. Unlike most (all?) of your Single readers, Seraphic, X probably treated dating like acquiring an object of value, not a way in which to form a loving, committed relationship that betters both people and is the foundation for a family.

I also encourage you to keep on fighting the Culture of Death. Mother Teresa pointed out the direct relationship between the mental capacity to have one's own unborn child killed and the mental capacity to kill, or have killed, complete strangers.

This chocolate-lover will point out the direct relationship between the capacity (and desire) to kill one's unborn child and the incapacity for selfless (romantic) love. It's no coincidence that the supermajority of couples break up shortly after an abortion (and even a majority of married couples): those who have no regard for the child that was created through an expression of love and giving have little regard - or capacity - for selfless love.

Aborting a child, or encouraging (or demanding, sadly) that one's wife or girlfriend abort one's child, demonstrates a total lack of caring about the relationship that formed the child, the child, and the other person.

I've dated a lot of really bad men in my life, and have found an unusually strong correlation between the stridently pro-abortion ones and those who seem to have little regard for my emotional well-being. Those who dehumanise the unborn are more than happy to do the same thing to grown women.

Seraphic said...

I had an email from a reader who is offended by my attitude towards men who pressure women to have abortions. I'm not posting the email because the reader revealed something very private and tragic about another person and I don't think it should be put on the internet, where it might be traced back to that person.

I will say that I am sorry that this person suffered from reading my post. Abortion is one of the most awful subjects out there, in part because A) abortion is awful and B) it has become an every day event. So millions of people have their lives touched by abortion's demon wing, and millions of people, including me, deeply LOVE a woman who has undergone an abortion or abortions.

But no matter how some people attempt to demonise those of us who call it what it is--the wrongful ending of the life of a human being--and no matter how some people try to call it something else, a fact is a fact. And I was not the first to make the link between abortion and other kinds of killing: it was Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

That said, God can forgive anything of anyone who is truly sorry for it. I wonder if the Cumbria killer was sorry for any of his crimes. For his sake, I hope so.

Seraphic said...

Sorry-not an email, a comment.

Seraphic said...

And to put this in context, the Cumbria shooter has shown a pattern of selfishness: it wasn't just that he pressured his partner to abort their child.

Seraphic said...

One more point, because I feel bad about causing fellow women to relive old pain: Dorothy Day, the great Dorothy Day, who may be named a saint, had an abortion once.

Seraphic said...

To the reader: I am not saying your loved one is capable of mass murder. I am saying that a lack of respect for certain kinds of human life leads to lack of respect for other human life. That is a major tenet of the Gospel of Life as preached by John Paul II and repeated by Bl. Teresa.

I am also voicing a disgust for men who put pressure on their long-term partners to abort their children. The killer's first child is 12 years older than the second. This father was not a frightened teenager, he was not an adulterer afraid of losing his wife. He was an eligible adult man who had an 11 or 12 year old son with the same woman, the woman with whom he lived. I think we can assume he learned from the first pregnancy, if not before, that unborn babies are human beings.

Pressuring a long-term lover to have an abortion--so much pressure and bad-will because she doesn't go through with it that the relationship breaks up--is the sign of a bad character. It is a sign of selfishness. And, for what its worth, the mother apparently had nothing to do with him after that, although she allowed him access to the son he allegedly at first wished never to be born.

Once again, I am not imputing murderous impulses or a selfish character to your loved one. I am examining claims that the Cumbria killer was "the nicest man" and suggesting that, on the evidence of those interviewed by the Telegraph, he wasn't.

Meanwhile, I am very sorry that you and your loved one have suffered so much. You were both ripped off in a particularly awful way. It is no wonder that you are angry right now, being reminded of what your loved one has gone through and what might have been.

Seraphic said...

And I will point out that nowhere in this post did I say that a specific man who leans on a woman to have an abortion is more likely than another man to become a serial killer. A selfish man, however, is probably more likely to kill others than a selfless man, just as a selfless man is less likely to pressure a woman to abort his kid. I hope this makes my post clearer and you feel better.

fifi said...

This is such a tragic story. I'm praying for all those involved and affected. We don't get much coverage of it in the US, but the scale and violence remind me somewhat of the Columbine shootings, and I remember how devastating those were for the community and the entire nation.