The horrifying case of baby-killer, James Howson, was highlighted today by TOB. To read more details of this case, click on the link.
Killing one’s own baby in such a hideous, apparently cold-blooded, fashion is guaranteed to diminish to minute levels any questioning of the societal causes behind Howson’s crime. It’s difficult to feel other than revulsion towards this man; the inhumanity of the crime serves to block any sympathy based on his own childhood, or adolescent, problems – even assuming there were any.
A factor society generally tends to disregard is the sheer numbers of James Howson’s that are spawned. Not all kill their baby by breaking its back, but the quantity of cold-blooded killers, or rapists, or mutilators, surfacing in our societies seems to rise remorselessly.
The hothead with a gun, robbing the convenience store, or murdering his girlfriend during a quarrel, while no less forgivable, is certainly more understandable than Howson, whose crime rates revulsion and disdain by the very nature of its incomprehensibility.
Is that, though, a reason for not attempting to comprehend what caused James Howson to commit his vile act? If we simply shrug it off as an inhuman crime, are we not, at best, emphasizing a contradiction? How can an act be inhuman, when performed by a human being?
Of course, the pedantic would argue that the very definition of “inhuman” is: ‘lacking pity, kindness, or mercy’ – attributes supposedly unique to the human race. Few, though, would dare to argue that the antonyms: piteousness, cruelty, and intolerance, are other than very human traits. One has only to view the activities of any culture on the planet to realize that. Pity, kindness, and mercy are in very short supply throughout the world today.
So we can’t wash our hands of the James Howson’s by categorizing them as, in some way, less than human. Yet this is exactly how society deals with these people. In the more barbaric nations they are killed, then forgotten. In ‘civilized’ society they’re locked away for years, and forgotten.
No-one, it seems, makes any serious attempt to a) discover what caused Howson to commit his crime, and b) question how James Howson may have been prevented from becoming a cold-blooded baby killer.
Isn’t it time we did?
Filed under: Cold blooded killers