5 to 15
Dan’s new life expectancy statistic sounds way too much like a prison sentence to me. You get 5 to 15 years for robbing a liquor store. You get 5 to 15 for burning down a national forest.
To me, it’s this crazy, crazy idea of “blame the victim.” Through the years, healthcare has alternately cozied up to and backed off of this concept. Alcoholism is a “disease,” but a heart attack can be personally prevented by adopting dietary restrictions.
In the maelstrom of VT coverage, one interview stands out for me. It was with the head of student counseling services and the
But the most important thing he said was that it is our instinct, our desire to have an explanation whenever a tragedy occurs. The idea is that if we can understand the cause, we can prevent it from happening again. But most of the time, there simply is not an explanation. It’s a terrible, terrible thing that no one could have predicted and most likely, could not have been stopped.
No one deserves to die. And even though no one deserves to die, it will happen. It will happen unexpectedly, it will happen violently, it will happen willfully, it will happen accidentally. It will happen. Assigning blame and fault will not stop it from happening. All the prevention and restrictions and regulations will not stop it.
Dan is alive and healthy. I am mourning as if he isn’t. I’ve been doing so much mourning that I can barely get out of bed. Mourning and grieving and looking for someone to blame. This week I learned there’s no one to blame -- up to, and including, the victims. And while this insight is great, it doesn’t give you much comfort.