Thursday I went to see Sniper (it's closed now, so you won't be able to experience this play yourself). The focus of the play is on "an honors student in a small New York town took a deer rifle to his school and killed neighbors and friends. Very loosely based upon this 1975 rampage, Sniper explores what has become an American phenomenon." Now, I grew up in upstate NY and I vaguely remember the incident.
What struck me about this play is that the question "why" kept being asked, and the answer wasn't easy. There was no Aryan Nation website that he went to, no "Twinkie defense" attempted - this was just a kid who snapped. He didn't want to place blame on his parents, his church, his friends - he just snapped and didn't necessarily know why he'd done this horrific act. It was much like the woman in Texas who "didn't like Mondays."
It was a confusing time. He was at a confusing age. I can understand the not knowing fully "why" because I've had those urges at times, without knowing why. I'm glad that the play didn't seek to present it as a tidy "here's why and how and don't you feel better about it all" package, because life isn't like that.
Next up on my theater going schedule: Gorilla Man. I'll be it makes me think, too.
UPDATE: Talk about wanting easy answers - apparently the sniper in the Hudson Valley Mall incident was "inspired" by Columbine. I'll bet a whole lot more was going on than just that but no one will care because now we "know".