Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Witz Pickz: More Ripped From the Headlines...

Continuing this week's "ripped from the headlines" theme, I bring you an article courtesy of Wonder Yak and

As this article describes, 18 year old Ryan Schallenberger, was allegedly planning on bringing bombs to school. This in itself, is not funny. What's funny is what Ryan said after he was arrested. Craig Townsend of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives says:

"He said death was better than life," Craig Townsend said. "He told the sheriff he wanted to die and go to heaven and once he got there, he wanted to kill Jesus."

Yep. And so here is the crux of my post today-- not the fact that this kid bought explosives, or what his intentions were, but whether or not Ryan Schallenberg needs a psychological evaluation for his statement as the prosecutor's argue.

Clearly, the kid needs a psych evaluation. He bought explosives and wrote a journal planning to bomb his high school. That's all the evidence anyone should need. However, the prosecutors argued that his statements are an indication that he needs psychological evaluation. My question is why?

I think it's important to note that this all took place in South Carolina where, well, a lot of people are psyched about Christianity. So taking a look at his statement, it isn't all that crazy. First of all, if he was brought up in a religious household, it's not crazy for him to believe that Jesus is in Heaven and that he can go there when he dies. The article didn't say that he believed he'd go there when he blew up the school, just that he might commit suicide, wanted to die, and kill Jesus.

So it all logically follows. It's like in a recent episode of House that I saw where a small child had a small cat figurine stuffed up his nose, so he stuffed a fireman, fire engine, and policeman up there to try and get the cat out. House said that the kid was smarter than they gave him credit for since he understoof that kind of system. Well, Schallenberger is a lot like that. The cat is Jesus, he's the fireman, and death is the fire engine. And who hasn't said they wanted to kill somebody when they were upset at one time or another? "I'm gonna kill those idiots at amazon for not shipping my item in time for the party!" or "I'm gonna kill myself, I can't believe I just made that mistake." Or even, "I'm gonna kill those postal service guys for delivering my mail to the wrong address," to which they reply, "Oh no you won't!" You can't say that this kid is nuts because he said he wanted to "kill someone" even if it was Jesus, who he logically believes exists in a Heaven that he can get to.

What I would REALLLY like to know, and what I think is more important, is WHY he wants to kill Jesus. Is it because he was CAUGHT trying to bomb the school? Does he think that it was, "That darn Jesus, again!" who stopped him from succeeding? Does he often think that Jesus interferes in his evil plans? That's still not logically crazy, but it definitely defines his moral compass and whether or not he understands right and wrong. Or did he just run out of people to blame and want to kill, so he finally settled on Jesus?

The prosecutors also had brilliant statements like, "His conduct is bizarre," which is like saying, "He's the weird kid in class." He also knocked over some furniture because he didn't want to walk his sister to his Grandmother's house. So he's an angry teen. I'm not sure that's much to go on. If ANYTHING-- and remember, this is regarding the quote, NOT the bombing plan-- he's one of the more super-motivated teens I've ever heard of. He was so mad at Jesus that he actually established a mental plan to deal with him. Most people would be like,

"I'm so pissed at that Jesus!"
"Jesus Ramirez, the sophomore?"
"No man, Christ!"
"Oh-- yeah well, whattya gonna do, right?"
"Yeah, you're right...whatever..."

But Ryan Schallenberger was like,

"I'm so pissed at that Jesus!"
"Jesus Ramirez, the sophomore?"
"No man, Christ!"
"Why are you so mad at Jesus Christ?"
"Why aren't I! It's everything man-- I really wanna kill that guy."
"I'm not kidding!"
"Uh...oh...but, he already died....and then came back...and then died again...."
"Well, you can't--"
"--Nobody tells me what I can't do!"
"I'm gonna do it, man, I'm totally gonna kill Jesus!"
"Ok, fine. How?"
"How? I'm gonna-- I'm gonna...kill myself, and then go to Heaven."
"Alright...and then?"
"And then what?! And then I'm gonna kill Jesus!"
"Dude, however, it's not like he'll be expecting it. I'll just, you know, like, punch him in the back of the head."
"You're gonna punch Jesus?"
"Yeah, right on the dome."
"You're gonna punch Jesus right on the dome?"
"Hell yeah, I am!"
"And you think that'll kill him? Why not bring a gun or something?"
"You can't bring a gun with you when you die and go to Heaven! Don't be an idiot!"
"What about an ipod?"
"Well, can you bring an ipod? I mean, what song would you be listening to?"
"I dunno..."
"Maybe like P.O.D. or something? Rammstein?"
"Nah, probably more like Aaron Copeland's 'Rodeo.' Or 'Applachian Spring'"
"Was that a composer joke?"
"It looked suspiciously like one, didn't it?"
"Jesus Christ..."
"Tell me about it, I hate that guy."
"But-- Don't you think you'll go to hell afterwards?"
"Whatever man-- I'll burn content, knowing that that cock-blocking Jesus isn't around anymore."
"Around in Heaven you mean..."
"Yeah, around in Heaven."
"OK, good talk!"

So for his statement alone, I think that the prosecutors are wrong-- he doesn't need a psych evaluation. He needs one for his explosives and his bomb journal, and probably a lot of help and jailtime. For all we know, he needed that "hook" on his college apps and he thought, "Well, nobody's killed Jesus in years!" so he went for it.

Totally Krossed Out (Yes, the Kriss-Kross Album),


Adrian said...

Jesus didn't die twice, just the one time.

At least that's what the gospels indicate.

Or did you know that and were just indicating that the average high school student doesn't know?

momula said...

Thanks for dissecting the various reasons why this kid needs the psych route rather than, or in addition to, hard time. I appreciate the distinctions you made. I definitely think he should go with the insanity plea. And bring his parents up on charges, too, for raising him in a state where they still fly the Confederate flag at the Capitol.

On an unrelated note: where does one submit topics for Witz to pickz or not pickz? For instance - pickz your favorite rap/hip-hop artist & song. Just curious.

Witz said...

Thanks, Momula as always-- if you want to suggest a topic, you can email or simply leave it in the comments of any post and it will be emailed to me anyway.

Witz said...

P.S. Adrian, I know Jesus didn't die twice, but I was referring to his Zombie Jesus disappearance phase as a theoretical "death."