June 9th: Too late for treatment

by Shaun on October 21, 2014 - 9:50am


On June 9th, 2014, a man named Justin Bourque fatally shot three Canadian Mountain Police officers, and injured two others.  He bought the gun prior to this horrible event, and was kicked out of his house, furthering his fall into depression and paranoia.  Before he was kicked out of his home, and living with six other siblings, he had been ranting against authority (as said by his father.)

The event itself was planned, and after a 30 hour manhunt, he was arrested.  He pleaded guilty to three charges of first degree murder, and will most likely get three life sentences with a chance of parole in 75 years.


What you think happened (1)


I think that Justin had, in fact, planned to kill those officers.  It is just as the article says it.


Why you think this event happened (1)


I think this happened because Justin was not mentally stable.  His hatred of authority was so great, that it had overridden both moral boundaries, and societal boundaries.  This was a crime of hate so great that there must have been a weight on his mental state.


Your opinion on the preventability of this particular (and similar) events (1)

His father should have sought professional help for him, instead of kicking him out of the house.  Whatever the reason is, never leave your child to deal with mental disorders by themselves--bad stuff happens. 


First of all, I would like to mention that your title Too Late for Treatment was really catchy and insightful. Although, you are referring to treatment meant to deal with mental health conditions, I see it as treatment too late to be given to Justin Bourque because he conformed too much to society’s norms. Who he has become and what he has done are irreversible. If you look at it through gendered lens’, it is the gender roles society attributes to men and women that made him perpetrate this act of violence. The concept of hegemonic masculinity described by the “man box” promotes this ideal type of masculinity in which men are powerful individuals always in control. Men are stoic because they are powerful compared to women who are emotional and weak. Therefore, men have to suppress their feelings until the day comes where they can no longer hold it in anymore and outbreak in rage. When women are encouraged to consult specialists to treat their mental medical conditions, men are disregarded and degraded if they do so. Hence, they do not reach out for help in order to fulfill society’s expectations just like in Bourque’s case. He proved his masculinity by repressing his emotions and through violence. In fact, killing Canadian Mountain Police officers who symbolize authority and fit the hegemonic masculinity confirmed Bourque's place in this ideal type of masculinity. Bourque did not override societal boundaries but is unfortunately a victim of them.

There is an interesting blog by Adrian Cilmi where he is explains the effects of hegemonic masculinity through his personal life experiences. Here is the link to his blog: https://genderedconfusion.wordpress.com/ .

Thank you for your response. I don't remember the story that well, or why I wrote what I wrote, but here is my response nonetheless.

As a man, and a human being, I disagree with your argument. Yes, society places pressures and imposes norms on us since a young age, but the will to be independent and the mind to be critical of these outside influences are skills that every human being is capable of.

Hegemony is to blame, yes, but so are we. Before we focus on societal problems, we must first look at ourselves, and how we exist in these environments. That type of self-awareness is necessary if we wish to properly change the world.

Mental health involves what I was speaking about in the paragraphs above. Awareness and understanding of the self is key if we wish to defened the health of our mental and emotional state from toxic outside influences...and ourselves.

Shooting three people is not the act of a person who properly deals with the pain inside them--regardless of if that pain was caused by others.

Pain makes villains of us all when we blame others. At the end of the day, you have a choice to be self-aware or not.

And, if you are afraid to be, that is not a good enough excuse. You will wish to deal with your pain through projection, blame, and other destructive behaviours.

We are all responsible for ourselves.

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