2014 Taipei Metro Attack / 鄭捷隨機殺人事件 (中英)

For the first time ever, there has been a mass stabbing on the Taipei metro.

Four people were killed and some 25 injured this afternoon when a deranged college student took advantage of one of the longest stretches between stops (a 4-minute ride under a river) to fulfill a childhood fantasy by stabbing other passengers with a fruit and Swiss Army knife until he was finally subdued inside the next station.

The TV news stations here have learned from the best (CNN): breathless coverage, and some announcers have even baselessly speculated the killer was a protester. But among my Taiwanese friends on FB the conversation has been much realer. Here’s what I had to add:

May the departed rest in peace, the injured quickly recover, and the killer repent and believe in the Gospel.

So, there’s this slogan for the metro system, “We are all metro passengers” [note: it’s a pun because the word for that is “Jack”, a character in an ad for the metro] and it’s easy to shrug off but it really hit me today.

Today didn’t just remind us of how fragile our lives are; it also reminded us how important trust is.

Every public transportation system, every city, every society needs people to trust each other to function. Taiwan has an extremely low crime rate and an extremely high amount of mutual trust, but Taiwanese people are still people. We all have free will, and any one of us could kill someone. No matter what mode of transportation you use, how many policemen are stationed there, whether or not there are metal detectors, or whether or not we have the death penalty, the need for trust will not change. So I’m still going to trust you all and keep staking my life together with you by riding the metro every day.

People say the death penalty deters crime, but sociological research shows that is not the case. And besides, three weeks ago our government killed five people (two of whom were convicted based on decidedly doubtful evidence). Frankly, the people on death row are just our scapegoats (using the ancient meaning of the word). I’m not saying they’re innocent, or that if they all lived they would come to regret their actions. Rather, I’m saying that they are shaped by the societies from which they came.

If we could look back over death row prisoners’ whole lives, we would definitely see:
-Many have mental illnesses. Why didn’t we do more earlier to treat them?
-Many have had painful experiences, and have been abused and rejected before. Where were the people to comfort them?
-Many had done several small bad things leading up to their big crime. Who was there to correct them then?

In an urbanized time, especially a smartphone society, it’s actually easier and easier to cut oneself off from the world. If you want to pass a totally lonely/independent life, you can. But the more one is alienated from others, the stranger one’s thought process will become. And the less love a person receives, the less valuable he will think his life is. Moreover, it will then be easier for him to believe other people’s lives don’t have value, either, so killing them wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Among these unhappy people, some (I’m not certain about this case) will want to do something really big, to let the world get to know them, to let the world know they exist. To be honest with you, I’ve thought before that the easiest way to get famous in America is to kill a bunch of people. Extremely lonely people have likely thought this too.

Taiwanese people were originally rice farmers–indigenous were hunters–they had to work together, and they all had to resist colonizers together. In order to survive this kind of life, you have to preserve good relationships and trust each other. Some families knew each other for generations.

But in present-day society, from kindergarten to retirement it’s all competition, and we’ve all left our hometowns and those long, deep relationships behind to pass our days in Taipei. “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City”.

For this reason, now more than ever everyone has to try hard to make new friends, treat strangers well, be concerned for the loneliest among us, and pay special attention to the health of those with mental illnesses. That’s the only way we can lower the probability of this kind of tragedy from happening again.

祝今天去世的人安息,祝受傷的人早日康復,祝殺手悔改信福音。
『我們都是捷客』
這句口號是容易忽略的,可是現在就給我特別深刻的影響
今天不但提醒我們生命多易碎,也提醒我們信賴多重要。
每個交通工具、每個城市、每個社會都需要人人彼此信賴才可行
台灣人犯罪率非常低,彼此信賴非常高,可是還是人類
而人類都有自由意識,我們都能夠殺人
無論用什麼交通工具,警察人數多少,有沒有金屬探測器,有沒有死刑這個信賴的必要性都不會變。
所以我還會信賴你們,還會每天都搭捷運,跟你們一起拼命。

人說『死刑嚇阻犯罪』,不過根據社會學研究並非如此。
而且我們政府三個禮拜前就殺了五個人(其中兩位刑案的證據十分值得懷疑)
坦白講,死囚只是我們的替罪羊罷了。
這不是說他們是無辜的,也不是說他們都活下來的話就會悔改
而是說死囚也都是我們自己的社會造成的。
如果我們有辦法回首看死囚一整個生命,一定會看到
很多有精神病,我們為什麼沒早就發現而治療?
很多有痛苦、被虐待、被排斥的經驗,那個時候誰安慰他們了?
很多做過許許多多小壞事,那個時候誰糾正他們的行為了?
在都市化的時候裡,特別是智慧手機的社會裡,自我封閉竟然越來越容易,如果想要一個人過完全孤獨/獨立的日子,就可以這麼做
不過一個人離其他人越來越疏遠,想法越來越容易變奇怪。
還有,收到越少愛的人平常越以為自己生命沒有價值。
何況更容易認為別人的生命也沒有價值,所以殺他們不是壞事。
這些不幸的人之中,有些(不確定有沒有包括本案)就會想要做非常大的事情,為了讓世界都認識他們了,為了讓世界發現他們存在。說實在的,我也自己想過,在美國如果要出名的話最容易的方式就是殺很多人。超級孤獨的人也會這樣想吧。

台灣人原來差不多都是稻農,原住民是獵人,都也要一起抵抗殖民者,為了生存就必須跟別人維持好關係、維持信賴,某些家庭就互相認識幾個時代了
可是現在的社會卻從幼稚園到退休都是競爭,而我們差不多都離開家鄉跟那些長期深刻的關係以來台北過日子了。
因此我們每個人都比以往更要努力交新朋友,善待陌生人,關心生活圈裡最孤獨的人,特別要注意精神病患者的身心健康,
這樣才會降低悲劇再次發生的可能性。
最後,我請你們今後每次過龍山寺~江子翠之間都為我們社會裡最需要救助的人祈禱。謝謝。

Explore posts in the same categories: Politics, Taiwan, 中文

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