The gruesome killing of five young girls in Nickle Mines, an Amish village in Pennsylvania, shocked the world. Having once visited the picturesque Lancaster County, where numerous Amish communities are found, the Warrior Lawyer could never conceive that such a pastoral place could ever be the scene of such senseless carnage. I found the Amish to be taciturn, even shy, although not unfriendly.
On a bright Monday morning,in a one-room schoolhouse where children ranging in age from 6 to 13 were studying their lessons, Charles Carl Roberts IV stormed in armed with a handgun. After sending out the boys from the room, he shot 10 of the young girls before shooting himself. Five – Naomi Rose Ebersol, 7, Lena Miller, Mary Liz Miller-8,Anna Mae Stoltzfus -12 and Marian Fisher – 13, died at the scene. Five other girls remain hospitalized in critical condition. It was reported that he had with him lubricating jelly and plastic restraints, indicating that he may have been planning to sexually assault the Amish girls.
What is remarkable is the immediate outpouring of sympathy and support, not only to the families of the victims, but to the family of the gunman as well. Some of the relatives of the victims have even expressed forgiveness for the killer. Such is the Amish way.
The Amish have shunned the trappings of the modern world. But they could not escape its insanity and violence.