This is based on a true story. On the theme of yesterday’s date, here it is.

There was a little boy, and he went on a trip with his family. He was six years old. He had a sister who was 13 and a brother who was 10. The whole family went to Washington DC. They went because they wanted to see the museums, and they wanted to look at the White House.

They drove for a whole day to get to Washington DC, and when they got there, they drove to their hotel, put all their bags in the room, and went to dinner near the hotel. After dinner, the father drove the car around a very spacious area where there was a big rectangle of water, and there were many large white statues. His father told the children that they would go up close to the statues in the following days. Then it got dark, and they went to their rooms and slept.

The next morning, they got up early and went to the first museum. This story is about that museum – it was the FBI.

The whole family went into the FBI museum, and it was very dark, and there were guns in cases, and places to have your fingerprints fake-taken, and a lot of important signs on the walls that his sister read to him. The little boy stayed close to his Mom and his Dad, and sometimes, he stayed close to his sister and brother. He held his Mom’s hand, especially when the woman who was telling them stories was talking about the Mafia. In the Mafia, if somebody did something against the Mafia, then that person’s finger would get cut off.

During the whole museum walk, the little boy kept asking, why? and why? and why? And he kept holding his Mom and Dad’s hand. It was very interesting. There were so many secret things that he learned.

The last room was a big hall, and everyone in his family sat down: his sister, his brother, his Dad, his Mom, and him, in that order. Then the lights dimmed in that large hall, and the FBI people started shooting at targets to show how to shoot correctly. It was very loud and he covered his ears.

Then when they were done shooting, he put his hands down from his ears and took his Mom’s hand again. The FBI people at the front asked if there were any questions. Some man raised his hand and asked a question about the guns that the FBI people had shot with, and an FBI woman answered him. Another man asked about the top ten most wanted list. An FBI woman and an FBI man were answering the second man’s question. The little boy stood up next to his Mom so his head was near her ear. He said to her, “I want to ask a question.”

“What do you want to ask?” she whispered to him.
“Why do people kill people?”
His Mom said, “Maybe they don’t know the answer. Maybe it’s because people want to hurt people.” She saw that her son had a concentrated look on his face, and she asked, “Do you still want to ask the question?”
The boy said, “Yes.”

Just then the woman at the front was finished answering and asked, “Other questions?”
The Mom said, “Go on,” and the boy raised his hand.
The woman at the front said to him, “Yes?”
And he asked while standing up leaning against his Mom, “Why do people kill people?”

It was quiet in the large hall for a moment.

Then woman at the front sighed quietly, and said in a calm voice, “We don’t know why people kill people. It may be that people think that what they are doing is right, and that it makes sense for them to do it. It may be that that’s what they’re told to do, and they do it. It could be that they are trained to do this. … It could be that people who kill other people are just bad. Maybe they kill because they have a wrong view of the world, because they think that killing someone will be good for them. Maybe some people are bad people. Do some of these thoughts answer your question?” she asked the boy.

He nodded his head, standing and leaning against his Mom.


  1. Posted Tuesday September 12, 2006 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    It’s a true story? Very interesting…and sad. I like the way you tell it…it brings out the innocence and vulnerability of the boy, and the fact that sometimes the best questions still haven’t an answer.

  2. Posted Tuesday September 12, 2006 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Guns don’t kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

    But seriously, I’ve often wondered why people could be capable of such horrendous things. I wish I had answers…

    Nice story, Senia. :)

  3. Posted Tuesday September 12, 2006 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Alvin, exactly, there may not be an answer. I hear the boy grew up to be a criminal justice attorney (not that this event affected his whole life – I’m sure he played videogames and ate pizza like all regular kids – but it’s just interesting that he’s still asking these questions).

    Chris, I’ve wondered too. Like the little boy, I want to know why also.

  4. Henri
    Posted Tuesday September 12, 2006 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    This is a really moving and wonderfully-told story, Senia. I think I got something in both my eyes as I was reading it.

    I was at the public shooting range yesterday to get some practice in, thinking about some of these issues, but it was wrapped up in my overly complex adult view of the world. Asking the simple question “why do I have to pull the trigger” next time I’m at the range will be just as important a drill as the ones I do regularly.

  5. Posted Wednesday September 13, 2006 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Good question, Senia. The answers are scary because there are so many of them.

  6. Posted Thursday September 14, 2006 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Henri, thank you for reading. That’s an intense little boy.

    Elona, true, so many.

  7. Posted Monday September 18, 2006 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Ooooh nice story! Just today I was listening to If everyone cared by Nickelback and this story reminds me of the song. Funnily enough, I looked up the lyrics just a couple of hours ago…

  8. bob
    Posted Friday October 5, 2007 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    kilin is bad!

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  1. By » SENIA.COM - September, 2006 on Wednesday November 22, 2006 at 2:06 am

    […] Regularly-Scheduled Fun Stuff :) Tuesday Stories: “The Gift of Insults” by zenstories “But You Remember the Blue” “Why Do People Kill People?” Thursday Quotes: Past the Persona, Simplicity, Complexity, Sleep (much more to come on this in Oct or Nov), On Stress, Today is Everyday (love these quotes on today and everyday!) Friday Questions: What’s your favorite flower? What have you done this week to make someone happy? Boo! What’s the craziest thing you’re going to do this weekend? […]