Please Don’t Fire Away!

The Chinese government is upset because some people in Tibet are going around setting themselves on fire and shouting words of defiance to the Chinese rule over their country. During the past several weeks over 20 monks and other people have decided to set selves on fire in the county of Aba. A Chinese official, Wen Zegang, in that area explained the reason for their behavior. “Some of the suicides are committed by clerics returning to lay life, and all have criminal records or suspicious activities. They have a very bad reputation.”

I understand why he thinks there is something criminal about self immolating which causes the fire department to rush to put out this fire. That costs money and there is no reason why honest Tibetans should assume the cost of these illegal fires. Why don’t they go into the mountains and fire away?