Tragic

This is awful news. Not at all the kind of spring fever one expects on a college campus. 30 is a big death toll number for these gunman incidents. It seems most of them settle for one or two targets before taking their own life, but this is mind-blowing, that he could start shooting in one part of campus, then strike again two hours later! Very poor execution of an emergency plan, I’d say. I’m sure the university didn’t have the resources to deal with this, but it seems like they could have done more to prevent the second wave of violence.

Brings back memories of Columbine. I was one year out of high school when that happened, and I remember reading the newspaper articles about it on my break at my job. I was working in a restaurant, taking a quarter off from college at the time. I hated that job, I wasn’t very thrilled about being back at home after having been away at school, but I remember being somewhat grateful to be out of high school at least, and worried for my younger siblings in case some smartass decided it would be cool to produce a copycat incident. Especially since one of the Columbine killers (I can never remember if it was Klebold or Harris) actually went to the same elementary school as me for a year. I don’t know if he was in my class, this was way back in first grade, I think. I thought for sure some mistreated teenager would think that having a school system in common was some sort of connection worth exploiting. Fortunately, nothing of the sort occurred.

The guy that introduced Mike and I went to Virginia Tech. I’m sure he’s heard by now what’s happened. I hope none of his professors or acquaintances were hurt or worse.

This kind of thing astounds me. I’ve had frustrations in my life, disappointments. It’s very hard to understand how someone could get to the point of procuring a firearm and taking out his hurt on other people, most of whom presumably have nothing at all to do with the gunman’s rage. I just can’t imagine being on either end of that scenario. What must have been done to that person to make him resort to violence on such a scale? College is supposed to be a place for enlightenment, finding your place in the world. Not taking random people with you on your way out. Just awful.

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37 thoughts on “Tragic

  1. Bazarov says:

    Well, the guy from the 1966 incident in Texas was found to have a tumor growing next to and pressing against one of his amygdalae. Depending on how far you’ve made it into the Sapolsky lectures you should know why that’s of interest. I don’t think these people are sane. They’re simply malfunctioning humans. It’s just such a shame that these broken humans can cause so much misery.

  2. AmeDame says:

    I couldn’t get the XBox to play those….should I bother getting Mike to hook up the actual DVD player, or do I have to use the computer to watch them?

  3. Bazarov says:

    The lecture set that came from the Teaching Company should play in a DVD player. I don’t know if they’d play in a computer. I have far more interesting things to watch though. That’s much more academic and like actual lectures, only you don’t get to ask any questions that will be answered.

  4. AmeDame says:

    I’m up for watching them, I just didn’t want to start disconnecting machines and stuff. It says DVD Movie on the discs, so I thought the XBox would play it, but no dice.

  5. suntzusays says:

    Random people yeah. That’s a bit strange. I suspect not all of them were totally random. Not to be completely insensitive about it, since whatever they did didn’t deserve a bullet barrage either. Just reminds me how wound up students have become. Despite my rather cold heartless outlook, I was pretty well-balanced and wasn’t in any mood to snap as a student and start spraying sniper fire into a crowd. These kids need to chill out.

  6. AmeDame says:

    I read something about a breakup with a girlfriend. How unfortunate that not all of us have the self-control to just hole up and cry uncontrollably rather than, like, go do awful stuff.

  7. Bazarov says:

    Or just shoot yourself like that kid did at Ankeney when a girl rejected him. Seriously, just shoot yourself and your broken brain; there’s no need to see how many others you can take down on the way. Makes ya sorta wish there was an afterlife just so you could fuck with that guy for the rest of eternity.

  8. AmeDame says:

    Well that sounds a bit harsh. I agree that there’s no need to take others along, but I’d bet the guy’d been fucked with more than enough.

  9. Bazarov says:

    I don’t buy it. If you’re lashing out because you’ve been abused you’ve now become worse than those who tormented you because they obviously didn’t kill or torture you. That’s what I tried to expose in Atop A Tower…these people are pieces of shit. Yes, I probably would’ve sympathized with many of these people BEFORE they did the horrendous things they did, but the moment they cross that line they’ll get no sympathy from me, unless you consider not calling them evil and instead just broken sympathetic.

  10. AmeDame says:

    Kind of. Until you say you’d wish for an afterlife just to fuck with them! It’s all just so very hard to comprehend. Even at a distance. Can’t imagine being any closer to it than reading about it on the internet and hearing it on the news.

  11. Bazarov says:

    hahahaha…yes, that’s silly. there could be no them without their physical bodies so it’s silly. I was just trying to express the natural urge to wish revenge on someone who does others wrong. it appears the other apes can make this distinction. asshole apes that get beat up are less likely to be groomed than those who got beat up for no good reason. I’m sure the people who experienced it first hand are in a dream/nightmare state and will be for sometime. the things that I think I’d hate most are the nightmares and the flashbacks. You know everytime a car backfires or a gun goes off in the distance or any other number of stimuli triggers them a flashback will occur. That’s gotta be hell.

  12. AmeDame says:

    Yes, that would be awful…it’s impossible not to re-live something like that, I’m sure. So sad.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I question which rockstar will be to blame in this instance. Marilyn Manson again?? Maybe one of the many gun-toating hip gangster wanna be rapper thugs? Or, what the hell, Celine Dion perhaps??

  14. AmeDame says:

    Celine Dion does scare the bejeezus out of me! Hilarious…

  15. Anonymous says:

    I feel that all major universities should be located next to a hospital. The transition, not only into college but away from home, can be pretty stressful. High levels of stress compounded with an already present mental illness can be explosive. Hence, prescription strength happy pills should be accessible no more than a short trot across a main intersection.

  16. Anonymous says:

    And Celine Dion should not be able to perform within a 15 mile radius of any college campus within the United States. Not only for the safety of America’s youth, but everybody. We have rights damnit! You heard it here first.

  17. AmeDame says:

    Celine Dion should not perform anywhere, ever. Well, Vegas is okay, with the 24-hour-drinking thing to numb the pain.

  18. Anonymous says:

    How did such a serious subject shift to Celine speak? Say that 4 times fast. As for Vegas, I’ll bet ya $300 I don’t have a gambling problem.

  19. AmeDame says:

    I dunno, but I rue the segue. I’ve got that freaking Titanic song in my head now!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Holy shit!!! I just saw on yahoo that Celine is actually going to perform a tribute to the Va Tech students Saturday at 8:00 on NBC.

  21. AmeDame says:

    Oh no, please, let me not be in front of the TV for that. I think the survivors would be better off if she’d just donate a few million for psychological treatment, rather than singing sad songs….erg.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Seriously. Are you serious? Did you believe that? I mean…it was pretty convincing and all, but……..

  23. AmeDame says:

    But what? Have you forgotten how gullible I am? heehee. I didn’t think you’d go making up stories, but I guess I shoulda known better.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hey! I just scored 4 tickets to the Kentucky Derby!! woo-hoo

  25. AmeDame says:

    See, now I don’t believe you! You’re the sheep that cried Celine.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I knew you wouldn’t, but seriously, just now I got 4 tix to the Kentucky Oaks which is 3 year old phillies. It’s the day befor the Derby and is essentially the Derby of female horses. Tickets are oftentimes sold in bundles for the 2 day event. It’s the 2nd biggest event at Churchill Downs behind the Derby!! haha I’m so damn tricky! Yeeeeee

  27. suntzusays says:

    Gambling problem + horse racing = ???. Good luck. Luck matters in things like that. I’ll stick to poker type gambling. Luck isn’t a big issue. Not sure that pill accessibility is what college students need. (TC is an raving idiot, but there is a point here; not everything is solved by pills). Anti-depressants maybe. But the 2nd biggest issue drug wise on campuses nowadays is those ritalin/caffeine pills; only binge drinking is past that. A sampling on a college university hospital showed that roughly 3/4 of people trying to get prescriptive drugs for anything on campus didn’t need them. They’re either addicts or selling them to said addicts. You’ve also got the psychologist effect, which shows that for whatever reason, people who sought professional treatment for PTSD were worse off over time than people who didn’t. That’s not universal; there’s still plenty of cases that people won’t recover without some real help. In a case like this, we’ll hear of PTSD dozens of times a day for the next month. There are ways to deal with many mental health problems without seeking professionals. This guy it sounds like ignored any help that was offered, any human contact even. That’s interesting. Really about the only interesting thing I’ve seen here. Everything else is old news with a fresh face. Tragedy on a grander scale. How do people get so shut down that they can’t even say hello or react to someone else. I tried. It doesn’t work. I’d like to know. But of course, if I had to listen to Celine Dion for more than a few seconds, I might not be able to properly interact with other human beings either. Not that I do as it is.

  28. I agree, this was completely shocking–I thought we’d been able to move past all horrific the school shootings.We were talking about it in one of my classes and someone brought up a good point–What seems to be the scariest isn’t the fact that the shootings took place two hours apart (the campus is huge, and of course they thought the incident in the dorm at 7:30 was isolated…I think it’s human nature to want to think that. And from what I’m told, since they believed it to be an isolated incident, they had every reason to suspect the gunman fled campus. Almost contradictorily, though, I know they kept the school open because they were also worried about the large amount of commuter students who would be open targets if they got to campus and all the buildings were locked down.)No, what seems to be the scariest part is that people like this always display warning signs that their peers, family, professors, whoever ALWAYS seem to miss. We know what signs may indicate a breakdown or a predisposition for heightened violence. Why does no one ever report them? Why does no one ever go to someone of authority to say, hey, he/she is acting really depressed, maybe he/she needs to TALK. Maybe he/she is about to go off and we need to recognize that before something awful happens. It’s so eerie to think that we have all the chance of preventing something this horrific, but no one takes the initiative…and then it’s too late.

  29. AmeDame says:

    Yes, I heard that story of one of his profs that reported him to police/counseling services, but they couldn’t force him to get treatment. Named him before his identity was made public. Eerie….not the kind of thing you want to be able to say “I told you so” about!

  30. suntzusays says:

    These things aren’t going away very easily. Keep in mind this is the week for Columbine, OK City, Waco.. plus the several random shootings a year that came along after Columbine. There’s something about the time that acts like a trigger point. It’s a refresher course for crazy people. And now they’ve got something new and powerful to grab their attention. While there are warning signs, some of the various warning signs could be difficult. Someone who writes weird violent stories? Hi Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, E.A Poe… Someone who is a loner, well there are lots of people who don’t have lots of friends. I tend not to make friends at work for example. My co-workers must think I’m insane too. Sometimes such people do have problems, but they aren’t always that they are psycho. Sometimes it’s things like social anxiety or depression. The problem is that without an organization that communicates all of the various problems together, like a puzzle, each independent warning is meaningless. After Columbine the profile of possible school shooters fit millions of kids. 99.99% of them are relatively normal kids. It’s that the profile was so radically altered by that day that the simple disillusionment of teenagers was now a cause for violence. The single switch theory says that everyone who is a loner, or has violent tendencies and interests, or likes aggressive metal music, or wears black all the time, is quiet, so forth, is potentially dangerous. This guy was a different case, because all of the warnings were there. It’s hard though to piece them together by yourself without seeing the whole. Many knew him as a loner, but didn’t know his writings were so chock full of gore and violence. He apparently stalked a couple of girls. But no charges were filed. Without public attention, nobody could follow through and find out what was wrong. And he seemed to refuse what help was offered anyway. Good luck stopping it.

  31. Bazarov says:

    Just to play the devil’s advocate…More people still die a year of “avoidable” deaths such as those related to smoking, not wearing helmets on motorcycles, not wearing seat belts, etc. So this issue of school shootings isn’t a problem. A tragedy? Certainly, but not a real problem we should be spending a lot of time worrying about. I’d say our attention and money are better spent working on problems such as curing contagious diseases or consciousness raising in trouble spots on the globe. That would save more lives. I hate to say it, but this sort of shit is gonna happen from time to time. When people get struck by lightning or die in some freak accident (something that’s probably as likely to happen to you as getting shot by a postal student/employee/nutjob) you don’t see mass movements to curb lightning strikes or what have you. But whenever humans do things we tend to think they could’ve been done otherwise because they have freewill. Perhaps, but when you’re dealing with populations of millions or billions of people, humans behave much more according to a general nature than not. If this trend in shooting random people increases then sure, we should worry about it more but I still think there are more pressing issues. This surely is a tragedy, but so are plane crashes and car wrecks. If there’s an obvious way to fix it of course we should, but this is a complicated matter and even when the warning signs are apparent, what can you do? The police can’t act on a guy who hasn’t made any explicit threats or had any charges brought against him; one of the downsides to being assumed innocent until proven guilty, but an acceptable one by most I’d think. And unfortunately some people have disordered minds for some reason or other. C’est la vie.

  32. suntzusays says:

    True. People worry about shark attacks still because of “Jaws”. But the odds of someone being attacked and killed at the ocean by a shark is almost zero. You’re more likely to get killed by a pirate at sea. We’re better off trying to get obese people on treadmills. That would save more lives; though there might be a few heart attacks or respiratory failures along the way. What I’m suggesting though is that the timing of the event indicates there might be something to it, because of the media power of things like Columbine. People who will snap now have focus points to plan around, even subconsciously. We have to be more concerned with how these types of events are covered, else they would fire up every crazy maniac with a gun. Some of them are bound to get enough in their head to act. Media instead should get fired up with people dying of heart disease or lung cancer instead (they are the top dogs anyway). Random shootings have been around for decades. One odd correllary has been that when the access or availability of guns has decreased, these mass killings have risen. Something does not add up there.

  33. Bazarov says:

    I’m guessing it has more to do with the weather 😉 Riots occur more in warmer climates and happen less frequently in the winter months. Spring time is when the season changes and it starts getting warmer. People aren’t cooped up, starting wearing less, go out more and are more likely to bump into others (liked or disliked), hormones are revigorated, and all that jazz. There have also been studies indicating that the amount of sunlight one recieves can affect mood. This would explain why my people, the Norse, are percieved as being morose and depressed compared to other peoples. The therapy entails sitting infront of a screen that mimicks sunlight with UV and all! Hahahahaha. I don’t think the media has much influence, because most of these kids I’d imagine aren’t following Couric or Rather and those youngin’s that are like seven and shoot up school watch cartoons instead presumably.I’d go with something simple and parsimonious, such as the weather. I won’t even get into the whole “It’s in honor of Hitler’s birthday” thing. Funny though, spring just makes me think WOMAN more, can’t say it ever got me thinking about randomly shooting people. Different strokes for different folks I guess.I do see the point about having something to plan around. As more and more of these event occur around this time of the year the more it will be in the back of people’s minds and that might influence when they’d make the attack. But if one were really wanting to hurt people and the more the better, why don’t they just put something in the heating system during the winter when everyone’s inside and the windows are closed? Carbon Monoxide is odorless, kills just as well, and is easily produced. Just go to the boiler room and throw something in the vents. But something tells me that doesn’t fulfill the violent cravings these people get. Damn…I need to stop thinking about this topic; I’m critiquing murder methods! :-S Think I’ll go smoke and look at the girls wearing less…you gotta love Spring!

  34. AmeDame says:

    yeeah. that was more of a suggestion than a critique. I hope to stay on your good side. And don’t laugh at that UV therapy thing. I swear I have seasonal affective disorder (SAD); one day of sunshine makes me wonder why I was so sad when it rained for four day straight. I’m very affected by the weather, unfortunately.

  35. suntzusays says:

    Well.. that and the fact that statistically suicide rates are high in Scandinavia. Conversely, they’re pretty low in Australia or NZ. So I suppose the weather has some play. I think the time of year has a good source too. Consider where this is in a typical student’s year. All year to build up anxieties over social events (or lack thereof) and right around exam times. A high tension environment combined with low continuous tension makes for snappy people. I agree, it’s mostly a good time to look around. It’s not so for most. Too wrapped up in their own lives.To top it off, there aren’t very many mandated days off around this time. They need a second spring break. More time to look around. I’d be the one critiquing. I did that alot around 9/11. Mostly avoiding it for now.

  36. Bazarov says:

    I didn’t mean to poke fun. I just thought it was funny this day and age, post psychoanalysis and mri and drug therapy, that just sitting infront of a light could help. SAD stands for a lot, doesn’t it? I think I have a reduced SAD, Social Anxiety Disorder. I wouldn’t call it diagnosible as I seem to be able to keep a job and what not, but it’s there nonetheless. We’re all crazy, just some more than others. That’s the main message I got from Sapolsky: It’s only a small step from them and their diseases to us and our quirks. Happy…what is today…Wednesday already? Happy Wednesday!

  37. AmeDame says:

    yeah, it does! I love the little zoloft guy, the oblong party-pooper. he’s so sad and cute, like Ziggy! heehee. Yep, all on a continuum of crazy. I certainly have days when I feel crazier than others, and some days I feel like the only sane person on earth. I guess it averages out to somewhat normal…Viva la diference!

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