I am not a happy guy.

Some whack-job decides to unleashed his pathetic rage on 32 helpless, defenseless fellow humans. On top of this, NBC (stands for Nothing Beats Carnage) airs his delusional ranting as if this is an explanation for his behavior. The criminal murderer of Blacksburg, Virginia, deserves nothing. He was an immigrant to the greatest nation on the planet, he attended one of the best schools on the planet and had access to immeasurable resources. And yet he portrayed himself as "oppressed".


To be certain, he was very mentally ill. The fact that a Virginia judge rendered such a judgment shows that the system works. The fact that he remained eligible to purchase a firearm underscores how the system does not.

Let me be clear, I am a conservative on the issues of the second amendment. I firmly believe that the founding fathers intended the right to bear arms to be an individual right. With no standing army, the phrase "well regulated militia" was a secondary benefit. Had even one legally armed individual been present, I am certain the effects of this deranged person's action could have been stopped or mitigated.

What is most galling is the reaction of the media to this story. Why did he do it, they cry. While showing his homegrown terrorist rant. There is little or no mystery here. We have an individual who felt ostracized (in truth or his own perception). We have a person who was identified by the authorities as being a danger to himself, and possibly others. This individual lacked the support (or enforcement) to seek help on his own.

Here is my message to anyone who cares to note it. Pay attention to your friends and colleagues. Let them know you care and do not take for granted how they may be feeling.

A little more compassion can go a long way to preventing another such horror.


Lauren said…
This is the best articulated set of sentences about this subject... thank you for saying them in this way. I especially like how you ended the thoughts -- with the part about listening to people. You are truly wise.
Here, here. I was waiting for your take on this, and I am not at all disappointed. One thing that you have addressed, that no one else seems to do so well, is the effect that bullying and social ostracism have on a person's mental heatlh, especially in these times which seem to glorify carnage and violence as normal and something that hurts no one (and no, I don't just mean video games). Luckily, most of us are able to handle it and move on. Many, like the young man here, do not, or for some reason, cannot.

I also believe that there must be some responibility for this tragedy placed on Tech itself...the signs were there, he was diagnosesd a known threat to himself and others, yet he was allowed to stay on campus after that decision was made.

Yesterday, some of my students asked how I would react in a situation like this, should it ever occur in my very vulnerable classroom. Sadly, I had to respond "I don't know. I like to think I would know how to behave and what to do, but...I just don't know...."
Citizen Deux said…
Tough to say. I think the students did what anyone would do, try to save them selves. They lacked the deeper bonds of family.
sonicfrog said…
I keep hearing "why didn't they just lock him up"! Here is the problem. For every one guy or girl who is determined to pose a threat, and then carries it out, there are thousands who do not, and respond to treatment. I wish there were some way to sort those who are just talk from those who are quite capable of carrying those threats out, but there isn't.

For teachers this is frightening stuff. As a substitute, I can tell you that I find myself wondering what would I do if this type of thing were to happen while I'm on campus. I'm not a paranoid person (if I deny it does that mean I am?), but if there has been behavioral troubles with a student in one of my classes, I sometime catch myself looking over my shoulder when walking to my car as I leave campus to double check that I'm not being followed. I love this job as a whole, but man, sometimes it is scary to think about things that have happened, and imagine what could.
Come back to us, Citizen Deux. Your continued silence, both blog and otherwise, gives us cause for concern for your well being.