This is an email I sent to one of my friends today...I thought I would change it a bit and post it here as well, as these are my feelings on this whole tragic Virginia Tech (and school shootings in general) incident.
You know I'm really tired of hearing all this talk about "oh, he was bullied at school" every time some kid shoots up a school. Ya know what? So was I, so were most of the kids I went to school with. There were kids who NEVER talked to anyone...no one talked to them unless to make fun of them. There were always the kids who didn't talk right, that were overweight, too geeky, dressed funny, or wore braces. Some were too geeky, didn't talk or dress "right", wore braces, AND were overweight. And they didn't shoot up the school because of it - they didn't do anything. Whatever happened to "ignore them", "sticks and stones", or "turn the other cheek"?
What is with the revenge bit? It's NOT because of being picked on...it's because being picked on AND retaliating by violent means is NOW ACCEPTED in our society. We are making excuses for them and their actions...they don't even have to think of their own. I am tired of this - NBC did a real disservice if you ask me by showing these tapes, especially how they managed to highlight the parts where he (I refuse to mention his name...he doesn't deserve any more recognition) says, in essence, "I'm doing this for everyone like me...I am your avenger". Oh, that's what we need - more kids who think "yeah, he makes sense...people who get picked on SHOULD fight back with guns...those kids who do the picking on SHOULD die". People can argue until the cows come home about how it helps us identify the "possible next one" - but you know what, WE didn't need this info. Put it in the hands of those who do...not the general populace who are beginning to get incredibly desensitized to all of this.
My first remembrance of a mass school shooting was immortalized in a song from The Boomtown Rats..."I Don't Like Mondays". I liked that song...I didn't like the impetus for it...it was a catchy tune, maybe too catchy. This Virginia Tech shooting occurred on Monday...and also is "coincidentally" the week of the Columbine murders, Waco, and the "avenge Waco two years later" bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Federal Building. This "calendar of infamous 'me too' April events" is getting a little too disturbing for my liking. And what influence, if any, did these things have to do with this latest shooting...and others which have gotten less press over the years, and, unfortunately, the ones in the future?
Cries of "you haven't seen anything yet" coursing thru those other students' heads...the ones who phoned in these things to their schools - a "joke" they say. Oh, how "funny" if must have seemed to those schools that got those threats the next day...and are probably continuing to get them. Oh...and don't forget those "infamous" dates - "Columbine's anniversary" made more famous for the killers themselves than for those who lost their lives. I'm sure they get plenty of calls on THAT date (which just so happens to be THIS date). Damned sick if you ask me. We are too fascinated. We are intrigued by these people nearly to the point of worshiping them...we want to look into their "heads", their motivation for doing it...their motivation for doing it was being pure evil. End of story.
I talked to someone yesterday who swore that if he could have talked to the kid, he's sure he would have gotten "through to him". I completely disagree. I think no amount of girlfriends this guy would have had, no amount of friendship bestowed upon him, no amount of intervention...probably would have helped. Some people ARE beyond help. Some others choose not to seek it. Some are mental and have some actual issues beyond their control, some are just pure evil...some, I'm sure, are a combination...but still are a ticking time bomb. I believe if this student HAD been expelled from campus years before, chances are he would have retaliated years before as well.
I just wish people (in the media) would not glorify such actions by highlighting every detail...in the case of the Unabomber, printing his "manifesto" LED to his arrest. We already KNEW who was the perpetrator of the Columbine shootings...of the Virginia Tech shootings. Airing these tapes, their websites, their ramblings...is just what they wanted us to do "after the fact"-- they KNEW it in advance, just as they KNEW what they were going to do before they did it...and this "press glorification" is the motivation behind much of this horror.
Evil begets evil...I say let it begin to end...don't give them this satisfaction in the end as they planned all along...they are not to be made martyrs. Just don't air it.