Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bad News Never Had Good Timing... Part 2.

Before I start this blog i want to re-direct you guys to This Post. Everything that is said here is pretty much how i feel about that side of the story... you know... minus all the big words and art and stuff (i tend to think in small words that i know what they mean... and music... sorry honey).

I try not to think about the shootings because all it does is get me mad... with no way to release that anger towards the source... aka meaningless anger. So anytime that i got reminded of what happened, i just pushed it right out to avoid those feelings. No use getting upset for nothing. But after my 2 days off this week being spent at Tech, going to see the free concert put on by DMB for the students, you couldn't avoid thinking about it. Well... i couldn't at least. And i have a few things to add about the situation that i don't think too many people think about. Maybe no-one has thought of them. But there are a few points, none of which are related to another, so i'll just separate them by "-" marks in bullet form.

-Walking to the concert Jessy and I grabbed a Collegiate Times that we walked by, and one of the headlines on the front page was something to the effect of "Parents of Victims Call for Firings and Resignations." Now i understand that the families of all the victims must be living in a nightmare, but in my head... this is really only 1 person's fault... trying to throw the blame to someone who you can actually punish is just wrong. This whole situation is unthinkable. No-one can predict the future. Throwing the blame on people might make the victim's families have a little bit of closure, but at what cost? And it's not the same kind of closure as having the fuckhead here to punish. It would be like blaming the shower for getting your pillow wet, when you were the genius who went and laid down without drying your hair. Following the same example... you see water drops from your bed, through the hall, into the bathroom, and finally into the shower... and after finding out that water comes from the shower head, firing your shower for getting your hair wet, when there is clearly someone else to blame. (Note: i realize that the culprit of this little mystery story is in fact "you" but you get what i'm going for here)

-Virginia Tech failed to stop this kid from going on a rampage. But how many kids have they stopped from doing the same thing? Probably hundreds. Probably thousands. Probably Ten-thousands. Who knows... and who cares. Even if they have stopped 1 person from lashing out at society, they are successful. There are plenty of messed up people out there, and VT has surely helped a lot of them with their counseling center. All the public cares about is that Tech "screwed up" and missed all his signs. But they didn't. They tried to get him help. "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." I commend Virginia Tech for help the thousands of kids who need help dealing with their problems... in fact, i commend ANYONE who helps ANYONE ELSE through a tough time. Whether it's just a phone call to check on someone you haven't talked to in a while, or helping an old lady across the street(sorry it's cliche, but you get my point).

-(Continuing on with the previous bullet, but in a different direction): Counselors help kids in many ways, but you really can't tell how many violent acts they have prevented. The only statistics that people ever see are the outcome of someone slipping through the cracks. You can't tell who would've been a rapist, murderer, or a thief... but after something happens, all the signs point to something bad happening... If you could tell who is going to be a rapist, murderer, or a thief... then this world wouldn't need counselors and therapists, etc. But the main point here is that the numbers only reflect all those that slipped through. I like to think that the majority of people that have the potential to do something bad that get help, are actually stopped with the right help. But as i said, we will never know.

-After thinking about all this on my 4 hour car ride home, i can't help but think about how much my life would've been different if this had happened 2 years ago. Even though i feel a huge connection with Tech, and still consider myself a Hokie for life... i have experienced this situation at an arm's distance... with my only connection with Tech right now being Jessy... she's really the only person down there that i even know anymore... But what if that was 2 years ago? How would i convince Mom to let me go back? Would i even want to go back? Would i know someone in one of those rooms? But i wasn't there. Which i'm thankful for.

So that's it. I know this not going away, at least for the time being... but i think i'm done for now. But yeah, it's not over with, and i don't think i'll ever be able to help those who were really affected...

But i will still try.


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Jessy said...

Truly, the biggest bone I have to pick is with the state government. He was committed, and instead of following up with him to ensure that he sought court-ordered treatment, they basically dumped him off on Cook Counseling Center, which didn't even have a staff psychaitrist at the time.

Secondly, he never showed any outward signs or implicit threats towards others- except for in his writings. His emotional troubles made it so he never spoke to anyone, never truly confided in anyone, he never had a single friend. How do warning signs present themselves in someone who cannot use words for expression?
Really... I mean REALLY... are we supposed to be mind readers?

Be happy that you're not in Blacksburg. Every edition of the CT has had a news item about something related to what happened, which makes it hard to forget about it, even for a day.

Tom said...

I think if you look deep enough at this type of stuff, you'll see that basically everything that happens AFTER a major tragedy in relation to placing blame is politically motivated. In the end, you'll find the people making the most noise (or encouraging the people to make noise) are the ones that stand to gain something from kicking out those people currently in power. Greed for power hides itself in everything.

MotherOf3Guys said...

Wow, what deep thoughts... I'm proud of the thoughts you've given this matter. It does seem to strike very close to home and, just like the pentagon disaster on 9-11, it seems pretty darned close to home. I think because we live in this area and because we have some connection to Tech, it makes it a lot harder to forget. (That what if it was 2 years earlier..scares the &*$% out of me!) I can't even imagine what those famlies feel and how they are coping, but the one fact is that nothing can now change those facts. I'm doubly impressed with the other sons comments on power and greed... We raised some pretty terrific guys and I'm proud of all three of them!

Jerry said...

Unfortunately, there is only one person to blame for the tragedy. However, the overall system that was in place to protect us from this sort of tragedy failed due to loopholes in state gun laws. The federal laws enacted to prevent people deemed mentally sick from obtaining firearms were enforced due to information not being shared.

Or perhaps some of the blame lies in a sick society or a society with lots of sick people.
Gun crime is extremely rare in Britain, and handguns are completely illegal. The ban is so strictly enforced that Britain’s Olympic pistol shooting team is barred from practicing in its own country. Britain’s 46 homicides involving firearms was the lowest total since the late 1980s. New York City, with 8 million people compared to 53 million in England and Wales, recorded at least 579 homicides last year. MSNBC Reports.

That's 1 in 13,817 persons in NYC and 1 in 1,152,174 persons in Britain.