Your president was just on TV eulogizing the victims of the worst shooting in the nation’s history and pledges his assistance to Virginia Tech. If New Orleans is any indication, decline the help, Blacksburg. Now, Wolf Blitzer goes Counton us by replaying the infamous CNN iReporter video and counting along with the shots. Can we deal with this tragedy in a more substantial manner?
The shooter has tentatively been identified as a young Asian or Asian-American male. The moment that tidbit hit the ticker, CNN’s female anchor of the moment launched into a list of shootings conducted by “foreigners or people of foreign descent” at college campuses, including an Asian, Algerian and Indian, and wondered out loud if these gunmen felt a sense of alienation that drove them to their crimes.
A Safe Schools Initiative study conducted by the Secret Service in 2002 shows that there is no one profile for school killers. In fact, “the students who carried out the
attacks differed from one another in numerous ways. However, almost every
attacker had engaged in behavior before the shooting that seriously concerned
at least one adult – and for many had concerned three or more different adults.”
Never mind that the deadliest campus shooting until now was conducted at UT-Austin by one Charles Joseph Whitman. Does he not qualify for alienation, as don’t Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold? Furthermore, are some people of Asian, Algerian and Indian descent disallowed from being just plain psycho?
Mental health is seriously underrated all over the world and neglected even more recently by funding cuts from the federal to local level. With mental illness increasingly overlooked as a national health issue, I predict more of these terrible incidents. My biggest fear, however, is retaliation killings that occur in the wake of large crimes conducted by anyone not white. “Horrific” would not begin to describe the taking of more innocent lives to protest the initial killings. Let’s hope that kindness and cool heads prevail, although such stupidity hath no limits.
My heart goes out to you, Virginia Tech.