Virginia Tech Shootings

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vodka

Miss Take
Over 500 posts
I was wondering what everyone thinks in regard to the idea that the guy's writings should have tipped people off to the fact that he might do something like this.

I mean, is it really okay to judge someone's sanity level by what they write? That seems like dangerous ground to me.

Granted, this guy showed warning signs in other ways...
 

Short Bus

Over 1000 posts
Hindsight is a bandwagon
There are crazy people everywhere.
My brothers book was banned in Canada after a nut job used a chapter taken from it to shoot someone in Chicago.
People can find a motive to do anything from anywhere.
Stephan King writes about odd topics but as far as know he has a firm grasp on reality.
Writings can reveal thoughts but never predict actions.
I could write that my life sucks and I want to quit my job everyday.
I could write that note to myself on the computer at work everyday for twenty years.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
I have'nt heard of his writings but I saw his video clips of himself today. Oh boy, he's a real nut case. I could start a rant about gun laws, but we stay away from politics in the forum so I will refrain from that. Instead we could watch Bowling for Columbine...;)
 
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mjp

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If they arrested people for what they wrote, all the great authors would have been behind bars. Bukowski especially (see: The Fiend). There are countries that jail writers, but obviously they are not better off than we are, mass murders included.

That said, this kid was not a great author, and I think he was trying to tell his teachers something. They heard him, but we are so paralyzed with fear of offending someone in this country that no one did anything about him. So there you go.
 

vodka

Miss Take
Over 500 posts
yah i haven't read his writings yet. i keep meaning to.

i agree with you bukfan about the gun laws and just general communication you know?

it's just a really sad thing and it seems at the back of my mind that i'm perceiving that as a nation we are sort of getting used to seeing this kind of thing.

jen
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Over 1000 posts
If they arrested people for what they wrote, all the great authors would have been behind bars. Bukowski especially (see: The Fiend). There are countries that jail writers, but obviously they are not better off than we are, mass murders included.

That said, this kid was not a great author, and I think he was trying to tell his teachers something. They heard him, but we are so paralyzed with fear of offending someone in this country that no one did anything about him. So there you go.
I totally agree with you there. Sometimes things really can get too touchy-feely in our culture to the point where we don't want to judge ANYTHING. That's bullshit. Regardless of race, color, or creed, when we see CRAZY, we need to take note. And take steps to help.
 

jordan

lothario speedwagon
Over 1000 posts
in fairness, one of his teachers did refer him to counseling due to his creative writing. i mean, without gutting free speech laws, there's not much else the teacher can do... should she have handed him over to the cops, or gotten him kicked out of school? VT is a public school, so they couldn't force him into counseling (and allowing the state to force someone into counseling before they've committed a crime also sets a really dangerous precedent... see: christian fundamentalists v. gays)... so there's not that much else they could do with this kid except hope he was stable enough to write about something without acting on it.
 

Olaf

Over 100 posts
I agree with mjp too (just don't tell him).

We live in a time of paradox as ever.
With wild P.C. ethics on one hand
-let's not offend, let's not tread on toes
let's pretend everyon is nice and similar
and impartial-

and on the other hand
we have wild
fundamentalism
of all kinds - Christian/Atheist/Secular.
All these bastards are screaming offensively
at each other - stamping on each others
calling each other cunts and whores and
exclaiming how vast and different they are
and what extreme positions they take.

honestly,
I'm surprised
someone
just doesn't
get a gun

...and have a rational discourse
about the whole thing...

really
human
culture
is so
fucked up

(or is that
what we are
being told to believe?)

and human
government
everywhere is
unified by one thing
= incompetence.

back to the point:
Cho should have been
exposed a long time ago
someone should have
had the intutition
that all was not welll....
 

mjp

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in fairness, one of his teachers did refer him to counseling due to his creative writing.
True, one teacher brought it up. One. But if you turned on the television this week it appeared that there were dozens and dozens of people who considered this kid to be an extremely unstable time bomb.

It's like sitting in a dark theater trying to watch a movie and one person is talking loudly or making some sort of disturbance and it goes on and on and everyone is frustrated and angry, and finally someone says, "Hey, keep it down," and everyone in the theater applauds.

Granted, it's often difficult to be that one teacher or the one person who speaks up, but in cases where there's a big, dangerous elephant in the room, playing nice and pretending it will go away on its own doesn't usually work.
 

Olaf

Over 100 posts
mjp, at the same time, the quiet-guy-in-school-sort-, tend to get ignored overlooked dismissed. Largely because people can be so solipsistic they are only going to note 'god, he is a wierdo' and think nothing more of it...including the teachers....when I think back to my school there were a good hanful of kids who were quiet loners or underachievers, or had special needs....even one or two who drew worrying art or wrote bizzare stories.

You might have an inclination someone is highly bizzare and perhaps even deviant but it's very difficult to pint down.


Your cinema metaphor could be changed.

Cho, is the guy sitting in a dark corner of the cinema alone, unnoticed, while everyone else has come with their friends, they talk and laugh throughout the movie, flinging popcorn, telling jokes, kissing the girls in the back seats. He eventually stands up and shoots them all.

:mad:
 

mjp

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You're right. It just seems that people are coming out of the woodwork now to say they knew something like this was going to happen with this kid. Hindsight, I suppose.
 

Olaf

Over 100 posts
D'yknow what upsets me with a lot of tributes I am reading on various websites for the dead. The Americans who reply with something like this:

'This is so tragic. All those people woke up not expecting to die. That's why you have to accept Jesus Christ now before you get old.'

Words can't express how :mad: those sort of comments make me.

Having born-again faith seems to debase everything.
 

vodka

Miss Take
Over 500 posts
meh.

faith should not be used as some sort of insurance policy.

it's a hard question, whether or not it should somehow be made possible for people doing background checks to be able to see someone's mental health history before they sell them a gun. i think patient confidentiality is very important, but in the case where someone has been shown to be very unstable i don't think maybe it's such a good idea to sell them a handgun either.
 

rjwink666

Over 100 posts
In many ways macabre writing can be both shocking and beautiful, work that can be read without thinking of the authors mindstate until after finishing the piece, a case in point might be a writer like Bret Easton Ellis.

I will decline to comment on the shootings as its pretty much all been said.
 

slimedog

Over 1000 posts
I will admit that I was reading some of his rant and judging it as literature. It's pretty honest and true when you get someone at the point.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
That's what will happen from time to time when you can buy a gun over the counter. Over here you have to be a member of a shooting club and you can't keep it in your home for the first two years. It has to stay in the club. After the two years you can keep it at home, safely locked up, but you can't carry it around as personal protection. I think the US gun laws are way too liberal...
 
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vodka

Miss Take
Over 500 posts
yah i would pretty much have to agree with you.

not that i do it, but what about like hunting rifles and all that?
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
there's no problem in being a hunter. You just have to pass an examination about how to do it right, hunting seasons, preservation of the animals etc. Then you can buy all the rifles and shot-guns you like. untill the '70ies you could by them over the counter but some biker war's put a stop to that. So our gun laws are'nt too restrictive, but they prevent nuts and jealous husbands to buy a gun at the spur of the moment...
 
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Olaf

Over 100 posts
The Gun Law is a tough one.

You can't just simply disarm a Nation or State that has had a gun culture endemic sits its creation. And gradually phasing guns out of a culture...is that even possible? And central to keeping your citizens armed is that the U.S. police/army/swat teams/ f.b.i are tooled up to the teeth! God knows most people would want a gun when your 'authorities' are so heavy armed.

No easy solution.:confused:
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
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Over 5000 posts
And gradually phasing guns out of a culture...is that even possible?
Of course it's possible. But "gradually" is a very, very long time.

If you never sold a new gun in America, starting today, the guns that are already here are sufficient to supply the murderers and thieves for another 150 years. Or until some more effective tool is created.
 

vodka

Miss Take
Over 500 posts
it is a hard thing, i think.

there is our constitution, which i think is a good thing. and i don't like the idea of changing it so much, but i do think it needs to be able to roll with the times, sort of like God. ;)

i like the idea of your laws, bukfan. that seems logical to me. in a nation though where people are angry about even having a background check and waiting period, i don't know how something like that would ever be deemed acceptable here.

it's weird how our constitution is in place to protect the rights of people but sometimes it seems to do the exact opposite.

at the very least, i think background checks for the purchase of fire arms should be more extensive. and i think when things like this happen, people absolutely need to be made more aware that the system isn't working, and americans in general need to be more open to change.

jen
 

Ninjerk

Over 100 posts
That's what will happen from time to time when you can buy a gun over the counter. Over here you have to be a member of a shooting club and you can't keep it in your home for the first two years. It has to stay in the club. After the two years you can keep it at home, safely locked up, but you can't carry it around as personal protection. I think the US gun laws are way too liberal...
They need to control guns federally. Virginia has very lax gun laws.
 
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Short Bus

Over 1000 posts
Perhaps the bigger issue is why does the U.S. have so many school shootings.
Blame can be laid on poor childhood, poor parents, no parents, abusive parents, ignored at school, popular at school who the F knows. Problem is if you're not looking for a troubled youth you're not going to find one unless you find their notebook etc...


I found this on a teen suicide site which I think is germaine since these killings seem to always end in suicide (assisted or otherwise).

Try picking a normal teen (understanding that normal for a teen is to be most if not all of the below) out with this criteria.
Unhappiness

Gradual withdrawal into helplessness and apathy

Isolated behavior

Drop in school performance

Loss of interest in activities that formerly were sources of enjoyment

Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness

Fatigue or lack of energy or motivation

Change in sleep habits

Change in eating habits

Self-neglect

Preoccupation with sad thoughts or death

Loss of concentration

Increase in physical complaints

Sudden outbursts of temper

Reckless or dangerous behavior

Increased drug or alcohol abuse

Irritability; restlessness

Now if you add and a predilection for firearms to the above list I think you have a problem.
You know writing this I keep thinking of that old Jim Carrol song All the people have died.

I have an idea for a new thread
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
you gotta love the US... apparently this mass of senseless deaths provides evidence that more people need to have guns, not less. because, of course, gun battles on college campuses will keep our country's young people safe.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070422/ts_alt_afp/uscrimeshootingguns;_ylt=AhE4ZDYQbeoX1uEvysRQpl9H2ocA
I read the article. What a gun-nut! He's turning the arguments upside down. If students were allowed to carry concealed weapons, the massacre would'nt have happend, he says. That's right, let's all carry concealed weapons then we will never have to worry about gun killings in the future...:rolleyes:
 
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ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
The people - no.

Guns don't kill people -Americans kill people.

:(
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
Only Americans? If it makes you better to believe that, go for it, but it's bullshit. I saw The Road Warrior. I know what goes on down there.
 

ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
Only Americans?

No.

You are right.

Only North Americans.

Yeah.
I can't speak for anyone else down here but my car is a role cage on wheels with multiple gun ports - and I don't even signal when I turn!

Of course... we are all busy treating each other poorly. But only in the beautiful paradox that is the USA can one do it with armor piercing, cyanide tipped bullets and 'death-bringer' missiles.

Dinosauria We anyone?
 

Olaf

Over 100 posts
You're likely to get stabbed in Glasgow - but even then: it's more probable nothing will happen, perhaps a beggar harassing for money, or some neds get aggressive or violent on the bus or in the street.

I suppose you can gradually reduce gun culture in America but it is so endemic, it's such a strong part of the culture in most places, it's hard to imagine a reversal, if a reversal is even desired. The U.K. has virtually no Gun Culture and evne less Gun Crime (though it has increase a tiny percentage) - but people are still able to own guns if need be. We simply don't have a huge gun culture - we don't desire to shot people or have a gun near by just in case we need to protect our selves.

Mankind distrusts itself....for good reason perhaps...but it will only shot itself in the foot...forever and ever...poor souls!
 

vodka

Miss Take
Over 500 posts
i don't know about actually blaming 'gun culture' in america for these types of shootings. i mean, the killer in this situation probably had nothing to do with any sort of gun culture.

there is no easy solution.

there are certain things the united states was built on. the constitution is protected for some very good reasons. the constitution provides americans with the right to bear arms. obviously some better gun control laws need to be made, but americans are not very willing to modify or to go against the constitiution to do so.

people need to realize that sometimes change is good. and as a country, we need to be able to adjust our laws as times change and for the good of society as a whole.

american kids aren't the only kids in the world who are troubled. americans don't generally just go around shooting each other.

it's easy to blame america for every thing that's wrong in the world and it keeps people from having to take a look at themselves and their own situations. we make a nice scapegoat for hatred but the generalization of an entire country and the people in it just does not come across as any more intelligent to me than the things people think we're doing wrong.

there's a lot of okay americans. and we aren't all george w. bush.
 
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