Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cho Seung-Hui's rights vs. public safety

Hindsight is 20/20. If someone writes distrubing material and appears to be troubled but doesn't break the law, what can authorities do? Should they start kicking every kid off campus who is a loner? There are many kids who like graphic material and stick to themselves who don't buy a gun and massacre innocent people.

Mr. Seung-hui alledgely stalked a female classmate and set a small fire in his dorm. He was on anti-depressants and had deep seated issues against women and rich students (although many of the people he killed belonged to neither group). One professor, the noted poet Nikki Giovanni, was so alarmed by his anti-social behavoir, she spoke to her department head. Her creative writing class dropped from 70 students to 7 during the fall of 2005 because of Seung-Hui.

One professor, a surivor of the Holocaust, died will trying to save his students. As we learn more about the people who died, it makes me sad, angry and just frustrated. Why do things like this happen here? Overall violent crime has dropped in our major cities but you rarely see these types of shootings (unless its terror-related) in other countries. Columbine, The Amish school, WTF?

On the Hollywood-Else site one poster said our winner takes all culture combined with loose (or non-existant) family/friend bonds doesn't help. I don't know about that but there must be depressed people all over the world and anyone if they really want to can find a gun legally or illegally, so why doesn't this happen more often in other countries? I fear things will only get worse.


Paula Puryear said...

Thank you for that. It was so powerful and brilliant. Yes, what could have been done? It seems we have reached a point where old approaches are no longer enough. We must begin to ask new questions about human well-being and the conditions that foster it or take it away. There are so many broken people in the world. Given the wrong set of circumstances, environmental stimuli, influences, etc... they can become mass murderers. It's striking that the only other example of this kind of recurring mass violence that we currently have in the world is the suicide bomber. The question you raise -- what is it about our culture? -- is the question of the hour. We need a national dialogue about this (someone call Oprah, who's dialogue on misogyny and racism this week was off the hook). Thanks again. You took me to a deep and heart-felt place.

Delina said...

It's a sad sad situation. I've been following it lots on the news. What is really heart wrenching to me is when they show the victims... What they were... They should have had so much life to live, instead no, someone took it away.

J.Doe said...

You said it! I don't think a ban on guns would have helped in this situation and neither can every loner or writer of sick stories be evaluated for mental illness and possibly locked up into a mental institution for their thoughts. I don't know what could be done.
A powerful and brilliant post.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, and I hope you don't find this inappropiate, but kudos to you for posting this comment in someone else's blog "To the anon poster saying the Italians were raising weird kids who live at home til their 40s and will have OCD, at least none of them have slaugtered 33 kids on campus. (there was a shooting at Virgina Tech this week)".

I'm an Italian born who no longer lives there because my parents were looking for a better life, but
I'm so tired of hearing so much negativity about the Italian culture and the men still living at home & the school system. Sometimes, I wonder if the complaining isn't more deep rooted in other areas of their lives.

Is there a country or culture that's perfect anywhere? I suppose when the comments are presented in a humorous way of how things are different, they can be pretty funny.

I didn't mean to deviate from such a tragic event and a post well written, but I wanted to thank-you for being open minded.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Paula - I think Oprah did do something on it yesterday. The tapes the shooter send to NBC (during the 2 hours before the second shooting) were chilling. I only saw the first day of Oprah's town meeting and thought it was outstanding.

Delina - Well said.

J. Doe - It's tough because people do want answers and to believe we can stop things like this from happening. After seeing the tapes this kid sent it's clear he was on a mission and nothing would have stood in his way.

anon - you're welcome. My parents are from the Caribbean. I have spent a lot of time outside of the U.S. and 97 percent of my family doesn't live here. If I moved to St. Martin tomorrow I wouldn't expect a small island to be just like the U.S.A. and do things the way we do them. It's different culture.