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Author Topic: Another tragic shooting
Grummash

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2007 22:32      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
32 students shot dead at Virginia tech. A senseless waste of life and another horrible tragedy made easier to perpetrate by USA gun law.

But hey, like Charlton says.."It's in the Constitution." How much blood is that Constitution going to cost?

I hope that everyone, of whatever faith, who is able to say a prayer for the murdered and the bereaved, will do so.

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Xanthine

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Icon 9 posted April 16, 2007 23:03      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Could we have kept politics out of this, please? It's bad enough already, and I'm not sure what laws can and can't do in the face of sheer bloody madness.

I feel so bad for the students, for so many reasons. They're going to wake up tomorrow wishing today was a nightmare, but knowing it wasn't...

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2007 23:46      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe it is to soon to be dicussing the poitics of it but I disagree with keeping politics out of this. My heart goes out to the friends and family but I think if people can use this to change the laws for the better, then something good could come out of this horror.

That being said, I also believe that we shouldn't go too fa with this fresh in our mind and give up our human rights out of fear. (I do not believe that the right to own a gun in inalienable.)

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GameMaster
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 04:15      Profile for GameMaster   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sad though this tragedy is, this is a political issue, X. A very polarized one at that. Those who are for gun rights will say, "If there was another armed student there..." Those opposed to all the guns in the street will say, "If we didn't have all these guns."

Personally, I'm a gun owner. I've never fired one, don't have bullets for one, and all mine do sit in a safe place unloaded with safety's on. I got them when my dad passed, and haven't touched them since.

That said, the possesion of any tool, weapon or substance shouldn't be baned by law. It is not what we own that makes us moral or immoral, and it's not what we own that should make us law abiding citizen or criminals. It is what we do (or don't do) that makes us moral or immoral and should be what makes us law abiding citizens or criminals.

My heart goes out to those that died, and their families. I hope, however, that this doesn't cause any knee jerk legislation and unending media blitz. Both sides will want to spin this, and while there is a lot of debate and for that debate, let's not lose track of the real issues here.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 04:19      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grummash ___________________ Glad that you started this topic.

What we have here is a nutter, If he had been using a knife he still could have done considerable carnage.

The Lads at Colubine tried to make propane bombs, but did not know how, if they had worked you would not have found any survivers.

Nutters are just that, they want to go out in a blaze of glory, and take out as many as possible.

A nutter is going to slip under the radar of those in charge because, every one is an individual. Do we need laws to make every one conform to some standard or they will be medicated until they do or we will lock them up in some hospital.

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Just_Jess_B

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 07:39      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This morning, I listened to the press conference about Virginia Tech. What's sad is that there is nothing we can do without giving up our freedoms, and even then it makes little difference. One person, one broken person, can decimate a life.

London is monitored and watched and denied firearms and violence still happens. It's not about the weapons, it's about the people.

I feel terrible for the families, especially since a lot probably haven't seen their kids since Christmas. It's awful when someone feels so horrible and is unwilling to seek real help. Even worse, it's worrisome that sometimes the help is judgemental and impatient bordering on abusive (as some of my college therapists had been). The stress of school, frustration with loneliness, and general anxieties of life didn't merit slaughter, but the path to this tragedy isn't impossible to understand -- just horrible to internalize.

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Stereo

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Icon 2 posted April 17, 2007 07:43      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, had he be armed with a knife, he wouldn't have been able to kill as many, as it requires proximity to hurt with one, while it's not necessary with a gun.

Ok, enough with the obviousness. Now for the non-obvious, I read this morning that the shooter (or one of them, as it is now thought that he wasn't acting alone) was looking for his girlfirend. Now, this is something I still can't understand. You have a sweet-heart, are about to loose (or just did) him/her, and rather than try to mend up or move on, you go and kill everyone in sight then kill yourself. Is it short-sightedness (venting negative feelings in the most violent way without giving a thought of the aftermath, then killing themselve because they can't face the consequences), just feeling of ultimate failure (decision to commit suicide first, then taking everyone they can with them) , or something else entirely? What is going on in those people's mind? Should I switch from computer science and study psychology? ( [Wink] )

What I mean is, this kind of behaviour is just beyond my grasp, and rather than hear about the minute-by-minute facts and pointless arguing that won't change what happened, I'd like to understand how someone can commit such horrible acts.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 08:28      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Stereo:
I read this morning that the shooter acting alone) was looking for his girlfirend. Now, this is something I still can't understand. You have a sweet-heart, are about to loose (or just did) him/her, and rather than try to mend up or move on, you go and kill everyone in sight then kill yourself. Is it short-sightedness (venting negative feelings in the most violent way without giving a thought of the aftermath, then killing themselve because they can't face the consequences), just feeling of ultimate failure (decision to commit suicide first, then taking everyone they can with them) , or something else entirely? What is going on in those people's mind? Should I switch from computer science and study psychology?

Love is a form of madness, there's no point in trying to understand what people in its grip do.

Oh, and madness is a form of madness too, which I suspect is far more relevant to this story.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 09:00      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Or he could have built a bomb, Stereo. There's lots of way to cause carnage without guns.

GM, lots of people own guns. I'm willing to bet that some of the students and faculty had guns. But they weren't carrying them, or they didn't have the presence of mind/know-how to use them. I'm aware that poeople are going to spin this into a anti-/pro-gun control debate. It's too big and juicy to be left alone. But, as MoMan already pointed out, what we have here is someone who went nuts, and I'm not sure what can be done about that.

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 09:44      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If I recall correctly, the guns he used were a 9mm and a .22, both which are exceedingly common. Secondly, the serial numbers were filed off, so they were already illegal weapons- doesn't matter if more restrictive gun laws had been in place, he would have had them anyways.


I just can't believe they didn't close the school after the first shooting. WTF?

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David Rogers
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 12:14      Profile for David Rogers     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I just can't believe they didn't close the school after the first shooting. WTF?
I was thinking the same thing, but then as I listened to what the authorities knew at the time, it became clear to me that they honestly believed that it was a domestic violence case limited to someones girlfriend and the RA who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe it should be policy to shut down classes whenever a student is seriously injured or killed on campus, but I don't think that it was policy to do so based on the circumstances as they apeared to be.

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 12:48      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Xanthine - It was not my intention to start another Pro/Anti row on the forums, there has been enough arguing here lately. What I said was just my reaction to the awful news, and I am sorry if that was insensitive.

Having said that, I accept that this may not be the time or place for a political debate, but you cannot divorce what happens in peoples' lives from the political context.

TheMoMan - I accept what you say about not being able to use legislation to prevent the nutters committing atrocities. And it is true what Just_Jess_B said about London being violent even though the gun laws are stricter over here. Still, just because particular tools are useful to perform particular tasks, does that mean we should give everyone a key to the toolshed?

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 12:50      Profile for Oz, the Wizard of   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
And on the technological front of debate, good old Jack Thompson came out of the woodwork and blamed the whole thing on video games before the last bullet casing had hit the ground.

Here.

As for the initial debate, I agree. Nutters will be nutters. If they get guns, all the easier, otherwise, they'll find another tool to their ends.

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BooBooKitty

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 13:03      Profile for BooBooKitty     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think what bothers me the most is that when something like this occurs there's almost always someone ready to blame the music or the video games that the person was listening or playing. To me this is just trying to find an easy scapegoat without really trying harder to find out what the real reason behind the trigger.

So many people listen to the same music and play the same games, yet we don't see more massacres like this. It all comes down to the individual at hand. Just what was going on in that person's head that would cause him/her to snap like that?

Please keep in mind that there was a similar tragedy here in Montreal this past September. Other than the gun man, one innocent died and many other wounded. The gun man lived at home with his parents. His parents had no clue there was a problem until it was too late. His mother is still at a loss as to what went wrong. He never behaved badly at home.

I'm not trying to defend what this person did, but that when tragedies like this happen, you wonder about the person's psyche. You also wonder how easy was it for them to procure their weapons? There's many factors to these things. However, something needs to be done somehow.

Someone mentioned the way things are in the UK. Well, also keep in mind that gun possession is also highly regulated in other countries like Japan. But as someone mentioned, it also comes down to the people. What are the attitudes and beliefs? Again, so many factors to take into account.

Anyway, I've rambled on. We can discuss and debate this all we want, but it cannot undo what's been done. The best that we can do is look towards how to prevent it in the future.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 13:14      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grummash and all the others _____________________ TFD brought me up short once and really opened my eyes about bigotry, Now from what I have already heard this young man has/had a troubled past. But at what point does the State (government) have the right to step in and take away some of a persons liberties. Study, Education, Work freedom to travel about because he/she may be a danger to others? A gun was used, The London tubes were bombed where did the nutters get the explosives?

The can of worms is open and every politico will try to spin it to his or her point of view.

Now think of the survivers, the ones that stared death in the face and lived, many will suffer PTSD and or succumb to sole surviver syndrom and off them selves?????????????????

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 14:18      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TheMoMan - you appear to have found what I have said to be bigoted, which saddens me, but I suppose I must take responsibility for the way I have expressed myself.

For clarification, I would like to answer your question "But at what point does the State (government) have the right to step in and take away some of a persons liberties. Study, Education, Work freedom to travel about because he/she may be a danger to others?"

I have never suggested taking away a person's rights to study, education, work or freedom to travel because of the possibility that he/she may be a danger to others. That way lies totalitarianism.

Just take away the gun, is all. And not just from individuals whom we perceive to be a threat, but from all civilians. If we want a peaceful world, we must act peacefully.

I am as much of a lefty, tree-hugging liberal as the next beardy-weirdy, but I do think people need to get over the idea that they are entitled to whatever they decide they should have.

I believe in everyone's right to personal safety and therefore, by extension, in the right to exercise self-defence. I just don't believe that private individuals have the "right" to bear arms. Bear-baiting used to be legal in Britain, but being legal didn't make it the right thing to do.

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 14:47      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Grummash:
Just take away the gun, is all. And not just from individuals whom we perceive to be a threat, but from all civilians. If we want a peaceful world, we must act peacefully.

I was commenting elsewhere about this, and I just don't believe it's going to happen in the US for the foreseeable future. We are better off discussing other avenues. I'm all for gun control, particularly handguns, and I think we need to examine what we can do to reduce deaths, but banning guns isn't a realistic option at this time.

It's also important to realize that the US is not Great Britain. While it's good to look at how other countries have dealt with such problems, we also have to keep in mind that we are also different. We have our own unique history and culture, and trying to emulate another without taking such things into account is a recipe for disaster.

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boo
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 14:48      Profile for boo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But Grummash, it doesn't matter what you believe because it IS a right here and unless we take drastic measures, which not all agree with, that is not going to change. Even if such a change were mandated, it seems a herculean and impossible task to achieve.

In a country of 300 million people, with the unparalleled freedoms that we enjoy, there are bound to be some nutjobs. I'm actually surprised there are not more incidents like this.

The sad thing is, early indications suggest that some people, including school authorities, were aware that he may have been harboring such proclivities. The questions then arise, what to do about such findings and how to prevent such tendencies in the first place, in the future? Perhaps it would take the wisdom of Solomon to answer those questions.

He was supposedly "referred" to counseling, but referring is essentially just a suggestion. At this time there is no indication it was required.

Though I am always wary of early reports because they are so often fraught with inaccuracies, there was a statement made about the note he left which suggested he blamed others for making him do this. Perhaps like other similar shooters before him, he felt like an outcast, alienated, judged, abused. Apparently he had no advocates, and perhaps was incapable of advocating for himself. It's a terrible thing that often the very people who consider themselves paragons of virtue are actually the ones undermining others in such a fashion. Worse, it is often not the sinners who pay the price, but the innocent.

For those who do pray, I would urge you to keep his parents in your prayers as well. They also lost a child and now must live with the repercussions of his actions. I would imagine they will also spend many months in self doubt, wondering where they went wrong and what they might have done, differently.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 14:52      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
TFD brought me up short once and really opened my eyes about bigotry

Not sure what you're getting at here MoMan, care to elaborate?

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 15:02      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Melbourne International Comedy Festival's going on here at the moment, one of the acts has a song about a prisoner in Iraq being interrogated by the US forces.

It goes something like this...

Chorus:
"Aren't you the Suicide Bomber,
Who blew up the bus last week?"

Verse:
The prisoner tries to point out the logical flaw in their line of questioning, and gets subjected to some new form of torture for his trouble

Chorus:
"Aren't you the Suicide Bomber,
Who blew up the bus last week?"


The reason I bring this up is this article. Some Asian guy at Virginia tech shot a bunch of people, then himself. The subject of this article is Asian, male, a student at Virginia tech, and a gun-nut, so he must be the shooter, and now he's receiving death threats. The fact that he's still alive, and the shooter isn't, seems to be beyond the logical reasoning ability of some people.

<sings>Aren't you the suicide bomber...</sings>

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 16:36      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TFD: This is not an uncommon reaction to these sorts of events. After Columbine kids who wore trench coats were subjected to all kinds of BS, including suspensions and expulsions.

quote:
Originally posted by boo:
He was supposedly "referred" to counseling, but referring is essentially just a suggestion. At this time there is no indication it was required.

The thing is it is extremely hard to force an adult to receive any sort of medical care. If he presented a clear and present threat to himself or others, then they could have had him taken in, but a disturbing piece of creative writing doesn't make the cut. A disturbing piece of non-creative writing doesn't make the cut either. It's a delicate dance between the rights of an individual and public safety, and under the current rules of ethics, the individual takes precedence...until it's blazingly obvious they are going to attack themselves or someone else (I realize I am not explaining this well, but I don't have time and energy right now to go to far into this). I'm surprised they even referred him - I didn't know English departments were allowed to do that.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 16:42      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Grummash I used your name because you started this thread SORRY ___________________ Please I was not refering to anyone associated with these forums when I typed that part of the Missive. TFD a long time back I must have come accross as dispising browns, and you pointed out that flaw, at first it stung but I now can see where you were coming from and Thank You.

Now for why I came back to this topic again.

I saw it in his eyes, what you ask? I saw it in his eyes. The process of trying to wrap your mind around what just happened. Last night on CBS news Katie Couric was interviewing a wounded student. not much of a wound but he had stared death in the face. Now he was trying to wrap his mind around what had happened. Next month will come the stone cold stare that looks right through you like you are not there, because from now on his body will be on alert. His eyes darted around the room still looking for danger is it safe NOW?

Next week will come the why me, why am I still alive. Why didn't I get killed? What if I had done this? Why am I alive?

What the Hell was that? to every out of place sound as he learns to live on high alert. Alcohol will dull the hurt but then there is the hangover, unless you learn to stay just drunk enough to numb the pain but not be roaring drunk. It takes practice to learn the right level of buzz to still be able to do your job and still not feel the pain. You see the pain in not a soreness, or stabbing hurt, it is feeling for your fellow man that died that day and the parts of you that died day. How do I get back to Nineteen sixty six? That was before I had to wrap up something. Too big to explain, damn the nutters, the tube bombers the school shooters the IRA and all the other acts of rebellion.

When will Humankind be KIND????

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 16:58      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by boo:

Though I am always wary of early reports because they are so often fraught with inaccuracies, there was a statement made about the note he left which suggested he blamed others for making him do this. Perhaps like other similar shooters before him, he felt like an outcast, alienated, judged, abused. Apparently he had no advocates, and perhaps was incapable of advocating for himself. It's a terrible thing that often the very people who consider themselves paragons of virtue are actually the ones undermining others in such a fashion. Worse, it is often not the sinners who pay the price, but the innocent.

From what I've read- and like you said, this is all early reporting, so I'm sure some of it is flawed- he didn't /want/ 'advocates'. They say he would often ignore people when/if they greeted him, he never talked in class, he sat and the back, and he always signed his papers with '?'. He actually became known by the staff as 'the question mark kid'.

I'm dying to read the note he left behind. I'm caught between the two extremes of 'Damn, something must have been fucked up to push him to do this' and 'boo hoo, I have no fucking friends even though I don't make an effort and push everybody away. Woe is me!' I believe there must have been an influence, but I believe it may have been external to the school, and now thirty-odd people have suffered because this psycopath decided to go crazy with some semi-automatic weapons.

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littlenewsie
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 17:46      Profile for littlenewsie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Another thing that's so tragic is the way that those who aren't involved have responded. While some have openly grieved and sympathized, still others are completely insensitive. These are two comments that I've heard in my high school. "Then I'll go to Virginia Tech for some target practice." and "I could top that" when this student was told about the shootings and the death count. I understand people react to tragedy in different ways, but some sensitivity wouldn't hurt. I am happy though that those students around the speakers were quick to tell them to be quiet.

I remember reading the news and then just walking around in a daze the rest of the day. I can't imagine what the students involved are actually feeling. God bless them.

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"Teachers ramble on and on about freedom of the press but God help you if you try to use it." Gordon Korman

Posts: 46 | From: The Other Side of PA | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged
Stereo

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2007 19:22      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlenewsie:
Another thing that's so tragic is the way that those who aren't involved have responded. While some have openly grieved and sympathized, still others are completely insensitive. These are two comments that I've heard in my high school. "Then I'll go to Virginia Tech for some target practice." and "I could top that" when this student was told about the shootings and the death count. I understand people react to tragedy in different ways, but some sensitivity wouldn't hurt.

You know, that is something that had hurt me before, and that one day, I suddenly got an answer to. I believe that some kind of persons have this need to seem cool no matter what, even if it means belittleling (sp?) others around. So those guys making the insensitive comments weren't really insensitive - they just didn't know how to react publicly while remaining "cool", and thus, used a defensive stance, the one they know best, namely, (bad) humour. It's really more a sign of immaturity than anything else, so don't mind them too much.

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

Posts: 2289 | From: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged


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