Friday, February 15, 2008


Yesterday afternoon my Grandma called me to wish me a Happy St. Valentine's Day, as she had been unable to go out last week or over the weekend to buy cards (she always sends cards to us), as her son told her not to go out. While talking to her, she mentioned the shooting at NIU to me. I was stunned and asked what channel she was watching (stupid question, she only watches channel 7) and changed the channel. My heart just sunk when she said NIU because a dear friend works at NIU. I immediately sent her an e-mail asking if she were okay. I had a reply from her a few hours later saying, yes, she's fine. It happened in the lecture hall just across the way from her office and her office window looks out over the area where the ambulances, police cars and other rescue vehicles were lined up. A couple of students ran into her office crying and told her what was going on. She alerted her boss and shortly thereafter they got information telling them to lock the building down.

According to her, the University acted quickly and responsibly. Thank heavens. My issue is this: we don't need to know the gunman's name. Don't release (too late, I know) it. The Virginia Tech shooter basically stated in his creepy video that he idolised the Columbine killers and he wanted that infamy for himself. So, I say DON'T GIVE IT TO THEM!!! Tell us about the victims. Do full stories on them and their families, dreams, lives, etc. Give us the barest details necessary for attempting to understand why someone would do this, but do NOT give him (or her, I guess) his 15 minutes of posthumous infamy. And maybe if the press et. al. choose not to release the name, one day we won't have to worry about school shootings and these sad people will just kill themselves without taking innocent lives with them.

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At Friday, 15 February, 2008, Blogger Jorge said...

I agree that the media are basically gleeful vultures. The salacious bits of these kinds of stories are told too much and too often.

Are they to blame for copy cats? I don't know, maybe a little.

This is one of the reasons why I sometimes feel like I was born 50 years too late. I think I would have done well as a member of the Greatest generation. Men wore hats and ties, and opened doors and were generally decent. Women wore hats and gloves and didn't have to live with the kind of fear of violence that my wife does or The Peanut will.

People weren't so desperate for a few moments of fame that they were willing to abase or degrade themselves for an outside chance of public notariety.

I just don't get that.

I don't get any of it.

At Friday, 15 February, 2008, Blogger Kathleen said...

Exactly, Jorge. And who knows if there's a bit of copycat to these shootings, but why not err on the side of caution?

At Saturday, 16 February, 2008, Blogger Beth said...

I agree with you. They focus on these disgusting excuses of human filth and not on the lives taken. Do not give fame to murderers.

At Saturday, 16 February, 2008, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

That's the thing. The media glorifies these killers and makes them famous. it only gives more people ideas.

If someone's life is meaningless, well, you can always go on a killing spree and you'll be famous. Those stupid Columbine kids even had their God awful poetry published and it was all over the news. If they hadn't killed anyone, no one would have read their stupid poetry.

At Saturday, 16 February, 2008, Blogger Sal said...

Remember when news was news and journalists were proud of giving facts? Okay, well, I don't either, but news seemed more newsy and less drama and entertainment. Before they would have said something along the lines of 'a something year old gunman killed x# of people on a campus.' Now you get to hear what the person ate for breakfast, had on his iPod, and the last website he looked at. I don't know if I agree with not releasing the name, I do agree with not idolizing him.

At Sunday, 17 February, 2008, Blogger fermicat said...

I didn't watch any of the coverage, but that is because I don't watch TV news at all, period. I agree that all the attention given the shooter only makes it more likely some sick bastard will do it again.

At Sunday, 17 February, 2008, Blogger Fantasy Writer Guy said...

The press is not in any way remotely interested in making the world a better place. They're entirely and exclusively interested in making money.

At Tuesday, 19 February, 2008, Blogger Heather said...

You're so right! The media gives so much attention to the killers that the psychos out there think it's a great way to become infamous.

At Tuesday, 26 February, 2008, Blogger mr. schprock said...

My feelings exactly! I remember saying much the same thing when Virginia Tech happened.


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