Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech shooter identified


Anyone who knows me or regularly reads my blog probably knew that I was going to write about this story. Call me insensitive, but I'm not particularly interested in the grief of the students, the poor security reaction after the first leg of the rampage or, least of all, "President" Bush's reaction, who I'm sure is thankful for an opportunity to show how compassionate he is while continuing to send troops to die in an unnecessary and futile war effort. What I'm interested in is the shooter, his mindset and what set him off. Even now that he has been identified as a student from South Korea, because he was a loner and died during his rampage, we still don't know much about him.
Witnesses also said the shooter looked "determined" and "calm." This was a man who had made up his mind to take his own life and those of others. He had a plan to go out in a hail of gunfire and corpses. Without knowing anything about him, I can't say what set him off (although there are reports that it was an argument with a girlfriend), but the shooting itself followed the classic template set by Charles Whitman (the Texas bell tower shooter, whose spree immediately came to my mind after hearing about Virginia Tech), from the well-prepared stock of ammunition (Whitman, an Eagle Scout, was always prepared) to the shooter turning the gun on himself or shot by law enforcement. And the shooter was an angry loner. As is often the case in this type of crime, the shooter feels the world has wronged him in some way and, with his unstable mind shaken by a troublesome event, like a fight with a girlfriend, it triggers (probably the wrong choice of words here) the rage he feels and sets him off to correct the burdens he feels the world has inflicted on him. And yes, I will be following this story, waiting for more details about the killer to figure out what his trigger could have been.
If I was the paranoid type, I'd think that the press has been saturated with this story to distract from the continuing death toll in the President's dead-end war in Iraq. Same goes with the Don Imus controversy. Again, I run the risk of being called insensitive, and being unqualified to comment because I'm not black, but I fail to see what the big deal is. Don Imus, who is in a field where the participants are practically required to out-outrage each other, probably made the comment solely because it was politically incorrect, and wanted attention. I can't say that for sure, knowing next to nothing about Imus or his radio show. He may have thought that by making a slightly offensive comment, then issuing a simple apology, he could use the controversy to gain a wider audience. It's worked before. But with professional race-baiters Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton hot on his trail, Imus was fired, unjustly in my opinion. Rappers frequently say things that are far more offensive than Imus' "nappy-headed hos" comment. Don Imus probably shouldn't have said what he said, but he never deserved to get fired. Jesse Jackson, as predicted, was on the scene, still showing indignation at a perceived offense that is hypocritical for someone who once called New York City "Hymietown." And Al Sharpton, who takes him seriously at this point? He and other prominent black activists once rallied alongside alleged rape victim Tawana Brawley, who it turned out was making up the whole story. Even from the beginning, there were serious doubts about Brawley's account of her "rape," as former FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood says in his book The Evil That Men Do. But that didn't stop Sharpton and his cohorts from trumping up the story in the press as a testament to the racism in America. Yes, racism still exists in this country, but with the careers and lives of two innocent men all but destroyed by Brawley and her "advisers," this false accusation helped no one.
Moving from the public sphere to my personal life, I had a great weekend. Bound was fun, but could have been better. The awesome bands, like Inertia and Armageddon Dildos, deserved a far bigger crowd than what was there that night. Where is everyone? Again, if I was the paranoid type, I'd think that there was a widespread conspiracy in DC against the goth/fetish community keeping potential patrons from Bound and other clubs in the area. How else to account for the sparse attendance at what should have been one of the biggest Bound events of the year? On a happier note, Todd's birthday bash at Entre Nous on Saturday was a great time for all, especially the guest of honor. Happy Birthday Todd, from all of us in the DC pary underground.

1 comment:

John said...

Knee-jerk Reactions and itchy "trigger" fingers .....

Perhaps I am simply to cynical for this world, but I echo your sentiments about the latest in a long line of "He just snapped..." incidents. After the fact everyone says, "Well of course we all thought he was crazy...but we never expected this." As my good friend and fellow cynic John and I both said, this was a one-in-a-million event. Noone EVER expects someone they see daily (creepy or not) to go on a coldblooded killing spree. Noone ever looks at a "crazy person" and thinks them a pyschopath. Sociopath yes. Pyschopath no. So they will dissect and analyze until they all feel better about having missed their chance to avert this disaster and then they will wring their hands wondering how we could have prevented this from happening again. Forget it. You cant. Just like Imus and his big, racist mouth, and the "President" doing what he wants despite glaring opposition to HIS war, it is what it is. The only thing any of us can do is live our own lives as best as we can.