....But I digress.
The early reports are that the killer had stopped taking his meds. Folks on strong medication should resist the temptation to purchase guns. And there may be some legal work to do to restrict who can own certain types of weapons.But the shooter was well-liked and seemed to have a strong social life. It's a sad tragedy all the way around.
Well, my question would naturally be: why did he stop taking his meds? If going of your meds makes you homicidal and you stop taking them, I'm not sure that's any more morally excusable than someone who "has a few", gets behind a wheel and then kills someone. In both cases the killer isn't in control of himself, but in both cases the killer made choices that lead to that loss of control.
"Folks on strong medication should resist the temptation to purchase guns."I refuse to blame "strong medication" for this. Or the guys who sold him the guns. Or the reaction time of the cops/college. Or whatever else the media throws at us. I blame the shooter, and only the shooter. All we've heard is a statement by a cop saying "he went off his meds and was acting erratically." and the news media took it and RAN. His teachers say he was NOT acting erratically. We don't know even know what meds he was on or why.Of course, I'm of the mind that people really don't need to be buying guns - especially freaking Glocks or pump-action shotguns- in the first place. We can just extend your statement to add: People who ever get angry should not buy guns. People who ever drink alcohol should not buy guns. People who have ever felt dissatisfied at work, have ever gone through a difficult breakup, get stuck in traffic jams... Most of all, people who are thinking about murdering other people should not buy guns. This was premeditated murder. He bought 4 guns - again, one a freaking GLOCK! He dressed all in black and stealthily got to his point of attack unsuspected. This was not an erratic "WOOHOO! I'm OFF MY MEDS!!!" freak-out. This was a carefully premeditated, preplanned mass murder. I blame him.This evil trend of students murdering students is a most effective form of terrorism. I have friends with kids in college and they - the parents and the kids - are getting more and more nervous. Every time a shooting occurs a shockwave extends to every college in the country. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know these shooters are giving their classmates no time to react. No warning. "Seriously, we thought it was a joke" one student said when the shooter jumped out from behind a screen in his geology class.
Shannon, when he was on his meds and decided to go off them, how could he have known-- when he was in his right mind-- that he would become homicidal? There doesn't seem to be a history of even violent behavior or really any other social pathology.While we're lucky to live in an age of continually improving meds with smaller side effects, most meds do have some side effects. And, it's not always obvious to the patient what positive effect the meds are making.I think it's a little early to say that these actions were pre-meditated. We actually don't know yet if there was a time when the shooter was of sound mind and took an action which he knew would lead to this event.
The guns were bought a week before the murders. I think it's pretty safe to say this was premeditated.
If he'd been off his meds for a time, it's possible that he was not of sound mind when he bought the guns.From what the media is currently reporting, everyone who knew the shooter says that this action was completely unexpected and inconsistent with the rest of his life.It just may be that no sane culprit will be found for us to blame on this one.
Regarding medications, Rev, I strongly feel that if you are on strong medications of any kind, be it for mental or physical illness, and you unilaterally take yourself off the medications without consulting or informing your doctor, then you are responsible for any and all consequences. If this guy wanted off his meds (and we don't really know if he really was on meds yet - as Jo says, it's one report), he could have and should have informed his doctor, who could have then monitored the situation. Sorry, but I hold the guy morally responsible for his actions and my sympathies are far more with the innocent victims - all FIVE of them - then they ever will be with the shooter. And, as you pointed out on your own blog after the Virginia Tech shooting, I find it sad we are paying more attention to the details of the killer's life than we are that of the vicitims'.
Yeah, it's a tragedy for the victims of this shooting, innocent folks who were just going about their daily lives. We're only discussing the shooter because some controversial things were said here.We can talk about this more the next time we see each other, if you want, but I strongly disagree with your last comment.
OK - although it might be a while before we get a chance (Jo and I are off to Mu's next weekend).BTW, I don't recall you expressing much sympathy for the Virginia tech shooter. He has stopped taking his medication, too. Guess I should feel bad for the poor killer of 33 people.
Oh, and when we get together, please explain which of these things you find controversial:1) It's better (i.e. less tragic) for suicide shooters to simply kill themselves rather than others, then themselves.2) It's better if suicidal people don't buy guns and get help.3) People undergoing medical treatment bear at least part of the responsibility for that treatment.'Cuz as far as I can tell, thems the main points Jo and I have made.
I only get to choose from your list of controversies? No, you're leaving out the big one-- why the rush to blame someone for this tragedy?And yeah, I do feel sorry for the VaTech shooter. He lived his whole life, apparently, feeling that no one loved him. That doesn't mean I would let him walk the streets again if he were still alive. But even with his atrocity, I'm unmotivated to punish. All those years of alienation were probably punishing enough.Mental illness is a tough thing to live with. I'd caution against making blanket statements about what we hold people accountable for and what they should or shouldn't do in all situations.
No one's arguing mental illness is a difficult thing to live with.
I will make a blanket statement that murder is wrong.
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