Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It Can Make You Scared

I've done a lot of hockey blogs lately (duh - playoffs!!), but today I've decided to write about something else, believe it or not.

Yesterday, as you probably already know, there was another school shooting in the U.S. at Virginia Tech. This one was the worst in U.S. history, with 32 dead (last I heard), including the gun man, who was VT student. Everyone always remembers the Columbine shooting in Colorado in the late '90's - well, this one was much, much worse.

School shootings always kind of hit me in the gut everytime I hear about them. There are so many tragedies around the world every day, that we hear about in the papers and on the TV and radio. Wars. Natural disasters. Genocide. Mass murders. But for me, hearing about a troubled young person opening fire on their peers amidst the "safe walls" of a school - it always makes me stop and wonder, What the hell is the world coming to??

Reactions here at the office as the news broke were varied. One person said, "Oh well, just another one. Until the Americans get better gun control laws, this is what they can expect." Another said, "The worst part of these school shootings is that the coward always ends up putting the gun to his own head. I wish one of those freaks wouldn't get the chance to take his own life, and that he could be locked up in a room with the parents of the kids he killed, and let them exact their own justice." Yet another said, "Makes me wonder why I brought kids into this world. It's a scary, screwed-up place."

It's hard to argue with any of those statements. Tragedies like this always bring up the same topics of discussion - gun control laws, retribution, the state of the world. What scares me the most is that each time this happens, I'm reminded that there are some twisted kids out there who are able to take weapons into their schools and open fire on their classmates. In the aftermath, there are always people - family members, teachers, and friends - who come forwards and say, "I never would have predicted this. He was a quiet kid, very shy, very unthreatening."

So how are we supposed to know who the bad guys are? How are we supposed to know when someone's going to snap, at school or in the workplace? How are we supposed to differentiate between the good, happy-go-lucky people, and the ones who can be pushed over the edge and blow us all away?

When I think too much about it, it terrifies me. Schools are supposed to be safe. Since Columbine, they all have better security systems, and in the States, many even have gun checks at the doors. There are cameras and lockdowns and guards and drills.

So why does this keep happening?


Sharon said...

Very deep thoughts Jill... I don't know why these devastating things keep happening... but it does scare me and I can only hope that the people in the world will smarten up.

Sarah said...

very serious blog today. there are a lot of angry people out there willing to shoot people and then take their own life. Scares me it can happen anywhere, anytime. Work, mall, restaurant. You really dont know who is sitting beside you, or standing next to you. But life must go on, I always have believed everything happens for a reason.

and on a happier note - GO SENS GO!

Sharon said...

Here is an e-mail I got today. I might put a little ray of sunshine on todays somber blog. I thought it was funny

Dear Abby,

I am a crack dealer in Ottawa, Ont. who has a steady flow of customers
from the nearby junior high school. My parents live in a suburb of
Brantford, and one of my sisters, who lives in Calgary, is married to a
My father and mother have recently been arrested for growing and selling
marijuana and are currently dependent on my other two sisters, who are
prostitutes in Barrie. I have two brothers. One is currently serving a
non-parole life sentence in Orillia for the murder of a teenage boy in
The other brother is currently in jail awaiting charges. I have recently
become engaged to marry a former Thai prostitute who lives in Kingston and
is still a part-time "working girl" in a brothel. All things considered,
my main problem is this: I love my Fiancé and look forward to bringing
her into the family. I certainly want to be totally honest with her.
Should I tell her about my cousin, who is a Toronto Maple Leaf fan???


Worried About My Reputation

Sarah said...

That was a good one!

Jill said...

Sharon: Loved the Dear Abby! I'm still pissing my pants laughing!!

As for the school shooting stuff...Sarah, you're right, people can't be paranoid about this stuff, because it can happen anywhere, anytime, and if you live your life always fearing the worst, then you're not really living. However, I have to wonder how students who survive these shootings are ever able to function normally again. It must be terrifying to "re-enter the real world". It's very, very scary.