Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Dawson College

Just a quick note about this terrible event.

  • Not all young men who wear trenchcoats are dangerous.
  • The shooter was in possession of a legally obtained, registered gun
  • The shooter had problems that were not related to his dress, age, place of residence or his choice of website.
  • His mother, quoted in the paper saying she was in shock and hadn't raised her son to kill people (WHO DOES??) is asking for privacy. Good luck.
  • Unnoticed or ignored depression in adolescents can result in suicide, whether by the adolesent's own hand or via the adolescent causing a situation where they risk dying or being killed.

The reality is that this guy was very certainly exhibiting lots and lots of warning signs and probaby for a long time. In a 'civilized country' where women learn to yell "FIRE" rather than "help" if they're being attacked (because people are not included to help but very inclined to avoid), it comes as no surprise that this individual, who was obviously very disturbed and distressed, took action, albeit the worst action possible. The attack was his "FIRE" call because his repeated calls for help - to his family and friends - had gone entirely unheeded.

The fact that his mother was in such outright denial - and that no other members of his family have chosen to speak publicly - indicates the roots of the shooter's problems were very firmly in the the family. If they didn't acknowledge that their child was in serious distress, who else was going to?

As for the young woman who was killed, she will now become the symbol for the tragedy, when she has little to do with the actual tragedy - a young man in such distress that he attempts to kill pile of people just so someone notices him! There are many who call his behaviour a suicide.

I don't mean to be callous towards the young woman who was killed or the others who were injured. Her death is devastating in every sense. I cannot imagine losing a child - I have a daughter at university at present. In my deepest heart, I'm terrified for her every single day; who knows who the people around her are and to what lengths they might go?

What I wish is that the media would finally place responsibilty where it belongs; with the family because it is always within the family that problems start.

I also wish that parents would reach out much sooner when they're having problems with their children. There is no shame in asking for help, or if there is, it cannot match the shame that this family will now live with.

The media will never actualy expose the truth of this story or the Columbine story or the Taber story. Family matters and problems, crappy parents and crap parenting are not news. Those are just the hallmarks of our 'civilized' country.