Here’s the only comment I’ll make regarding Virginia Tech-style shootings.

If I ever decide to start killing people, you know, not in any “light-hearted, I’m not too serious about it, maybe just one or two until I get it out of my system” kind of way, but in an “I fully intend to get the high score, just you watch” kind of way, which of you will say, “Man, I saw that coming!”

Which of you will say, “He gave us all the warning signs,” and then post (without any regard to copyright, I might add) segments of some of the more disturbed speculation and fiction I’ve written. Who will say, “He was quiet. Private. Socially awkward, sometimes. I got the impression there was a lot of pent-up anger in there. Very strange sense of humor.”

Who’s going to say, “Yeah, he was smart. Unabomber smart. Half the time I couldn’t understand a thing he was saying.”

Who’s going to say, “I’m sure he was on antidepressants. Stuff that numbs you to the horror of stuff you see and might do.”

Who’s going to say, “I know he owned a gun and knew how to use it.”

Whoever you are, make sure I know your address. Gotta start somewhere.

The brain is a complicated organ. There’s no bullet-proof (heh) formula that’ll tell you for sure which way someone’s going to jump. If you start thinking there is a formula, then there’s no choice but to start limiting people’s freedoms and invading their privacy. Everyone with an IQ over 140 will have their phones tapped and e-mail monitored. You won’t be allowed to carry a gun regardless of how rough the walk home from the train station is at 2 in the morning, when you come off shift. You studied enough science to know better than to pee in a toilet you just bleached? Register your head with the local constabulatory and be prepared to get a note from your pre-probationary officer before running to the grocery store that says you can buy one bottle of Soft Scrub—but only one. A small one. Less than three ounces. Writes disturbing fiction? Just go ahead and lock ’em up.

If we know who these people might be before they “snap”, what will we do with our “pre-crime” suspects? What kind of special treatment will they get? Will they get extra head once a week to help them relax a bit? Mandatory medication? Therapy? Honorable mention on the No Fly List? Requirement to go door-to-door when they move into a new neighborhood? Free room and board in a concentration camp?

Wow. If that’s all I need in order to get state-subsidized health care, sign me up.

What these people need before they go apeshit is the same thing we all need. Respect. A fair shake. Access to necessary healthcare. Kindness from friends and the occasional stranger. A little hope. An explanation and maybe an apology. That’s what we all need.

Because with enough frustration with how things are going, with enough stress, with enough certainty that we’re fucked … that’s every single one of us with the finger on the trigger.

Done now.


April 18, 2007 · by xalieri · Posted in Everything Else  


Leave a Reply