Thursday, February 28, 2008

At Least SOMEBODY Gets It

Ian Colburn is an alumnus of Northern Illinois University, where a sociopathic graduate student killed five people, wounded sixteen more, and then killed himself before police could arrive. I refuse to add the criminal to the death toll or mention his name.

Ian Colburn says he's a comedian, but there's nothing funny about this press release he issued after the events at his alma mater:

"I am drained from these shootings, the feeling of helplessness they bring, the fear they create which hangs over every campus like a dark cloud, and the net cast out for causes which always comes back empty of solutions. Instead, it is filled only with speculation, blaming everything from video games to guns to the lack of legally concealed firearms to mental illness to Godlessness to the Internet. Shooters share three traits: they are unhappy, they blame others for their unhappiness, and they don't know how to express or deal with their problems within socially acceptable norms. It's not just shootings among youth that's on the rise; it's drug use, alcoholism and violence in general. More and more, our children are growing up in a culture of irresponsibility and blame (as an educator I have witnessed this first- hand), and are being taught that their community is responsible for their unhappiness. They are not learning how to function properly in their community or how to deal with their shortcomings. Whatever we do, little ears are listening, little eyes watching, and little minds forming. If you lose the Presidential election, the other guy cheated; 26,000 Patriots fans are contesting the Super Bowl, blaming inaccurate timekeeping for the loss; when schools punish student misbehavior, parents intervene by threatening to sue and schools renege; the most influential Presidential candidate plagiarizes and shrugs it off; simple games like tag are being outlawed because some students aren't as skilled as others. The erroneous message is that you don't have to learn to function within your community; rather, the community will change to cater to your needs and whims. In an increasingly complex world we are robbing our children of the tools they need to cope. The battles I fought on the playground and in school built my character, enabled me to deal with my shortcomings, and prepared me to face the realities of life and disappointment, leading to my successes. It is our culture to where we need to turn our studies to find a solution to shootings. An exceptional response strategy is not the solution. NIU taught us that; they are to be commended on their strategy and quick response but even that proved ineffective to stop bloodshed. I don't know if this statement will make a difference or circulate; I only know that I had to make it."
Personal responsibility has disappeared from our society. Entitlement, narcissism, and instant gratification have taken its place. When those who have never learned to cope have problems, they are medicated into compliance. For a while.

In the absence of the gun, the sociopath will find another means to commit mayhem. In the absence of the sociopath, the gun is harmless.

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