1. Stop showing the videos of that guy. You're just making it worse. We live in a culture that worships violence, people. We can't deny that fact. We also live in a culture that encourages people to seek fame (even if they're undeserving of our attention). Put those two facts together and you've got a recipe for disaster (i.e., someone else will try to outdo this guy, knowing that he or she will go down in history for his or her misdeeds).
2. Stop talking about his ethnic background. It's irrelevant. He was acculturated long ago. For all intents and purposes, he's American. And, damn!! When Timothy McVeigh blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City—killing 168 people, both adults and kids—no one said jack about his ethnicity. So shut the f$@k up already about where this guy was born and what that might mean. It means nothing.
3. Stop saying it wouldn't have happened had guns been legal. Yep. I heard a guy on the radio say that. I don't want to live in a country where everyone carries a gun. You know what might have happened had someone else been carrying a gun? That person, in his nervousness, might have missed this lunatic, shot one of innocents and then been shot by the lunatic. You can never assume. I'm a gun owner. I abhor guns. However, I'm realistic about how quickly it takes the police to respond when called to this neighborhood. (The night a crazy guy broke into my gym in the back, it took the police two hours to show up. What if the guy had tried to come into our house? What if the guy had been violent? Well, if we'd waited for the police to save us, it's likely something terrible would have happened. Luckily, the guy was unarmed, scared and trying to hide from people he thought were chasing him.) I don't carry a gun on my person. I can't imagine what L.A. would be like if carrying firearms on one's person was legal. This place, especially the freeways, would look like a war zone.
4. Stop ignoring what's going on in Iraq. Yesterday, one car bomb killed over 100 people. One fell swoop. Just like that. Why do we continue to ignore the fact that the people over there live with this kind of violence every single day? I'm not negating what happened in Virginia. I just want everyone to recognize that the world is a fucked up place right now.
5. Stop acting like you care about the blacks in Darfur. (Yes, I'm talking to the president.) You don't care, dude. It's genocide, a genocide that's been going on for years. You don't give a rat's ass. So stop pretending you do. In fact, stop even talking about Sudan. I'd rather you ignore the place than pretend you care.
6. Stop asking "Why?" when you know you'll never receive a satisfactory answer. We'll never know what possessed this lunatic to do what he did.
7. Stop trying to blame the school for what happened. How often does stuff like this happen? Yeah, the guy was crazy in class. But he wasn't the first. I had a few crazies when I taught. Thankfully, none of them was violent. What I think everyone should focus on is why Virginia's background check was unable to determine that homeboy had been involuntarily committed at one point. But let's say the background check was able to stop him from purchasing guns legally. Who's to say he wouldn't have then gotten them illegally? It's not hard to get a gun, people.
8. Stop the bloodlust. It's everywhere. We glorify murder in this country. Just look at our television shows: The Sopranos, Homicide, Law & Order, The Shield, CSI
. I don't like that stuff. I think it helps to desensitize all of us to killing. If you see enough of it, it's no big deal (even when it's on a fictional TV show). Many of the video games aren't much better. Don't even make me go there about rap music. I can't believe people wait with baited breath for the next gory movie or the next episode of a TV show that's all about murder. I'm not judging. I'm just saying I don't want to be so accustomed to the idea of murder than I'm comfortable watching this stuff. (Okay, I do watch The First 48
, a reality show on A&E. But it doesn't glorify the murder. Instead, it follows the police for the first 48 hours after a murder since that is the most crucial time in a case. See, I'm guilty too.)
When are we going to tire of all of this? What's become of our society?