Sunday, April 26, 2009

Shot in the dark


Yesterday, a professor at my university went a bit nuts and shot his ex-wife and two other people. When I say "a bit nuts," I think I'm still trying to process what this means. He was a normal guy with two young children -- his graduate student described him as nice, and had just played softball with him the week before. What would motivate him to turn from his tenure-track job, pick up a gun and shoot people? Considering that his ex-wife was involved, I ponder that it had to do with jealousy. Chilling thought: he left his children in his jeep while he mowed down their mother with bullets.

I have yet to figure out the switch to toggle inside that makes killing okay (this is probably a good thing). The army obviously knows how to turn on this switch -- I think it involves making another person inhuman so that you don't have to think about the impact that his or her death might have on their families. In the case of a murder out of jealousy, perhaps it isn't taking away humanity so much as getting to a point in one's head where death is the only proper punishment for the pain inside... Iunno. Deep thoughts for a Sunday, but it's better for me to comprehend why than to think that just anyone at my university could pick up a gun and go on a spree...

I'm wearing dark clothing by Blue Blood for a dark day...


***Nails: Schadenfreude silver glitter manicure
***Earrings: Balderdash be still my dangling heart
***Shoes: Shooz slut pumps
***Lip: Flipside Kitteh bell mouth piercing
***Skin: Den-Dou Oiran skin Heidi
***Hair: Calico Ingmann Creations Leah Dark Blood
***Outfit: Blue Blood Beckoning Female - Red


Terry Toland said...

My thoughts are with you, Achariya, during this troubling time.

People in the human sciences are still working to find out more about this dramatic, painful changes that occur in people. With the military, it's fairly simple- they're trained to view it as a job. So, if shooting a gun at a target and being told that a group of people are the enemy, the outsiders, and that you don't have to feel for them everyday, it's easy to become detached and make it as simple as paper-pushing.

Civilian atrocities, however, a many more complexities because it isn't a job. Even moreso because it seems so often like it isn't obviously bad people that commit crimes. While the professor may have seemed normal on the outside, their may have been grave emotional turmoil he was keeping hidden under the surface, rather than this just being faulty bust in his mental wiring for a brief moment. While I don't know all the fact, sociologists might point out that this could have been reduced if he felt like he could express his feelings and still be considered masculine by his peers and community. In most industrial counties, for men to have emotions is considered "weak" and feminine, which puts men at risk for a number of issues.

Auntykuro said...

Thanks for this comment. I'm sure people will disagree, but whenever I hear "Guns don't kill people, people kill people," I think, "yeah, but they do it much more easily when armed." It's absolutely easy for a professional white male to get a gun. It's a shame that he turned it to evil purposes, and makes me ponder that America's right to bear arms sure does make us a murderous lot. *sigh*

Mab MacMoragh said...

That is shocking Achariya. I often travel to Athens and yesterday headed there to check out the Twilight Criterium crowd. During the drive we had a lengthy discussion about Alzheimers, how faculties of reasoning evaporate leaving the seat of emotions in control as it is thought to arise from a more primitive and diffuse part of the brain. We're trying to make sense of it. And then we discovered a senseless crime of passion had apparently played out at the community theater, a place we patronize and feel affection for.

During the drive I quoted Philip Larkin's poem "This Be the Verse" not knowing the sad news yet

I weep for those kids.
There is no logic to be had.

Auntykuro said...

Thanks for that comment, Mab. I'm sorry this news hit when you were in town -- just shows how close danger is, doesn't it?