Friday, February 15, 2008

Campus Tragedies

The news media today are focused on the mass murder on the campus of Northern Illinois University, where a former student shot dead five students (including a graduate assistant who was teaching the class) and wounded several others before killing himself.

The NIU shootings brought to mind last year's massacre at Virginia Tech.

Lost in the reports on what happened in Illinois is a follow-up to a story that first surfaced on Tuesday, when most of the media in Virginia were concentrating on the primary election. On Tuesday in Oxnard, California, a gay eighth-grader was shot and wounded by a fellow student. Today the victim, a 15-year-old boy was declared brain-dead and the 14-year-old shooter will face murder charges as an adult, with the possibility of 50 years in prison.

Jim Burroway has a more extensive report at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Update: Daniel Gonzales posts this additional and timely information, also at Box Turtle Bulletin:

A vigil organized by the Ventura County Rainbow Alliance is being held tonight (Friday). Supporters will gather at the Art Barn (856 E. Thompson) at 7pm and proceed to the pier.
The event is called "Lawrence King Memorial Fund and Vigil."

1 comment:

JTylerBallance said...

This morning, a local radio talk show featured one of those helicopter parents, but this guy has formed an association for other helicopter parents so that they can collectively insert themselves even further into their college student's lives.

This guy and his group are using the campus shooting issue to ask for more security funding.

Never mind that arguing from the specific to the general is illogical. Never mind that a few isolated shootings do not mean that everyone's civil liberties should be eliminated. Just the same, these hyper parents want to turn every campus into a locked down fortress where only the ideas that they like are permitted through the gates.

History teaches that the more open a campus and its surrounding society is, the more that environment will produce new and innovative ideas. We can't allow the hysteria based on a few isolated shootings to destroy what is perhaps the last competitive advantage that America has left.

Surely we should grieve over the loss of life at NIU, but we should keep a sense of proportionality in our responses to such events. For example, how many people were killed in our housing projects on that same day; on our highways; or under the knife of an abortionist?