Reflection and comments on the shootings at Virginia Tech.
The horrific shootings that took place at Virginia Tech must be studied and some sense made of what happened, if at all possible, and then a progression toward preventing this from occurring again is called for. I have already heard it said that these events just happen and we can not preventing them. Even if that were true, I detest that line of reasoning as it stops all effort at us trying to find some solution. I scarcely have even a good collection of the facts but I have already come to some preliminary conclusions that might be totally off base but I think we need to throw into a pot all the ideas we can come up with and see which ones hold any merit. Here goes. I am trying to figure out why any young man or women would think to participate in any killing especially a mass killing. Let us assume that there was no brain tumor or chemical imbalance in the person but try to target the process, which the young person was brought up, raised just to see if there are any factors that contributed because if this is true, we as a society just might have some control. Here are the “facts” that I have been presented to me. Probably the statement that makes the most sense to me was someone said that the shooter “…was raised as a prince”. Another fact, this young man was a minority, Korean. His family apparently did not have a lot of money but he attended a university that had a lot of children from wealthy homes. He was away from his family and any support group that he might have had. He chose English instead of philosophy, sociology, or psychology, which would have been better choices for a troubled youth. He stalked women and took pictures at one event of the female students in a manner that was inappropriate. Very quickly I have put together the pieces like a puzzle, for me, in my mind, and have come to the following conclusions:
While you read this try to keep in mind and count all the alleged negative factors in this young man’s life. Raised like a prince denotes to me a spoiled child, possibly sheltered and given things that he wanted, maybe not that he earned. I would have to guess that this boy was not active as a younger child in groups such as Boy Scouts, team sports, youth groups, church groups, and summer camps. I have had experience watching boys attend a Boy Scout troop and have seen a couple of fathers intervene in their son’s lives to the extent that the boy is protected in two ways. First, the boy is shown special treatment that he did not deserve so he is thought he was special. Second, the boy is not allowed to get full and complete feedback from the other parents at boards of review and at other events. When parents live their children’s lives and other adults and children cannot file away at the rough edges, the socialization process might not be complete for that child. Parents need to get their children involved in a lot of social groups and only get involved in their child’s activities by taking the child too and from the event and only intervene is there is truly some wrong that has been done. And, otherwise, butt out of the group socializing process.
Troubled youth that have family lives that are troublesome, many times take up psychology in an effort to figure out their own problems in life and if they have been successful in doing so, finding answers to their own problems, they often times have a sensitivity and compassion for other individuals that are leading troubling lives. Sociology is a wonderful discipline to take in high school and college to help explain social interaction problems. For a young person who is trying to figure out what life is about might do well to take up philosophy. The shooter took up English, which for me was probably a self-expression medium for this young man. I would guess this young man needed to express his anger. At the same time he utterly failed to come to the realization that he had a problem that he had to address. That might indicate that his problem was very serious in that he did not see his own responsibility in the feelings that he held. If that is true, the boy was self-delusional and then society must intervene. It is my guess that he thought all his problems were coming from the people around him. Having a new peer group surrounding you and that peer group so socially successful, having good social skills when the shooter was a loner must have been a huge burden for the shooter to fathom, why he was so different and incapable. The shooter looked around him and the students he was immersed in were obviously on track for achieving good employment and had few real life worries. Schools are social gatherings for young people. Beginning with middle school the social skill interaction between boy and girl, generally, picks up. In high school the social interaction is obviously more developed and most families approve dating. The point I want to make is going to college thrusts a whole new collection of individuals together who do not know one another. If a young person does not have the social skills to interact by this level of schooling, it just might be too late. The best one can do is for the people around a shy, reclusive individual is to not force but confront by actively looking out and reaching out to entice the young person to come out of their shell and above all give that person a lot of social skill opportunities. We must become proactive and intervene some times in the lives of people around us. It takes some awareness of others and sensitivity and a lot of common sense to pull this off correctly. The last thing you want to do is try to draw a person out and they discover that is your intent. It must look to be genuine interest in the individual. That is my thoughts at this time. I cannot accept the viewpoint that we just sit by and wait for another event to occur.