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kayana
Member
# Posted: 16 Apr 2007 16:27
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Many of you are aware of this event. I have decided to start a thread for those of us who need an outlet and also because I am concerned that some OTFers may have been present at the event- are they okay? If anyone could let me know, that'd be amazing.

For those of you who do not wish to read about the event, please don't read further and if this is the wrong place for discussion, please redirect my thread to the appropriate forum, moderators...

That said, I was very sad when I read the news. I, myself, atttend a university with 18,000 students and the potential for a similar disaster is enormous. It really just brought it even closer to home to read the article. It could happen to me. In fact, it almost did. For those of you who know/remember, the Dawson college shooting in Montreal that happened last Fall was only a few block west of my school.


I feel very sad for the students who have been hit by this tragedy but mostly I am filled with outrage. That a  university, supposedly a sanctuary for learning, can be hit by such an event...it's like shooting a hospital. So yes...I am upset and my heart is with those poor kids at the university. I hope they bear up well..And that the university provides the necessary apparatus to help them through the event. This is a time for the community to come even closer...

ice
Member
# Posted: 16 Apr 2007 23:16
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I just wanted to post to say my thoughts are with the family & friends of those involved in the incident, its a tragedy alone in that theirs still incidents like this in the world, especially in a place of education. Theirs nothing that can be done to replace the losses of this tragedy and I feel a loss that all i can offer are my thoughts for you all in this time.

I understand perhaps their are maybe 1 or 2 from OTF that are in some way involved but I am aware this is a subject close to alot of your thought so im willing to talk with anyone who needs an outlet.

May we eventually become a world where incidents like this are not only unwelcome, but unheard of too.

sydeville
Member
# Posted: 17 Apr 2007 10:54
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just a quick post to say that anyone, directly or indirectly affected by this tradegy, is in my thoughts.

camila
Member
# Posted: 17 Apr 2007 22:41
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Virginia Tech is my alma mater... graduated in 2005.

I lost Maxine Turner in Norris 207.  She was 22, a chemical engineering senior with a job lined up for August with Gore.  She was a beautiful and sweet young woman who was very loved.  Her friends and family are devastated.

Actually, all Hokies I've spoken to are devastated and confused.

The VT student community is making a large use of facebook for healing and connecting.

The best place to go for info is http://www.vt.edu/.

jadzia_jones1
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2007 01:28
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Of course my heart goes out to all the students and their families and friends. Must be awful.

But I can't get it out of my head how easy it is to go buy a gun in the US. It seems to me ( I am most likely wrong ) that all you need to do is walk into a gun shop. Buy one, get yourself checked out, and if you get the ok, you can go back and pick your gun up.  Is that right? If so what a stupied law, ( in my opinion ). To drive a car you have too pass your test, to ride a bike you have to pass a test, to work on a crane you have to pass a test. To do most things in life you have to pass something. So why is there nothing for guns put in place?  ( or is there ?)

Well if I'm right, then what do you expect when a kid is not stable, can go pick up a gun, and shoot who ever it is that is in his way. If you stopped selling guns so easily in local shops maybe there wouldn't be this bigger problem.  I know you can get a gun, if you really want one. But taking the ones away that are under your nose in local shops would help.

As you can see I know diddle squat about guns and US laws.. so maybe someone could put me in the picture?

kayana - super topic.

Jadzia



camila
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2007 11:28
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the laws vary by state (hence united states).

In VA, if you're 18 and have no criminal record, you can buy a registered gun.  It takes extra permission to carry it around though... you're only allowed to transport it home and keep it at home.  At schools, colleges, government buildings, and some other institutions, guns are not allowed.  

If you take away the guns, you take away the people's power against the government.  Right now, it'd be ok... But if the government ever turns into a tiranical dictatorship, it'd be really hard to fight back without an armed population.  Hence the right of bearing guns in the constitution.

I think two things should be done to prevent shootings:

1) Mental illnesses are INCREDIBLY underdiagnosed.  Mental illness needs to be more recognized and treated.  Programs need to be started, people need to be trained.  If someone is diagnosed with a serious mental illness and deemed incapable then they should not be allowed weapons.

2) Teachers and students should be allowed guns in classrooms.   Had I been in Norris and been able to carry my gun, I could have easily stopped that crazy kid.  Right now, schools cannot defend themselves.  Almost every shooting in the US happened in places where guns are not allowed.  Shooters know the victims are defenseless.


However, while this argument is important, a lot of Hokies are offended by it.  Instead of focusing on the victims, the families, and the tragedies, people are using this massacre for their own agendas.  Especially the media and politicians.  Many think this discussion should be saved for after the mourning process.

lzrman
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2007 17:52
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kayana
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2007 18:51
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Cam I really agree with your point 1). Mental illnesses ARE really disregarded. Hell, even the entire psychology/psychiatry profession is really disregarded- at least in common circles. How many jokes have we heard about shrinks/crazy psychiatrists etc etc (think Nichelson and Sander in that movie). We just don't acknowledge that people have mental problems and that it's a serious problem until something like this does happen.

I think why I feel so strongly about this is that as a teenager I was really depressed because I was really stressed about school etc. And my reaction, alongside the reaction of people around me, was that it was nothing. Something to be ignored like a headache. I actually felt embarassing even acknowledging it to myself. And you know, that's not the way to go. I turned out fine but maybe I was one of the lucky ones.

My digression aside, I think my point is that I would like to see more funding going into psychiatric help at universities- undergrads are troubled beings. And I'm not being purely facetious here- universities are a highly stressful place. It'd be nice to see (at least in the case of my university) more acknowledgement of it....though given the state of health services (4hr waiting times, awful bedside manner, overworked physicians) I don't see much help coming to the mental health division aside from a few perfunctory messages from the dean..

polson
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2007 19:23
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I agree totally with mental illnesses flying under the radar.

As for the gun control idea, well to be honest I live in a country with stricter gun regulations, some dumb ones and some useful ones.  If I wanted to go shoot up my local university I know exactly where and how to get my hands on a gun and it has nothing to do with walking into a store and purchasing one.  Guns aren't the problem.  It's people.

I'll also point out that I don't live in fear of my government suddenly going tyranical on us and I'll need to defend myself against them.  Should that happen, my owning a gun wouldn't somehow stop that, not to mention I really don't think they'll come guns ablazing into my home.  I really think that's a secondary and silly point to the whole ordeal.  This is a tragedy about people, not weapons.  It's very disturbing that anyone would try and use this for their own agendas.



camila
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2007 19:34
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Lzr- thank you

Kayana - well said.

Someone created a group on facebook claiming "the killer was human, we should acknowledge him as such."  At first I was offended.  Then, I read what the person had to say.

I think his point was that we need to take responsability for that kid's actions as well.  Something caused him to become that way... he was born just like the rest of us, innocent.  Whether it was bad parenting, being ostracized by classmates, trauma, or even a chemical imbalance.  In how many circles/organizations are people left out, made fun of, cut off?  That causes a lot of problems like depression, social underdevelopment... I think the lesson is to love more and help more to prevent this.  As Pol said, this is a people problem.


Pol - however silly you think it is, I think the constitutional right WAS based on that idea... defense against a tyranical government.  You couldn't do much with your gun, but a population can do something if they are armed.  The government won't suddenly become tyranical, it's a process... But look at history.  How long have prosperous governments lasted in the past?  Did any of them survive until now?  There are several modern patterns that could turn tyranical.  Hate to quote a movie, but watch V for Vendetta.  Some people claim the US is heading on the same direction... Might sound like a conspiracy theory, but we can only prevent tragedy by acknowledging it.

camila
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2007 19:39
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one more thing.

When I suggested to my fiancee's family that I become a Psychiatrist, they laughed at me.  

What I can't comprehend is why people think the brain is not biological.  If your kidneys and liver can go bad, why can't your brain?  Why are mental illnesses discriminated against?  The attitude towards mental disturbances is much different than towards diabetes, cancer, heart disease...  

The problem with the brain is that it's so dang complicated.  As such, I think Psychiatrists are the bravest of doctors, and one could argue the most important.  They are diving into the unknown, developing new understanding and treatments, and their therapies affect more than just one person's well-being.

camila
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2007 19:50
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and one more (sorry).

I thought I'd share some pictures of Maxine with you guys.  


Halloween party at my place.  Max is the bunny.




Virginia Tech Tae Kwon Do Club.  I'm the girl wearing red standing up in the middle.  Max is the girl sitting on the first row wearing a t-shirt.  Almost every person in this picture is a close friend of mine and they are all devastated.  Erica (my best friend) has lost 3 people, John lost 4, Aaron lost 5.  Please pray for them.



jadzia_jones1
Member
# Posted: 18 Apr 2007 22:39
Reply 


Cam what's / Who are Hokies?

I disagree, having guns can add to the problem surely. You having one Cam, won't stop your government if they went banana's.

You said : You're only allowed to transport it home and keep it at home.  At schools, colleges, government buildings, and some other institutions, guns are not allowed.

Someone who intends to go and shoot up a school is going to stick 2 fingers up at that law. Why would you want to have a gun at school, colleges or Uni's anyway? More help for kids at schools etc should be put in place, from what I understand all signs where there but they where all missed. Maybe this is what needs looking at, and not guns.

I pray that here in England we never allow guns to be brought in a shop. Or for any willy nilly person to have one. People who are trained and qualify should be the only ones to be armed.

As for talking about this after the mourning period, well I disagree, talking about things help the mourning along. Understanding is a big part of morning. No way is anyone taking anything away from victims and families. All our hearts thought and prays are with them. - Everyone is different Cam, we all mourn in the way we seem right for ourselves.

Jadzia

polson
Member
# Posted: 19 Apr 2007 08:55
Reply 


Cam...everything I see on American news and American tv shows suggests that your country lives in paranoia of having their freedom taken away.  I don't know if it's because that's a general mentality or if that's what your media tells you.  All I know is it makes me grateful to live in a country where I don't live in fear of my government (while i may hate them sometimes *shakes fist* ).  Never in a million years would it occur to me to have a civil war to resolve issues with the leaders of this country, nor does it seem to me to be the best way to deal with it.  If it came down to shoot or be shot...well...I'd have to have a damn good reason to pull that trigger, and it would have to be more than my life on the line.

But again, I'm not trying to turn this into that kind of discussion.  I'm just saying "the right to bare arms" mentality of the USA is a little overboard and I'm saying this coming from a province where every other house hold has a gun, including several members of my family.  I grew up using guns and I grew up with a tremendous respect for them.

My MAIN point here, lest it get lost in the jumble of gun regulations, is that REGARDLESS of the availability of guns, if someone was determined to use one on other people, they will not be stopped by whatever gun regulations we have in place.  That's WHY my province hates the stupid gun laws in Canada - we all know they don't stop people like that.

I'm not a registered gun user.  I can't purchase bullets because of it.  It would take days for me to get a gun, and be licenced to buy bullets.  But I know right now off the top of my head seven guns I could get my hot little hands on, and I'm certain I can find bullets with one of 'em (although, my dad's is useless to me because HE'S not registered becasue his gun has recently been made illegal, so he can't go buy bullets and he can't find his banana clip anyway).

So.  I don't agree with loosey goosey laws.  I don't agree with stupid laws either.  And no matter what laws we have, until we begin to address the real problem - the minds and hearts of people - we will always have shootings in universities and high schools and laundromats.

kayana
Member
# Posted: 19 Apr 2007 17:54
Reply 


Maxine looks like a very beautiful vivacious girl. *hugs Cam*

polson
Member
# Posted: 19 Apr 2007 21:17
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*hugs Cam too* Forget me.  Have some love.  *hugs more*

ice
Member
# Posted: 20 Apr 2007 05:58
Reply 


I legally own a hunting rifle (scoped) and a hunting knife. Both entirely legal due to licensing. I can carry them anywhere provided its in the direction of someone i "could" hunt. I could work over the local college, through the town center anywhere. Provided Its in my rifle bag. The moment it comes out in a public area its breaking the law.

However, its against the law to carry a concealed weapon, those laws contradict & i have been told provided its an recognizable hunting rifle bag its fine.

On this note though, I could easily walk through a local campus with it in a bag, through the building, onto the roof with it in my bag & sit their, if the police stopped me they cant remove it from me if my reason is "I'm orientating myself as to the direction of the best hunting location"; I can remove the scope (not the rifle) from the bag to aid in this. This isn't a "protective" law for the people, its protective for peoples rights. I don't agree with the law itself so I don't abuse it. The only times I've fired my rifle is in my own yard or in friends yards doing target practice (No i do not hunt live game).

I also own two samurai swords, and a broadsword (the broadsword was my grandfathers) I can legally keep them within my premises, I can take them (provided their correctly covered) into town with the reason "Their ornamental, im getting them cleaned". Due to laws & loopholes such as this I have the ability (although i wouldn't) to do anything, I could easily do what that person did, I could exact my own revenge on people who have been cruel to me.

The laws in any country are not fool-proof, the reason being is anyone can make that decision to break them, although its down to the police & federal agencies to punish them, they're unable to prevent. If someone is dedicated they can accomplish anything, no matter what the obstacles. It has been brought up several times how easy it is to get a gun in the states. Can anyone say they honestly don't know where they could get one if required? Guns to an extent are illegal in the uk. I could take a 30min walk from my front door & walk back with any range of weaponry from Uzi's, Hi-powered Scoped Rifles and Beretta's for surprisingly low prices.

The laws cant prevent these events from occurring, they are their to punish those breaking them, I have to admit I agree this is a sick occurance, but before we blame that person alone, perhaps its society in general that should take the blame; we are all to blame for not offering the support before it escalated to the point it did.

I'm not condoning this person's actions, im merely stating that perhaps he is also in some light a victim. Perhaps this event will cause us all to thing about our actions more before we push someone into that position.

Regards,
Ice

christena
Member
# Posted: 20 Apr 2007 21:18
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*hugs Cam* My thoughts and prayers are with you and your friends during this trying time. Maxine was a  lovely girl and  I'm sure she will be missed  by many. Hang in there ...

Cinna

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