Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Questions from Blacksburg
It just hit me. After nearly 24 hours of confusion, chaos and charging hard to get here and report, the gravity of what happened at Virginia Tech is starting to sink in. Journalists are not supposed to show their emotions, but in this case, how can you not? 32 innocent lives, snuffed out in fit of rage. Sisters, sons, sweathearts. Gone. What a waste.

I've done stories with ER docs about what happens in times of crisis. It's not chaos as is often portrayed on TV. It's actually more like an intricate dance. Everyone knows his or her part. Folks we've talked to say the emergency response here was top notch. I am sure the families and friends of the survivors are grateful to know that.

I was in Oregon in 1998 when Kip Kinkel, then 15, killed his parents and then opened fire at his school. At the time I couldn't help but wonder, why do people commit such horrible crimes? Are some people "evil," or are such crimes the result of mental illness? Is there another explanation? Or no explanation? I'd like to know what you think.
I think a lot of these incidents come out of our inability to deal with mental illness. Personal problems I have dealt with in regard to my brother, who suffered from bipolar disorder follow: 1) I was EXTREMELY close to him and thought he was doing okay. He wasn't and almost died as a result of a suicide attempt. His doctor had been unable to get him to communicate, but hadn't notified me (his primary caregiver). I thought I knew him and how he was doing but I had NO idea what was going on, 2) He was hospitalized and because of health insurance reasons (he'd used up all his days and they wouldn't pay for any more), had to be let out of the hospital when he was still too ill to be out. After several days out with almost constant supervision, they allow him to be admitted again, when the HEALTH INSURANCE allows it (pays for it), 3) His usual arrangement regarding ongoing treatment after being released from the hospital was to come in ALONE for a 15 minute appointment with his doctor, answer a few questions about how things are going, and get his prescriptions. The problem is (since I attended these appointments later) HE CAN'T TELL YOU HOW HE IS. If the medical community doesn't involve the family they are just kidding themselves. Their patients are on really strong medications, usually really depressed, have given up on ever getting any better, etc. How can they possibly call that treatment? Their patients are unable to communicate with them!!The whole system is really messed up. It simply doesn't work on about every level. After 25 years of dealing with this, it doesn't surprise me at all that this happens. And it's just such a shame, it doesn't have to happen. Proper treatment is the key, and the family members have to DEMAND it.
What happened in Blacksburg is really sad and horrific . I am an Indian immigrant to this wonderful country and have lived here for over 25 years. There were 2 people of Indian origin killed in this tragic act. Most probably the professor may be an American citizen as most of do apply for citizenship here. There was also a young Indian female student. There is no mention of this is any of your profiles of the victims. As a community we are also going thru this tragedy and mourning the loss of all the bright and wonderful souls.. These people of Indian origin have contributed to the American society. Dr. G.V. Loganathan was loved and respected by his peers and students. Please show him the respect by honoring his achievements too.
There is evil in the heart of everyone to a lesser or greater degree.We have all felt the desire to hurt or kill someone at one point in our lives. But doing it for real is made so much easier when guns can be bought from a pawn shop for a couple of hundrerd dollars.This is the price of freedom america..now pay up and shut up
My opinion is that people in the community need to develop coping skills and a good support system. I think a lot of the times troubled people keep their thoughts and feelings bottled up inside until they do the unthinkable.
Besides the coping skills, no one should look down upon anyone else anyways.
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