T Nation

V.Tech and Personal Responsibility

Just finished watching the NBC video of the evil (not crazy) piece of shit that killed so many of the Virginia Tech staff and students. As I watched, I had expected to see something more chilling, more, I don’t know, powerful, awe-inspiring, something. What I saw, instead, was pathetic.

What I saw was just another example of the disease that grips America today (my avatar says Japan because I live there but I am most decidedly American), that of the complete relinquishment of personal responsibility. Nothing but whining, poor wittle me, you don’t understand, nobody feels pain, boo-freakin-hoo life is too hard and it’s all your fault.

I believe in the right of individual citizens to bear arms, but, whether that argument is right or wrong, I think that many folks are overlooking the real issue here: that much, if not all of the violent crime that occurs today is a result of this refusal to accept that the criminal is the author of his own actions, indeed his own feelings and thought processes.

To see him blaming all of his miserable life on others, and then to take their lives, in that ultimate act of solipsism, was really, really eye-opening. And no matter what you do about guns (and knives, hammers, whiffle bats and nerf footballs) in this country, until we as a nation address this issue, that the individual must take responsibility for his position in life, this is going to happen again, and again, and again.

I agree that one must take responsibility, but what about the influence of a culture in general?

you think if violent movies werent so glamorized?, games were not so easy to blow things up and kill, etc. Yes the masses never get influenced, but somewhere down the line a bad seed is born. People get used to the numbness of death and destruction.

altruism and compassion are not something that is held in high regard in this country.

Charles Whitman killed 15 people at Texas in 1966, long before Grand Theft Auto.

Seems like it doesn’t change my argument, to me. Just another facet of it, in that there is all the more need for a basis in education to counter the influences of culture. We teach science, art, english, history, math, etc. in school, but there is very little moral teaching (at least there is very little which isn’t some group’s thinly disguised political agenda).

American education is basically devoid of the normal teaching that programs like Sesame Street and kids’ cartoon programs often (not always) strive to offer. A steady diet of the teaching of self-reliance, reciprocity, morality (devoid of left/right slant, if that is possible) and especially, especially responsibility for one’s own actions would go a long way, I think, toward the building of a rampart to defend against the ceaseless onslaught of sexual violence we demand of the media.

[quote]Kill’Em All wrote:
I agree that one must take responsibility, but what about the influence of a culture in general?

you think if violent movies werent so glamorized?, games were not so easy to blow things up and kill, etc. Yes the masses never get influenced, but somewhere down the line a bad seed is born. People get used to the numbness of death and destruction.

altruism and compassion are not something that is held in high regard in this country.
[/quote]

Whenever an event like this happens that shocks the entire nation, everyone uses it as evidence to prove their particular point. One group says “See, I told you we should ban guns.” Another says “See, I told you we should ban violent movies.” A third says, “See, I told you we should spank kids more.”

I say that it’s none of the above. I think there was something in this kid’s head that made him to what he did. You could’ve taken away all the violent video games, given him daily lectures, and spanked the hell out of him, and these actions would have just pissed him off even more, and he still would’ve done what he did.

People don’t like to hear this because it means that these things are random and there’s not much we can do about it. My point exactly. People also don’t like to hear this because they think that it means we shouldn’t try to raise kids responsibly. I don’t think that at all. Of course upbringing and culture play a role, and bad influences will certainly push a good kid to go bad. But not to this extent.

The other interesting thing is that the people who do this aren’t the ones who party until 4:00 a.m. and have multiple tattoos, body piercings, and a history of drug use. If you look back at all of the serial killers and mass shooters, the thing they all have in common is that they were quiet loners, and no one would have suspected they could have done what they did. This goes way beyond feeling sorry for oneself.

[quote]Kill’Em All wrote:
I agree that one must take responsibility, but what about the influence of a culture in general?

you think if violent movies werent so glamorized?, games were not so easy to blow things up and kill, etc. Yes the masses never get influenced, but somewhere down the line a bad seed is born. People get used to the numbness of death and destruction.

altruism and compassion are not something that is held in high regard in this country.
[/quote]

Violent movies and video games are not what spawns this ridiculous growing notion that people expect to be given things they didn’t work for or didn’t earn. It isn’t anyone’s responsibility to give you respect or constantly give words of encouragement simply because you exist.

This weakling that killed all of these people clearly saw the world as being against him somehow. Anyone with more popularity, money, or status than himself was targeted as causing him pain. That is the result of a generation being raised to accept no personal responsibility for their lot in life.

It doesn’t have shit to do with video games. We see the same type of shit (though non-violent) on this forum. It is the mentality of, “please tell me I look great and if you don’t, I will whine and complain even though I just started lifting weights”.

People were being murdered long before television existed. If it is that fucking easy for a deranged lunatic nerd to get that much ammo from one place, even though I believe in the right to carry a weapon, perhaps we need more fucking controls in place.

In case I did not make my point clearly, I am not suggesting that this would solve everything. Appropriate parenting is just as necessary.

I just think that the insistence of today’s Americans upon being handed everything, expecting, and feeling that they are somehow deserving of all things, including their own sense of self-worth, without their taking responsibility for sercuring it, is more of a disease than anything the media can possibly dish out.

[quote]shawninjapan wrote:

American education is basically devoid of the normal teaching that programs like Sesame Street and kids’ cartoon programs often (not always) strive to offer. A steady diet of the teaching of self-reliance, reciprocity, morality (devoid of left/right slant, if that is possible) and especially, especially responsibility for one’s own actions would go a long way, I think, toward the building of a rampart to defend against the ceaseless onslaught of sexual violence we demand of the media.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Kill’Em All wrote:
I agree that one must take responsibility, but what about the influence of a culture in general?

you think if violent movies werent so glamorized?, games were not so easy to blow things up and kill, etc. Yes the masses never get influenced, but somewhere down the line a bad seed is born. People get used to the numbness of death and destruction.

altruism and compassion are not something that is held in high regard in this country.

Violent movies and video games are not what spawns this ridiculous growing notion that people expect to be given things they didn’t work for or didn’t earn. It isn’t anyone’s responsibility to give you respect or constantly give words of encouragement simply because you exist.

This weakling that killed all of these people clearly saw the world as being against him somehow. Anyone with more popularity, money, or status than himself was targeted as causing him pain. That is the result of a generation being raised to accept no personal responsibility for their lot in life.

It doesn’t have shit to do with video games. We see the same type of shit (though non-violent) on this forum. It is the mentality of, “please tell me I look great and if you don’t, I will whine and complain even though I just started lifting weights”.

People were being murdered long before television existed. If it is that fucking easy for a deranged lunatic nerd to get that much ammo from one place, even though I believe in the right to carry a weapon, perhaps we need more fucking controls in place.[/quote]

No this is what did it.
http://www.newstarget.com/021798.html

[quote]Kill’Em All wrote:

No this is what did it.
http://www.newstarget.com/021798.html

[/quote]

I’m not sure how serious you are being with the response, but I do consider the mass medication of society a problem in and of itself. I also find it EXTREMELY hypocritical that I can have several patients over any given day taking anti-depressants (and this is the military) yet the same people who seem to ignore this are the same ones who decry the use of anabolics in sports or the legalization of one of the least harmful “drugs” known to man.

It would be wrong to blame anti-depressants alone for what this guy did. That is plane scapegoating and overly simplistic. There were MANY factors that no doubt contributed. How much his prescribed drugs played a part is only speculation.

Anymore discussion of that topic will probably just result in debate about how backwards most politicians are in what they promote or rally against regardless of party affiliation.

I think the primary blame in most of these cases falls on the parents of these kids. An attentive parents knows if their kid is crazy. You can’t hide ‘crazy’ unless someone is truly insane with a possible multiple personality disorder.

[quote]Kill’Em All wrote:
altruism and compassion are not something that is held in high regard in this country.[/quote]

Ironic, considering your alias and avatar…

Have you considered “Love’em All?”

[quote]MikeTheBear wrote:
I say that it’s none of the above. I think there was something in this kid’s head that made him to what he did.[/quote]

I agree. People are trying to make sense of a senseless act. Someone killing 32 people is not thinking correctly, there is no way to explain what he did that will make sense to someone who isn’t mentally ill.

Blaming guns, movies, videogames are simply attempts at controlling human crazyness… it won’t work. Even if you did ban violent movies, games and guns, (and cars, knives, sharp objects, etc. while we’re at it) you’d still get nutcases killing others using other means.

Even if we could Nerfify the whole planet so that we’d live in a colorful world of soft sponge, you’d eventually get someone who’d strangle a bunch of people before being taken down.

You can’t control mental illness. You can barely predict it.

In this case, the only things I wonder about is how the background check failed to reveal that he’d been previously interned and that a judge had declared him a danger to himself and others. Why was there no follow-up on that?

Also, when the second shootings began, why didn’t the cops go in right away? The guy had time to do 4 classrooms and a stairwell? Why weren’t the SWAT guys in there pronto? Hell, the regular cops should’ve gone in as soon as shots were heard. Did they forget the “To protect” part of “To protect and serve?”

Linking anti-depressants to this type of behavior is a chicken and egg thing.

If he was completely stable he would not have needed anti-depressants.

I think in general we are over medicating our society but I don’t know if there is anything to be done.

[quote]shawninjapan wrote:
Just finished watching the NBC video of the evil (not crazy) piece of shit that killed so many of the Virginia Tech staff and students. As I watched, I had expected to see something more chilling, more, I don’t know, powerful, awe-inspiring, something. What I saw, instead, was pathetic.

What I saw was just another example of the disease that grips America today (my avatar says Japan because I live there but I am most decidedly American), that of the complete relinquishment of personal responsibility. Nothing but whining, poor wittle me, you don’t understand, nobody feels pain, boo-freakin-hoo life is too hard and it’s all your fault.

I believe in the right of individual citizens to bear arms, but, whether that argument is right or wrong, I think that many folks are overlooking the real issue here: that much, if not all of the violent crime that occurs today is a result of this refusal to accept that the criminal is the author of his own actions, indeed his own feelings and thought processes.

To see him blaming all of his miserable life on others, and then to take their lives, in that ultimate act of solipsism, was really, really eye-opening. And no matter what you do about guns (and knives, hammers, whiffle bats and nerf footballs) in this country, until we as a nation address this issue, that the individual must take responsibility for his position in life, this is going to happen again, and again, and again.
[/quote]

Liberalism: the haunting fear that someone somewhere can help themselves.
That’s becoming our culture. A culture of entitlement.

All the libs are going to jump around and blame the GUN, not the MAN for the killing. They are already trying to put the blame on the gun store for legally selling him the guns and on the campus police for not shutting down the school in a timely manner. This guy was 100% responsible for his evil actions.

The problem is you can’t effectively deal with people with obvious problems because you might infringe on their rights. You have to do something really out-there to get attention because nobody want’s legal trouble. Docotrs can’t even tell their patients they are fat and need to loose weight. They can get sued for that.

Yes, personal accountability is virtually lost today.

I’m sure a helluva lot of people would disagree with me, but I believe that the need for much of this medication, too, stems from the fact that many Americans don’t even realize that they are in control of damn near everything that happens to them, including how they feel.

And the doctors who are doing the overmedicating are, imo, shirking their responsibility to truly help their patients by providing a temporary treatment of the symptom, when all the while the problem is that whiney, entitlement, I deserve everything and give nothing attitude.

And I am not limiting this to “victims” of depression (how many times have you heard those three words linked as if an inseparable whole?). There are a lot of physical manifestations of illness that are brought on by this sort of thinking, too.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Linking anti-depressants to this type of behavior is a chicken and egg thing.

If he was completely stable he would not have needed anti-depressants.

I think in general we are over medicating our society but I don’t know if there is anything to be done. [/quote]

I blame the media. Those cocksuckers sensationalize every gory detail. Look at msn’s website today. The fame they’re giving this asshole is unbelievably disgusting. All in the name of ratings and the almighty dollar. I wonder what it feels like to sell your soul and values for advertising money.

EDIT: I don’t blame the media for what happened. The asshat-in-question is obviously responsible for his own actions. I blame them for being completely irresponsible and sensationalistic in their “reporting” of it.

It doesn’t seem right that you can become famous by killing a bunch of people. Responsible reporting would involve the tragedy and it’s survivors. The killer’s name, pictures, and video fucking scrapbook are completely immaterial.

Responsible journalism would involve digesting that material and reporting a possible motive. Maybe even investigating further to find out what the hell everything meant. Instead, NBC rushes to put every piece of material the killer sent on their fucking website so they can increase their hit count.

[quote]Steel Nation wrote:
I blame the media. Those cocksuckers sensationalize every gory detail. Look at msn’s website today. The fame they’re giving this asshole is unbelievably disgusting. All in the name of ratings and the almighty dollar. I wonder what it feels like to sell your soul and values for advertising money.[/quote]

That’s the other half of the problem. Good news doesn’t sell. Before this happened, Anna Nichole was the biggest story and all the sorted details of her Jerry Springer screwed-up life. Sensationalism is news. Journalism doesn’t exist.

At the risk of sounding “insensitive” personal responsibility extends to the victims of this tragedy as well. Except for the RA from Georgia and the Jewish professor no one else attempted to intervene during this tragedy.

Everyone else abdicated the responsibility for their own protection to university officials or law enforcement.

  1. At the key moment no one was able to produce a concealed weapon in any of these classrooms.

  2. The mountain of mace and pepper spray cannisters that were surely in the possession of the female students went unused for self-defense. Some of those cannisters can easily shoot a stream of irritant 10-15 feet.

The bottom line is no one had a plan other than the shooter. Everyone else appears to have cowered in corners or under desks while hoping for intervention from law enforcement.

Hope is not a course of action.

[quote]PGJ wrote:
Liberalism: the haunting fear that someone somewhere can help themselves.
That’s becoming our culture. A culture of entitlement.

All the libs are going to jump around and blame the GUN, not the MAN for the killing. They are already trying to put the blame on the gun store for legally selling him the guns and on the campus police for not shutting down the school in a timely manner. This guy was 100% responsible for his evil actions.

The problem is you can’t effectively deal with people with obvious problems because you might infringe on their rights. You have to do something really out-there to get attention because nobody want’s legal trouble. Docotrs can’t even tell their patients they are fat and need to loose weight. They can get sued for that.

Yes, personal accountability is virtually lost today.

[/quote]

Take your worthless political agenda elsewhere. This is a serious conversation about serious situation, and doesn’t need to be dragged down with your “libs are stoopid” BS. This is too real and too soon of a tragedy for you to use it to espouse this crap.

[quote]Steel Nation wrote:
I blame the media. Those cocksuckers sensationalize every gory detail. Look at msn’s website today. The fame they’re giving this asshole is unbelievably disgusting. All in the name of ratings and the almighty dollar. I wonder what it feels like to sell your soul and values for advertising money.[/quote]

I have to agree! 100% The media are a bunch of fukin dirtbags! EOD

[quote]DM246 wrote:
At the risk of sounding “insensitive” personal responsibility extends to the victims of this tragedy as well. Except for the RA from Georgia and the Jewish professor no one else attempted to intervene during this tragedy.

Everyone else abdicated the responsibility for their own protection to university officials or law enforcement.

  1. At the key moment no one was able to produce a concealed weapon in any of these classrooms.

  2. The mountain of mace and pepper spray cannisters that were surely in the possession of the female students went unused for self-defense. Some of those cannisters can easily shoot a stream of irritant 10-15 feet.

The bottom line is no one had a plan other than the shooter. Everyone else appears to have cowered in corners or under desks while hoping for intervention from law enforcement.

Hope is not a course of action. [/quote]

I have to agree,Some students that went out the window said others did’nt want to because they would get in trouble etc… I went through a local sheriff’s academy yrs. ago and i learned they would wrather get to the seen after the shooter was gone.

Sometimes you have to act to save your own ass,screw the rules ,then let the system do what they have to.at least you may still be alive.People think that law enforcement is that magical savior that will save you from everything.