Friday, February 15, 2008

Stephen Kazmierczak

He killed himself, too. A quick correction to the previous post. Stephen Kazmierczak sauntered into a university building and hid in a lecture hall. He carried several handguns and a fully loaded shotgun hidden in a guitar case. He fired from the auditorium stage and killed 6, injured 17 others.

A student at another state school, the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, this troubled young man had gone off his medication. He grew up in that college town, was one of what we would have called, the Champaign "townies."

The campus police today said that he was a top-notch student, not a disturbed student. No one could have seen this coming. He gave no prior warnings.

The details will role in, and again, we'll be glued to the the television, captivated by senseless violence. Well, I will.

The university police said that there was nothing they could have done to prevent this from happening. He had been a student previously in Dekalb with no obvious problems. And even in Champaign, he gave no warning, no cry for help.

No warning.

I just want to say that in Israel, one does not enter a university or other public building, not even a large grocery store, without passing through metal detectors. Most guns are made out of metal, you see.

So when they say,
There's nothing we could have done to prevent this. We had no warning.
They're wrong. And short-sighted.


therapydoc

21 comments:

Midwife with a Knife said...

Hm... I mean no criticism, but are you suggesting that we tighten the security on college campuses to the level of security that Israelis have? Are you suggesting that we should have metal detectors (and thereby closed campuses) at all colleges and universities in the US? I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad idea, but to play devil's advocate, it does seem like a very high price to protect against a very rare occurrence. After all, we're much more likely to get killed in an auto accident then in a school shooting, so maybe the resources would be better used in making our roads and cars safer, for example.

therapydoc said...

Bring it on.

That's exactly what I'm suggesting. I said it before, when we lost 33 at Virginia Tech.

And I'll say it again. Loudly. I'll write to my congress-persons, suggest that you do, too.

Mariposa said...

I HATE BLOGGER! It just ate my long comment...GRRRR!

Anyway, I was saying you RIGHT and I AGREE with you completely. Tightening security is a deterent to crime plus, metal detectors will certainly screen out potential threats. THAT is not really similar to Israel at all, their's is far scary...LOL

Besides those kind or security protocol are being done in most public buildings, if not all...we have that in malls, airports and what have you...so doing it at the campus I guess is nothing to be hypocritical about. ;)

I encourage you to write more on this topic! :)

P.S. I hope this gets through and my previous comments was far nicer than this! LOL

Leora said...

You have a point.

I could probably come up with about twenty suggestions, if I really needed to. Yours would probably be top on my list.

therapydoc said...

of course I'll write more as the facts unfold. You couldn't hold me down during the Virginia Tech massacre.

Thanks for all of your input.

Guilty Secret said...

I think it would be better to outlaw guns altogether. But then, as a Brit, I've never quite got the whole gun thing.

I am so sad these people died. If he couldn't get guns, he couldn't have shot them. Seems pretty simple to me.

Essiewb said...

I'll go even further. News reports are saying he purchased the guns himself, perfectly legally. Why do we private citizens have such a need for guns in this country? I'm tired of the gun lobby and these inane laws. I'd like my child to finish college without getting slaughtered. Actually, among my friends, I'm fortunate. Some have already lost their children to violent, gun-related crime. Giving up our guns is too much of a sacrifice to save our children? The hell there's nothing we can do!!!

Midwife with a Knife said...

These things are tough, because they grab the headlines and keep our attention.

However, let's say that we average loosing 1 person/day/year to school shootings (that's an over estimate... it would be 365 people/year). Unintentional injury (does not include homicide) accounts for 15,272 deaths/year in college age adults, approximately 10,000/year in traffic deaths alone.

So, if we're going to maximize our (#lives saved)/dollar, we'd be far better off improving traffic safety. After all, far more people are killed in traffic accidents than in school shootings per year. Traffic safety is a better investment.

Besides, many of us don't want the constant reminder of danger everywhere that metal detectors would be. I refuse to be afraid of food. I refuse to be afraid of living my life.

I'm not saying that what happened isn't a tragedy; I'm just saying that it is a rare tragedy, magnified out of proportion by our quick/immediate access to information from all around the world.

Midwife with a Knife said...

Sorry, forgot to add my source for the above mentioned statistics. They're from the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/osp/charts.htm

Doc's Girl said...

*sigh*

Therapy Doc - When all of this is going on, I can't help but feel horrifically bad not only for the victims and victims' families but also for the shooter's family and all of the grief that they must be getting today. They lost someone, too.

Maybe that's just because of my personal situation with how I lost my parents.

It's sad that we have to resort to high security measures but how many more of these incidents do we need to happen to realize that the safety of many people are at stake here when we DON'T do something about it.

Blah.

Anonymous said...

Because he had a prior mental health problem, he SHOULD NOT have been sold guns. If we don't tighten up gun purchases (who needs guns?), then let's start with tightening up on getting a better background check on who has had mental health problems. Yes, I know, the next scream I'll hear is that we would be violating a person's privacy. Come on, now, if I had been in a mental hospital for a year, I would have no problem having this on some list. I'm on many other lists unknown to me, I'm sure, thanks to Bush and others who do want they want to do with the constitution, so let's get real about privacy issues.
Do we keep quiet to protect someone who has a problem that is detected and treated, or do we protect them and who they may hurt when they 'act our' their mental health diagnois? This won't go away, anymore than taxes, but we surely need to DO SOMETHING.
I cringe now when I think of my grandchildren going to college, or even to their local school. I am in a community surrounded by gangs and guns and knives. I just returned from ten years in Europe; where did America go wrong? I felt safe walking at night and never was frightened by those of a different race,etc. Now, my Mexican neighbors are scaring me with their gang affliations and anger when they don't get what they want; a killing a week is not OK with me. Let's all dialogue and keep this righteous anger directed to where it might do some good. Wake up, Congress/Washington.

therapydoc said...

Sure, you win on the stats, hands down. We have money to make the world a democratic place, but not to protect our own children, not to provide universal health care, not to not to not to.

I never said anyone had to be afraid, that passing through metal detectors would make people afraid. I don't see anyone resenting metal detectors in Israel, is the truth, they're a part of normal everyday life.

The metals in nails are really nasty, by the way, and nails are what terrorists use to make those bombs that they use to blow themselves up in public places. You all knew that, right?

I'm not afraid. I'm really not. I don't think about terrorism at all.

But when this kind of thing happens, a kid buys guns, walks into a public place and plays Rambo, I do. That's exactly what I think about, terrorism, when this sort of thing happens, for it is terrorism. And I think about how this country will ultimately fight it at home.

We will start, believe me, defensively, with metal detectors.

therapydoc said...

Where did America go wrong?

I can think of a dozen ways. Not now, I have to catch up on the news, having sequestered myself from reality on the sabbath.

But let's get to that, where did America go wrong.

Leora said...

Similar discussion on another blog

To the person who posted that Europe is so safe:
England, Manchester - A Prestwich rabbi was viciously beaten when three thugs armed with a baseball bat broke into his house.

He was at home with his wife when the attackers, who also wielded a knife, broke down his front door and demanded his car keys.
They punched him three times in his face before ransacking the house.

More here

IVENTBYBLOGGING said...

@Leora-OUCH!!
@Therapydoc-hello it's Bria from YBR thank u so much for stoppy by and commenting. I have a question:
at YBR u stated he had schizo, and stopped taking meds...what would the diff in outcome (if u could take a stab at guessing) be if he suffered from bi polar disorder (can't remember the pc name for this illness)?

thanks
bria :)

IVENTBYBLOGGING said...

also:
I'm adding u to my blogroll..u have great info here :)

The Candy Man said...

I think beefing up security can't hurt. I've started a petition. If I get enough signatures, I'll send it on to our public officials.

chana said...

Midwife w/a knife - I disagree with your reasoning based on a cost/benefit analysis.

If this is the beginning of a growing trend, the time to start installing the metal detectors and passing tougher gun laws is NOW.

There will still be bad drivers with bad tempers and bad weather for them to drive in, and every other reason for accidents to happen and no way to prevent them all from happening.

But, Israel's security measures WORK. I walk past some type of detector in all sorts of retail stores anymore (Ohio, USA) - I don't think I even see them anymore. If they help SAVE innocent lives - they are worth it! Look all that's been spent on airline security since 9/11 - just think if that had been spent _before_ 9/11 - 3000 people might still be alive today.

therapydoc said...

Great job, Candy Man. People don't realize, you know, that you're the guy the little kids go to at the synagogue for treats during services, not someone luring them into a car. Thought I ought to clarify :)

guessgirl112 said...

Learn to do some research. I'm a student at NIU, and I don't know how small your universities "where you come from" are but before you run your mouth about things you know nothing about.. Look into the size, dynamics, structure, etc of a building/situation. NIU's campus is so large, and open, it's NOT POSSIBLE to have metal detectors keeping anyone with a gun out.

therapydoc said...

Not possible? You lock all of the doors. Everyone walks in through the same entrance.

Inconvenient? Oh, yes.

But it's possible.