Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech Shooting Questions Loom

Ask Glen!

Q. Why do people want to kill so many others?

I thought I would address this situation.

Another sad school shooting has occurred (New York Times), this time at Virginia Tech, and with it, millions of Americans will ask the simple question, “Why?” Why do people want to kill so many others? Why do they get away with it? Why can’t we do more to stop such tragedies?

But as I am about to pointed out here

A. The sad truth is that no amount of analysis of a person’s possible [illness or motivations] explains criminal behavior of this nature.

Whether or not the person who perpetrated the shootings has an illness or specific motivations doesn’t explain a tragedy of this nature. Honestly, nothing can. Most people deal with human tragedies throughout their lives and most people do not go on shooting rampages. A failed exam? A break-up with a girlfriend? Angry at the school for not letting him or her in? Even if there was such a “reason,” what would it explain? People normally don’t take such extreme criminal actions when confronted with a big life disappointment.

Some are looking to blame someone, and since the shooter is already dead, they’re turning to the school. But hindsight is 20/20 and while a campus double-murder is gruesome and certainly newsworthy, it’s not clear the school’s administration knew the murderer was on some sort of deadly rampage. After all, most murderers don’t go on killing sprees — they kill their intended victim, and sometimes a second or third who might have witnessed the crime.

It’s human nature to want “answers,” to want to make sense out of senselessness. To say, “If only this had happened instead of that,” and to mistakenly believe it all could’ve been averted.

But answers can’t be made of irrational acts such as this, and blaming people for not taking into better account one person’s irrational behaviors is a difficult argument to make. Psychologists — people who are trained in making sense of human behavior — are horrible predictors of such basic things as whether a person is likely to take his or her own life. As I said 7 months ago,

While it’s natural human behavior to try and make sense of such irrational acts — even by looking at the individual’s words online — you won’t find any answers there.

I’m sorry, but we still can’t predict human behavior in the way many people want. We can’t say, “Well, it’s obvious this person is going to commit so and so a crime,” (which would also go against the very foundation of our American society — innocent until proven guilty). It’s not obvious. It never is. Not until it’s already happened.

What we can do, and what people continue to do, is to become more aware of people’s emotional states, and to try and act more compassionately when confronted with someone who is in pain and in need. To encourage our friends and dorm-mates to seek out help when they need it. To not look at them in a different light if they do. And to remember that life is full of random acts of beauty and violence — it always has been, it always will be.

Our hearts go out to those at Virginia Tech today.

May God bless

Live long and healthy!

Any questions?

Ask Glen!

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Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

Any Questions? Ask Glen!