Real Talkies

Real Talkies

Every cut is a lie. It’s never that way. Those two shots were never next to each other in time that way. But you’re telling a lie in order to tell the truth. –Wolf Koenig.

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MAKING SENSE OF INFAMOUS GUNMEN ON CAMPUS

September 28, 2010 , , , ,

Seung-Hui Cho – Virginia Tech; Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold of Columbine Source: http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/columbine_vatech_090415_mn.jpg

On September 28th 2010 a 19 year UT student, Colton Tooley began firing an AK-47 assault rifle and eventually killed himself in the Perry Castañeda Library on campus. No one else was injured but the campus was locked down and closed for the rest of the day. Things could have turned ugly and awful like it was on April 16th 2007 in Virginia Tech when 23 year old student, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people before turning the gun on himself.

Today and for days to come everyone in school, in the city of Austin and the rest of the country will engage in conversations about the motives behind such rampage. Many will feel sad for the gunman, his family and speculate if things could have, should have been done to prevent this. Yet again will the debate on gun possession, access to assault weapon and gun laws intensify. While we all deal with the news in our ways, my thoughts turned to a documentary – “Massacre at Virgina Tech”

(source: http://www.utexas.edu/news/2010/09/28/campus_shooting/)

“Massacre at Virginia Tech” is a documentary made by BBC a year after United States worst mass-shooting, to investigate why the killer carried out this rampage in Virginia Tech.

This film traces the life of Seung Hui Cho from his birth in South Korea to Virgina Tech. Through interviews with friends, family and professionals who interacted with him at various points in his life the film reconstructs turning points in his life, his support systems or lack of, his selective Mutism, his depression, his fears and fantasies. But can all this investigation make us understand why he did what he did?

Why do we need to make sense of him? Was he insane or a misguided youth who took 32 others to the grave along with him and there by changed the lives of 33 families and many more that intersected those 33 lives. Do we feel pain because of  his victims or because the society failed him like it does with many folks who don’t fit the mold? Are we responsible for actions of individuals like him?

If one day of drastic change in the way we function has such an impact – what about those who live in Juarez, Mexico; in Iraq during the insurgency; in war torn nations in Africa. Guns, violence and truncation of lives does not make sense in any level. But it is when it knocks on our doors that we perk up and attend to it.

While, I am glad that there was no injury, I feel pain that Mr. Tooley had to carry a weapon to school and end his life so tragically and wish someone was able to connect with him sooner. Let us attend to those among us who need our help and seek help for our lives when we need help. Let us engage with our communities – local, virtual and multinational to promote peace and well being.

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