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A Bad Sign of the Times
Author: BobR    Date: 03/11/2009 12:34:02

In 1999, the world was horrified when two students in Columbine, Colorado went on a killing spree at their high school. It inspired numerous discussions of youth alienation, gun control, and our culture (targeting musicians like Marilyn Manson). It inspired Micheal Moore to make a movie. It even had some schools banning long black jackets, as if THAT would prevent this sort of thing in the future.

What was once horrifying and unique has almost become commonplace today, which is itself horrifying in its own right. What makes people kill others (sometimes their own families) before killing themselves? Are they exacting their last bit of revenge before they go? Are they afraid of going alone? Why are we seeing this more and more lately?

Within the past day, there were two such incidents:

Ala. man kills at least 9, including 4 relatives:
A gunman who left nine bodies scattered across two counties burned down his mother's home with her still inside, killed four relatives on a porch and then targeted strangers before killing himself, authorities said.

Tuesday's shootings in a mostly rural area near the Florida border were believed to be the work of Michael McLendon, who lived with his mother and had once worked at a local metal plant.

The bloodshed began when McLendon burned down his mother's house in Kinston, Coffee County Coroner Robert Preachers said. Authorities found Lisa McLendon's body inside, but they have not determined how she died or whether she was a 10th victim of her son's spree.

McLendon then drove a dozen miles southeast to Samson, in Geneva County, where he took down nine victims, including four members of his family. The rampage ended another 12 miles farther east in Geneva at the metals plant where McLendon had once worked. After a shootout with police, McLendon killed himself.

Investigators declined to comment on a motive for the shootings, in which at least four other people were injured, including a child. The victims' names have not been released.

At least 10 killed in German school shooting:
A gunman opened fire randomly at a high school in southern Germany on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and injuring others before fleeing the scene, police said.

Germany's n-tv reported that police said the suspect was dressed in a black combat uniform.

Regional police spokesman Klaus Hinderer said students were among the 10 killed, but he had no further details.

The shooter entered Albertville high school in Winnenden at 9:30 a.m. and opened fire, shooting at random, before fleeing, police said.

Police warned area residents not to pick up anyone in their cars as they searched for the suspect, described by Germany's N24 television as a 17-year-old former student who was known to police.

Earlier this year a California man killed his entire family before killing himself. He left a note saying his lack of a job and job prospects drove his madness to the breaking point.

Of course, we all remember last year, a man, distraught over a divorce and dressed in a Santa suit, killed his family before killing himself. And even earlier last year was the liberal-hater that shot up a Tennesee church because it embraced liberal causes. In his case he was also distraught over his job loss.

So what can we learn from all this? We don't know the exact motivations in the Germany shooting, but one can imagine they will be a repeat of the feelings of alienation in the Columbine case. In all of these cases, there is a sense of hopelessness in the mind of the killers, that there is only one way out and that is death. Considering the foreclosures, bad job market, collapsing of Wall Street and investment houses, the combination of desperate and despondent will only get worse.

That said, there are a lot of people suffering these same problems, and most people don't feel the need to take their own lives, much less the lives of friends, family, co-workers, and strangers. Why do some people snap and others do not?

We as a society need to figure this one out and soon, because these incidents seem to be occurring more often.

49 comments (Latest Comment: 03/12/2009 06:51:53 by Scoopster)
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Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 13:06:37
Good Morning.



no way I can be first...

Comment by wickedpam on 03/11/2009 13:11:35
Morning :hug:



THis time tomorrow I will be in the air head toward the ATL to catch a plane to Punta Cana. Can't wait to go but as usual I'm anxious about seats that are only big enough for a toddler

Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 13:13:07
The germany Shooting now has 17 reported murdered. :(



Looking for a confirmation, but it appears the shooter is now dead.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/11/2009 13:15:58
This is and a few other reasons is why I think it should be harder to get a gun of any type

Comment by Scoopster on 03/11/2009 13:30:45
All this gun violence today, yet one of my old friends from back home just joined a FB group advocating concealed carry on a college campus.





Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 13:31:26
Quote by wickedpam:

Morning :hug:



THis time tomorrow I will be in the air head toward the ATL to catch a plane to Punta Cana. Can't wait to go but as usual I'm anxious about seats that are only big enough for a toddler


you are going to have such a wonderful time!!

Comment by Scoopster on 03/11/2009 13:31:38
BTW morning all.. ugh extra late tot he office today, result of everything being late last night involving the trip to the theater.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/11/2009 13:36:43
Quote by Raine:

Quote by wickedpam:

Morning :hug:



THis time tomorrow I will be in the air head toward the ATL to catch a plane to Punta Cana. Can't wait to go but as usual I'm anxious about seats that are only big enough for a toddler


you are going to have such a wonderful time!!








I know - just trying to not get all anxious because other people are anxious

Comment by BobR on 03/11/2009 13:47:57
Quote by wickedpam:

Morning :hug:



THis time tomorrow I will be in the air head toward the ATL to catch a plane to Punta Cana. Can't wait to go but as usual I'm anxious about seats that are only big enough for a toddler


Too bad the security is such a pain - it would be fun to go down to the airport and meet up with you between flights...

Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 13:49:32
Comment by BobR on 03/11/2009 13:49:51
Quote by Scoopster:

All this gun violence today, yet one of my old friends from back home just joined a FB group advocating concealed carry on a college campus.





You can go back and watch Bowling For Columbine again, and it's still just as relevant today, with the fear and loathing and wild west mentality.

Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 13:54:06
Stalactite: From the ceiling.



Stalagmite: Up from the ground!

Comment by wickedpam on 03/11/2009 13:57:12
Quote by BobR:

Quote by wickedpam:

Morning :hug:



THis time tomorrow I will be in the air head toward the ATL to catch a plane to Punta Cana. Can't wait to go but as usual I'm anxious about seats that are only big enough for a toddler


Too bad the security is such a pain - it would be fun to go down to the airport and meet up with you between flights...






I know, how great would that have been :D



Comment by wickedpam on 03/11/2009 14:29:10
yeah, I'm not a fan of the Polk

Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 14:29:59
Thank you To aLna about standardized testing for art!

Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 14:36:03
I think people are freaking out a little too much about merit pay for teachers.

Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 14:38:29
Comment by Scoopster on 03/11/2009 14:43:17
Quote by Raine:

I think people are freaking out a little too much about merit pay for teachers.


I think the NEA is freaking out too much about it. Merit pay is a GOOD THING.

Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 14:57:24
I think you are correct Scoop. Most teachers out there are honorable people. I am more than sure that these new standards will be brought about with balance.



Obama is looking for GOOD teachers... that doesn't mean that merit will be based entirely on the classroom... it will also have to do with how the teachers themselves did while they were in college....



It's just not a black and white issue.

Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 15:19:27
Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 15:27:09
Comment by livingonli on 03/11/2009 15:28:03
Good morning everybody.



This working late and not getting to bed until after 4 AM is really cramping my style.

Comment by livingonli on 03/11/2009 15:33:41
Is it just me or is this blog not as chatty as it used to be?

Comment by wickedpam on 03/11/2009 15:35:25


Comment by livingonli on 03/11/2009 15:42:57
Lurk away, Mala.

Comment by Raine on 03/11/2009 15:59:39
Quote by livingonli:

Is it just me or is this blog not as chatty as it used to be?
IT goes thru cycles, liv. Always has.



Besdies, if some peopel got here before 11:30... (just kidding, I hope you know)



Comment by livingonli on 03/11/2009 16:15:03
Quote by Raine:

Quote by livingonli:

Is it just me or is this blog not as chatty as it used to be?
IT goes thru cycles, liv. Always has.



Besdies, if some peopel got here before 11:30... (just kidding, I hope you know)



I didn't even get up until 11 this morning. This damn second shift means I end up getting home later and going to bed later. I can't seem to get a life.

Comment by TriSec on 03/11/2009 16:30:33
Grunt.





Comment by livingonli on 03/11/2009 16:38:48
Hi, Tri. What's up?



Why are you now pissed off at Maine?

Comment by Scoopster on 03/11/2009 16:48:55
Comment by Scoopster on 03/11/2009 17:30:15
I love this.

Scientifically speaking, life doesn't begin at conception. Life is a continuum, as sperm and egg cells are alive, after all, and so is a zygote. The question is when does this thing become a distinct, autonomous organism and not an extension of the parents, and that's not a question with a single undisputed scientific answer.



-anonymous forum poster




Comment by TriSec on 03/11/2009 18:26:44
A math equation:



(unemployment - work friends) * (lack of prospects)



+



(savings - everything) * (anger * loss of self esteem)



_____________________________________



= despair





Comment by Scoopster on 03/11/2009 18:36:48
What happened to all the good leads you had last week Tri?

Comment by livingonli on 03/11/2009 19:06:27
Quote by Scoopster:

What happened to all the good leads you had last week Tri?


I wonder that myself. What happened with AFLAC or UHC? The hospital lead?

Comment by TriSec on 03/11/2009 19:38:10
Aflac....I actually backed out of today. I've done a lot of research on that one over the past weekend, and I didn't like what I found.



No word from Dana Farber.



No word from United Health Care.



I had a second-rounder this am with Health Market.....not sure about that one.



A lead in implementations was just re-organized and eliminated.



Tufts and Blue Cross are under hiring freezes.



Between Harvard Pilgrim, Fallon and NHP-MA, there's a grand total of maybe 18 jobs listed statewide.



No leads from my longtime headhunter, he says all the EDI jobs are in NY and Texas right now.



No other calls or emails at this time.



Pass the Hemlock.





Comment by livingonli on 03/11/2009 19:41:12
Oh, Tri.

Comment by wickedpam on 03/11/2009 19:57:50
Tri! You will find something! I know you will. Any leads outside of the health industry?

Comment by wickedpam on 03/11/2009 19:57:50
Tri! You will find something! I know you will. Any leads outside of the health industry?

Comment by TriSec on 03/11/2009 23:08:15
If "vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord", are we at least allowed to make suggestions?





Comment by TriSec on 03/11/2009 23:52:49
water heater + Mythbusters + house = FUN!



Comment by m-hadley on 03/11/2009 23:58:48




Thank you Raine,

God, I love Neil Young - I also love his doggie :P

Cheers,

mfaye & :peace:

Comment by livingonli on 03/12/2009 00:08:43
Time for Countdown and Rachel. I just wish i could shake the mood I'm feeling, but it will probably take a lot to do it these days.

Comment by Mondobubba on 03/12/2009 00:11:13
Comment by Mondobubba on 03/12/2009 00:15:00
Quote by TriSec:

water heater + Mythbusters + house = FUN!







The Diet Coke and Mentos ep is on deck at 9:00. That or Rachel.

Comment by TriSec on 03/12/2009 00:52:21
Why, I just did the mentos thing at a kid's birthday party last weekend.



But I may actually watch Rachel tonight; I haven't in a long time.



Comment by Mondobubba on 03/12/2009 01:21:37
What the hell is with the mutton chop sleeves, Meghan McCain?

Comment by TriSec on 03/12/2009 01:36:24
Meghan McCain is so unlike her papa. "We shall watch this one with interest."





Comment by Scoopster on 03/12/2009 06:51:53
Ugh I fell asleep watching Countdown. That bit he did with that absolute MORON Ari Fleischer who kept bringing up Saddam made me laugh so hard that I had to lay down and before I knew it