I guess by now everyone has heard about the atrocious incidents at VA Tech today. Already, the gun lobby, no doubt, is in damage control "if there were more guns, this wouldn't have happened." It really bothers me that this will likely turn into an inditement of the mentally ill rather than a re-examination of gun laws.
Not everyone who has a psychological break is going to rush to hurt someone. In fact, most who have mental illness are not violent in nature. However, the ignorance in our country is going to make anyone who does have some form of mental illness feel like an Arab-American after 911 (another wrong).
No one seems to notice how much harder college is than it used to be, how stressed out college students are these days, how competitive it is when it shouldn't be, and that a students stress is artificially manufactured. Its totally unnecessary... colleges like St. Johns and New Univ. of S. FL have pretty much proven that the archaic grading system isn't necessary anymore, yet there are numbers of college suicides every year because of grades and the other stresses of college life. The gunman was likely Asian-American. By all accounts, the way children are raised in an Asian culture, a B grade is as bad as an F. If you're stressed out in college, and you know any Asian-Americans in school with you, chances are they are twice as stressed.
Of course there's no way to defend the gunman's obviously insane motivation for killing innocent people. But I really think, on a national level, the stress levels of college students should be examined thoroughly. Why do we need to stress our students??! We live in an era where, for the first time, the children of middle-class parents can expect that they will not be nearly as economically successful. So they do all they can... they go to college, and when their "best" gets them mediocre grades (due to the mitigating circumstances of being away from home for the first time and dealing with hormone developement), they take it seriously, too seriously. Grades don't mean diddly. They are artificial. Yet you take an already stressed out student and start adding stress to their life, like a girl going that extra mile to be really cruel, a jack@$$ taunting on top, and you get a volitile situation no matter who the subject is.
I'm just beside myself. If you have kids, hug them.