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Guest Thinkers

Ismail’s Ax and the role of Parenting

This was written on 4/19 but not published…

Let me preface this by saying, I probably won’t make any astounding insights into this issue. I don’t think the act of killing 33 of your peers on a college campus is a rational enough decision to allow anyone to make astounding insights into the “Why?” question.

We all know what happened; a young, irrational, depressed kid killed 33 of his classmates in the worst school massacre of record. After hearing the news reports and having conversations with friends about this issue I think it’s disgraceful the way this issue has been handled by the Media. NBC is in possession of a video that the killer made during the killings (possibly) and has released clips to the public. I think this release is a shameful decision on NBC’s part to monetize the asset while trying to appear ethical. I’ve heard and understand both sides of the argument. Some believe the clips should be released because it’s an event that happened and the public wants to be able to view the evidence and decide for themselves the question of, “Why did this happen.” Conversely, the argument that releasing the video would inspire copycats and punish the victims further. I think that NBC has to pick an angle on this and stick to it, “somewhere in the middle” simply doesn’t cut it for me. Personally, I think events like this shouldn’t get the press coverage they do. Some people are crazy and simply snap, I think the large coverage this gets doesn’t encourage intelligent thought, but rather encourages reactionary thinking. Of course, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen, the unwarranted death of so many people is disgusting and confusing, we’re naturally curious. As long as we are going to dig into the issue, and spend so many hours reporting the facts, we should make this data public and allow interested people to look into it as deep as they care to. I myself will stay away from this particular abyss.

Listening to the radio today on my drive into work I heard some personalities questioning the role of the parents. I think we mostly agree that among the victims here are Cho’s family. Hard working immigrants, that in any other case would be considered an American success story. I think the authorities investigating this should look into any possibility that there was abuse, but the probability of this seems low to me being that his sister seems relatively well adjusted and extremely successful (Graduating from Princeton and working for McNeil Technologies). I’m all for authorities looking into all possibilities but can the media refrain from unnecessarily dragging individuals through the mud?


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