Thursday, April 19, 2007

Turning a Blind Eye

I refuse to watch the video or hear the audio of the manifesto of the Virginia Tech shooter. My 15 year-old was talking about how they released his stuff in the media this morning after NBC, the only network to directly receive the video ran it on the news last night. I told her she was simply not allowed to see it. She was annoyed at me for taking this choice away from her, even though she didn't want to see it. I just need to lay out my reasons for her and rant a bit.

One: It's wrong to air his video in the first place. The networks are playing a game with the public for ratings. I don't agree in suppression of the media, in general, but I also believe NBC should have truly examined the value in their offering. There was no value in releasing this and, in retrospect, it should be clear there was nothing to lose by NOT showing it. The outlets that follow on their heels release this junk are just looking for numbers. We should hear about why this sort of sad thing happened but to hear the self-righteous rantings of this young man is going too far.

Two: The shooter was clearly mentally ill and his rantings are the creation of a mind that sees conspiracy everywhere and the world like a riding bull trying to buck him no matter what he did. There will be those disenfranchised individuals who will consider his manifesto as some kind of valid statement about the status of their own lives.

Three: No matter what you say about his mental health, it's what he wanted and you just can't give that to him or people like him. He took time between shootings to mail off this package, it was clearly as important that his video be aired as it was that he take down as many people as possible in the process.

Four: I'm your mother and I said so. Yeah, I'm pulling out that old trick.

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