Two Women Say Gunman Stalked Them in 2005

Gunman Described as a Sullen Loner

Shooter Wrote Twisted Plays and Was the First Name to Come to Mind as the Shooter

          While these "signs" may not make you think, "Oh yeah, this guy is going to gun down 32 people in cold blood one day," they should make you, perhaps, take a second look.            

Normal people don’t stalk other people.  Typical, Average Joe type people don’t become so fixated on someone else that they learn their routines and follow them around without being in a consensual relationship with that other person.  While being quiet, or shy may not make me think you have homicidal tendencies, it may make me think you have some social issues.  I know I wouldn’t go to a party where I only knew one person because I get very intimidated in those situations.  But because I know that, I wouldn’t go.  Likewise, I wouldn’t go a large university.  I didn’t – I got accepted to Ohio State University and my social anxiety was one of the larger reasons I chose not to go.  But let’s say your social anxieties did not take precedence over your continuing education.  Why not make the best of things and at least get to know your suite mate?  Or even just be cordial with them?  Would that have been so difficult for a typically-adjusted person?

          I stick by my original argument that there are signs.  I never said the signs may be obvious or blinding, but there are little things…  No one expects a serial killer to walk around wearing a sandwich board that says, "I hear little voices," or "My mother never hugged me."  If psychos looked like psychos, we’d all be a lot safer…  And at first glance, they don’t.  But if you look a bit deeper, there are usually things…  Little things that may seem insignificant…  Things that aren’t quite right

          I am not saying that these innocent people got something that was coming to them either.  Oh hell no!  I think very few people deserve to be terrorized and killed.  But I also think if we lived in a culture that made it okay to want to help – rather than in invasion of privacy, or a violation of rights, etc. that maybe more people like this gunman would never make it to that point – that point where something inside just snaps and they break lose.  Was the decision to gun these people down ultimately his?  Yes.  Could it have been avoided all together if someone had figured out the right way to help him?  Possibly. 

          Just something to keep in mind when you think people do try to help people when they see trouble…  Many programs that teach self defense to women tell women that in the event that they are being raped, they should cry "FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!"  They tell them the logic behind it, too.  No one will come if you cry "RAPE!" because no one wants to get hurt, or "get involved," but everyone will come see a fire!

          I understand self preservation, too.  I may not run into a burning building, but I will make sure that 911 has been called.  I may not run into the gunman and ask him to spare everyone, but if I can text someone outside, like my friend at work, and tell them to call 911, etc., I will.  I’m not saying you have to sacrifice yourself for someone else’s sake (though I would do it without a second thought, hesitation, or another waster breath for my children), but there is almost always something you can do…  Right?

          Have you ever put yourself in harm’s way for the sake of someone else?