Monday, October 02, 2006

Hey, lets stop shooting each other, okay?

From an Associated Press Article, listing a history of U.S. school shootings:

• Oct. 2, 2006: A gunman took about a dozen girls hostage, killing at least three of them, at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, police said. The shooter was among the dead, and a number of people were injured.

• Sept. 29, 2006: 15-year-old Eric Hainstock brought two guns to a school in rural Cazenovia, Wis., and fatally shot the principal, a day after the principal gave him a disciplinary warning for having tobacco on school grounds, police said.

• Sept. 27, 2006: Duane Morrison, 53, took six girls hostage at Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colo. Morrison, sexually assaulting them and using them as human shields for hours before fatally shooting one girl and killing himself.

• Aug. 24, 2006: Christopher Williams, 27, went to an elementary school in Essex, Vermont, looking for his ex-girlfriend, a teacher. He couldn't find her and fatally shot one teacher and wounded another, police said. Williams also killed his ex-girlfriend's mother, according to authorities. He shot himself twice in the head after the rampage and was arrested.

The article, focusing on the U.S., doesn't include the recent Montreal school shooting, so if we include that in the last, that's five in North America since August.

And I'm thinking, holy crap, do I feel morbid right now.

Only the August shooting had taken place when I started working on this new novel, which uses high school violence as a fairly prominant sub-plot, and I don't even recall hearing about that one until just now. High school violence just worked for the story, and it was a topic that had been in the back of my mind for the last few years anyway, a topic I was eager to spend some time on.

But now -- what the heck is wrong with 2006 that, suddenly, this is the year that everyone wants to blow each other to pieces at school? Are these all copycat crimes, or have we as a culture reached some sort of terrible boiling point?

And, really, how weird is it that this topic shows up in my head, and ends up poured out into a novel, during a year when high school violence suddenly leaps out of control.

What sort of bizarre collective unconscious have I stumbled upon?

And do I want to be a part of that collective any longer than absolutely necessary?

EDIT: After some additional thought, I'm reminded that a bit less than a year after my attempt at writing a novel called "The Small Town Pornographer's Blues" (which was to be about the struggles of an entrepreneur attempting to break into the porn film business in a small town) someone in this area started advertising in the classifieds, looking for both actors and cameramen to work on adult films locally.

I'm not trying to imply that I'm psychic or anything. Nonetheless...creepier and creepier.


elise_on_life said...

and on such topics . . . Todd, I don't think I can do this photo shoot anymore!

Todd said...

Wait, what? Why? The photo shoot has nothing to do with violence. Are you afraid the photo shoot might somehow inspire an actual badger uprising? I'm confused.

elise_on_life said...

nothing to do with badgers, more to do with your newfound creepiness . . .

Todd said...

Wait, no, I wasn't saying that *I* was creepy (that'd be a silly thing to say) only that some of these odd coincidences were creepy. Like when you find yourself thinking of someone you haven't talked to in years, and suddenly they phone you, right then. Or, uh, if you dreamed something and then it came true. That sort of thing. I'm still mostly creep-free.

elise_on_life said...

I'm still nervous!

Todd said...

I'm still not sure of what. If anything, I've simply shown a slight predictive ability in two recent works of fiction. Likely a coincidence, but if not, then maybe the cartoon will prove predictive too. But if it does, what's the worst that can happen? Badger invasion? Destruction of a cheese farm? Or maybe after doing the photo shoot, you'll find yourself watching an actual, for real, informational program on BADGERS!

See? It doesn't seem too potentially terrible to me.

elise_on_life said...

(never mind - if you could hear the intonation of my voice, you'd be on the same page, but alas, as wonderful as writing is, it does lack the vocal expression needed here.)

Todd said...

I guess I'll have to get you to read these posts to me at some point...


elise_on_life said...