It seems as though it is now the American trend to shoot and kill as many people as possible in shopping areas or in Universities. It makes me so upset to hear about yet another multiple-fatality shooting at a midwestern institution of higher learning, albeit one that I had not actually heard of prior to this latest tragedy. On the one hand, I’m glad I’m no longer at a US University, as I spent many years in several of them doing my own degrees (which take about twice as long, start to finish, as these little mini-degrees they give out in the UK; my PhD alone took longer than most complete UK sequences from undergraduate through PhD and that was after an equal number of years of BS and MS training) and then working in one after graduating.
I complained about mall shootings previously, and I am generally even more upset by University ones. I don’t really know what to say anymore because it’s not clear that there’s a real pattern in these. The most recent gunman was “a former graduate student in sociology” which strikes me as odd for a few reasons; the wording implies non-graduation, which could involve motive, but also sociology is the field in which I would expect people to study the motives behind things like University shootings!
Jen noted in the comments for my previous post that most gun violence still involves single acts, but in my experience that also is more likely to involve the shooter knowing the targets. These shoot ’em up killing sprees have more of an air of randomness about them. I guess that’s why they seem scarier and also why they therefore capture the public imagination so much more than single shootings. But I’m really worried, as Jen pointed out, that gun control and random acts of senseless violence do appear to have fallen off the US political radar. I can’t keep up with the politics as much as if I was in the US, but from this distance I certainly hear about the economy and other financial issues but very little about anything related to guns and shootings. Regardless, I’m some days actually glad to be here and not there; I walk the streets alone at night in my commute home from work and the thought of attack by a gunman does not cross my mind. I could not say that about any city in which I lived in the US, no matter the size. There’s a good reason people take cars everywhere there, and it’s not just laziness.