My heart stopped as I read the words “Gunman on UT Campus.”
My dear friend/old college roommate began Law School this semester at UT. I immediately picked up my phone and sent a text his way. Then I just sat, watching the news coverage on my laptop, glancing at my phone every few seconds. It was a long 20 minutes, but he responded that he was fine. I breathed a sigh of relief. I have an active imagination, and although the news kept saying that no one was injured, they also kept saying that there was a chance of a second suspect, and my mind was reeling.
But this post is not about my friend (he is fine, and most likely enjoying his day off from classes in this wonderful weather we are having). It isn’t about my over active imagination either (although I am sure I will enlist it sometime again in this post). It is about this:
Police said Tuesday that the gunman was Colton Tooley. College records indicate Tooley was a sophomore math major. His parents did not immediately respond to a message left by The Associated Press.
KELLEY SHANNON, Associated Press Writer
Again, my heart stopped. A lump grew in my throat. What must they be feeling? How does a parent deal with what has just happened to them? I am filled with compassion for them.
I am even filled with compassion for their son. What kind of darkness must someone who does what he did be wrestling with? What kind of hopeless dispair drives someone to that extreme?
After the Fort Hood shooting, I wrote a blog post about not covering people in their crimes. Today, Colton Tooley took his own life in a library after intimidating many others with his weapons. But he also lived 19 years before today. He loved and laughed, he had great memories and I am sure his parents are going to miss him a lot.
So while outrage is a common reaction to these type of events, instead of getting heated, lets take the time to focus the issue. What I mean is lets ask some deep questions about our culture and society. Why do these things keep happening? And what can we be doing about it? (I don’t only mean politically, although at this point I am having a hard time justifying anyone owning an AK-47)
These are my initial reactions to this event. I hope I haven’t offended anyone. I just want us to not put this down as another in a long line of violent shooting incidences. I want us to care about the people involved, and care about helping others in similar situations.
I recently saw this trailer for a movie that is focused on the parents of a campus shooter called Beautiful Boy.