In terrifying news out of UCF (the University of Central Florida), a 30-year-old student named James Oliver Seevakumaran who pulled a dorm fire alarm in the middle of the night and was later found with a presumably self-inflicted gun shot wound had something much more twisted in mind.
Campus police who investigated the pulled alarm said Seevakumaran was armed with homemade explosives, a handgun, an assault rifle, and a 28-round magazine in his room and that writings indicated his plan. They also think first responders came so quickly to the fire alarm that he was scared off his plan.
Thank goodness. And yet, how terrifying.
In the weeks after last December's horrific massacre of first graders in Newtown, Connecticut, it seems all we could talk about were guns and mental illness. It seemed we would never move past it. And yet, here we are, just a scant three months later and it seems all those potential lessons may be lost.
Just because this man wasn't successful doesn't mean someone else won't be. These shootings are only getting worse and worse. If Newtown upped the ante, it's hard to even imagine what might come next.
It isn't clear yet whether Seevakumaran's alleged plot was to have been carried out with guns that were legally obtained. And even though I support gun control, I am not convinced that gun laws alone can stop these massacres. There is something in our culture that makes these kids and young adults think shooting sounds fun or like decent revenge.
Of course, this doesn't ONLY happen in the US, but the reality is the US leads the world in these kinds of mass shootings and we don't know why. We have so much more to figure out and it seems like we say this every time there is a shooting and then we forget.
The lessons of Newtown can't be forgotten. We must address these problems and try to understand what makes people plot things like this. There have to be places those who are mentally ill can get help and laws that keep them away from weapons.
The next time we won't be so lucky.
What do you think is the cause of all of our shootings?
Image via jasonwoodhead23/Flickr