An Independent’s Perspective: NIU Tragedy, Pharmaceuticals, Gun Control, and College Campuses

It’s a rare occassion that I get aggravated here online.  I recognize that this is a where even the most radical evangelical, or someone else can blather there thoughts and feelings out.  With the new comment regulations, they can even approve or disapprove of what you say. So, in that spirit, I must say that I was terribly troubled and aggravated at an article that I saw today I wish that I was good on the links, but I’m really not, so I apologize for that.  If you want to privately message me for the link, I’d be happy to push it your way.

The tragedy last year at Virginia Tech hit very close to home for me. It was somewhere that I had friends, friends had friends, it was a campus that I held close to my heart.  When the story came out that Cho Seung-Hui went through  Norris, I was terrified for my friends that decided to head to Blacksburg for grad school instead of staying close to home as I did.  Phone calls to brothers in my fraternity, posts here on Gather, rallying to make sure everyone was okay, it was almost the force that came together after Hurricane Katrina. I haven’t been down to Blacksburg since the shooting, I’m not scared, just no reason anymore, people have graduated, moved on.

The news of the Northern Illinois University shooting startled and saddened me. From what I’ve read, Dekalb is a lot like Blacksburg, a small town, nestled about an hour west of Chicago.  It’s got an airport, the university…and not much else.  I’m an outsider looking in on this one, I’m not a professor, I don’t know if Steven Kazmierczak knew what he was doing or not. He was a sociology graduate student, graduated in 07.

CNN reported that he had halted medication, that he had been treated for years for mental illness from depression to possible schizophrenia.   This is where my frustration comes in. Saw an article, because the author’s expertise as a criminal psychology degree holder, gives her the right to allow for the fact that it’s the pharmaceutical industry that is breeding these killers.

Come on people.  Let’s start thinking and believing beyond what we see on the internet and the television.  It’s like the other day, I saw a girlfriend of mine from college, and we were talking of a friend I lost due to schizophrenia and she goes,
“Oh Charlie’s not sick, he’s just schizophrenic.”

Doesn’t that just sound ridiculous?

Here’s how I see it. You want to know? Let’s share. Are children overdiagnosed medication? Yup. Are you dumb enough to listen to the doctor and give the medication to your kid? Yup.  People are too scared to realize that they are the makers of their own destiny. Somewhere it’s lost between child and adulthood that we are the ones that are in control. Just because someone has a PhD or an MD behind their name, doesn’t make them god. It’s your RIGHT to get a second, third, 100th opinion if you need to.  It’s merely a RECOMMENDATION, it’s not an order. Steven DID know what he was doing when he was going off his medication. He was seriously disturbed, and should NEVER have been allowed to purchase a firearm. EVER. He should not have been allowed access to it, neither should Cho have been allowed access to a firearm, and that dealer in Roanoke has 33 deaths on his hands due to that mistake that made him after taxes, probably 50 bucks.

If you BELIEVE in your heart the pharmaceutical industry to be bad, I hope that you’re not taking an aspirin for your heart problems, an advil for that pain in your shoulder.  Those who throw stones and all.  These men that performed these heinous crimes before turning their weapons onto themselves were mentally ill.  The mistake that was made was within the campus community, within the arms dealers, it’s a case of falling through the cracks.

It’s up to this nation’s campus communities to tighten those cracks. There is an enormous amount of this nation’s youth in colleges, and on campuses from Guam to Puerto Rico and all points between. The nation is depending on US to be the future, and the safety is becoming more and more of a question. I saw myself in that lecture hall. I wasn’t going to join the plethora of stuff that tends to get written after a tragedy like this, but the article that I saw today made me crazy. It’s about making sure that mental health gets treated PROPERLY. That medication is followed up on. That pharmacists have the rights to follow up on patients that need medication to keep them mentally stable.  It’s a chemical imbalance after all, in a lot of cases. Perhaps I’m wrong, I will defer to the Harvard doctors on that one. Perhaps they can recommend something.

So, author, with your criminal psych degree. I’ll join you with my criminology and criminal justice degree, my molecular biology degree, and my masters in forensic toxicology.  Can you solve the problem??? Nope. Are your opinions worthwhile? Sure. But, don’t regard yourself as an expert when you obviously aren’t.


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One Response to “An Independent’s Perspective: NIU Tragedy, Pharmaceuticals, Gun Control, and College Campuses”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    You’re so right. I think some of this is blown way out of proportion by the media, and that fuels the next guy.

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