What’s Next? Thought Police?

This has been bugging me since I heard about it and I’ve been meaning to write a post about it, so here goes.

Sometimes, news reporters can be so dumb. After the Dawson College shooting incident, somebody found the shooter’s blog, and oh what a blog. It was full of dark pictures, guns, messages of hatred for the world and all the people in it, lots of talk of violence and all that good stuff. Incidentally, they forgot there was also mundane messages about purple freezies, eating eggs for breakfast, his enjoyment of different kinds of music, and some other crap that had nothing to do with shootings. So here’s the part that really got me mad. After reading out pieces of his blog, the reporters did what I expected. “If only we had seen this in time. Maybe this shooting could have been prevented.”

No! no no no! Did they ever stop to think that a blog is a place of expression? Did they ever stop to think that the blog is just words, and nothing more? That blog could have easily been a work of fiction. Anybody heard of a blog novel? Even if there was some truth to it, it could have been an extreme exaggeration written by someone who is frustrated. Lots of extreme shit is written up on blogs and it’s not all written by deranged shooters in long, black trenchcoats. At the very least, it could have been some kind of release. For someone other than this guy, the act of writing in that blog could have prevented them from shooting up a college. Do they really want a world where people get scooped up and carted away based on the contents of their blogs? I’m getting serious 1984 visions, and it’s not just because I just read the book.

When will people realize that the way to prevent this kind of crime is not to read people’s blogs and make judgements? When will people realize that the only way to try and prevent this kind of crime is by someone close to the shooter noticing they’re acting more than a bit off and saying, “Hey dude, are you ok? You might wanna get some help.” I’m not saying that’s a perfect solution, but it’s a lot less frightening and a lot more accurate than rushing to judgment based on some words on a page.

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