Shooter kills six students, self at Northern Illinois University.

15 February 2008

For crying out loud... yesterday afternoon around 1500 CST6CDT, a former sociology grad student of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois dramatically stepped from behind one of the curtains in an ocean sciences lecture hall and opened fire with a shotgun. The gunman is thought to have loosed something like twenty rounds of ammunition, killing six students and wounding another fifteen before turning a weapon upon himself. Students ran for their lives or took cover wherever they could, even behind a transparency projector if it happened to be nearby. Shortly after the carnage began the school went into lockdown - Nexxus6, a good friend of mine who happened to be within distance of the campus took this photograph of helicopters moving into position to cover the incident. It's thought that they're news helicopters rather than police aircraft. Between the racket caused by a shotgun going off and the near-omnipresence of cellphones these days, someone probably called the police who set things in motion. Unfortunately the police arrived there too late to stop them shooter - by 1614 CST6CDT, it was all over. By the time he shot himself, he hadn't even fired all of the ammunition he was carrying.

It's happened again. It's happened again, and I can't figure out why in the hell it keeps happening.

What would drive someone to buy a couple of guns, walk into a building on a college campus, and start randomly shooting at people? What in all the worlds would make something think that this is reasonable and actionable? How could someone lose basic respect for sapient life and steal it from so many people indiscriminantly?

I'm not going to make any gradschool jokes, this is neither the time nor the place to do so. People are dead and lives are shattered as a result of this madness.

I'm sorry.