Shooting at nurse's college in Tuscon, AZ?? - page 14

I am watching FOXNews and they just reported they have received a "bulletin" about a shooting at a nursing college in Tuscon. They will break in more more news as they get it. Two women have been... Read More

  1. by   Youda
    vegas, you rock !!!! so do you stargazer !!!
  2. by   nightingale
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    Susy, I empathize with Flores because I experienced some of the same things that he did in nursing school. In my second year of college, I went through the one and only clinical depression of my life, mostly due to the kind of instructor bullying that Flores described and that we have heard about from so many other folks on this board. This depression became a self-fulfilling prophecy as it caused me to begin distancing myself from my friends, roommate, boyfriend, and family. I shut down emotionally. I perceived the whole world in shades of gray.

    By nature, I am a problem-solver. But I felt cornered and isolated and couldn't see any way out of my situation. All of you are asking why Flores didn't ask for help. You know what? I didn't either, for the simple reason that it didn't even occur to me. That level of problem-solving was simply beyond my capabilities at that point in time.

    So did I get a gun and go shoot my nursing instructors? No, I didn't. But then again, I grew up with loving, supportive parents and had never been in the military, served in a war or had any sort of familiarity with guns. What scares me so much about this story is that, who knows? Had some or all of those factors been different, maybe that could've been me.

    I absolutely do not and cannot justify what he did. I cannot follow his mental path the whole way from entering nursing school until the moment when he fired the first shot. But I CAN follow him partway down that path, and that scares the crap out of me. As Helen said earlier, no one chooses to be depressed or mentally ill. And once you're there, it's like pushing a piano uphill to find your way out.

    I see some of the same thing happening here that happened when Andrea Yates drowned her children, and it reminds me of what author Gavin de Becker, a former FBI criminal profiler, says about people's reactions to serial murders and other violent criminals. It is much easier to call them monsters, to leap to distance yourselves from them, because it gives you a falsely comforting idea that no matter what, you could NEVER, ever, be like them, and no one you know could ever be like them, and therefore you are safe. And it's simply not true. We are all human. We all have pressures and problems. We all have violent impulses, no matter how well controlled. We are all susceptible to mental illness. And the wrong confluence of genetics, upbringing, socialization, and life experiences could conspire to make any one of us like any one of them.

    The saddest and most dangerous part of this kind of mindset is that, if you can convince yourself that this is just an isolated genetic aberration, that there's nothing to be done, that there are no warning signs, that it comes out of nowhere--then we are going to miss learning whatever we can learn from it to try to ensure that it never happens again. That there are identifiable factors, that there are warning signs, that there are supremely f*cked-up systems in place that simply AREN'T WORKING, and need to be examined and changed.

    If we can't learn anything at all from this mess to try to prevent this from ever happening again--that, to my mind would be the greatest tragedy of all.
    Thank you Stargazer... that must have been painful to discuss (it would have been for me)....

    I have always believed in, "there but by the grace of God" so go I.. I have made plently of mistakes... but none so longlasting that I could not have eventually climb out of... it is not about me though....

    Again.. thank you for sharing your story....

    Quite frankly, I have not felt safe in this crazy world of our making.. maybe that is why I do not feel the need to blame it so simply on one person's madness... oh for the luxury of a false sense of security....

    Now I gotta go read the other article...
    Last edit by nightingale on Nov 1, '02
  3. by   JMP
    Then what is the answer?

    Your response seems to indicate that society needs to be a gentler, kinder place. But it is not. THis guy lived in a state that still carries out the death penalty. Arizona would have put him to death and he knew it, so he killed himself.

    Stargazer, what I do know is that people have resposiblites to themselves and to others. The shooter had a responsiblity to himself to ask for help and to others to make sure he got it.

    There really is nothing for us to learn from this crime, except more people will consider not leaving there house without a gun, in case they need to use it to defend themselves against another crazy. What else could anyone learn from this........except possibly better access to mental health centers? Who knows if this guy would have even done it. HE SAW HIMSELF AS A VICTIM and that was the main message I saw. Some people spend their whole lives as victims. THEY DO NOT HAVE PSYHCOLOGICAL HARDINESS. They do not get over things and move on.

    He had a responsiblity. I have nothing to learn from him or his actions.
  4. by   Youda
    Suzy, I don't want to diminish or minimize your experience or thoughts. They have their own validity. As do the others on this thread who post similar ideas.

    But, I am asking you to read about bullying. With respect, I tell you that you do not understand how it works, and why it can lead to the kind of tragedies that happened at Columbine and Arizona. Please take a few hours to read and study this social problem that causes so many deaths each year, not only in massacres, but in suicides. Please do that one thing so you can respond from a viewpoint that at least includes an understanding of this syndrome. Then, decide if you agree or disagree. But, please don't continue to dismiss the viewpoints that bullying was a profound causitive factor without understanding the phenomena that some of us are trying to discuss. No hard feelings, I hope.
  5. by   Q.
    Youda, I will read about "bullying" but nothing will ever take away my belief that you are responsible for you.

    I am not dismissing the significance or impact of bullying behavior, nor am I implying it doesn't exist. We have probably all been victims of it. But as an adult, you have the ability to move on, change your circumstances. If bullying at a place of employment is so profound, find another job. It really is that simple. . And an employed, healthy capable man like Flores had no excuse.

    In addition, you keep ignoring the possibility that Flores is completely disillusioned at what really occurred, and that, quite possibly, what really occurred was that he was simply not catered to or given special consideration.

    The thing is, in my opinion, I have the accounts of Flores, who has proven to be unstable and has made poor decision after poor decision his entire life, and didn't value human life, and I have the accounts of nursing students who interacted with the instructors as well. I am more likely to lend credence to the accounts of other students in the exact same program with the exact same instructors who simply felt that Flores was unjustified in his thoughts and behavior, and that the instructors were supportive, helpful and approachable, than someone who murdered 3 people.

    While bullying may exist, sometimes people who are just plain bad ALSO exist, bullying or not.

    Again, I'd like to ask: what is Flores' responsibility in all this? No one seems to assign him any, instead, it's shifted to the victims. Never. Never will I understand, never will I empathize, never will I see myself taking another human life, except when my own life is in immediate danger. Never will I utter the words, "yeah he murdered 3 people BUT......"

    NEVER.
    Last edit by Susy K on Nov 1, '02
  6. by   nightingale
    Such chilling similarities Youda to Columbine and Az Murders...

    May I ask, forgive me if it is obvious, where did you quote the detective information from on one of your recent posts.. that is so chilling to me.... Thanks all for a lively discussion....

    I am fortunate to have this forum for comfort and direction....
  7. by   abrenrn
    Vegas - thank your for your picture, it took me a minute but I got it. Sadly, I have contributed.

    Last night I posted a response when I was angry and fatigued. I overstated what the person I flamed had said and saw only one side of the story. This is wrong. I apologize.

    I fear I may be to emotional about this topic. In that case, it is better for me to back away or at least think before I post.

    The above are merely rationales for my post. It was the wrong thing to do.
  8. by   Stargazer
    Vegas and Youda: smoochies! :kiss


    JMP and Susy, I am not for a moment discounting Flores's personal responsibilty in this. At the moment he decided to carry a gun into the school, at the moment he decided to pull that trigger-- that decision, that responsibility, became his. All his. His error, his sin, his crime. I honestly don't think a one of us who has posted here feels differently.

    Perhaps where we differ is that I think all the events leading up to that one moment have equal weight --NOT to absolve the shooter, or to blame the victims, but to identify some of the contributing factors, because I guarantee you that there are other people right now, this very moment, who are facing the same problems and the same pressures-- and I want to make damned sure they don't end up in the same place Flores did.

    Everyone deals with tragedy differently. Like I said, I am a problem-solver by nature. It gives me no comfort to simply assign blame and walk away. I need to understand why it happened, to look at the systems in place and where they broke down, and talk about how to change things for the better so this never happens again. That is how I deal. And I think it's more productive than the blame game.

    Nightngale: thanks for your kind words. Oddly enough, it wasn't painful to talk about. But it's been a lot of years and I didn't give many details. And frankly, there's nothing like a tragedy of this magnitude to put my one terrible semester, no matter how hellish, in perspective.
    Last edit by Stargazer on Nov 1, '02
  9. by   sjoe
    Perhaps we could get Djibouti to like us if we legalized clitorectomies for little girls

    as we already do legalize, and even encourage, circumcisions for little boys.
  10. by   Q.
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    Perhaps where we differ is that I think all the events leading up to that one moment have equal weight.
    No actually, I think we agree. Had Flores not killed them so they couldn't respond, I could have assigned equal blame and responsibility. But when he picked up the gun, then it simply changed my perspective. If I hear of this kind of behavior from a co-worker or student, I can relate, but for me, when the one person picks up a weapon, then, the perspective for me is lost.

    Everyone deals with tragedy differently. Like I said, I am a problem-solver by nature. It gives me no comfort to simply assign blame and walk away. I need to understand why it happened, to look at the systems in place and where they broke down, and talk about how to change things for the better so this never happens again. That is how I deal. And I think it's more productive than the blame game.


    True, and I can respect that. But these types of killing continue no matter how much pubicity it gets, no matter how much bullying is addressed. It continues. So I think that this kind of rationalizing didn't work for Columbine, and it won't work for Flores. It WILL happen again in my mind, because in my mind, the reason it continues is because we don't teach children or people accountability or coping skills. We teach them that they are exceptions to everything and they will get their way.
  11. by   Q.
    Originally posted by sjoe
    Perhaps we could get Djibouti to like us if we legalized clitorectomies for little girls

    as we already do legalize, and even encourage, circumcisions for little boys.

    We can discuss this on a separate thread if you like, seeing as clitorectomies on girls are done soley to prevent them sexual pleasure and have NOTHING to do with removing foreskin...
  12. by   Stargazer
    Originally posted by Susy K
    No actually, I think we agree. Had Flores not killed them so they couldn't respond, I could have assigned equal blame and responsibility. But when he picked up the gun, then it simply changed my perspective. If I hear of this kind of behavior from a co-worker or student, I can relate, but for me, when the one person picks up a weapon, then, the perspective for me is lost.
    Fair enough, Susy. I can understand and respect that.
  13. by   lisainaz
    I find it amazing that some choose to believe Flores' letter. A killer is credible? I suggest those interested go to www.azstarnet.com to read todays' edition. Classmates and few remaining LIVE professors are starting to speak out about what really happened. Flores was the bully. Students were afraid of him. He rarely did homework, and did not turn in papers on time. When he was failing the first time thru, his instructors had tutors called him at home offering help. He threatened a professor who warned him he was failing to "watch your back if you fail me." He was repeatedly offered help, academic, and psychological help. He never accepted help because he did not want help. He wanted to blame others. A psychiatrist in town is calling his letter the "woe is me" manifesto.

    Please do not make the mistake of attempting anthropomorphism with Flores. Even the bleeding heart liberal in me has a difficult time admitting that there are people in our society who no matter what, will act ugly, be vicious, and simply need to be locked up. Flores was no victim. Even if some all of his allegations were correct (which they are not) it still shocks me to see people justifying his actions or EMPHATHIZING.

    (((end of rant)))

    www.azstarnet.com

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