Shooting at nurse's college in Tuscon, AZ?? - page 8

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   LasVegasRN
    I do have to say something, as I just finished reading that letter in it's entirety.

    I'm quite sure each one of us knows or knew someone like this in nursing school. The person that always asked questions and made everyone else moan because their questions were felt to be stupid, irrevelant and time-wasting. They always had "issues" to the point where you just didn't want to hear about them.

    I would question why this guy felt it was so important to get his RN when he already was working as an LPN. It would seem he could have saved a WHOLE lot of money and time working and getting his life in order instead of trying to attend school and take each and every pressure to heart.

    But, if anything, this really is a wake up call to take people seriously. I am not by ANY MEANS faulting or aiming any blame at the faculty - they were doing their jobs and doing it well. Should we take people who are experiencing melt-down seriously?

    This is just disturbing to me because I couldn't help but think of two people in my nursing class who could have easily been this same person.
  2. by   LasVegasRN
    Originally posted by lisainaz
    Hi Suzy,

    Yes that was annoying of me. I should have deleted my entire post instead of just the link.
    Lisa, I understand why you would not want to propagate this letter, but I've been keeping up with the story from the newspaper (just doing a search of major newspapers brought me to it). And I also understand by you living in the area why this would hit so close. Just letting you know I do empathize.

    Maybe, hopefully, some good will come out of this and prevent further attacks from happening.
  3. by   Danielle4
    This is so scary as UA is about an hour and a half from where I live and I originally wanted to go there, but decided against moving to Tucson for money reasons. I am glad I am going to a different school now. I have friends that go there.

    I cannot believe a man would do that. Maybe he has been watching the news about the snipes and was crazy enough to think he could do that. Why is the news so negative anyway? It seems like we get these sick people who copy cat and try to replicate what they see on tv to be famous.

    I agree that there should not be guns. They are legal here in AZ, but they are not legal on a school campus.

    I feel bad for everyone involved. I was at school yesterday and saw a girl crying because she knew one of the teachers. I did not know what to say to her. so sad.

    Maybe teachers should get a raise. I did not realize teaching was such a dangerous field to go into.
  4. by   Roland
    I hate to bring this back to guns but there are MANY cases where they are successfully used in a defensive fashion other than the one which is listed above. Indeed, the NRA lists SOME of them in their dual, monthly publications with citations of the local newspapers that ran the stories (obviously the NRA is biased that is why I mentioned that they CITE the local newspapers that ran the actual news stories). Unfortunately, these incidents seldom make it into the national media either because of bias or because they are not deemed to be sufficiently news-worthy. Now you can raise MANY good arguments for gun control (including that the bad they do is outweighed by these examples), however to say they are not used defensively is simply not intellectually honest.

    I've often dreamed of creating a publication that did nothing BUT search local news for such instances of guns being used for defensive purposes, and then presenting those stories in narrative format. Maybe someone with more resources and time than myself could undertake such an effort. If nothing else a book on the subject would be fascinating (in lieu of a monthy periodical).
  5. by   Danielle4
    I just finished reading his letter.

    I do not understand. Probably most of the things he has experienced I have experienced too- distant relatives and having no one. Also, having to work 3 jobs to pay for school. I have saved 7 years to pay for school and now for the first time I am finally attending a university. It has taken me a long time to save and I still have to take out loans. I have been alone my whole life and have worked my butt off to pay for everything. My parents have hurt me too, but I do not leave suicide letters crying about it.

    I think everyone has a choice you play the cards you are dealt no matter what. If you make a CHOICE to be depressed about it fine, but you also have a choice to overcome this and move on with your life and not be depressed. I may be alittle depressed about some things in my life, but I have done a lot to overcome my misfourtunes and I hold my head high knowing I can do it. I have confrontations every day in school, but it does not keep me from trying. I am probably the only one my age that can say I have done it all on my own completely paying for college, my own wedding recently (thank goodness for my husband now), honeymoon and 2 houses and my cars. I have worked 2 and 3 jobs my whole life since high school and this is the first time I have been able to cut work part time to attend school.
    NO one is going to tell me that I cannot do it. You make a choice to be happy or sad. EVERYONE has bad things happen to them if you are strong you move on. This guy was not strong. He did not deserve to be a nurse. He took innocent lives and if he was a true nurse he would not have done that. And he said it was not due to revenge, what was it then?! I say he is a coward.

    I just do not understand how someone could march in and take lives just because he was alittle "down in the dumps." I feel like telling him "so what you screwed up. That happened to you...welcome to the real world!" I think he should have definatley been treated better and I firmly believe men make excellent nurses too- maybe he did not have that courage needed to withstand anything. And who cares if his phone is not working- the other creditors will not be able to bug him! A filling is not the end of the world either. He had it all wrong.

    I have had bad cards in my life just has everyone else and I would never even consider marching in somewhere and shooting people. Heck, I don't even own a gun. He is so worried about people thinking he is crazy. HE IS CRAZY!! Matter of fact I would consider him a big JERK who is selffish. His whole life centered around him and how bad he was treated and he never made steps to correct anything. He chose to be depressed no one made that decision for him. I think it was this that killed him.

    I am going through custody battles for my niece so I know what it is like too. My sister has been involved with drugs for 8 years or so and I know how that is too. My parents never took interest in my life and my dad did not understand why anyone needed to go to college. Did I march in a kill anyone?- NO!! I have had my share of hard classes. EVERYONE DOES! EVERYONE has a teacher they may have a hard time with or a boss even. That is something everyone probably goes through and you are supposed to grin and bear it. Pass the class and move on. It sounds like he was not strong enough to handle any of it. Maybe he should have gave up on school because if he could take lives he lacks compassion. I know I am not a nurse, but I believe what makes a good nurse is compassion and he did not have that when he gunned everyone down.

    I know exactly how he felt. My father was in the military and I moved around my whole life and when I graduated I was not in the state long enough to qualify for scholarships. I had trouble they would not give me my honors credits. (It was hard moving my senior year) and it pushed me down too I had a 3.7 and not in the top of my class because of honors credits not honored my whole high school career. My parents would not pay for college because they did not go why did I need to. I too know what it is like despiratetly trying to pay for college. HE HAD THE GI BILL HE WAS LUCKY!! I DIDN'T HAVE ANY HELP. I may not have had the child support issue, but I know what it is like to fell like everyone is against you. I feel it makes me APPRECIATE that degree more. I worked hard to cover my bills meaning I did not qualify for government aid. I have paid for everything out of my own pocket on my own. I feel this man just was not smart enough to make it through college and unfortunately took it out on his professors.

    I feel sorry for the families and I am sure they will be great teachers that the University will dearly miss.

    I have wanted to attend college my whole life and it has taken a lot for me to get there, but I am going to make it- someday.
    I hope to make a difference someday too.

    Sorry, it is just that it enrages me when I hear about this. I hope everyone thinks he is a moron because he does not deserve otherwise.

    Danielle
  6. by   LasVegasRN
    Amen, Danielle. :angel2:
  7. by   Mkue
    After reading the letter, all I can say is..

    There is no excuse for taking lives. :stone
  8. by   rncountry
    Danielle, I have to tell you this. NO ONE CHOOSES TO BE DEPRESSED. Unless you have experienced the type of depression that makes you want to crawl into a closet and stay there forever, you don't understand that. If you have never been so depressed the thought of taking your own life is something you dwell on you don't understand that.
    I read this letter and do not see a self centered man. I see a man who was hopelessly depressed, had lost control of all areas of his life, and had an incident in which he was pushed over the edge. I do not condone or excuse his murdering of three people, yet can not this man's pain be seen?
    Let me tell you a story. About a year and a half ago we had a nurse on my unit that was horribly depressed. Many of us went to her and talked to her about it, and urged her to take time off, get her life squared away. She did not know how she could do that. She was divorced and had two children, ex not paying child support, had gone to the Friend of the Court many times in the attempt to make the ex pay his support. Anyone who has ever gone through this process will know that it is months worth of bullcrap, and loads of paperwork and it still does not guarentee that child support will be paid. Several of us went to the Clinical Coordinator and urged her to make the nurse take a leave of absence after we saw obvious signs that this coworker was self harming. Nothing was done. Instead she was being allowed to pick up overtime, even being asked to pick up overtime. Her patient care was suffering, and many of us were picking up the slack in the attempt to help her in whatever way we could. This nurse had every single symptom of major depression obvious to all of us working with her, and yet not one managerial nurse gave a damn. Until the day the nurse went home after she had finished a shift, and overdosed on morphine. Apparently she had been signing out IV morphine for patients but taking it home with her instead. Her mom had decided to stop by and check on her that night knowing how she had been feeling and that the kids were not home, but with the ex who still was not paying child support. Her mother found her on the living room floor barely breathing. She was brought into the hospital, tubed and sent to ICU. The management attempted to keep things hush hush, but of course it got out anyway. Once it had, then we were not allowed to visit. A couple of us tried, and we weren't allowed in. I didn't want to gawk, I wanted her to know that someone gave a damn whether she lived or died. A month later she was allowed to come back to work. A month! Did someone not understand that she had attempted to commit suicide? And that a month off was not likely to be enough? Within a week she started to miss days again, not one person who had the ability to suggested that she simply go on medical leave until she was truly ready to come back to work. Instead they kept her on the schedule, again asking for overtime. The support this nurse got nonexistant. 6 weeks after she came back to work she was fired for attendence issues.
    While this is an extreme example, I wish I could say that this type of thing does not happen in nursing. But that is not true. We are expected to be able to handle anything that comes our way. We are expected to suck it up and not complain. Don't make waves. Read this board enough and that will be apparent to anyone. This man needed help, and I don't believe he got it. Again, I don't excuse that he killed three people, but I think that had he gotten the help he obviously so desperately needed this horrible event may not have happened. I said in an earlier post that some questions needed to be asked and that I didn't think gun control was one of them, and I stand by that now. Why doesn't anyone question the rate of failure out of nursing programs? Why doesn't anyone question the way instructors are allowed to be Hitler's? Why doesn't someone question that male students are treated worse than female students in a nursing program. I witnessed that in my own program. The few male students we had were treated horribly. Only two managed to graduate. One on sheer guts and an attitude of I will do this no matter what you do to me, and the other by learning to keep his mouth shut and his head down. I am a firm believer that the "nurses eating their young" starts in nursing school, and becomes an ingrained acceptable way to treat one another. I didn't read anything in that letter that I have not seen happen to nursing students at one time or another while I was in school. Yes, of course we have to learn to have the fear of God when dealing with people's lives, that does not mean we should expect to be bullied, disrespected and treated like so much garbage, but that is too often what happens.
    I don't think it is inappropriate to have to take a hard, unvarnished look at how nursing schools treat students and manage their programs. I think it is necessary to the health of this profession. I went through an ADN course, and I wish I had a dime for everytime I had an instructor tell us that if we did not go on for our BSN we would never be true professionals. Look at all the stupid threads on this same subject right here on this board. I have seen repeatedly LPNs treated as if they didn't have a brain in their heads too. Instead of being treated like a part of the nursing equation and team. This man was not some kid, he was a 41 year old who had maintained a jobs, was working as an LPN and he likely felt that anything experience he had was negated and treated as nothing. He flunked out of a peds course because he had 4 unsigned letters from staff members who found him rude? He may have been, we have, at this point only his side of things, but by golly if that was the worst of it why was he not appropriately counseled beforehand?
    Not everyone has the ability to continually pick themselves up by their bootstraps when life constantly gives you nothing but bad. Otherwise we would have no reason to have mental health facilities. The question has to be asked, why did no one intervene and offer counseling to this man, that did not have to be paid for? Not one instructor had resources for him?
    I think this is an absolutely horrible event, murdered women with families that will be traumatized for years. A man committed suicide, with children left behind to have to deal with their own traumas. I too, have had some really rough things that have happened in my life, and obviously have never gone out and shot anyone over it. But that does not mean that I cannot understand how a man who has lost his wife and children in a traumatic way, struggled repeatedly to be able to attain the RN he wanted, who could not even pay his bills in order to do this, and who felt that he was being failed not on his clinical skills or ability to do the coursework, but on "technicalities" could come to the conclusion that this was his only option. I know I will probably get flamed for all of this, but I don't care. I cannot stress enough that I don't believe what Mr. Flores did was right, by any stretch of the imagination, but I also believe that it is wrong to dismiss the depression he felt as irrelevent because we have all had hard times and didn't do this, or to dismiss the often times inappropriate way nursing instructors handle issues. Perhaps if I had not seen the same things that this man describes while I was in nursing school I would feel differently, but I did. We had one instuctor that I believe relished being able to flunk someone for any excuse. By all appearances she would target certain people and make life a living hell for them.
    I know this is long, but you know, when I first heard this on the radio on my way home from work the other day, my first thought was I know exactly why this happened. And unfortunately the thoughts that went through my head are the things this man described. I can't help but think how it could have been different if one person had simply been willing to help this man be treated for depression, or helped him in some way through the personal issues he was dealing with.
    I will put on my abestos now, so flame away. I've said exactly what I think.
  9. by   lisainaz
    Originally posted by LasVegasRN
    Lisa, I understand why you would not want to propagate this letter, but I've been keeping up with the story from the newspaper (just doing a search of major newspapers brought me to it). And I also understand by you living in the area why this would hit so close. Just letting you know I do empathize.

    Maybe, hopefully, some good will come out of this and prevent further attacks from happening.
    Thanks, I am so upset by the incident I was not thinking clearly. Do you all remember how on the 4th of July there was a shooting at Los Angeles International Airport? Well, I was there for that one, and I was at U of A for this shooting, and was stuck in both lock downs with SWAT teams, people screaming, etc. So between these two incidents I feel like I live in Israel or something.

    The talk here in Tucson is about how a nursing professor filed a report with the police regarding Robert Flores (the shooter) back in April. Apparently he was talking about killing himself, and blowing up the university building before doing so. The police documented the report, and called him once, but did not reach him. The police did not do anything further. I think he should have been admitted on psych hold for danger to self and danger others back in April. I think he should have been ejected from the university for making threats. Then he could have been evaluted, and the immediate time period of his anger at being expelled from the university while under psych hold. And maybe he could have had an opportunity for help, if he would accept it. I do not know that this would have eliminated what happened, but I think it sure would have greatly reduced the chances of this occuring. Also, in Arizona it is quite easy to petition someone for danger to self/danger to others, in fact people are involunarily admitted all the time with far less evidence than in this case.
  10. by   nightingale
    It is chilling to read.

    For me, I can not muster anger.. only sadness... I do feel for this guy who had a dream that forces were working against.... Yeah, he was weird.. had different motives... He had some bad breaks...

    And now.. I weep for the families of the victims....
  11. by   NCTraumaNurse
    Originally posted by Roland
    I hate to bring this back to guns but there are MANY cases where they are successfully used in a defensive fashion other than the one which is listed above. Indeed, the NRA lists SOME of them in their dual, monthly publications with citations of the local newspapers that ran the stories (obviously the NRA is biased that is why I mentioned that they CITE the local newspapers that ran the actual news stories). Unfortunately, these incidents seldom make it into the national media either because of bias or because they are not deemed to be sufficiently news-worthy. Now you can raise MANY good arguments for gun control (including that the bad they do is outweighed by these examples), however to say they are not used defensively is simply not intellectually honest.

    I've often dreamed of creating a publication that did nothing BUT search local news for such instances of guns being used for defensive purposes, and then presenting those stories in narrative format. Maybe someone with more resources and time than myself could undertake such an effort. If nothing else a book on the subject would be fascinating (in lieu of a monthy periodical).


    Where do I subscribe?????
  12. by   nurs4kids
    RNCountry,
    I haven't read his letter..yet..I will do that next. But I have to say that once again, you speak with such clarity, knowledge and understanding...I admire you. I ALWAYS enjoy your posts..thanks for a breath of open-minded air.
    tracy
  13. by   nightingale
    sorry I did not read it right away rncountry.. I was overwhelmed with his letter....

    YOu are exactly right... we can not be continually treated as if we are machines... we need to time ot recharge and this guy was never given that...

    Ofcourse I am not condoning what he did... but the way we are treated in nursing school by some of the instructors... and then when we do finally get out of school how "un - Ivory Tower" the real world of nursing is... who are "they" fooling anyway....

    I hurt for all the victims and the families..... what a loss.. of those who were shot and of what the shooter could have given back to society... just as we all strugle with our demons.....

    In peace,

    B.

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