Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kiddush HaShem: Dr. Liviu Librescu, zt"l

The latest evidence of our nation's too-lax gun laws is yesterday's shooting spree at Virginia Tech University. I'm struck by two things: Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, gave his life to save his students by blocking the classroom doorway so they could escape out the windows; and the gunman was treated for clinical depression, clearly unsuccessfully.

Depression in men often presents differently than in women -- dysphoria expressed as anger and irritability rather than sadness, guilt, and anxiety. A fair amount of male substance abuse is an attempt to self-medicate depression; that's probably part of the reason why more women are diagnosed with depression and more men with substance abuse. And many men who are depressed are violent -- perpetrating domestic violence, killing their wives and girlfriends, or committing homicide/suicides.

It didn't surprise me that the gunman initially targeted a woman he was stalking and a man he believed she was romantically involved with; male jealousy has always been a motive for murder. Why he went on to kill and wound dozens more, I have no idea. But there's no doubt in my mind that if guns weren't so easy to obtain, and good mental health care was easier to obtain, this tragedy might not have happened.

Of course, the FIRST THING the White House mentioned was the Second Amendment, not the murder of 32 people:

“The President believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed,” spokesperson Dana Perino said.
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

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