Left: Undated photo of Kimveer Gill entitled "Trench is so tired"
(Montreal) The news of yet another disturbed gunman on a rampage - while shocking - failed to arouse my interest yesterday. It was not until the release of the name of Kimveer Gill that I began to research this young man.
His website at VampireFreaks.com has been removed, although a Google cache of the page is still available.
As I write this there are thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of unbalanced people like Kimveer Gill walking around with thoughts of violence in their heads. Most do not act on these thoughts, and struggle through life in the throes of deep depression, paranoia, or other mental illnesses without harming other people.
A few fall into the abyss of Columbinian violence.
I am torn between outrage over the shooting of innocent victims and sorrow that no one was able to recognize the depths to which Gill had sunk. Surely someone in his life could have seen this tragedy coming.
Granted, hindsight is that most perfect of visions, and reading back through almost a full year of posts by Gill one sees a young man crying for help. What seems obvious now - that he had been obsessed with death and violence for a long time - might not have been noticed by those around Gill, and his online friends at VampireFreaks probably assumed that this was just part of Gill's virtual persona as "fantasy666."
Look around you and take inventory of the lonely people in your life. While there might not be a way to prevent another Kimveer Gill from grabbing a Beretta CX4 Storm semi-automatic carbine and going out in a hail of bullets, each one of us might unknowingly have the power to save lives.
Maybe - just maybe - the kind words you extend to those around you will bring enough hope to give a person like Kimveer Gill a reason to live for another day, or buy just enough time until that disturbed person gets professional help.