Sep 14, 2006

On the Killers that Lurk Among Us

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Kimveer GillLeft: 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.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very sad day for ebveryone involved.

Mark said...

"Surely someone in his life could have seen this tragedy coming."


That's the thing that you and I would like to believe, Mike. The sad reality is, with people like this, no one sees it coming.

Think back to Columbine: the parents of Harris and Klebold KNEW their kids were troubled, but there was still that thought in their heads: "...but I don't think he'd do anything CRAZY..."

And worse, psychologists didn't see how deep Klebold and Harris were. They didn't see that they were unrepentant at past conflicts. They didn't see that they were ready to blow up.

No one knew, and the scariest part is, maybe no one could have known.

I guess all we can do is exactly what you said...give a kind word here or there to a lonely person. If you see a cry for help...I don't know.

Dariush said...

Mike,

As disturbing as this incident is, what I personally find even more worrisome is the reaction of the sheeple.

Here's an example from that Vampire Freaks site that kid was a member of.

"in today's society young people should be monitored at all times."

Kids are already subjected to so many authoritarian restrictions on what they can and can't do, where they can and can't go, where they're supposed to be at any given time of day or night (I'm thinking of State restrictions such as "underage curfews", not parental restrictions) -- aside from them being warehoused in "schools" for over half the day.

So, of course, the answer is... more authoritarianism. (slapping myself on the forehead) Brilliant, why didn't I think of that?

microdot said...

I think your post is the most reasonable I've seen regarding this phenomena. Dariush said it all when he wrote of the repression that these kids feel they live with.
From personal experience: I spent a few years living in an un named suburb south east of Toledo.
I went to Hgh School for one year there and I was the guy who was the most "different". Sure I was a target for a lot of attempted bullying, but I was the kid who could take a licking and keep on ticking.
I found myself hounded by the school authorities for voicing my opinions and eventually harrassed by the local police. I finished high school at Scott Night School and actually enjoyed it!
I'm sure in todays environment, my behaviour in a small community would trigger all kinds of alarms and I would have experienced more than harrassment. The important thing is I was overtly different, it wasn't hidden or internalized. I really feel that it was a very healthy thing for me.
There were many around me in the school who fit in quietly and who were, if profiled, pretty scary individuals.

Name withheld to protect the guilty said...

And worse yet, some of the signs do show up in people who don't go on to do things. I was somewhat of a loner in high school, and almost always had a book on weapons or warfare as pleasure reading, yet I never got that bad...

I agree with Dariush and Microdot. The gut reaction is to put more restrictions (on kids, on video games, on guns), but that's really counterproductive.