Pharos-Tribune

Breaking News

Columns

January 29, 2014

KITCHELL: Purdue shooting unfortunately new normal

It was on a humid August morning in 1966 when shots rang out from the stately University of Texas Tower in Austin.

Ninety-six minutes later, a 25-year-old ex-Marine named Charles Whitman had wounded 43 people — 13 of them fatally — after killing his wife and mother earlier that day. We didn’t know then what was going on in his mind. We just know that he had been suffering from headaches and depression and had been in the military. What we came to know in the days that followed was that he had turned an open campus at one of the nation’s largest universities into his personal shooting gallery. He was eventually gunned down, but the aftermath produced little national discussion over his motivations. His was not a crime of passion or robbery, but of apparent personal anguish. The only venting that drew anyone’s attention is the kind of last resort no one wants to experience or talk about.

As we fast forward to the events in West Lafayette last week that left one student dead and another in jail, we have to reflect on how far we have come in having that national discussion about gun violence in public places, particularly schools and universities. It is a paradox that even though these horrific shootings occur at campuses such as Texas, Virginia Tech and Purdue, there seems to be precious little that higher education in this country is doing to raise awareness of this alarming problem that touches elementary children in Newtown, Conn., and moviegoers in Aurora, Colo.

The adult thing to say to survivors is that life isn’t fair, but the adult thing to do for this country is to prevent more tragedies by having a deliberation that is not about gun control alone. It has to be about mental health and about keeping success and failure in perspective for everyone; to recognize stress and hardship as contributing factors to some of the worst things that happen in this country.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • PARKER: It's time to take a joke, America In selecting Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of the "Late Show," CBS has waged war on America's Heartland -- or so proclaims that Palm Beach font of heartland mirth, Rush Limbaugh. Don't you believe it, Heartlanders. But wait, ther

    April 16, 2014

  • KITCHELL: Forum about adding answers, subtracting questions A week from tonight, Logansport residents and those outside Logansport who purchase electricity from the Logansport Municipal Utilities will have a chance to find out some things for themselves. A free forum at McHale Performing Arts Center will feat

    April 16, 2014

  • MARCUS: Truth is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: “Well, here he is, Mr. Negative.” Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: “You can’t handle the truth.” “You,” he said, “just don’t want to see what’s really h

    April 15, 2014

  • VILLAGE IDIOT: Signs of spring finally upon us Today I saw my first crocus popping up after the long winter. It was in a picture a friend posted on Facebook. Suddenly, it seemed everyone was posting pictures of buds on trees, robins on the lawn, green shoots coming up in the garden. It was almost

    April 15, 2014

  • Brian Bosma BOSMA: House Republicans achieve legislative priorities When the General Assembly began its work last November, as Speaker I pledged a session driven by five main issues: increased road funding, enhanced job training, early childhood education, fair business taxation and cutting government red tape. With

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • LYONS: Taking pity on the Plutocrats "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that belie

    April 14, 2014

  • KNISELY: Let the games continue I try to learn something every week. It used to be every day but that got tiring after a while. Well, this week I learned that everyone is a comedian. And by everyone, I mean everyone. I wrote last week about how my hatred of oranges turned into an

    April 13, 2014

  • PETERS: Vitamin D levels can be checked

    My mother lives with me and I'm involved in her medical care. She's a tough cookie. But like many 88-year-olds, she has several health problems. We visit her doctor at least once a month to report what's working and what isn't doing the trick. Recent

    April 13, 2014

  • GUEST COLUMN: United Way offers details explanation It has been brought to the attention of the United Way of Cass County (UW) administration that unfair and inaccurate reports have surfaced regarding the recent decision by the UW Board of Directors to remove Mental Health America of Cass County (MHAC

    April 13, 2014

  • HOWEY: Mike Pence for president? Stay tuned Mike Pence for president? The swirl of 2016 national ticket talk surrounding Gov. Pence intensified over the past few weeks. I sat down with the governor in his office on Tuesday to find out what he's really thinking. A few hours prior, the Weekly S

    April 13, 2014