Thursday, October 12, 2006

Amish, Lidle, and Creepy Anniversaries

Has this week's shift in the news caused decreased chances of more school shootings and thus even a slip in safeguards?

Nevertheless, are there temporal signposts that still alert us to possible dates of some concern?

What might occur on Friday the 13th and around Halloween?

As the Canadian Press are reporting on October 12th, the Amish school that was the site of the October 2 school shooting has been torn down.

From Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, reports Martha Raffaelle:
Construction lights glared in the predawn mist as an excavator began removing the porch of the school about 4:45 a.m., and heavy equipment knocked down the bell tower and toppled the walls within a few minutes. The quaint schoolhouse had been boarded up since the killings, with schooling moved to a nearby farm. The Amish hoped to bring some closure to the tragedy by razing the schoolhouse and leaving in its place a quiet pasture.

"It's going to be razed and topsoil brought in and green grass planted," said Mike Hart, a spokesman for the Bart Fire Company.

In general, most people have expressed calmness and respect to the Amish positive, forgiving reaction to what one unidentified Amish bishop called their "Amish 9/11."

With regard to the copycat effect, despite the Joplin, Missouri, AK-47 incident of Monday, October 9th, we may be seeing a diminishing amount of media attention to these events.

On Wednesday, October 11, as opposed to hearing about more new school shooting incidents, the wall-to-wall coverage was of the plane that flew into a New York City building. (Don't ignore the fact that this was on 10/11, and many people had a post-traumatic 9/11 reaction.) When the media discovered it was a Major League Baseball player, Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, all story leads - on news and sports cable channels - as well as on radio and in newspapers - told of the tragic and sad Lidle story.

As sociologist Steven Stack's research has shown, less suicides occur during national moments of mourning after assassinations and during financial depressions. Will less suicidal behavior occur in the wake of Cory Lidle's untimely and well-publicized (apparently accidental) death? If Lidle's death had been a suicide, more copycats would be expected.

The move from media attention about the suicidal-homicidal school shootings may decrease the chances for similar copycats this week and throughout the rest of the month. Still, the Friday the 13th month anniversary looms for Montreal's Dawson College shooting incident tomorrow. The timing for the month anniversary of the copycat cluster of Colorado-Wisconsin-Pennsylvania school shootings overlaps with the lead-up to Halloween. What are we to make from the horrific fact that Duane R. Morrison, the sexual molesting Bailey, Colorado, school shooter was a builder of Halloween "haunted houses"? Should we look for some twilight anniversary outbursts around these creepy upcoming dates - Friday the 13th and just before Halloween in this October 2006?

Is it time to let our guard down or to lower our awareness even a little? Or for the safety of our children, should we keep your antennae up?

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