NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

The Massacre at Virginia Tech: What the victims and police should have done

As an inventor and outside-the-box thinker, I know there were three tragedies that day. Everyone knows about one of them: the shooting. What were the others?

  • Something the victims failed to do that could have saved many lives.
  • What the police should have done besides cowering behind trees and cop cars.

Are we living in the Stone Age or the 21st century? Come on, police, get with the program! Furthermore, while I greatly respect the courage of what some victims did in trying to block the shooter's access to their rooms, I am saddened that no one thought of much better ways to neutralize him. In less than ten seconds, I conceived at least four ways to do that. Now five … and six …

If Bill Gates doesn't want to buy the "it will change the world" hardware/software gizmo that I am now developing (see * below), perhaps he might consider hiring me through his charitable foundation to help students become more intelligent and creative. In this case, a bit of creativity could have saved many lives.

* Microsoft should buy it, according to something that Gates said. In a discussion of missed opportunities during a televised program (Buffett & Gates Go Back to School) in which Bill Gates and Warren Buffett responded to questions from students at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln School of Business Administration, Gates said, "In Microsoft's case, the biggest mistake is where we miss something that's coming along that's going to be huge. We don't want to have anything that comes along, some breakthrough … that we haven't gotten the best people in and are putting that together with the work we're doing, so it would be missing something like that that would be our worst mistake."

Well, Mr. Gates, I have something that is a huge breakthrough, potentially more popular than the Internet, and something that more people will find an indispensable part of their lives. It can be used alone or in conjunction with computers and the Internet. Everyone can use it, from young children to old folks, including the myriads of technological Luddites who can't, or won't, program a VCR. Here's your chance to out-innovate Google.

Let me tell you, if none of the dozens of "smarter than the average bear" students and professors involved could think of how to stop the rampage by that whack job, then perhaps there is merit to my contention that iPods, cell phones, and other "I want to be an automaton" devices hinder our thinking more than we would like to admit. By the way, Bill, don't try calling my cell phone. I don't have one.

UPDATE 10-7-2015: Dr. Ben Carson is being unfairly criticized for saying the following in response to the massacre: “I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, 'Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can't get us all.'

This valid option is infinitely preferable to people meekly complying with madmen who depend upon cooperation to be more lethal. Once again, the esteemed surgeon manifests exemplary common sense.

In the eight years since I wrote this article, we've seen many similar shootings but no innovation on stopping them. As Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel noted, “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.”

Related topics

The Newtown massacre: We need nut control, not gun control

Wi-Fi Gun Control

The latter article presents two of my many ideas on curbing violence. It's high time we put our thinking caps on.

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

Comments (1)

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Comment #87 by John
January 1 2011 08:33:33 PM

I don't understand what you are saying?

What ideas do you have that could have prevented the massacre?

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