It pays to watch the news

Dennis Putnam dap1 at MINDSPRING.COM
Thu Dec 4 17:30:05 MST 1997


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I learned something very valuable today watching Dan Blather concerning
responsibility for the West Paducah shooting.

First of all I thought the 14 year old shooter was responsible, oh silly me.
There are actually 3 seperate causes of his actions.

1. An R rated movie - my silly thinking was wondering why his parents let
him watch it. I also wondered about the theater manager that admitted a 14
year old to an R rated movie (did I miss a change in the rating system
somewhere?). Finally I wondered about a 14 year old that could not seperate
the fantasy of a movie from real life. All irrelevant! How embarassed I am
to admit such silly thinking.

2. The first of the month - this never occurred to me but Dan was kind
enough to point out that the similar shooting in MS also occurred on the
first of the month. I can remember many firsts of the month when I was 14
and it never occurred to me that my actions and that of my friends was
caused by a particular date. We never shot anyone nor even hit anyone but
that must have been just plain luck. What is that, male PMS?

3. Being the butt of nerd jokes - now this I can identify with. Although I
was not really a nerd (solid C student and played varsity football and track
in HS) I was in the college prep courses and scored well enough on the SATs
to win a partial state (NY) scholarship. However, I was certainly the butt
of jokes and a favorite target for the 'beautiful' people. I hung around
with other 'nerds' who endured the same problems. I don't recall anyone of
us ever shooting anyone or even thinking about it. My fear of my parents
(mostly in disappointing them) kept me from even considering retaliation of
any kind. If I was ever in a fight in school I would not have had the guts
to face my dad. Not that he would have hit me but I would have gotten that
scowl only dad could give which left no doubt that he thought I had let him
down. The most devistating punishment I could ever get. What a dweeb I was.
Imagine someone actually having that much respect for their parents and
authority figures.

I'm sure glad Dan straightened me out on these important issues and that as
embarrasing as this confession of 'nerdy' thinking was, I now have clear
incite. Why I think now I could even find some conservative and blow him
away and absolve myself of all guilt and responsibility. Doesn't the above
morals instilled in me by my parents constitute child abuse and isn't that
enough of an excuse to absolve me of even the most horrible acts?

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Dennis Putnam                   Public Key can be obtained from:
Loganville, Ga.                 <http://www.ilinks.net/~dap>



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