Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 19, 1996)
Shooting at Perm State
raises safety concerns
Penn State student Melanie Spalla died
The 19-year-old was with a crowd of her
peers outside the university’s student union
when 19-year-old Jillian Robbins pulled out
a rifle and opened fire—leaving Spalla dead
and another student injured.
A similar incident could happen here.
Indeed, one almost did.
On Oct 12, 1992, Arthur McElroy at
tempted to open fire with a .30-caliber semi
automatic rifle in a full University of Ne
By some strange twist of fortune, the gun
jammed, sparing the lives of 20 students.
They were lucky. And sb were we. What
happened at Penn State could have happened
on any college campus; it shouldn't happen
Worrying about tuition, parking and pop
quizzes is natural for university students, but
worrying about someone gunning students
down on the way to morning classes is not
A university is an institute of higher
learning. It represents opportunity and free
expression of ideas—but with that freedom
comes vulnerability. , r
Just as a university environment fosters
communication and learning, it also can fos
ter anger; frustration and despair—both for
those directly involved with campus life and
those who feel they are outsiders in an elitist
It's an easy target for the unstable.
Jillian Robbins, the woman who gunned
down the Penn State students, was called
“Crazy Jill.” She had a history of mental
problems. Just last month she attempted sui
In the Nebraska incident, McElroy was
pronounced not guilty by reason of insanity
Neither has offered an explanation.
Regardless of the reason for
Wednesday’s outburst, an innocent student
died and another was injured. There is no
justifying that in the eyes of victims' friends
Paranoia will not bring Spalla back, but
neither will a false security prevent such
things from happening in the future.
Safety at UNL and on all campuses must
be approached with realism and responsibil
That’s the price of freedom.
Unsigned cdimriah ate the opinions of the Fall
1996 Daily Nebraskan. They do not neces
sarily reflect the views of the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, its employees, its student
tody or the University of Nebraska Board of
Regents. A column is sofey the opinion of its
audKir. The Board of Regents serves as pub
lisher ofthe Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by
the Drily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publicatkms Board, established by the
wgnti, tnptrviacs Reproduction oftfae news
7-fL,. A , ar|tfr^,1 rh si intit ratlin
rcsponsi Dili iy iui me ccuionu conicni ox me
newspqxrlies solely in the hands of its stu
Letter Policy _
The Daly Nebraskan welcomes brief let
ters to die editor and guest columns, but
does not guarantee tiiek publication. The
Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit
or reject any material submitted. Submit
ted material becomes the property of the
Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned.
Anonymous submissions will not be
published. Thner who submit letters must
identify themselves by name, year in
school, major aqjtfpr group affiliation,
if any. Submit material to: Daily Nebras
kan, 34 Nebraska Unioo, MOOR St Lin
coln, Neb. 68588-0448. E-mail:
Uld enough to know better,
still too young to not care
People amaze me more and more
Yesterday I pulled up behind a
car at a stoplight and thought (was
going to have to give die driver CPR.
His head was bobbing back and forth
and he was flailing his arms in a
rhythmic sort of way. I was sure he
was having an epileptic seizure.
But what I saw next made me
thinkl was the one who was going to
have to have mouth-to-mouth. When
the man turned his head, I saw his
lips moving and, from what I could
make out, he was mouthing the
words to a Village People song.
That’s right folks, he was singing
and dancing in his car, in front of .
, other drivers, in front of pedestrians^
for all the world to see.
I wanted to walk up and shake the
man's hand. What a brave soul!
There have been a million times
when a really snappy tune has come
on the radio and I've wanted to belt it
out But society has trained me that I
must not act out or act silly in public,
and most of all I must not reenact
music videos in the car. I mean, my :
God, someone might see me!!
By the time we're 18, our parents
have trained us to be totally inhib
ited. We can’t do anything that would
make us appear unukial. There is
something truly sad about the time
spent between childhood and old age.
Small children and the elderly could
teach us all something about how to
enjoy life, because for the most part
they just don’t care what other
Until their parents ruin them,
children are totally uninhibited. Just
take a 3-year-old to a restaurant and
you’ll know what I mean. Mashed
potatoes were really meant to be
sculpted; not eaten. There is certain
joy in blowing bubbles in your milk.
And if you have to belch or perform
any other bodily function, why not
have an audience? It makes the
experience all the more pleasurable.
Children are completely comfort
honest “Mommy, why doesnYthat ^
There is certain joy
in blowing bubbles
in your milk. And if
you have to belch or
- perform any other
why not have
roan have any hair? Mommy, why is
that dog licking his butt? Mommy, I
think I have to go. Mommy, what is
that big, ugly spot bn your nose?”
Now imagine being able to walk up
to complete strangers and ask their
names and ages. They would look at
you funny and ask which hospital
you escaped from. If you’re 5, you
can get away with it.
Little kids will break out into a
Barney song when in die car, indie
department store, at church. And die
more you try to quiet them, the
louder they will sing. Now admit it,
haven’t we all wanted to sing along
with the Neil Diamond tunes at the
grocery store? /‘.r;
We could also take a lesson from
the elderly people of this world. ~ :
They’ve also §pent most of their Sg|
adult lives worrying about what other
people think of them. Now in the
twilight of their lives, they want to be
I don’t want any mail bombs from
nursing homes, so I’ll use my' t ad)
grandparents as examples. My
grandmother has lost the will to be
fashionable. Grandpa has lost the
drive to be color-coordinated. He -
wears black trouser socks with white
tennis shoes. They just doesn’t care!
And why should they? Their >•*< !
motives have gone from planning
careers to planting carrots. Grandma
has traded in her business suits for
sweatshirts adorned with frizzy ^
bunnies. She also is donning terry *
cloth pants. She doesn’t cafe what
shoes are in fhshion, she’s only
concerned with what will cushion her
corns and bunions.
I feel jealous. Imagine the ,
freedom of getting up every day and
wearing whatever you happen to pick
up first, whether it matches or not.
Grandma puts her clothes on
frontwards. But if you’re a 2-year
old, no one will look twice if your
shirt is on backwards. When my
brother was little, his favorite look *
was a Kool-Aid-stained T-shirt, a
diaper and red cowboy boots.
I feel the pressures of society
everywhere I go. I was in a parking
garage elevator recently and had an
itch on my upper thigh. But when the
security camera peered down at me, I
couldn’t scratch for fear the operator
might think I’m scratching my butt.
Oh, to have been a small child at the
time! I could have scratched, picked
and.waved at the camera without
The only person I guess you can
ever fed truly comfortable and
uninhibited with is your spouse. And
even then you take die ride that you
might someday become filthy rich
and your husband will leave you and
write a tell-all bode about how you
liked wearing men’s underwear.
Lampe is a senior news-editorial
and English auger and a Daily
34 Nebpfe Union, J400 "R" St, Lincoln,
WW to MM 472-17fil nr a-mail cfctWafihi nlinformlprivt
jgSSRJl must be signed and include a phone number for verification ~
Powered by Open ONI