Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fathers and Anthrax

In case you missed it this week, a 22 year-old graduate student threatened the University of Missouri-Rolla campus with a bomb and anthrax. The bomb was less of a problem than the word 'anthrax', which resulted in the graduate student and nearly everyone around getting a disinfectant bath, including the civil engineering building in which he was holed-up. The powder turned out to be powdered sugar.

His roomate, also from India, gave background on the perp to the local media. This sentence in particular stands out to me:
Venkatramolla is an international student from a “well respected” family in India, according to Putta, who also pointed out that Venkatramolla’s father died when he was a child.

This clearly illustrates the importance of a father in a young boy's life to stress how wrong it is to threaten others with dread diseases. Take that, feminists!

I am truly sorry this kid lost his Dad. I'm unbelievably lucky to be my age and still have mine. But why does the loss of this kid's parent need to be in a story about six felony charges and anthrax? What journalistic purpose is served by including this detail, other than to generate sympathy? I went to college with a guy who lost both of his parents by the end of his senior year, people go through pain all the time. The vast majority of them manage to navigate it without showing a white powder that they say is enough anthrax to kill Central Missouri.

When in our society will a 22 year-old be held responsible for his actions, and explanations not offered for his bad behavior? And isn't it a little early in the process for excuses?

Hat tip LGF

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