Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Life and death on campus

Hello, college students?  I have a question I'd like to ask you, just you.  This has nothing to do with your parents, or the people in charge at your school, or "society in general," which is a catch-all phrase to blame me and my buddy when people I've never heard of do things I've never dreamed of.

Here it is:  why in the hell are you killing each other?   

from the Baltimore SUN:

Frostburg student fatally stabbed at off-campus party

Another student is charged with murder in second death on a Md. campus in two months

Kortneigh McCoy
It was a church service at which Baltimore's Kortneigh McCoy, a 19-year-old Frostburg State University physics major known for her lovely voice, was supposed to sing.

But instead, more than 500 students and faculty jammed the Lane University Center Sunday afternoon to mourn her death.

Hours earlier, the
Baltimore Polytechnic Institute graduate was fatally stabbed after a fight at an off-campus house party, police said. Police said officers arrived at about 1:30 a.m. to find her bleeding to death in the street outside the house from a wound to the head. She was declared dead at Western Maryland Hospital, police reported.

Arrested and charged with both first- and second-degree murder was Shanee Liggins, a 23-year-old senior business major from Waldorf. Liggins is having a bail review hearing at 11 a.m. Monday at the Allegany District Courthouse in Cumberland.

University officials said the party, which patrons paid money to attend, took place at Liggins' home on Maple Street in Frostburg.

McCoy was with a group of friends, one of whom got into an argument with a woman at the door who was taking money, according to charging documents. McCoy tried to break up the fight, which started in the kitchen and spilled outside, police said. Police said Liggins followed her into the street, produced a knife and stabbed her in the head

McCoy had a cut on the left side of her head and a three-inch stab wound on the front left side of her neck, charging documents state.

The suspect at first told police that someone else stabbed the victim. But detectives later identified the suspect as Liggins with testimony from witnesses interviewed at the hospitals and from a

Eyewitnesses who posted on social media sites suggested that McCoy had attempted to break up a fight.
picture that witnesses showed police.
"Kortneigh was a peacemaker and she emphasized the need for friendships with God and with others," James told the press.

In addressing the media, the Frostburg State University president stressed that Frostburg was a safe environment for students and that McCoy's death was an anomaly.

"We do whatever we can to try to educate young people about how to manage conflict in an appropriate way, using their words," he said. "Unfortunately, we don't always have control over where they are and what they do. This is still a very safe community to live in and for people to send their children to."

McCoy was a resident assistant in Simpson Hall, a freshman dorm. Gibralter said she was known as a campus leader who attempted to make learning fun for her charges.

McCoy spent last summer working as a sales associate at
Victoria's Secret in Towson Town Center Mall. Employees at the store were shocked to learn Sunday of her death.

"Kortneigh was just an amazing person," said store manager Lynda Burton. "We were looking forward to her returning for Black Friday and over the holiday."

The fatal stabbing of a Maryland college student was the second such incident in two months: In September,
Bowie State University student Dominique T. Frazier, 18, was fatally stabbed. Her dormitory mate, Alexis D. Simpson, 19, has been charged in connection with the death.

Frostburg also was the site of a student-on-student killing in April 2010 that occurred after a fight at an off-campus party. Tyrone Hall of
Glen Burnie opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun, striking two fellow students in the abdomen. Twenty-year-old Brandon Carroll of Waldorf died; the other student survived. Hall was sentenced to a five-year prison sentence in November 2010.

Now, a lot of people are always quick to jump up and point to the evil influence of the media in these matters, and of course I can't buy that.  As a child, I watched approximately 1.5 million hours of black-and-white television images of sheriffs shooting cattle-rustlin' varmints, detectives shooting felons, cops clobbering the hell out of gangsters, and cats being outwitted by mice, with the result that the cat's entire face was extruded through a keyhole, his tail became a fuse for several megatons of TNT, or his arms became the hands of a cuckoo clock, with his tongue popping out of the little door and his eyes rolling sideways every fifteen minutes.  

Tiring of the din, our mothers would always gently encourage fresh air and recreational exercise by turning off the tv and pointing to the back door, which was our cue to take toy guns and go outside in emulation of The Rifleman, Matt Dillon or Mike Hammer.  Only the guys who wanted to be lawyers when they grew up were allowed to play Perry Mason, and then it screwed everything up when they had to run home and change into a suit.  Although, they would help plea bargain a broken bike charge into a minor matter, so that was good.

And then on Saturday, we were placed in the protective custody of the teenaged ushers at the Towson Theatre, where we could sit for six hours and watch war movies, cop movies, cowboy movies, and Three Stooges movies.  You could always tell on Monday at school if a guy had been to a Stooge-fest that Saturday.  The unaware often fell for the old "pick two" routine.

And yet, of the ragamuffins and rakehells I ran with as a child, not a one has gone up for murder or assault.  So it's not what you guys today are seeing on your tvs or Play Stations.

But then you need to tell me why a young woman about to be graduated from college and enter the real-life work force would brandish a knife while arguing with a fellow student over something trivial, and then kill that student.  

Does life mean nothing; has it become so devalued as to represent merely an impermanent sense of here today and watch out tomorrow?  

How much rage is seething in a young woman who could do that?  

Why in the hell are you killing each other?

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