Did you hear about the shooting in Alabama? A university professor shot six people. It caught my attention because there is something so familiar in this story.
Some faculty members gather for a meeting. They are sitting around the table discussing a current issue when Amy Bishop interrupts, changing the subject. She is loud and angry as she complains of being denied tenure, admits she has filed an appeal. The physiology professor does this often at meetings, always about the same subject … tenure.
Tenure gives a professor job-for-life security. Not only had Amy Bishop lost her tenure, there was a chance that she might lose her job. I think this woman has to be under a lot of stress, don’t you?
Everyone she worked closely with at the University of Alabama said the same thing: “Bishop often mentioned the issue of tenure in their discussions.” It seems the she is consumed with being denied tenure.
This is where the story becomes familiar. Amy Bishop is intelligent, often inappropriate, not like others… normal on the day of the shooting. Of the three professors who were killed, one had described her as, “not being in touch with reality” and “not being as good as she thought she was.”
The professor’s students and colleagues knew nothing of her violent past. She had “accidentally” shot and killed her 18-year-old brother in 1986.
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help thinking of the university student who shot and killed his classmates, the soldier at Ft. Hood, so many others … all had the same traits.
What do you think?
May Your Glass Always Be Half Full