Dear Mr. Hitt,
Despite the fact that I am an attendant of Florida State University, I am greatly troubled by the tragedy that occurred yesterday on UCF’s campus. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased, as well as the students, staff, and faculty of UCF.
Although, you, Mr. Hitt, may be enjoying your near half-million dollar salary, and may in fact think that only innocent victims deserve respect or privacy, there are others who do not share your position nor your opinion. Quite frankly, I am one of them. I do believe you said, of the shooting, “It’s a tragedy, but it’s not an unspeakable tragedy,”… Forgive me, Mr. President, but who gave you the authority to decide what kind of tragedy is deserving of privacy and respect? I believe that despite the fact that James may have had intentions to kill others, his life was still, and is still invaluable. Perhaps you could write a formal letter informing those of us who simply “do not know” that the proper etiquette for speaking about tragedies is simply dependent on whether or not those who were involved were, what… Innocent? Healthy? Undeserving? Please, I urge you: fill in the blank, because I clearly was not educated in a similar manner.
It is quite astonishing that someone with both a Master’s and a Ph.D. in physiological psychology can speak so harshly about what occurred. Of all the people who may have insight on those persons that are psychologically ill (and the resulting dysfunctional brain-behavior relationship), I would have expected you to speak with greater sympathy.
Now, I myself do not study the English language and its nuances. However, from what little I know, I do recall that the word “but” is usually used to express a contrast. So, to say: “A life was lost, but it was the life of the perpetrator.” Really comes across as “A life was lost; however it was a life of little importance.” Or… “A life was lost; but hey, at least it was the life of a would be criminal.”
Have you no compassion for James’ family? Have you forgotten that someone lost a son? Have you realized that there are several who are mourning his death?
The greatest tragedy in all of this, despite your inhumane words, is that James thought, believed, and was motivated by the idea that there was no other alternative to escape his struggle, whatever that may have been, than to kill himself.