So it goes.
After Virgina Tech, there was a disturbing and all-too-familiar trend: talk-show hosts and radio callers and newspaper editorials spoke about early detection. They spoke of extra protections and new standards. They treated bad plays and disturbing creative writing as, somehow, evidence of a person capable of the worst crimes. That is a trend that is far more disturbing than a teenage boy writing about shooting stuff.
We have not heard any real talk of an uptick in the gun control laws. We should. But we won't. (For an excellent essay about this, try this one.)
I don't tend to comment on things like this. Especially not publically. I'm not connected to anyone at Virginia Tech, and I'm not qualified or connected enough to claim some expertise on campus security, gun laws and violence.
I will say, though, that we will never, ever be able to prevent violent crime by treating creative writing, no matter how "disturbing" as dangerous. A free society is not a society that places safety above freedom. It can't be. If you want to be entirely safe from harm, you are welcome to enter solitary confinement.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.