After reading Terry Pratchett’s “Going Postal” I got to thinking about the origin of this phrase. I suddenly realised that it’s been years since I’ve seen any news stories about this happening. How come?
The few incidents didn’t represent any broad trend in the first place?
The most recent such incident happened this year, on January 30.
It was a fad. Going postal is so 1900’s.
True. And now it’s much more harder to shoot people over email.
“More harder”? Somebody please shoot me over my grammar.
Maybe Publishers’ Clearing House finally went out of business?
I thought I heard they were going to somehow identify those at risk of “going postal”. But then that begs the quetion, then what? Fire them?
I’m pretty sure I would have noticed the apocolypse that would have resulted from that idea.
School shootings knocked postal shootings out of the spotlight. Duh.
Down the street from where I work. I knew one of the victims.
I think they promoted them…
I’d always assumed that the people who went postal were mostly ex-vietnam vets. Assuming that to be true, the slowdown would simply be a matter that all those who were going to go over the edge have now done so, and there’s no one to fill the gap.
Yeah, since all those Vietnam vets are all dead and gone…
I think you misread (or read too much into that.) Some people may be a ticking time bomb, while most aren’t. Those who are explode, and those who aren’t remain. The ones who remain weren’t an issue to begin with thus…they’re still there and alive and well.
Assuming that that was the issue to begin with. I guess one could answer it fairly easily by seeing if “going postal” was an issue previous to the 70s.
I was gonna, but I had to return your request as it didn’t have sufficient postage.
People shoot people. Every now and then you get something that works for a headline. Something that has the pizazz to capture the attention of viewers or readers.
The standard-bearer was the Postal worker. It’s been, crushingly, supplanted by the high-school student. It just depends on what group is focused on in the “exclusive” stories.
If you want a group that is out there killing people, let’s go old-school and report gangs. That would be fodder to no end of murder stories, but it ain’t sexy as the majority don’t identify with gangs. Most people don’t know/are gang members. We know about them, but we disassociate.
The high school kid or the mailman are much more personal. They are people we can see dealing with. We relate to them because we feel we interact with them. Unlike a gang member. Somehow their bullets don’t hit people that matter.
It’s what we want in our news. We want someone to tell us the sky is falling, and explain who’s responsible for it. And we want someone we feel we can trust to get the face time to explain why the system is faulty in preventing the horrid act. And the rest of us want someone else getting face time to tell us how wrong the first person is in explaining why everything is wrong.
Then we demand a way to bitch back and forth about how both sides are wrong while defend one or the other sides.
Then we get involved in threads calling each other names. And telling each other how wrong each one is.
And the News Cabal continues with the next angle to sell news.
Maybe I’m just getting cynical.
I will attempt a factual answer to this. The wife of a former co-worker was killed in the Goleta attack. He had previously worked for the US Post Office which was where they met. He hated it so much that he quit and finished school to become an engineer. He would talk to me a lot about how it was working for the PO.
One factor is that it is a government job and it is extremely difficult to fire someone which includes the crazy people.
Also, and this is probably why these events have tapered off, after the rash of shootings in the 80’s, they made a lot of changes in policy. I don’t remember the details. It had to do with changing the way that managers their bonus which led them to stop putting so much pressure on the employees.
Perhaps there will be some Gulf war vets to fill their shoes, hope not.
Hm, well Wikipedia is listing 1986 to 1997 as the peak years for postal incidences–or a span of eleven years. While as the Vietnam War was from 1965 to 1973–or nine years.
This PDF by the FBI is showing that workplace homicides started decreasing after a top-point in 1994. But Google is showing dirt nothing for any sort of linkage between workplace homicides and being a Vietnam veteran. Though one could make a good argument for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder = higher likelihood to have violent outbreaks. And of course, that veterans are/were more likely to suffer PTSD. So…still just speculation without being able to find out the personal histories of the killers from the 1986-1997 era.
Hope not too.
You are spreading a slur on our veterans that began not in the jungles of Viet-Nam, but in the mind of Hollywood screenwriters. Vietnam vets are less likely to be institutionalized, more likely to be employed, own homes, you name it.
I’d love to see a cite for any of these postal workers being Vietnam vets. Bet you can’t find one.
Oh, and you can’t be an “ex-Vetnam Vet”. Veteran status is permanent.
Shame on you, and shame on all folks who are slandering the Gulf War vets as well.
Oh, and next time you see a guy flying a cardboard sign by the highway claiming to be some kind of vet, ask to see his discharge papers.
/brother is a Vietnam veteran. He owns a home, has a job, family, never went crazy and shot anybody.