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Marilyn Monroe took a fist full of sleeping pills. Elliot Smith took a steak knife to the heart. And Robert Hawkins took out eight innocent people doing Christmas shopping before ending his own pathetic life. Suicide. It no longer seems to be the neatly focused mission that it used to be. I kill me. You make the funeral arrangements. End of story. Nope, in a 24-hour media cycle, the question is: “Why not randomly shoot up a shopping mall, school yard, or college campus?”––then end my miserable life. It sort of makes us nostalgic for those quaint, Dr. Kevorkian assisted suicides of yesteryear. No fuss. No muss. No mayhem. So how do we stop the madness? The solution isn’t banning guns or putting Prozac in the drinking water. It’s not about calling the cops every time a loved one gets laid off or a girlfriend dumps your adolescent son. It’s not about less violence on TV or in the video arcade. It’s about simply changing the ground rules. Just say “no” to serial killers and lone gunmen. Put a media ban on instant fame. Let’s find our reality television elsewhere. Send the camera crew to a ribbon-cutting ceremony, instead of to the bloodbath at the mini mall. Make it as difficult for psychopaths and mass murderers to make headlines as it is for the rest of us. Want to be famous? Feed the poor. Build an Frozen Custard empire. Discover the cure for cancer. That sort of thing. As always, my apologies.

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