Wednesday, April 18, 2007


No words that I can add to the torrent already expressed will make understanding this tragedy any easier. I have the same questions that everyone else is asking and none of the answers. I can only shake my head at the enormity of the tragedy and wonder how anyone could be so angry, so in despair, that any regard for life is removed from his consciousness.

The enormity of the massacre is compounded by the trauma experienced by those wounded and those in the line of fire who survived the attack, and who will have to live with the memories of that horrific day. The emotional scars will far outlast any physical wounds inflicted.

In a situation like this, we all want to lay the blame somewhere to make understanding and acceptance easier. But there is no one to blame but the shooter. No one could have predicted his actions. No one could have stopped it from happening without an enormous coincidental bit of luck. The randomness of his actions precludes laying blame on anyone for what happened. And that randomness means that the same thing could, and most likely will, happen again somewhere else.

The constant barrage of violent acts in our society, fed by the easy access to guns, the easy violence of video games, the nonchalant violence in movies and TV, has hardened us to the daily reports of death and mayhem that are the staple of the nightly news. And we will be less shocked the next time something like this occurs, and the time after that and the time after that because we have become so inured to the violence.

Right now some lunatic out there is planning the next assualt on us. He is stockpiling his guns, loading his magazines with bullets, fueling his hatred with misguided thoughts of persecution. He is looking for any reason to loose his mayhem on us. Any excuse will do. Any public venue--another school, a mall, a stadium, a theater--is a likely stage for his rampage. So no matter how vigilant we might be, no matter how careful we are, no matter how well we think we treat others, that lunatic will still have his moment in the spotlight, and we as a society willl once again pay the price.

We all know it will happen again and we are helpless to prevent it. While we mourn those who were victimized at Virginia Tech, we face the dread of knowing this isn't the last time something tragic and awful and unexplainable will happen. We can only hope and pray that we and our loved ones are not in the line of fire next time.

1 comment:

kat said...

I've listened to the news desperately trying to lay blame just to make sense out of this tragic incident. Hindsight is always so clear. You're right, there is no explaining the actions of a madman, we just have to hope to avoid the next one.