Virginia Tech Madness
What a sad day yesterday was. Of course innocent people die every day in the USA, but not like this. My prayers go out to the lost and injured, and their loved ones. And while I am saddened by this, I spend so much time reading about events like this in other parts of the world that I am somewhat numb to the horror of it all. I wasn’t even going to blog about it, since whatever I say someone else will say better. Heck, this will probably be the most blogged about event in history. I decided to say a few things though, this is my Virginia Tech post.
Unfortunately, aside from dominating the news for awhile, this story will also likely have one of the lowest signal to noise ratios in history. I tried to watch the TV news today and the amount of non information and wild speculation was almost frightening. It’s going to be awhile before the details of what really happened become known, but that’s not stopping the talking heads and conspiracy people from already spinning castles in the air. For now it’s enough to say that a nut or nuts murdered a bunch of college students.
However, a few general observations be made without knowing the details. The first is that general observations are about all that can be gleaned from a single incident. The amount of second guessing and blame mongering in the media has already surpassed absurd levels. This is a single incident, a fluke, not something to hang major changes of policies on. It may sound cold, but TTH (These Things Happen.) There will be calls to increase security at college campuses, and the anti-gun lobby will go nuts. People have an annoying tendency to want to base policies on extreme events, this is most definitely an extreme event, but there’s no need to build walls around America’s colleges and disarm the population over it.
In fact there’s already people going wild because the campus wasn’t “locked down” or such after the first two murders. I’m sorry, but give me a break. When there’s a murder anywhere do police notify thousands of people nearby and evacuate them or tell them to hunker down? Of course not, only if there’s some indication that a crazed killer is running around. Unless the killer issued threats or some such at the first killing, there was no reason to believe he was lurking around planning a mass murder. These were real people operating in the real world, in Hollywood movies the cops always do the right thing, in reality they do the best they can with what they know at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I am in favour of laws making gun ownership more restrictive. There’s an incredible amount that could be done to prevent this type of weaponry from falling into the hands of unstable people without interfering with the 2nd amendment. There’s no need for civilians to be able to access this type of military/police style weapon. A six shot revolver or a four shot rifle is all anyone needs for sporting or self defence, it wouldn’t stop all gun crime but it would sure save a lot of lives when it does happen. I thought this way before this incident though, Virginia Tech just reinforced my thinking on the issue, it didn’t change my mind.
And speaking of gun control, at the risk of offending my American readers, incidents like this happen in Iraq almost every day now. And you can be sure that the friends and relatives of the innocent victims feel the same way as you about the horror of it all. I ask that the Americans who are so Gung Ho to invade, bomb, and otherwise meddle in other countries think about this before they blithely support military adventures abroad. Innocent people die when war is waged, it’s not something to be undertaken lightly.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and it is central to illustrating the post. Image credit: AP/Dan Petersen.)