Tuesday, April 17, 2007

VaTech Massacre

Well, we have had another senseless mass murder, this time at prestigious Virginia Tech. So far, 32 people have been reported killed and it is suspected that the gunman killed himself. Now, it seems pretty cut and dry to me --- line every campus in America, be it colleges or primary education facilities, with armed National Guardsmen. Simple isn't it? What is not so simple is why did something like this happen in the first place? We'll get to that.

First, and most importantly, I want to express my grief for all the families who have lost their loved ones on this sad day. I want them to know that regardless of their spiritual position, I will be praying for them and the leadership of the college and community. I will be praying for strength, guidance and wisdom for them as they struggle through these next dark days, trying to find answers.

Now, down to business. I am appalled at the news media and many citizens. Everyone is trying to place blame somewhere. The blame should be placed squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrator and no one else. Not on the guns he used or the people he got them from. Not on the faculty or police for not sending out notification in any given individual's perception of a "timely manner". The shooter acquired a gun or guns and got it in his head "I am going to kill some people today" and he acted on that thought --- there is no one else to blame!!!!!

Also, the media is digging and trying to find out information that simply does not need to be published until the authorities have completed investigations and have discovered the real answers. Their zeal in being the first to report a piece of information could very well hamper or taint the police investigations. I believe strongly in the right of the public to be informed but not when it could prevent the truth from being revealed. Frankly, there are just some things we don't need to know. Quit being so nosy and tend to your own business.

I have no doubt that the democrats and the anti-gun lobby will have lots to say about this. I can hear it now, "We need tougher gun laws!!". Well, let me tell you, do your research. There are plenty of gun laws on the books now that never get enforced. Perhaps if we enforced the laws we already have, we wouldn't be watching the bodies of young adults being carried from their classrooms. The Marines taught me a few things about guns. Number One, bullets are scarce in combat One Shot, One Kill! Second, gun control is hitting your target. I am certain that there are a number of young men in colleges across the country who have been trained by our fine military forces. If the laws and school policy allowed these highly trained soldiers to carry a concealed weapon, say a mini-40, in their back pocket, the carnage may have been limited to 10 or less. This guy shot 50 people not counting himself and these poor students and faculty members had no way to defend themselves. Let me break it down for you --- Let's say you had the idea to go rob the local 7-11 using a handgun you just bought from T-Bone for a 100 dollars. And lets say there are three people, including the attendant, in the store when you walk in.  Would you think twice about robbing the store if there was a possibility that each of those three people had a weapon? Even if it was just the attendant in the store by himself, your only advantage is surprise. So, your chances are 50-50 if the attendant has a handgun --- are you still willing to take the chance he MIGHT miss?

Everyone is looking for a solution to how this could have been prevented. I don't know the answer. Maybe if we paid more attention to those around us than our Starbuck's latte. Maybe if we tried to get to know people and learn about them instead of just considering them somebody at my college. Perhaps if the shooter was a student and someone took the time to get to know him, maybe they would have seen this coming. Or maybe, just maybe, he might have be moved by their care and compassion and decided not to do this deed. I don't know how to fix it. But what I do know is that we get in too big of a hurry these days. Our lack of care and compassion for the issues going on today and the people we meet, maybe we are to blame for this because we just don't care anymore. We have become so apathetic about our society --- As long as it doesn't affect me I don't care --- we can't even come to agreement over the smallest of issues, much less find a reasonable answer to why this happened. One old maxim that comes to mind, If you aren't a part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Or, for all you college chemists, If you aren't a part of the solution, you are part of the precipitate. (Oh, don't give me that, you have a computer, Google precipitate.)

Let's stop blaming everybody for our actions. Take responsibility for what you do and pay attention to the world around you. Take action, don't just sit in your comfortable chair sipping tea and expect someone else you make a difference. You were put here to make a difference, DO IT!

Brad Walker

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