Friday, April 20, 2007

Virginia Tech

I've been thinking I should write something about the shooting at Virginia Tech (I'm uncertain of what terminology is appropriate here, should I say massacre, should I say incident, should I say simply what happened at Virginia Tech, I don't really know). I haven't written anything earlier since I've been busy and because I tend to be somewhat self-centered (I care about others deeply, but I tend to loose myself within my own thoughts and issues and forget sometimes about the outside world, it something I'm working on, because among other reasons just dwelling on your problems all the time is monsterously depressing), but here I am now. I don't really know what to say.

But this being my webpost (the word that I am advancing to replace the horribly lame blog), I suppose I can just ramble. That is the nature of this medium.

First thing (first significant thing at least) that I should say is my condolences go out ot the families and friends of those killed. Not that that probably matters much given that I'm just some random guy but it's out there at least.

I'm not exactly sure where to go from there. I could ruminate on death, the gun control debate, suicide, murder, or whatever, but I could do that for any other session even if what happened at Virginia Tech had never occured. That's the thing with such sudden tragedic events, singular events don't change the nature of the world. They certainly have an impact through the lives lost and the news does fill other people with sadness and fear, but the world is still the same. For example the gun control debate doesn't change because of this, certainly the idea of school shootings change matter, but there have been other school shootings, this is not something extraordinary in the grander scheme of things. But it still is awful, it still is sad, it still is terrible.

The dead are in God's hands now, which is probably a better place for them than just in this world, but their chance to do good in this world and any chance to repair if their soul has been broken is gone. But those who lost their loved ones, they lost something very important to them, and they deserve our unreserved sympathy. And even the killer's parents. I just reread Lost Boys by Orson Scott Card and there's a part of it where the father says he would rather his children die having been good rather than turn out to be monsters. The killer's parents will have to live with their son, at least seeming like a monster even if we can't look deep enough into his soul to judge even him, and now he is also dead without a chance to repent. But if he is a monster, then he deserve's our pity even more. Nothing is sadder than a soul lost. And for the dead, those who were victims and their killer, I suppose all we can do for them is pray.

Do I feel unsafe on campus? No. Like I said the nature of the world has changed relatively little. Perhaps due to the mental impact of the tragedy the chance of a tragedy occuring where I live has gone up, on the other hand it is just as likely that the chance of a tragedy occuring around me has gone down since people are more cautious in the wake of this event. But chances are the chance of a shooting breaking out at Rutgers or in Princeton is as low as it was a week ago before the shooting. I remember when Columbine occured someone asked whether we would remember it a year from now. Of course we did because there were reminders about the anniversery, but otherwise we wouldn't have. And it makes sense, as sad as Columbine was, as sad as Virginia Tech is, my world and the world of most of the people in the world hasn't changed significantly. But for some it has changed immensely. And so we mourn, and so we pray, and so we do what we can, and then get on with our lives, because even though what happened was tragic, we continue to live, our lives continue. Ultimately, I don't know what to say about all of this. I can ramble and get my thoughts out but I don't have a conclusion. I can simply offer my condolensces and my sympathy and I can mourn and I can pray. There are lessons we can learn from this, and yes we can comfort those who are suffering, but, is that what we are to reduce the lives of the dead to, a call for action. Their lives, their deaths, I don't know what to say about them, and that's that really.

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