Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Victims at Virginia Tech and us

The NY Times has a good resource for information on the students who were killed at Virginia Tech. I recommend checking it out if you're tired of listening to his pyscho-babble manifesto which he sent to NBC. For me, his rant was a cathartic terminus of this whole tragedy, because after seeing it there's no doubt that he was some screwed up kid who thought that taping his hateful rhetoric before killing people was going to make him...who knows. I didn't watch the whole thing. After hearing him spout off self-righteous blame on others for his actions I changed the channel. I heart changing the channel.

The Times piece has short to relatively thorough descriptions of all the victims. I read some of the synopses, and thought about what motivated Seung-Hui to think that his only choice was to take a handgun and shoot them.

What caused him to do this? Are we as a society more violent these days? Is it because of our information era, which by nature fosters a sense of immediacy? Do we need to be constantly double-clicking a mouse button, typing on a keyboard, or texting on our phones in order to feel like we're part of the larger picture? Did he play too many shooters? Do we need to revisit gun control laws? Did this kid just need more hugs and attention when he was growing up? Did mom and dad not play with him enough, or support his development?

I think I just want to be able to wrap this up in a neat little package, and it's not going to happen.

They say "things happen in three's": we had the Imus blow-out, the Seung-Hui shooting, what's going to be the third? Do I count the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the partial-birth abortion ban?

Hey, here's something: had Seung-Hui's mom had an abortion all those people would still be alive. I guess hindsight is always 20-20...the Earth is round and revolves around the sun, we shouldn't have burned women as witches in Salem, etc.

This whole thing is just so senseless and I'm tired of hearing about the sensational details about this maniac, and wanted to devote some energy to remembering and acknowledging these people who were robbed of continuing this wonderful, brief, and challenging journey we call life.

For me, as a parent, this just cements my philosophy of remaining active in my child's life. When I came home today and saw my son, I spent extra time holding him, playing with him, making him an active part of preparing the salmon before baking it, and selecting spices to add to the hummus we made. Every little thing counts.

No comments: