A day has passed since the horrible events at Virginia Tech in which, apparently, a deranged young man went on a deadly spree and murdered more than thirty people before taking his own life. My immediate reactions were sorrow at the lives lost and dismay at those who’d ghoulishly exploit this tragedy to ride their favoredpolitical hobbies.
I’ve read statements of how the tragedy could have been prevented by gun control, how it could have been prevented by more people being armed, how it’s the fault of too much immigration, and how it should move us to compassion for the people of Iraq.
This same phenomenon hasn’t been lost on my friend Rick Moran, either:
In a perfect world, gun control laws would have kept the weapons out of the shooter’s hands. Also in a perfect world, one of his potential victims would have been armed and cut short his quest for glory. Despite the fact we don’t live in a perfect world and there’s no sign of one emerging any time soon, we can count on the idiots in Congress and the media to start the political posturing, dying to make speeches and write columns telling us about how wrong the opposition is and how this shooting proves this or that about America, or Americans with guns, or violence in America, or how our schools are screwed up, or even blame the victims for not dodging the bullet that killed them.
What this shooting proves is that there are many who will use horrible tragedy to make political hay.
For those of you who believe this is an opportunity to place tighter controls on firearms, what’s your program? How, in particular, will it incontrovertibly prevent one determined nutcase from killing a lot of people?
For those of you who believe this is an opportunity to pitch concealed carry laws, again, how would that have prevented this particular incident? IMO training and courage are the determining factors in acting in dire circumstances like this, not firepower. Most people just freeze or (prudently) flee under crisis conditions. How will you mandate training and courage?
Speaking of courage, legends of enormous courage are emerging from this terrible incident:
As Jews worldwide honored on Monday the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, a 75-year-old survivor sacrificed his life to save his students in Monday’s shooting at Virginia Tech College that left 32 dead and over two dozen wounded.
Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter, who had attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, “but all the students lived – because of him,” Virginia Tech student Asael Arad – also an Israeli – told Army Radio.
Several of Librescu’s other students sent e-mails to his wife, Marlena, telling of how he blocked the gunman’s way and saved their lives, said the son, Joe.
“Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.”
Once again, if you believe that this incident is a result of too much immigration, what’s your program? How will it prevent one, determined nutcase?
The implication of a call to compassion for the Iraqi people as a consequence of this tragedy is that we’re not already moved to compassion. That’s a lie:
Now, as you FOCUS on the photo, please keep in mind the following while studying the photo. The woman in the photo has known a life of repression and poverty. She lives in squalor and draws her water from a wastewater infested canal. She has been inundated her whole life with a hate of Americans and everything western. She has probably known countless dozens who were kidnapped, tortured and murdered in a previously psychotic “nation” known as Iraq. She could easily be filled with hate, rage and indifference!
Now, I ask you, in the Marine and Sailor, do you see hate, rage and indifference? I don’t! I see compassionate, kind, gentle Warriors who are showing love of their fellow human beings. I see the best humanity has to offer in the worst of human conditions. I see what we bring to the oppressed of the world, HOPE, and it comes in the form of a UNITED STATES MARINE and one of the UNITED STATES NAVY’S FINEST who serve with them.
I can produce dozens of posts from milbloggers and non-milbloggers that express similar sentiments. We are not in Iraq due to a lack of compassion. Those who are lacking in compassion are those who every day are blowing themselves up in Iraqi markets, on Iraqi bridges, and even in the midst of the Iraqi parliament. Will our abandoning the Iraqis produce greater compassion in them?
The very most that we can say about an event like the one that took place at Virginia Tech yesterday is that great evil happens. This is the reality that every religion in the world struggles to cope with. Whether it’s karma, the will of God, original sin, the death wish, or the reactive mind, they’re all attempts to explain why bad things happen. And the final answer is that we don’t know.
But we can take a moment to quietly comfort those who sorrow and reflect on the evil in the world and how we should be kinder and more caring to those who are here while we remain.