One Day Has Passed

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?

No.

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.

14 comments… add one
  • A Symptom of our “Chain Letter Society”?

    Read an analysis of the influences in our “Chain Letter Society” that may be precipitating events like the tragedy at Virginia Tech and how our focus on winning and being number one may be fostering a generation of children with fully inadequate coping skills who have a misguided sense of self-worth…here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

  • Dave;

    With all respect, we’re forced to go with what we know.
    As I said earlier today:
    we have no guarantees, here, except that the ‘gun free’ status on the campus of VT didn’t work to protect those people, yesterday, nor did all the gun control laws, supposedly designed to do the same thing. Indeed; logic suggests that such were counter-productive. That’s the only things we know, yet.

    The motivation of the gunman, we don’t know, nor does it matter. The actions of officials we don’t know fully… nor in the end do they matter all that much, either; Regardless of what they did, campus officials simply are not equipped to deal with such conditions, due as much to their own gun phobia as political correctness and gun control laws. The only chance anyone would have had to stop those killings was taken away from them, by people claiming to proect them, but who, in fact, made mewling sheep of them.

  • LaurenceB

    If we are to believe Bithead, gun control laws are the status quo in Virginia, and this event demonstrates their failure. But if that is true, then it seems to follow that every day that passes without an incident on Virginia’s campuses must be a confirmation of the effectiveness of those same gun control laws.

    I don’t choose to believe that.

    Like Dave, I think those with ideological points to make are capitalizing on the occasion. With all due respect, I think Bithead provides just another example.

  • If we are to believe Bithead, gun control laws are the status quo in Virginia, and this event demonstrates their failure. But if that is true, then it seems to follow that every day that passes without an incident on Virginia’s campuses must be a confirmation of the effectiveness of those same gun control laws.

    Only if you ignore the milions of gun owners during the period.

  • LaurenceB

    Bithead,

    You are arguing both that:
    a) Tight gun control laws in Virginia are responsible for the unsafe environment that made yesterday’s Virginia Tech tragedy possible.
    b) Wide-spread gun ownership in Virginia is responsible for the safe environment that reigned at all other Virginia universities yesterday.

    My head swims.

  • You are arguing both that:
    a) Tight gun control laws in Virginia are responsible for the unsafe environment that made yesterday’s Virginia Tech tragedy possible.
    b) Wide-spread gun ownership in Virginia is responsible for the safe environment that reigned at all other Virginia universities yesterday.

    You got the first part right. The second part, you muffed.

    Not unexpected.
    the Safe environment that reigned at all other Universities yesterday… not just in Virginia… did so because of two factors… lack of someone who wanted to pull such a stunt… and to some degree, an illusion that there would be people to respond in time to stop such an event…. An illusion which of course was shattered, yesterday. Don’t think for a minute that there are not those who want to make a public stantement who aren’t making a tally of the vulnerabilities exposed yesterday.

    The fact was is, and will remain, that there is no way to keep firewarms out of the hands of thsoe who would do us harm. there is also no way to get enough police on the street, willing to act, to prevent such crimes, particularly without creating what many would call a police state. Gun control only takes guns out of the hands of the law abiding. (See also, the war on drugs). The result of trying to solve the lawless with mere law, is yesterday.

    Boortz, today, proposes:

    ….let’s set up a hypothetical situation. You’re in a class full of people at a university. Let’s say that there are 30 people in that room. A predator with a gun walks through the door. He shoots the professor, kills him. He then takes the remainder of the people in the room and lines them up against a wall. He then walks up to the first person and shots them in the head. Now … let me allow you to change the scenario. We can freeze-frame this situation while you make a decision. Your decision is this: You can put a gun into the hands of one student or a professor in that room, or you can leave things exactly the way they are. What are you going to do? Come on now, let’s have it. Which way do you want it? Do you want the predator to be the only one in the room with a gun? Or would you like to have at least the fighting chance that would result if one, maybe two of your classmates had a firearm.

    All it would ahve taken was one lawful firewarm. One.

    My head swims

    I’m not goin’ there.

  • Ken Hoop

    If you support US occupation of iraq as compassionate, you are a
    quintessential imperialist,deny it or not. And the Iraqis agree.Polls
    since 2004 show decided majorities of both Sunni and Shia approve
    of insurgent attacks on the occupier.

    A disproportionate percent of violence of this nature in America is indeed
    caused by liberal laxity on immigration. But the the Roman Empire
    had that problem too as it conducted imperial policy.

  • LaurenceB

    Bithead,

    It cannot be both safe and unsafe to be on a Virginia university campus. Pick one and stick with it. Which one are you arguing? How much more obvious can this be?

  • What you keep dancing around is that as gun control has become morempowerful, the type of killings udner discussion ahve become more numerous. Guns most certainly existed before the 60’s, and yet such killings were quite rare indeed.

    No longer.

    So you tell ME… under which conditions are we safe and unsafe?

  • Hmmm.

    I know two countries which have a lot in common.

    They both have compulsory military service and mandated reserve duty for most citizens, have a large proportion of the population with military assault rifles and ammo in their homes…. and some of the lowest violent crime rates in the world.

    I’m speaking of Switzerland and Israel.

    The killings at V-Tech happened because the campus was a `gun-free zone’…which if course, the murderer ignored.

    A few armed and trained students or faculty would probably have limited the death toll to one – Cho.

  • How about armed and untrained faculty? Armed and untrained students? What is meant by “training”?

    I think that allowing untrained students to carry firearms in class is a perfectly loony idea, virtually guaranteed to cause problems more severe than the one it purports to solve. Allowing untrained faculty to carry firearms in class is a little less problematic to me but I doubt it would have solved this particular problem.

    Here’s what I mean by “training”. I do not mean how to point and shoot a firearm. I mean military or police-style training. Training such that response is automatic.

    In my view Cho could have been stopped if he’d been faced by people with proper training with or without firearms. I could have stopped him. I’d probably have been killed but I could have and would have if I’d recognized—which the trained person can do in a heartbeat—that death was inevitable, anyway.

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