The Guinness Book of records updates their volume every year. It contains records of just about everything imaginable. You can find names like Hank Aaron who shattered the ‘Babes” home run record and the names of some obscure middle America group of local bakery ladies who may have produced the largest chocolate chip cookie in the world. I am sure that somewhere in that book you can find a 1,000-pound pizza. Records come and records go. However, the one record that I never wanted to see shattered was the one that was broken in Blacksburg, Virginia this past week at Virginia Tech University. It was the largest mass murder in the United States. Prior to this merciless maddening slaughter the record for persons killed, if you discount the attack on 9/11, was the 23 persons who were killed in 1991 in Killeen, Texas; innocent people just dinning in a cafe.
It was a day like any other day. Alarm clocks were beeping, showers were running, last minute notes were being written or reviewed for the day to come. There were also a myriad of other tasks that were being performed, all part of daily college campus life.
Within seconds, shots rang out taking the lives of two people. A young college co-ed and resident assistant lay dead on the floor of the dormitory of Virginia Tech University. The campus that boasts a population of close to 26,000 students is larger than some cities and towns in America. At first, it appeared that this might just be another murder-suicide; only when campus police and local law enforcement personnel arrived there was one key piece of evidence missing in the puzzle–the murder weapon. Officials at the school made the decision at that time not to lock-down the school and cancel classes. It appears that they believed that the person who perpetrated the crime had left the campus and was long gone. It now appears that he did just that. But only to stop at a local post office to send off his murderous manifesto. What else did he stop for before returning to the campus? More ammunition or the second gun, perhaps.
Two hours later the shooter emerged once again. This time in an academic building where he chained the door behind him and went on his second murderous rampage. When it was over about twenty minutes later, 30 more persons lay dead and over 15 others were injured, either by the gunman or as they tried to escape the carnage by jumping out of windows. In one case a notable scientist, Liviu Librescu, 76 a holocaust survivor who was teaching his class, barricaded himself against the door to allow his students time to escape through the windows. He was shot dead through the door. However, not before he saved countless lives. I can only imagine what was going through his mind at the time. Do the words “Never Again” sound familiar? Was this his way of paying back America for freeing him from the death camps of Nazi Germany?
When it was over thirty-two persons were brutally slaughtered. The gunman, who was later identified as Seung-Hui Cho, a 23-year-old senior student then took his own life by shooting himself in the head, which raised the death toll to thirty-three.
It is inconceivable for me to imagine what feelings these students parents and faculty spouses were experiencing as they desperately tried to reach their loved ones when they first heard of the shootings. It is unimaginable for me to feel their grief when they found out that their son, daughter, wife or husband were lying amongst the carnage. My heart goes out to them and they will be in my prayers.
The media frenzy started immediately. It was like a swarm of bees looking for a hive. Reporters and camera crews were on the campus within minutes-even before ambulances responded to attend to the injured and dead. Major networks were scrambling to get their reporters on the scene as fast as possible. I can only imagine how many private jets from metropolitan areas around the country were chartered to get their crews to Virginia in record time. It did not take long for the play-by-play commentary to start. The speculation began immediately. Why didn’t the President of the school lock it down after the first shooting? Who was the shooter? What was his motive? There were several speculative answers to that question.
I will not Monday morning quarterback the administrations decision not to lock down the campus earlier. Would it have saved the live of the victims or would the shooter have taken another route to another building maybe raising the death toll even higher. I will not speculate on the reasons why this happened or whether or not it could have been prevented. Those questions will be answered in due time. Perhaps they will be answered in the manifesto that the shooter mailed to the NBC network. This sick twisted individual who unfortunately was a member of the human race may have answered all the speculative questions for us. Animals in the wild do not treat other animals the way he treated his fellow classmates and professors.
However, there is a question that I must ask of you.
I want you to stop and think for a minute. Were you shocked or surprised when you first heard the news of the shooting? If you answer the question truthfully, you may find yourself believing as most people I asked who said, “No I wasn’t shocked.” It was only a matter of time before it happened again. And, it may even happen again. I was not shocked either. School violence it seems has been happening much too often to shock me anymore.
Since 1996, in America forty students have been killed and dozens more wounded in school violence. Guns are too readily available. I will not go into the merits of gun control because it really does not matter. If you criminalize possession of a gun only criminals will have them. Let us leave that argument on the back burner for now. If it wasn’t a gun it may have been an explosive device or arson. Does it really matter what the weapon of choice is. It is the deed not the weapon.
What I want to discuss is how hardened we have become. Yes, we feel for the victims and their families. However, what do we do? We complain and shout at our radio’s and television sets when the news continually reports every detail because we are tired of looking at it. Well my friends, look at it, brand it in your minds and let’s start doing something about it. I was first shocked at the Oklahoma City bombings and shocked when the Columbine shootings occurred. However I started to become hardened to it. We all do; we go on with our lives and are not affected by it unless it hits home.
The one incident that took the hardness out of my soul was the shootings in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. When a 32-year-old truck driver brutally executed five Amish girls I was shaken to my inner core. The Amish people are the symbol of everything that is good about America. Their simple way of life is what America is all about, family and tradition. If we don’t get back to it soon we may all be asking the question soon. Who and where next?
We are quickly becoming a secular society. Religious values have been cast aside. The value systems that I grew up with are gone. Today in the name of Political Correctness when a tragedy happens the first thing we do is send in the Psychologists. How about sending in a Priest, Rabbi or Minister who have probably counseled more people about death than any psychologist I know. But the ACLU is telling us we must keep God out of schools. You can’t justify death with medical textbooks but you can with spiritual beliefs in understanding right from wrong. Perhaps if Cho had some spiritual belief and a respect of God he may have chosen a different path that morning.
It is time to get outraged and take action. Political correctness may be responsible for the carnage in Virginia this week. You see, Sueng-hui Cho was allowed to buy a gun because his unstable psychotic medical condition and court ordered presence in a psychiatric facility was not known by the gun dealer. In the name of political correctness and privacy no one knew except his psychiatrist and the judge who ordered him into treatment and they couldn’t tell anyone without violating his rights. What about the rights of the thirty-two students and faculty who only wanted to peaceably receive and impart knowledge. What about the shattered emotional lives of their families and friends that were trampled on that fateful morning. When will the madness end?
And, that is my opinion.
- Sporting lives and times: How Tele deadline cost Northern Ireland World Cup hero place in history
- New Zealand vs England, second Test: live score updates
- Teesside's Jamie Grey through to live semi-final of The Voice
- NMS show set to shatter some myths about glass
- Paedophile hacked into thousands of people’s private home security cameras and secretly recorded their kids undressing
- Mo Farah breaks British record with third-place London Marathon finish... despite two water station mix-ups
- Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid, Champions League: live score updates
- Incredible moment Brazilian surfer smashes world record after riding biggest wave ever at 80ft
- Pike's Peak: VW sets new record on the world's scariest hillclimb
- Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic live streaming FREE: How to watch the Wimbledon semi-final without paying a penny
- Southwest Airlines flight 1380 crew members try to calm passengers after mid-air explosion in dramatic footage
- Shami has mastered the art of reverse swing, says Rohit Sharma
- England fall foul of ITV jinx against Croatia
- Thursday's blog: Build-up to crunch visit of leaders Wolves
- Watching on as Islamist fighters are evacuated from war-torn Eastern Ghouta
- Telltale evidence of the Swansea blitz you walk past every day
- Inside Antarctica: the continent whose fate will affect millions
- Jonny Bairstow drags England back from brink of further embarrassment with unbeaten 97
- Verdict – Barnsley 2 Bristol City 2: Victory is cruelly snatched away from Tykes’ grasp
- Traumatised girl, 8, 'wants to kill herself' after being abused by paedophile
Shattered Records and Shattered Lives have 1711 words, post on ezinearticles.com at May 16, 2007. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.