The date of April 16, 2007 will not be remembered as a day of levity. All of my other postings to this site are of a humorous tone but this posting is not in that same vain. I am compelled like much of the rest of this country to express in words the feelings for the madness we witnessed at Virginia Tech yesterday. I am still trying to digest the entire event. When one works away from home you are somewhat cloistered from the immediate flash of images that being close to a television produces. You instead rely on internet reports and radio reports. This is just the way I spent 9/11 while practically a great deal of the world were glued to a T.V. I spent the day much like most did on December 7, 1941 making visual images in my mind from the radio accounts. No amount of imagination can recreate the actual horror of such events. We have no precedent to base these attrocities on.
I was thinking about the fact that I felt perfectly safe in my school rooms when I was young. When I was in high school we had a rash of bomb threats for several days on end. These always occured the first period after lunch. We would have to be ushered outside and spend a good deal of the period outside while the building was checked. This was in the 70's when streaking was popular as well. These were all pranks but had to be taken seriously. My class after lunch just happened to be Algebra and to this day I use the bomb threats as the excuse for my incapability of comprehending x, y, z....go fish...my definition of Algebraic functions.
I can not even begin to think of my teachers having to fend off an armed mad man while the students tried to save themselves. I am sure my teachers could have done it but we were focused on other fears. My school tenure was after the time of nuclear attack drills. We never crawled under our desks for fear of fall out...even though fall out shelters around town were still clearly marked in case of the red villan. Our biggest fear was of mother nature and tornados. Some in the school were probably anxious about locker searches but the worst that would have been found would have been pornography or a bit of weed....both poor quality at that.
I am not about to postulate about gun control. I was raised hunting and around guns and was taught respect for weapons. I believe the availability of guns does not a maniac make. Someone wishing to do devastating carnage can use a bomb or arson. A mind bent on violence will find a means with which to carry it out. I just read on the internet that the shooter had written very disconcerting things that the university had taken note of. It had been noted that he needed counciling because he showed severe disturbing undertones. This event should quelch theories that violence tends to come from depravity and undereducation. I know nothing about the assailant student's background but apparently he was educated enough to know that he had access to counciling and help, but alas did not seek it.
We as a nation in our profound arrogance have prohibited prayer in school. How many of the students, teachers, and Americans witnessing the events of Monday April 16 were praying to what ever higher being they hold dear for their lives, salvation or the comfort of others. We have nothing else to reach for when the demon of insanity runs rampant.