As the tragic events unfolded yesterday on the campus of Virginia Tech, it reminded me how vulnerable we all are to the evil around us in this world. It was a sad commentary as I listened to the media already begin their Monday morning quarterbacking about how the campus administration should have done more, been more prepared, stopped this tragedy from happening. How easy it was for attention to swiftly be diverted from the fact that a lone gunman, bent on hurt and destruction, was really the responsible party. He was dead. We seem to need to have someone who is living to blame for this senseless act. Why, in our human nature, do we need to place blame on blameless people?
I listened to all manner of commentators yesterday and then finally turned off the TV. The administrators were at fault, it was lack of gun control, it was too much gun control, it was violence in movies and music and video games, it was…well, you get the picture.
No matter how you slice it, most tragedies like this one come down to a human being who ceases to value life—theirs or anyone else’s. It’s not the gun, it’s the person who wields it. It’s not the bomb, it’s the person who plants it. It’s not the alcohol, but, the person who drinks it. The person is the real weapon. No amount of controls on inanimate objects will help if a person is truly bent on destruction.
I’m sure there’s more we can do to prepare, there always is. However, just as in the days following 9-11, we come to a point past the shock and the grief and the anger when we have to return to our daily lives and not anticipate that every person we meet might be a terrorist. Tragedy makes us think. In my case, it’s not only how I can be prepared, but, also, what in my life is really important.
God bless those who lost loved ones in the Virginia Tech massacre yesterday. And thank God it wasn’t here.