An unsafe world takes its toll
Leada Gore, Editor
When I first saw the news of the shooting at Virginia Tech Monday, the announcer said two people had been killed. I thought to myself how that was horrible and senseless and then went on with my day.
Sadly, the news of two deaths doesn’t raise much response in today’s world.
It was about 30 minutes later when I saw another report, this one showing the death toll had reached 20 and was still climbing. That’s when the small “oh, that’s terrible” story became one that consumed all our thoughts. Each time I checked the internet, the death toll rose, as did the horrifying stories from the university. There were tales of students hiding behind desks and jamming doors shut to keep the shooter at bay. Other students opted to jump out windows to flee from the bullets.
As of Tuesday morning, there still was little known about the entire situation other than it was pointless, unbelievable and amazingly horrifying.
I thought a lot about the parents of those attending Virginia Tech. I’m sure there were lots of rushed phone calls and searching for children, waiting for the hopeful reassurance when they heard their voice and learned they weren’t injured.
I can’t imagine the feelings of those parents who tried unsuccessfully to reach their children.
We all know this world is a dangerous place. No one is assured another day. However, no parent thinks their child is in danger when they send them off to school. Parents worry about a lot of things when they send their child off to college. I doubt armed gunmen are one of them.
There will be those who place the blame for this incident on the school administrators and law enforcement but the bulk of the blame must lie with the person who did these terrible things. No amount of passing the buck can resolve the fact that evil people do evil things.
Society, however, does play a role in this tragedy. We are a society that accepts ultra-violent video games and movies. We don’t provide adequate mental health services for those most in need. We offer almost unfettered access to weapons.
Situations like Monday’s make us all feel less safe, less secure in our own worlds. And while one’s first reaction is to keep yourself and your children at home behind locked doors, we know that’s not possible. We must go on and find ways – however small – to make this world a better place.
The questions from the Virginia Tech massacre will linger for years. The pain will linger, too.