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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech incident

Yesterday, I heard several conversations about the shooting at Virginia Tech, carried out by one of the students who many teachers were in fear of, vocally.

The student was feared as suicidal by his parents and had been taken to a mental health institute after stalking two female students. Obviously, he was not well and a possible danger to others. That does not justify the criticism dished out towards the faculty of Virginia Tech for not preventing what happened.

After something like what happened at Columbine, I personally would think that people would be more prepared for another incident. Then the immediate response is "who could possibly prepare for something so horrible?" Arguments I heard involved questioning why the school wasn't locked immediately once it was known that shooting was in progress. Those arguments, especially from the likes of Bill O' Reilly, are simply ignorant remarks coming from a place of arrogance in the face of terror. In the shoes of those who were actually there, I doubt the critics could've done any better because they didn't know firsthand what it was like to be there. No one can say how someone should act or how to handle a situation of that magnitude. At Columbine, there were two students running wild shooting at nearly everyone in sight. Most of the students and teachers were simply trying to survive, most likely the same scenario at Virginia Tech.

I'm not going to try and say what could've been done or what should have been done to prevent these tragic acts. I have no right to say anything in criticism because I have no idea what it's like to be in such a terrifying situation. I hope that maybe after going through something like that, it would help people survive if another situation presented itself.

I know that the NRA is going to put up their best "guns don't kill people" defense as usual when such an event occurs. Personally, I think that guns should not be available to anyone outside of law enforcement agencies who are trained to handle guns in order to uphold the law and protect people, like the victims of these events and many others. People buy guns in "self-defense" but do not take care to keep their guns locked away and their children are killed as a result of negligence. People buy guns to kill animals for fun, and they had to do nothing more that fill out a form and wait for a little more than a week.

A criminally insane person could walk into a store tomorrow, fill out a form and come back after the waiting period, and walk down the street shooting as many as he could before he was taken down. The 2nd Amendment of The Constitution allows them to do that, and most likely will never change.

During my time as a manager for a retail food outlet, one of my employees killed himself with a gun he purchased, probably at some sporting goods store. His parents would still have their son if stores wouldn't sell guns to just anyone.

Of course if you remove the ability to buy guns legally, people who want them for all the wrong reasons will get them on the street. So unless cops start becoming more involved in maintaining justice and getting guns off the streets, these kinds of activities will continue.

My heart goes out to the parents and families of all those who were killed and injured during both of these tragic events.

It angers me greatly that these gunmen, in both incidents, acted so strong and self-righteous until the point when they took their own life. They contradicted all of their actions by showing what cowards they truly were. While no amount of justice would be sufficient for the families of those lost, having the shooters in custody would be a start.

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