Tuesday, April 17, 2007

On Virgina Tech and Violence

On Virgina Tech and Violence

All I have to say to this is that it is a symptom of the callousness of what living in the US is like. Oh, there is plenty of sympathy and sadness for these people. I am not faulting that. What happened in Blasksburg, VA is a symptom of what is wrong with this country. Its touched my life before (check out Some Undisciplined Brat Shot up my School) and I have to face the fact that each day, something like that could happen to me in my job as a security officer. It a part of living in the gun culture of America, where no one is safe on the streets and an armed citizenry is a "safe" citizenry.

Watching the news coverage makes me sick. I don't want to sound callous, but all I can think of is the skit that appeared many years ago on Saturday Night Live where Eddie Murphy plays a parody of the Kennedy assassination in which his parody character of Buckwheat is assassinated by a "lone gunman" named "John David Stuts." (Mel Gibson's "Jerry" in "Conspiracy Theory" was right. Assassins always have three names. We will probably find out this guys middle name I am sure. But I digress).

There is the Catch-phrase title "Massacre at Virgina Tech" to give it a tag. Then they ruminate over the same thing over and over again. We see the lone gunman's life examined over and over and over again until we see anyone as a potential lone gunman and a threat. His neighbors will be interviewed, his parents will be interviewed, maybe even ostracized.

As a security worker, I also find it infuriating of all the second-guessing, 20/20 hindsight and "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" that is being done to the security people at the campus. You can't have cameras everywhere without invading people's privacy. You can't have a guard everywhere. They would outnumber the students, and they would have no money to educate the students. The people there made the best decision, based on the information they had at the time and unfortunately, they got bad information. The fog of "war" or the lack of information is something that a decision maker has to suffer with. Unfortunately, I think a lot of good people will loose their jobs because they made the best decision they could based on bad information. You make the best decision and sometimes its a bad one. The media is going to ruminate over this thing until we become numb. This is another step in our slowly becoming a police state where we are all safe, but not free.

Speaking of which, I also find it interesting that the scheduled testimony of Attorney General Gonzalas was postponed because of this. Other blogs and speculative media have noticed a pattern of incidents such as this and the fact that it diverts attention away from failures on the part of the administration. Coincidence? Maybe, but I have learned to be cynical in my old age. The President will attend the memorial service, but he is a part of this culture of Death, contradicting himself when he called for the culture of Life the other day. And unlike our fearless leaders' performance on 9/11, he is trying to appear Presidential here.

Another thing is that this is a daily situation in Iraq and other places in the world. While I don't want to denigrate what has happened in Virgina, there seems to be a double standard here. It seems that when it happens overseas, its not news, but when it happens here, its 24 hour news and we ruminate over what happens and its impact. Thirty-two people dead is nothing compared with what happens on the streets of Baghdad. Virgina Tech Massacares occour daily there and sometimes in multiple locations involving hundreds of persons. Multiple incidents of this nature permeate EVERY aspect of life in Iraq. Yet we in this country can go on and live our lives without sacrifice, while soldiers die and civilians are killed.

I hope I don't sound too cynical and heartless there. And if I have offended anyone, I apologize in advance. Right now, its fresh and numb and I just don't know what to feel.

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I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.