Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weekend Wrapup 4-21-2007

This wrap-up is related to the Virginia Tech shootings, which dominated the news this week.

The gunman
Seung-Hui Cho is a name that's going to be linked forever to the Ted Bundys and the Timothy McVeighs of this morbid branch of our nation's history. I really don't know what to say about Cho. Granted, it wasn't easy to grow up as he did, but judging by what I've heard so far, it sounds like he made himself his own worst enemy. Many of us go through difficult times growing up, but the vast majority of us don't wind up on a killing spree. Maybe a lot of people failed him, but we've all had that as well. I have no explanation for how someone can allow themselves to allow such a deep hatred to fester in their souls. People who go on killing sprees like this almost always kill themselves in the end. It's a coward's way of escaping punishment for their crimes. Well, he's in God's hands now - and The Maker is someone whose judgment you can't escape.

The family of the gunman
I suppose it shouldn't surprise me, but the opening sentence of this article did just that. Here's what it said:

"The family of the Virginia Tech gunman has finally spoken up. "

The first thought that popped in my head was: "What the heck were they supposed to say??"

What CAN they say? Aren't they going through enough hell without the media prodding them constantly to get their reaction? HAVE a little DECENCY, people! In the article the family gave their response, and it was an apology for the actions of Cho. I felt sorry for them that they were compelled to speak up. I wouldn't have blamed them one bit if they never spoke on the issue, but today's media just had to keep prodding them until they spoke. Well, now they spoke, so leave them alone! They'll have enough to deal with for the rest of their lives without the media poking thier noses into it.

Comments from my previous blog entry on this topic
The first comment was a question that I asked:

"How could a loving God allow this to happen?"
In theological circles, this is called "The question of evil". I'm going to ask another blogger to tackle this question in a little more detail, because he has a knack for tackling such questions, but my own response is thus: God does not allow evil, we do. God gives us so much free will that we are free to reject him. And that rejection can take many forms. It can go to the extent that our actions can harm or even kill others. But the lesson to draw from this is that free will is not free. There is a price for that freedom, and the mature person will come to realize it. Then will be able to understand better how a loving God can allow such evil acts to occur.

The next comment:
"The predictable reactions of various political groups to use this tragedy to further their political agendas."
The gun controls activists came out in droves with such statements as "What part of 'assault' in 'assault weapon' do you not understand?" and the counters from gun owners of "Guns don't kill people - people with guns kill people." There was also blame laid on the entertainment industry that glorifies such violence as well as video games such as the "Vice City" series. Surprisingly (at least for many people), the most reasoned response came from Rush Limbaugh, who basically said that there are many gun owners and many movie watchers and many video game players that can partake in all that without being inspired to violence. The blame, he said, lays solely on the killers. And that's what I think as well. Trying to make Cho a victim of something is a way of trying to absolve him of his crime, and he doesn't deserve being cut any slack whatsoever.

Last comment:
"What can be done to prevent further tragedies like this from happening again."
I'm still working on that, but I don't know that we can ever prevent it from happening again, even if we made our society an Orwellian dystopia. Those determined enough to kill will find ways to do so, even if it's just with their bare hands. Understand, though, that just because I don't think we could ever fully prevent another VT tragedy doesn't mean that we shouldn't even try. On the contrary, we should do all we can to prevent it, short of turning our society into the aforementioned Orwellian dystopia. We can't allow ourselves to become that dystopia, because that would mean that we are living in fear, which is how the Chos and the McVeighs would want us to live. We should not give them their heart's desire.

As of this weekend, the flags are still at half mast. Everywhere you go are these reminders of that tragedy at VT. However, those flags will go back up, just as they did after 9/11. That's human nature. We set aside time to mourn and grieve, but after that, our lives go on. That human tendency all but guarantees that the mad dreams of the Chos and the McVeighs will never be realized.

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