Friday, April 20, 2007

violence

There was a lot that I wanted to post on this week. However, the tragedy at Virginia Tech overwhelmed anything else.

And there was sad, senseless violence in many other places as well (e.g. - 180 killed in Iraq in one day).

I've been searching for a noun. None have seemed to fit. What do we call someone who slaughters schoolmates? Murderer seems inadequate somehow. Perhaps the term is overused on television cop and lawyer shows..... Madman? True, but also insufficient. I've settled, dissatisfied, on psychopath...

Having lived a number of years in Virgina, and having visited the Va Tech campus a few times, I know a number of alumni. It is a very solid school, where middle class families send their daughters and sons to study computer science or engineering or in some agriculture program. There is still a bucolic hint in Blacksburg, even though the area has grown steadily in recent years. One can be in farm country with only few minute drive from the campus.

I can't imagine the pain of the families. No one expects - or really should - outlive their children. All because of one psychopath...

There will be plenty of time for recrimination, second guessing, time line analysis and so on. At this moment, we should simply offer any comfort to any family affected in the best way we can.

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