As 33 lives were lost at Virginia Tech by a gunman whose sole purpose it was to take their lives, one does not even know how to process the carnage created by one human being. For the over 20 victims that are still alive and being treated in area hospitals, may their wounds heal quickly so that they can live fruitful lives. They will need the love and support coming from family, friends and the community in order to find joy.
The emergency personnel that were called to respond to this tragic scene, one cannot fathom how they were able to deal with such carnage. But unlike us who are still pondering this event, these first responders go into action for all of us. They cannot even think of how one lone gunman can take out so many. They are there for the victims and they do so with great care. Normally, they would respond to man’s inhumanity to man when the count is far less, but we never think of how can deal with this madness. But, heroically, they do.
I was not going to write any column dealing with this human tragedy tonight because it is not about how I feel, but how those directly hurt by this gunman’s actions. All that lost their lives, were wounded and responded to this on behalf of all of us suffered a terror that none of us can even imagine. All are deserving of our prayers. There is real human suffering going on in Virginia and we must all think of them.
The parents of these victims sent their sons and daughters off to college with great pride and promise. They only wanted their children to be productive members of our society and to live out the rest of their days making their parents proud. So, it is tragic to see this promise cut down by the acts of this gunman. Our love must reach out to these parents as well as the siblings they leave behind. They too are victims.
As Americans we have suffered these tragedies over the years we prayed that another one would never happen again. We have felt and continue to feel a part of our own humanity stripped away. Somehow it makes us think of our own mortality and just how quickly life itself can be taken away by the act of one. It may not be in an event such as these, but ones that do happen every single day.
In going through my emails tonight to read what others were feeling of this tragic loss of human life, one such email hit me with such revulsion and as you read it, I do hope that it is met with the scorn that it should be.
“Given that there is no doubt that Bush/Cheney/Mossad planned and executed 9/11 to justify the wars and the patriot act - were the virginia tech shootings designed to deflect criticism of gonzalez and prove "the need for" nsa spying, and to assist charles schumer and his anti-gun lobby to take our guns. I don't think they'd try to float a stretch that the shooter was iranian but there's nothing this bunch wouldn't do to process us into a police state and the NAU which could be touted to better assure American Security, due to crossborder surveilance and police work?”
The email continues, “Knowing what "our" government is capable of, my 75% says this is another event and I already know that they don't mine murdering Americans to further their agendas….What do you all think? John Hansen…American Cities Network” I will not even link his web site within this article. He is not deserving of such. In fact, I will not even correct the mistakes and misspellings contained within it. That speaks to his ignorant nature. But, I just knew that someone would use this event and tie it into a grand conspiracy.
This is where I have a problem with conspiracy theorists. They can use the loss of so many innocent lives to make a political point. Well how dare they? Have they no compassion for the family members left behind and for the victims? This was a human tragedy in which family members will not be going home filled with life and promise. It is not about floating someone’s crack-pot idea. This John Hansen owes the victims of this tragedy an apology for using their pain and suffering for his self-serving political gains.
In the past few columns I have been addressing hate and this is as hateful as it gets. This is where we should all rise to the occasion and say, you will not use these victims. We must all be their caretakers in order to make this country better.
In reading what may be some warning signs of a mass killer, these are the ones that I did notice in researching this piece. They are, alienation, disassociate behavior, isolation, depression. Another warning sign can be someone’s obsession with violent games. Some may express thoughts of suicide. Some may even feel wronged if they have been let go of a job in which the term “going postal” is used in relation to this form of mass killer. If you are finding anyone exhibiting the signs listed above intervention is the key before another tragedy takes place. Let us all be our brother’s keeper.
I will leave you with the words of John and Elizabeth Edwards as they shared their feelings of this tragic event. I selected them, because the both of them are dealing with the issue of life’s mortality.
We are simply heartbroken by the deaths and injuries suffered at Virginia Tech. We know what an unspeakable, life-changing moment this is for these families and how, in this moment, it is hard to feel anything but overwhelming grief, much less the love and support around you. But the love and support is there. We pray that these families, these students, and the entire Virginia Tech community know that they are being embraced by a nation. There is a Methodist hymn that gave us solace in such a moment as this, and we repeat its final verse here, in hopes it will help these families, as it helped us:
In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing, in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,