"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Evil shows its face at Virginia Tech

There is little to say about the horrible massacre at Virginia Tech two days ago, apart from the fact that many promising lives were lost at the hands of an evil man. I won't whitewash his actions by calling him "disturbed", "anguished", or any other number of pop psychobabble names. Many people are anguished or disturbed by any number of things in their lives; few make the conscious decision to buy a gun and dozens of rounds of ammuntion, and then coldly act on them.

The best summary of several talking points comes, I think, from a former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor winner named Mike Thornton (courtesy of Mac Owens from NRO):

First of all, it was recognized that the kid had a problem, and apparently he was sent to counseling. But no one followed up on him, as they should have.

Preventing tragedies like this also begins at home.

As parents, we need to look into our children’s lives more, and try to better understand what's going through their minds. When my kids are having a bad time, they know to call me and talk to me. They know I'm going to be there for them, and that I'm always going to help them. In this day and age, there’s a lot of pressure on young people that I simply did not have growing up. And this is something about which we need more public education.

Regarding the shooter:

He talked himself into it, literally brainwashed himself into having no concern for anyone else's life. This is not officially considered an act of terrorism, but his mindset was the same as that of a terrorist. If anyone is dedicated to doing something like this, they can plan, wait, and make it happen. If anyone wants to go whacko, they're going to be able to go whacko. And there is nothing you can do about it.

As bad as this was; thank God, he didn't have guns staged all over the place. The losses would have been even higher.

Regarding security:

Beyond educating the public, there's really no way you can prevent something like this. To do so, we would have to live in a society where you'd have to have a guard at every door of every building. There would have to be metal detectors and x-ray machines everywhere. Basically, everything would have to be like a [military] base.

Regarding the reaction of the victims:

You know people have said, 'Why didn't they jump or rush this guy?' But that's easy for people to say. These young people had never been in such a situation before. They weren't trained for such a situation. They simply ran for their lives.

For me, there are only so many bullets in weapon. And my thinking would be, 'He can't get us all.'

But if you've never been under fire — or in a fiefight — you don't know how you're going to react. And even if you do react the way you should the first time under fire, it may only be because of adrenaline. It takes several fights for a better idea of how one performs under fire.

These kids were simply running for survival.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"This is not officially considered an act of terrorism"

Why not ?!

Doesn't terorism mean killing innocent civilians intentionally?