19 April 2007

Second Verse, Same As The First

I am a big fan of Bill Whittle's writing, and I have recently linked his blog EjectEjectEject. Look for it on the sidebar.

I also signed up for a mailing list that discusses his writing on the aforementioned blog.

One of the most recent posts, in response to the latest entry on the blog, said in part "In conclusion I will be so bold as to venture our way of life is not worth defending if others want to kill us for it."

Un - freaking - believable.

I forget who said - and I'm feeling too lazy to look it up - that a society that refuses to defend itself does not deserve to exist, but the statement is dead on. I hope and pray that the statement quoted in paragraph two is not the belief held by a majority in this country.

Considering this, the recent shooting at Virginia Tech seems to be a natural extension of our society's effort to self destruct.

From what I understand, the young man who wielded the firearms was mentally unstable. Yet he was able to purchase two firearms and walk onto the campus, where firearms are not permitted (so much for that safe zone), and kill 32 people who were not allowed to have the instruments that may have prevented their own deaths.

There are many people that can be directly blamed for this tragedy.

He was declared to be mentally unstable, but not deemed an iminent danger to himself or others. Because of this, there was never an order for involuntary hospitalization to treat his mental instability.

Because he was never involuntarily hospitalized for his mental instability, he was not prohibited from purchasing firearms.

Because of laws passed in the last year, the school administration was not able to expell him based upon his mental instability, even though they were well aware of it.

Because the Virginia legislature allowed House Bill 1572 to die in subcommittee, the Virginia Legislature also allowed 32 innocents to die at Virginia Tech.

Because we have taught our children that "violence never solves anything," and because we deplore the use of violence even in the defense of self and others, the students were unprepared to defend themselves against violence.

HB1572 would have allowed the carry of firearms on campus.

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

This irony will likely be lost on the anti-gunners.

There are some heroes in this tragedy. Meet Professor Liviu Librescu. He gave his life, blocking the door to his classroom as bullets pumped into his body, so that his students could escape through the windows and get away from the carnage.

Derek O'Dell was one of the students that barricaded the door to Room 206, where the shooting started, after the gunman had left the room. Wounded in the attack, his actions prevented the gunman from re-entering the room to continue his rampage.

If there had been one - just one - professor or student that had been allowed to carry his or her own firearm on campus, the death toll would have likely been smaller. Perhaps as small as one.

If we, as a nation, were conditioned to attack instead of surrender, the death toll may have been smaller.

In a related story, Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket the funerals. No, I'm not linking it. Don't feed the trolls.

If we, as a society, refuse to defend ourselves, we deserve to die.

Photo by Manny Garcia, AFP, Getty Images
Post updated on April 19, 2007


Hammer said...

I agree 100%. Preventable tragedies are the worst possible kind.

Larry said...

And what's even worse is those who perpetuated the tragic events (IE, the Virginia legislature) pat themselves on the back for their actions and never see that it was their actions that actually led or contributed to the tragedy.
Thanks for dropping by Hammer, I'm a big fan.
OK, tender moment over. Move on.