the worst mass murder spree in u.s. history.
massacre at virginia tech.
33 dead, dozens wounded.
how does this happen?
what goes on in someone's life that he decides the answer is killing so many people? were the people who were supposed to love him absent, was he neglected? or was it a chemical misfire in his brain, a psychological disease that couldn't have been helped? how can someone so methodically murder two people, then two hours later head across campus and murder 30 more? just, point blank, kill as many people as he could.
it's evident from the tiny bit of information we've been given at this point, 7pm the day of, that he was in reasonably sound mind--he seems to have had the foresight to chain the doors shut to the building he entered to begin his rampage. and i'm baffled by this more than anything--isn't something supposed to click with us humans after we've murdered that, holy shit, that was horrible? not, alright, let me get my ammo together and go over here and see how many more people i can kill.
not that i've studied mass murders or anything, but it seems to me that typically when someone sets out to massacre multiple people, they go in, shoot as many people as they can, and then are either killed by police or kill themselves. there's no "down time." those two hours are terrifying. that he was getting ready for what was coming next. he entered each room and shot without saying anything. it doesn't sound like he was maniaically crazed--he was calm and purposeful.
of course, the media now wants us to blame virginia tech police/security. they should have locked the campus down after the first shooting. why weren't classes cancelled, why did so much time pass before students were notified. but i don't see them being culpable at all. they believed the first murders were a domestic issue. that he had a target, had murdered her and probably her poor RA who was trying to help, and that now they were just searching for the guilty man. why would anyone believe a man who wanted to kill his girlfriend was going to go and shoot up the rest of the school? and really, what more could they have done? had they brought in swat teams and search helicopters to find this guy before he achieved his massacre, the media would now be saying the school completely overreacted to a domestic incident.
the other thing that's popping up in the news tonight is gun control. some say this is a prime example of why there should be stricter regulations on gun ownership. some say this is precisely the reason people should be able to carry concealed weapons. i have watched these news broadcasts and read biting comments at the end of news articles, and i feel completely numb about it. all i can think is, so what. so what if we make owning a gun legally more difficult. there are always illegal guns to be had if one is so inclined. so what if kids had been allowed to carry guns with them to class. someone else would have been shot on campus by now. no one would have carried a gun to class even if they were allowed because, really, why do i need a gun in my german class at virginia tech?
i just find myself disconnected from violence like this. not disconnected in the sense of emotions--i've gotten teary eyed a few times today. but disconnected in the sense that i can't imagine what possible solution there could be for violence like this. better parenting? maybe. the golden rule? probably. no more guns? doubt it. eliminate violence in the media? who knows. i mean, look at our world. it's just getting worse. people just seem to be caring about each other less and less. and that makes me achingly sad.
what if this had been 10 years ago? that email that the administration sent would have been pointless. at that time, i was still using the computer labs to check my email once a day. as were many of my friends. i have absolutely no idea how anyone would have gotten word around grounds at uva had 2 people been shot in one of our dorms. yet newspeople are outraged that it took almost 2 hours for va tech admins to send out this email. perhaps they wanted to get all the facts of the incident before they caused mass hysteria?
again, i'm just so numb about all of this. this is a senseless act of extreme violence. this is not the fault of virginia tech. this is not something that warrants questions of blame. i hate that our media has resorted to this sort of storyline. yet i can't pull myself away from cnn, msnbc, foxnews... whichever doesn't have a commercial on at the moment.
rumor has it the shooter had no identification on him and shot himself in the face, giving police an incredibly difficult task in figuring out who he is. my guess is they probably have some ideas considering the assumption that he knew at least one of his first two victims. but again, he was very thorough. again, how does this happen.
my heart is in blacksburg tonight, and in towns all across america where families have lost loved ones. and to everyone else, hold each other tight, and let's all try to be a little more aware of the people in our lives who are unhappy and seem troubled... somehow we, as a nation, have got to find a way to prevent this sort of thing.