Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

Adonis and I spent last night watching, thinking, and talking about what has happened at Virgina Tech. Every perspective I read about influences that way I see it. It's interesting to hear the global perspective; how lax our gun laws are, a nation that "seemingly has self-defense written in their DNA" with its citizens who cling to the notion that carrying a gun is an inalienable right, and the mixture of anger, solitude, and inability to communicate other than violence seems to be a horrific trend.

But, all I can think of are the "kids" that have died in Iraq over this war. Our soldiers are pretty much the same age as these students and we hear daily accounts of bombs, not bomb threats. We read all the online crap saying, "Two more soliders in Iraq were killed by a roadside bomb." And we go on with our lives.

Granted, this is a much different situation, I realize, but the extent of violence in our lives is causing so, so much pain and yet we refuse to change our culture, we refuse to look at our cultural icons and behaviors. In recent memory, in addition to the casualties of war, the Columbine incident, 9/11, the killings at the Amish school house, and local accounts of violence have all pointed to a culture of violence. One man who did this, in a "it could have been here" town is both aberrent and symbolic of what is going on in our culture.

My GA pointed out that the profile of most of these individuals are young men. Somewhere and somehow we are teaching men that one of the ways to communicate problems and hardships is to pick up a weapon and make your point with violence.

I tried to stop reading about the Duke LAX case and after I found out about Virgina, I wanted to stay away from the news. Then I realized I have to practice what I preach: to be a part of the solution, one must not retreat from the world, but rather engage with the pain, and learn.


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