Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wherein I criticize grief-stricken people

I don’t have time to be blogging right now, but…

A recent article about the Virginia Tech shootings mentions that some parents want the president fired, etc.

"As you read the report, it's clear that so many of the mistakes that were made result from a failure of leadership at the very top levels of the university," said Cathy Read, stepmother of slain freshman Mary Karen Read.
Celeste Peterson, whose freshman daughter Erin was killed, said the governor should act forcefully and fire Steger and campus police Chief Wendell Flinchum.
"I love Virginia Tech, too. My daughter loved Virginia Tech," the grieving mother said, but "we have to separate Virginia Tech brick and mortar from the administration, which is inept."
William O'Neil, father of slain graduate student Daniel O'Neil, called it outrageous that no one had been held accountable. "With the exception, of course, of Cho, no one from the university is held accountable," he said.

It’s sad and frustrating that these parents don’t realize how predictable and irrational they’re being.

The fact is that we are vulnerable to this type of attack – and a hundred other ways to die – every day. But since that’s too scary to contemplate, and because we don’t want to accept that our child’s death was random, we search for a focus for our anger, a *reason*, a way to pretend that
a) someone is responsible, and
b) simple and dramatic action will prevent this happening again.

AFAIK, no one had ever shot a couple of people, then taken a break, then come back and shot 31 more. There was no precedent, no way for school officials to guess that the event wasn’t over. Their guess that the original two shootings were a domestic dispute seems reasonable to me.

Right now on college campuses across the country there are dozens of disturbed kids just like Cho, who are giving all the same signals Cho gave. Hopefully none of them will do what he did, but some of them might. And there’s not much we can do about it.


Post a Comment

<< Home