Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Destined to repeat it
In the wake of a tragic event like the Virginia Tech massacre, it's easy to lose perspective on things. The news channels have been flooded with every detail of the gunman, his writings, his background, his favorite cereal, etc. While all of this is very interesting, the only purpose I could see to this sort of orgasm of information is if we actually were able to use it to prevent such a thing from happening again. The problem is that we won't.
Much of the same speculation about tougher gun laws, more controls on violent video games, better emergency response plans, was mentioned after the Columbine Massacre nearly 8 years ago. Schools have updated policies, stricter penalties for students who break the rules, and yet none of these things can prevent the sort of horrific attack that was brought against Virginia Tech students.
You can blame the university, you can blame the guy that sold the kid the gun, you can blame all the people who saw warning signs of behavior in the perpetrator. The bottom line is that if someone crazy wants to shoot and kill a whole lot of people, none of this analysis, preparation, rule-making, etc. will actually prevent an attack. The sick individuals who plan this sort of thing know what the regulations are and find ways around them. You could ban guns tomorrow, lock down the university every time someone sneezes, and install metal detectors in every school in the United States. We won't be any safer.
Meanwhile in Iraq, violence has claimed the lives of hundreds of Iraqi citizens and US soldiers. As the deathtoll rises, we've become desensitized to the fact that a GOOD day in Iraq is 33 people dead. Today, a series of bombs went off that killed 156 people at last count. And yet, no one in the media is talking about how our government's penchant for violence and war may have a huge impact on citizens here. If Dr. Phil thinks that violent video games lead to violence, he should check out the REAL death and suffering that we continue to catalyze in Iraq, and that is part of our regularly scheduled programming.