Posted by: Kevin | April 17, 2007

Victims and Victims Again *Updated Again*

If you’re reading this, there’s about a 100% chance that you’ve heard about the terrible shootings at Virginia Tech.  The victims were 32 Virginia Tech students and professors.  While most names haven’t been released, it is likely that the overwhelming majority had no relationship what-so-ever with the shooter.  The shooter was a resident alien from South Korea and a Virginia Tech student.  I won’t print his name because as far as I’m concerned, the perpetrators of these acts forfeit their identity.  He will henceforth be dead lunatic or dl for short.

I don’t want to engage in any speculation as to dl’s motives.  The most common rumor on the internet is that dl was looking for his ex-girlfriend and that his first victim was the ex-girlfriend’s roommate.  I will engage in a little speculation on that.  If the rumors are true, was she killed because she wouldn’t (or couldn’t) say where the ex was?  If so, that would be incredibly courageous of her, regardless of what followed.

*Turns out there was no ex-girlfriend, dl was a deranged stalker before graduating to deranged murderer.  It seems like the girl in question might have been one of the stalking victims.  That didn’t stop some rags from printing headlines calling her the “spark” that set dl off.  What a fucking world.

For the rest, I will wait with the rest of the country.  It’s pointless for us to try and understand what happened, with so little information.  Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way.  Speculation is part of human nature, but the rush to judgment yesterday saw many insert their own politics into the discussion in a way that I found profoundly distasteful.  The victims became a soapbox, victims again in my opinion.

For example, Instapunditwants us to know that repealing Virginia Tech’s gun free campus laws could have saved lives.  Professional scumbag Debbie Schlussel (who I won’t link to) feels the same way and adds some predictable anti-immigration comments.  Feministe would like you to know that this is an obvious outgrowth of the patriarchy.  AmericaBlog can’t resist pointing out that this would be a good day in Iraq.

I could keep going but I think I’ve made my point.  I regularly read and appreciate some of the above blogs.  Some of them may even have a point.  However, seeing this reminds me of the old saying about only having a hammer for a tool.  This tragedy has become just another nail to hit with our ideological hammer of choice.  It strikes me as ghoulish.

There will be a time to contemplate what caused this and what can be changed to prevent it from happening again.  That time wasn’t yesterday and it isn’t today either.  Everyone wants to know what happened and why.  It’s human nature to speculate, but we need to lay down our political hammers for a couple of days.  The victims are more than just a stage upon which we can showcase our pet ideology.

Wanted to add this link to Captain’s Quarters, which details the story of Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor who gave his life so his students could escape.

*Figured I’d make this clear.  Of the websites I highlighted above, I think Feministe has a point as dl had a history of stalking prior to his rampage.  The rest of them can go to hell.

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