Monday, April 16, 2007

Tragedy at Blacksburg

Our thoughts and prayers tonight are with the students, faculty, staff and alumni of Virginia Tech University.

My first instinct whenever I hear of yet another mass killing is to ask, "Why?" No doubt we will be subjected to innumerable psychological profiles of the gunman in days to come, but there's always something unsatisfying about hearing those stories. Whatever demons were chasing this person, whatever psychological traumas the shooter undoubtedly endured, simply do not justify taking the lives of 33 college students.

Prowling the internets tonight, I inevitably encountered comments in the vein of "If somebody had a gun, they could have shot the gunman and prevented further carnage". Right now, all I have to say on gun control is that I think it would work about as well as marijuana control or prostitution control currently do. But there's a deadly cynicism in suggesting that everybody should go around armed. The first purpose of civilization is mutual protection, and to suggest that we must all defend ourselves implies that civilization is broken, and we are nothing but animals forever bound to the law of the jungle.

Homosapien has been given the gifts of intellect and reason, and I long for the day that we finally take full advantage of those gifts.

ADDENDUM: What Blue Girl, Red State said at my bloghome-away-from-home:

Let me make a deal with my brethren on the right – you stop talking about arming every Tom, Dick and Harry in the country so we can have contagious gunfire erupt on a regular basis because we have encouraged a vigilante culture, and I will try to keep my side from going nuts and trying to ban all guns.