Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I first heard the horrific news yesterday about the shooting rampage in Virginia Tech from a friend. When I got home, I tuned in to CNN to watch their coverage and learned that the assailant, 23-year old student Cho Seung-Hui, managed to kill 32 people and wound 17 others, before turning the gun on himself.

I realized that it wasn’t just morbid curiosity on my part that made me watch the news. I was shocked and angry, but mostly I was sad - for the victims and their families for their painful loss, for the survivors who had to live with the memory of that day, and for the young killer, who will always make people wonder: what happened to this person that made him capable of doing such deed? All we know so far is that he was a loner, and the plays he wrote for his English class were quite disturbing and violently graphic and seem to be written by a very, very angry man. But do these things truly explain his motives?

I’ll reserve my opinion about guns and “the people’s right to bear arms” for another day, but it made me angry to find out that the killer used a semi-automatic handgun in his shooting rampage (not even a big gun or an assault weapon), a gun capable of firing 15 shots in just seconds. A gun so deadly in just about anybody’s hands.

And then all around the world are other news of violence – in Japan, the mayor of Nagasaki was killed when he was shot point-blank by an organized crime chief who was angered when his car was damaged by a hole in a public works site and was unsuccessful in getting compensation from the city. In Nigeria, a mob burned a police station and killed the officer-in-charge, his wife and 11 other officers. In Brazil, 20 people died in a shootout between rival drug gangs and police.

I dearly wish for a safe and less violent world but I know it takes more than a blog entry for us to achieve lasting peace. But now I take this moment and say a prayer for the victims of this senseless violence.

...went to school and I was very nervous, no one knew me, no one knew me, hello teacher tell me what's my lesson, look right through me, look right through me. And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad, the dreams in which I'm dying are the best I ever had, I find it hard to tell you, coz I find it hard to take, when people run in circles, it's a very, very mad world...
Mad World, Tears For Fears

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