In the coming days, as more information comes out about the shooter, I think we will get a glimpse of how a human being can be plagued and tortured by pure evil. The only good that could possibly come out of the examination of this unimagineable horror is that we may learn something about how to prevent the next one. How many sleepless nights will college students have over the coming weeks and months, thinking that what happened at Virginia Tech could happen at their school, too. How would you know that someone living in your dorm, or in your suite for that matter, might not be capable of the same thing?
In the over-abundance of commentary that is pouring out of the media, off the internet, and in conversations around water coolers and at coffee breaks everywhere, I have little to add. What I would like to say is how impressed I have been with the character of the Virginia Tech and Blacksburg community in the wake of this tragedy. The students that have appeared in interviews have been bright and articulate, and have represented their university very well. Their responses, even to the media cliches and silly questions, have appeared to be well thought out and intelligent. I’ve been particularly impressed with the sense of community and the spirit that has been exhibited.
Perhaps the larger tragedy in this whole situation is that, had he been willing to reach out, and attempt to make a connection, this young asassin would have found himself in the middle of a warm, caring community that obviously respects diversity and reflects values.
I’d have been proud to have attended Virginia Tech, and I’d certainly be happy if my own kids had decided to go there.