Wednesday, April 18, 2007


That night as I tried to sleep, images of students trapped in a room with a
rampaging gunman,the floor slippery with blood, crowded my head. The only time
I was in VA Tech was about six years ago to meet with a friend who studied there
at the time. As much as I tried, it was impossible to recall the tranquility
about the campus that I had felt then.
When I saw the news on CNN in the morning while at work, my first instinct
was to get J from school and stay home with her for the rest of the day.
I thought about how ridiculously easy it is for anyone to get inside her school
and how the children were at the mercy of adults who could turn from being
caregivers to murderers like the queen of fairytales who is really a witch
and shows her true colors when least expected.
You want to make sense of such random acts of violence so you are able to protect
yourself and your loved ones. You want to attribute reason where possibly none
exists. Even with the benefit of perfect hindsight what could any of those who
died at VA Tech have done different so they may have lived ? What if any are the
lessons learnt for the survivors ? Does it make sense to understand the mind of
the killer or does one accept such aberrations as something that cannot be
controlled or changed ? Are these things acts of God like a natural calamity
or can society provide some kind of a restraining influence ?
Then you read the news which warns you that the worst is yet to come :

Gerard Baker, a columnist for The Times newspaper,
feared worse was yet to
come: "The truth is that only
an optimist would imagine Virginia Tech will
hold the
new record for very long."

France's Le Monde newspaper said such episodes
frequently disfigure the
"American dream."
"The ... slaughter forces American society to once
again examine itself,
its violence, the obsession with
guns of part of its population, the
troubles of its
youth, subjected to the double tyranny of abundance

and competition," it wrote.

24/7 news coverage of the tragedy will cease in time.Life will go on. We will
forget to count our blessings to be alive and return home to our families on
ordinary days. I told J about what had happened when we got home that evening.
The enormity of what had happened did not register on her but she repeated a
few times "I am a good child so the bad guy would not kill me". Being good is
her mantra for being safe.
I did not dare break her bubble and tell her that good people can get killed too,
that there are no rules in the adult world that don't have an exception. Hard
as it is to comprehend such events, it is a million times harder to try and
explain any of it to a child. I felt so tired and hopelessly defeated.


Anonymous said...

Hope you and your J are doing good.
Will catch up with you soon. You are always in our daily thots and prayers. Depend on God and he will keep us safe always.
Heartfelt condolences to the victim families and Get well wishes for the students who are coping thru the situation.

From your,

ggop said...

I can understand what a mother fears the most..I can only imagine what the victims' parents must be going through right now.

There is something deeply wrong with our society. It bothers me that Canada has more guns per capita and yet no such carnage. I was actually discussing this with a colleague who is Canadian. He mentioned we in the US as a society seem to lack compassion in our culture.

Musings.. said...

HC.. I truly share your fears.. Untill I heard of this I was seriously considering university education for my kids in the US.. Wonder if there is a safe place. As adults we cannot even draw comfort that no bad wil befall us 'good' people!!