In the Wake of Cho Seung Hui

The questions: 

  1. Should the Virginia Tech Administration have, after the first killing in another building, locked down the entire school thinking that someone like Cho the Madman was ready to kill everyone on campus? (In retrospect and perhaps in reality they probably should have, and the one new rule that might come from this horror will be, "When someone gets shot, get everyone in the area out of danger immediately.")
  2. Did the police "under-react"?  (Well, in retrospect, of course they did — but in reality they were at first investigating a single murder scene and had no idea that Mr. Cho was at the time making his way to the  post office to drop off an express mail package of his amateur version of "Natural Born Killers" and psychotic rants for delivery to GE-controlled NBC News before heading back to campus to murder another thirty innocents.)
  3. Is the National Rifle Association responsible for these murders?  (Gosh, as much as I dislike so much of what these regressives stand for and how they go about blackmailing the Congress and state governments, no — the NRA did not cause this problem.  Cho bought the guns he used legally, and that is that. What the NRA does next — and believe me, they will do plenty — will be wrong.)

Perhaps the most ironic action was President Bush showing up on Tuesday at Blacksburg.  Yes, it was a good and noble thing he did – to drop everything to come to that school and comfort the grieving – 70% of whom most likely wouldn’t vote for him and 50% who didn’t in the first place.  He did not need to do this. He is not worried about re-election.  Even the most cynical among us cannot believe that George W. Bush was not grieving over this loss.

Yet I cannot help think about the tens of thousands of babies and toddlers lying in similar pools of blood – dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of our world now at war – who did not have the honor of having any president mourn their passing in person.

Then there are the dead heroes we have lost from our military. We are not permitted to mourn them even through the magic of television, witnessing their return in flag-draped aluminum caskets by the dozens.  We are not allowed.  Why? Because message-shaping doughboy Karl Rove doesn't think it would do his Popular Wartime President (if you call near-30% approval popular) much good to have the public reminded of our slain boys and girls, or the maimed who now overpopulate our roach- and rat-infested VA hospitals.

Yes, there is a certain safety arriving at a funeral when you haven't caused the death of the deceased I suppose.

The Governor of Virginia appeared too; he flew back from a two week "trade mission" (also called a very expensive vacation) in Japan to be with the surviving students.  His appearance is more difficult to defend as completely apolitical.  But this was the largest gun killing in American history, so let's give him a pass as well.

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