The news this morning is truly shocking. A pair of shooters apparently visited the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg today. One student was killed and others wounded around 7:15 in a dormitory. Two hours later more shootings occurred at the Engineering building nearby. Total casualties are apparently 22 dead and 17 wounded. One shooter is in custody as of this writing and another is sought.
While we await additional details, it seems clear that this mass murder was perpetrated by alienated or insane Americans rather than foreign terrorists. The preliminary details just sound too much like the Columbine massacre to fit the other notion. A few items to note:
- If we have given up on the idea of gun control, are we now all going to need to carry loaded weapons? Either we all need weapons, in a bizarre return to the Wild West days, or we need to do better at keeping guns out of the hands of crazies. Which do we prefer, and how do we propose to make it happen?
-We have spent much time and effort worrying over the past six years about the deadly threat posed by Muslim terrorists. This incident points to the fact that the number of Americans shot to death annually by other Americans dwarfs even the high body count of 9/11.
If your initial reaction to this post is to rant about "guns do not kill people, people do", please keep it to yourself. The shooters clearly did not use baseball bats. My heartfelt sympathy for the anguished families of these kids leads me to a realization: this has happened too many times, and it must not happen again.