Obviously the news dominating Monday’s headlines was of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. I think at times like these it’s only natural to be without words, to be in a state of shock and disbelief – and ultimately be grieving the loss suffered by those students and the families affected.
Today was definitely a sad day, and I really struggled with all of the coverage that immediately surrounded this story. My immediate reaction was that of shock, and although I do not understand what those close to the attack are going through – I know it’s natural to experience emotions tied with grief. However, it’s sad that the need for us to understand and intellectually explain the situation, coupled with the 24/7 sensationalist news media culture is already giving way for those to needlessly pile onto this situation.
Not long after I received the news on the Internet I saw “campaignist” Jack Thompson was already blaming violent video games as the cause of this tragedy. That’s interesting, considering that the killer’s name hasn’t been released to the public yet. I guess that doesn’t stop someone like this guy from using the victim’s death to promote his own agenda – what a disgrace. As I’m driving home, I’m listening to talk radio here in Denver and they’re offering the same sentiments, blaming video games and violent movies for this tragedy. I go to the gym and while I’m listening to ESPN’s PTI, Kornheiser and Wilbon are blaming the accessibility to guns as an enabler to what happened. On the way home they cut to a press conference where the media is climbing over each other to ask critical questions, wanting the gory details. When the police chief was asked if he could describe the scene, and he simply said “It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” The reporter had the thoughtlessness to respond, “So you’re not going to describe it for us?” – all to get the “inside scoop”.
The above may be valid points, but do we really need to begin the analysis immediately after the tragedy? To make these kind of accusations without any meaningful information regarding the case is not only irresponsible, but dangerous. What make things worse, is that personal agendas begin to lace this tragedy, and they’re basically capitalizing on the victims.
I know there’s a time and place to get the facts, analyze the circumstances and draw conclusions as to how we can prevent this, but save that for tomorrow – today is not that day. Today is a day to step back and grieve the fact that evil exists in this world, reflect on our own blessings, and offer prayers and support for those who suffered loss.