I was once a college student … sure, it’s been more than a dozen years since graduation, but this tragic incident that happened on the campus of Virginia Tech a few days ago affected me a little. For those of you who haven’t heard (I’m basically speaking to my international friends here), there was a shooting at a college campus in Virginia in which a lone gunman killed more than 30 students including himself, physically injuring more than 20 more students, and probably emotionally and mentally injuring countless others.
For me, the University was a safe place to be … except maybe on weekends of home football games where State College became the third largest city in Pennsylvania … but I digress. College life for me was a time to grow up, learn, and socialize (never in that particular order). It was a safe haven for me to do all of those things. Sure, you would hear of the occasional suicide, and as tragic as that may be, it pales in comparison to what took place at Virginia Tech.
I couldn’t even imagine being a parent of a student attending classes there, hearing about this chaotic situation, and not being able to get in contact with my child. Many experienced this yesterday … some faced the realization that one of their very own was a victim in this grotesque occurrence. This nightmare is one they will unfortunately have difficulty waking from for a long time. I pray for them.
What I have trouble understanding is how somebody can take so many other people’s lives along with his/her own. Taking your own life is one thing (and certainly not acceptable), but dragging thirty others with you along with numerous ones who are directly and/or indirectly affected is beyond evil, and I am having trouble formulating the words to describe the anger and sorrow that I have. My hope, as always, is that we learn something from this.
Writer’s Workshop: Maybe Next Time
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