Tragedy in all forms

I’ve been struggling with writing lately. I have a paper due and I really need to write it, but I keep putting it off. Also, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted to the Conspiracy since late last week. Again, putting it off. I suppose I’m waiting for inspiration on both counts. Regardless, some of the planets have aligned enough for me to put together some thoughts this morning.

The tragedy at Virginia Tech is heartbreaking. It hits home all the more because I work at a university and when things like this happen, you spend a lot of time thinking about how it happened and what would you do in that situation. Unfortunately, I can’t come up with anything. Certainly I would make an attempt to hide or barricade the office door, but I really don’t know what would happen. However, my point is that 32 people died, senselessly, and there is naturally an outpouring of emotion from all corners.

On another front, today in Baghdad, bombs killed 33 people and injured dozens more. The problem is, no one really noticed. I wouldn’t have noticed had it not been on the same page as other news. But the paradox of 32 young Americans dying in a senseless tragedy and 33 Iraqis dying in a senseless tragedy and the attention (or lack thereof) paid to both is confusing. Why do we not mourn the deaths of all people regardless of who they are or where they’re from; they’re still human are they not?

A writer to my local paper this morning suggested arming professors with concealed weapons as a way to quell or, at the very least, diminish the loss in instances such as the Virginia Tech massacre. What a highly illogical and ill-formed idea! The idea of adding more guns to an already volatile situation is definitely the way to go. Why not have Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday in charge of campus security? Some people are just idiots.

Another lesser tragedy would be that I had too much wine at a party last night and I really can’t form any more thoughts at this point.

See you in the funny papers!

9 thoughts on “Tragedy in all forms

  1. Oh no, you cannot handle wine anymore? Just means you are getting older! You better plan on retirement pal! What would do if we had to make an emergency trip to Mardi Gras?

  2. Well it’s a sad truism of the media that (in terms of news value) 1 famous life in one’s own country is worth ten less famous ones, 100 in another rich western country, and 1000s further afield.

    On Iraq, Media Lens says:

    Who would guess from media reporting that Iraq is being convulsed by a human cataclysm? And who would guess that this catastrophe is the result of American and British criminality?

    Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Commented last week:

    “Since US troops first set foot in Afghanistan in 2001, the Defense Department has gone to unprecedented lengths to control and suppress information about the human costs of war.” (‘ACLU Releases Files on Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq,’ April 12, 2007;

    The reality of what has been done to Iraq ought to produce a level of moral revulsion to shake our political establishment to the core. It ought to generate mass movements demanding that those responsible be held to account, that changes be made to ensure such an outrage is unthinkable in the future…

    On April 10, the press reported that the United Nations would hold a conference in Geneva (April 17-18) to address the humanitarian needs of Iraqis who have been made into refugees by the war. The numbers are almost beyond belief – 4 million people have now been displaced out of a population of 22 million, UNHCR report. Since the beginning of 2006, 730,000 Iraqis have been displaced by violence. UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman, Ron Redmond, told reporters:

    “Although the world is aware of the military and political situation in Iraq, the immense and growing humanitarian needs are not well-known.” (‘Plans for UN meeting on Iraqi refugees,’ UPI, April 10, 2007;

    But how can it be that this humanitarian crisis is “not well known”? Western media are reporting from Iraq every day, are they not? The violence is prominent in many news bulletins.

    Readers will recall the searing images of thousands of civilians fleeing the fighting and bombing in Kosovo in 1999. The BBC and ITN repeatedly showed dramatic footage of whole hillsides swarming with refugees, with daily reports, interviews and investigation. The outrage was palpable. By contrast, the fact that nearly one-fifth of the Iraqi population has been displaced by violence is a matter of almost complete indifference.

  3. John, I can still handle the wine…it’s the amount of wine that I can’t handle. The group must have gone through…I don’t know…15 bottles of wine last night. C’s fine this morning, so she’s apparently not old yet, although she did get to the party about 2 hours after I did…so, I think I’m justified.

  4. Dave on Fire,

    Thanks for the statistics and reporting info from Media Lens. It is a very sad day when we ignore what is happening simply because it is not happening to us.

  5. Why do we not mourn the deaths of all people regardless of who they are or where they’re from; they’re still human are they not?

    I wonder this every single day. I would give an appendage, maybe two, to find an answer and viable solution to this question.

  6. As a parent my-self I am deeply saddened as to what transpired this week at Virginia Tech. I could not imagine the pain and agony that the parents must be going through, along with the despair that the perpetrators parents are also going through, let not forget about there guilt.

    If you go through history not that long ago we had Jews being led like cattle into trains and shipped to the concentration camps.

    I myself although not Jewish come from Russian descent. I can remember my father telling me how the communist came into his home when he was 12 years old, put them up against the wall, held a gun to his head, pistol whipped my grandfather, and raped my grandmother in front of him.

    On September 11 when the trade towers collapsed, I knew that it would be a period of time when amnesia would set in and the Liberals would forget about 3000 people that died in the towers.

    It just seems that this country jumps on the bandwagon when things are fresh in their minds, and then as time goes on we forget about it.

    I believe that there’s a reason behind crime and violence in this country. A recent radio news program cited a study showing that England’s violent crime rate was more than four times that of the United States. It was only a few years ago that anti-gun advocates were used in England as an example of the civilized society without firearms.

    A few years ago I read that an individual was visiting missionaries in Zambia, as part of what they call. “Operation footsteps” They were taken to see missionaries who had spoken at a church many years ago, they asked the question about gun violence in America.

    Before someone could answer a host jumped to his feet with his finger shaking and said guns are not the problem in America or anywhere else. The problem is the lack of moral values.

    He went on. You can raise your child with a gun in his hand if you instill moral values, and he will never be a problem to himself or others.

    If you raise a child without moral values in a world, he or she will be a danger to themselves and others with any implement they pickup, I believe this is true.

    During hurricane Katrina there are many towns along the Gulf Coast hit by the storm but New Orleans made news because of the looting and other violent behavior.

    Today, moral values are simply not taught enough. Television programs glorify sex and violence treat them as jokes. The Internet is a great resource for information and education, but look at the trash our children are exposed to if not supervised.

    Music degrading women in promoting violence has become mainstream environment, embraced by many. The media has glamorized Hollywood’s bad boys and bad girls and has made them into role models for our teenagers. Look at some of the clothes are children wearing, some of it is very degrading.
    Whatever happened to John Wayne and Roy Rogers? They sure look better to me. Even some sports heroes are contributing to the problem. Look at them multimillion dollar athletes using drugs and steroids because winning is all that matters to them.

    The moral fiber of our society is unraveling, and the result is more crime and violence. Look at what is happening today. Kids grow up not knowing their fathers, and in some cases, the mothers. What are children to think when they watch TV and see a United States president impeached for his immoral behavior, and congressmen being charged with bribery? The lessons they learned is that if you can get away with it’ it’s okay.

    Our country was founded with moral values. Look at small towns in the United States, people go to worship on the weekends and care for the children , there is less violent crime in these places. Prayer has been removed from our schools, and violence and criminal behavior has increased. There is a trend here we can no longer afford to ignore.

    It’s about time to stand up and speak out for the moral values that have made America great. If you’re confused about what moral values are, I suggest you may get a copy of the NRA past president Charles Heston’s movie the 10 Commandments. Watch it, and you’ll see where moral values really started.

    I believe it’s not fair to imply that all gun dealers are bad. Unfortunately it’s our society today that dictates human Behavior. We are so afraid of standing up for our beliefs but yet we rather condone this so-called political correctness. I believe that this is the single most reason that this mayhem occurred. What we had here was a young adult that had serious problems within the school system along with many problems that he had when he was a child.

    Everybody knew this but yet they did nothing, because of the policies that are still within their society today. Why not speak up when there’s an issue with someone’s behavior? I believe in this case something very serious was overlooked by the counselors, the courts along with the judicial system whereas not wanting to make any so-called waves regarding so-called profiling and discrimination.

    I cherish my second amendment right as an American born citizen. One thing that I would suggest is that it would be better that the only people in this country that would be eligible to obtain permits to purchase handguns and/or any gun for that matter regardless whether it’s a rifle or a handgun, would have to be born in the United States of America. Just because somebody comes to his country as an exchange student and has applied for permanent residency, with a green card, does not give them the right to have this cherished second amendment privilege. I truly believe in my heart that if there was somebody in that building at that time, that was armed, that’s not saying that we would not have lost any children, but we would not have lost as many. It be wonderful to live in a utopia, but unfortunately that’s not the society we live in. We have to be realistic about what is really happening, not be so quick to point the blame at any one group and take a real good look at how we are raising our children and running our country, then we may stand a chance.

  7. It is not that moral values are not taught so much as they are not practiced. Moral Values is in the eye of the beholder. Do not blame the media, or athletes, music, drugs, or alcohol. These kinds of examples have been around hundreds of years. People getting drunk or getting high is nothing new. You want to observe a group of people who have no moral values, look at the US Congress.

    Moral Values change all the time and never stay the same. It was moral that slaves were needed in this country to work the fields. It was moral to kick the Indians(true Americans) off their sacred land and into reservations.

    This kid, had no moral values because his parents failed him. They did not control what he was watching on TV or reading. I am a parent myself and I am learning that being a parent is about making decisions that are not always popular with your children.

    I cherish the 2nd Ammendment too, gun control to me means using both hands. I am Red Blooded American and served the US Army, but to say guns can only be bought by people born in this country is foolhardy. I can buy gun right now if I wanted illegally and nobody would know.

    You want moral fiber in this country, practice moral values, do not preach them, because talk is cheap!

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