“the worst thing i have ever seen”

these were the words of the virginia tech chief of police, wendell flinchum.

the worst thing i’ve ever seen? the question that followed shortly thereafter, which accused that fine man and the president of virginia tech, charles steger, of being “dispassionate.”

while i recognize that my watching cnn for hours during press conferences feeds this frenzy, i find this question horrifying. anyone with the tiniest bit of compassion or understanding could look at both of those men and know that they were not only in shock but in pain, but pushing through it in order to get their jobs done.  instead, what do we get? a bunch of vultures asking them the same questions over and over (“why didn’t you tell students earlier?”) and putting them on display like little puppets.

give me a break.

the whole thing is horrifying, and i suppose it’s natural to try to find a scapegoat immediately. makes sense–everybody wants an answer.  but the reality is, i can’t see how they could have done much differently.  if the same thing happened at the university of florida, i’m not sure the campus authorities would do anything differently.  if it seems like it’s contained in a dorm–if it truly is a domestic dispute–why cause panic elsewhere in the community?

hindsight is 20/20, you know? and i agree with the pundits who say that, in our increasingly technologically savvy times, every school should have a text messaging system for their students. i agree with that. it’s the best way to notify students about cancellations, etc.  but the problem about cell phone overload is a valid concern. i don’t know what the answer is.  i think that’s the problem.

there is no answer.  because there is no logic. there is no sanity. there is no rhyme or reason to this, nothing that allows us to consider it carefully or manage our feelings about it.

there is simply visceral reactions–fear, blame, doubt, panic, grief, sadness, and shock.

i’m not going to lie.  this scares me a lot.

but i simply don’t believe that blame is going to get us anywhere.

i will be keeping the victims and their families in my prayers, but i will also add those police officers and first responders to my list.  because they are as much victims as anyone else–they, too, will have to deal with the aftermath and the questions, and, unfortunately, with the criticisms lodged by an increasingly vicious and blame-seeking 24 hour news cycle.

what has happened to our world?

2 Responses to ““the worst thing i have ever seen””

  1. did you hear the psycho “criminal profiler” or whatever woman talking about how everyone should be armed so we can all protect ourselves?! YES. let’s pass out guns TO EVERYBODY. That way when someone gets bored with the gun they were handed and decides to shoot more people there will be a billion more people ready to TAKE THEM DOWN.

    all of that makes SO MUCH SENSE.

    The world gets on my nerves sometimes.

  2. Well put.

    There will be plenty of time to review exactly what happend and what could have been done better.

    Some of the questions by the press have been absolutely classless.

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