Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Horrifying Violence

My reaction to the violent and unnecessary deaths at Virginia Tech is literally visceral. It makes me feel like throwing up. I can barely wrap my mind around it.

In a place where young people should feel so safe, should be focused on the laws of physics, or learning critical thinking skills, or discussing Shakespeare, or learning lab procedures, they shouldn’t have to worry about a random, psychotic gunman. It occurs to me that he has a higher kill rate than any suicide bomber has attained. He successfully escaped after the first round and went on to trap and claim the lives of a huge number of victims.

Irrelevant questions come to mind – How do you shoot so many people with such lethal accuracy under chaotic conditions? What motivates a young person to kill so many, at random?

And I am reminded that our friends to the north in Iraq live with this same random, chaotic violence every day of their lives, not knowing if husbands will come home safely, if children will survive their day at school, if Mom will survive her trip to the market. Where do you find hope?

April 17, 2007 - Posted by | Community, Counter-terrorism, Crime, Cross Cultural, Family Issues, Living Conditions, News, Social Issues, Spiritual


  1. I can not transfer my feelings into words, such a night mare ! why would someone kill poor inoccent people in cold blood ? it must be really horrifying to even think that this thing can happen anywhere anytime !!
    As you said dear, these killings are happening everyday in Iraq but sadly no one is doing any thing to stop it ,…
    i still remember a several months ago when in almustansiirya university in bagdad a suicide bomber killed more than 100 students while they were leaving the university.

    Today the state department of the US announced that the incedent was NOT an act of terrorism …..
    To tell youthe truth i was really annoyed and frustrated at this statement,,
    I mean does an attrociety have to be done by an arab/moslim to be considered an act of terror??? what does the state department consider this to be ? an act of peace ? i really dont know what they wanted by this statement… terrorism is not limitted to Arabs or Muslims, terror knows no religion and it knows no creed!
    I really wish they would somehow sink it into there thick skulls !!
    At the end only the famillies of the poor students carry their grief,, as for us, we move on ..

    Comment by Abdulaziz | April 17, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hmmm. Abdulaziz, you are right. It was an act of terrorism. I hadn’t thought of that; I guess I tend to think of terrorism in international terms, but you are right, it is basic terrorism. What a waste.

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 17, 2007 | Reply

  3. really really sad..

    Comment by EniGma | April 17, 2007 | Reply

  4. And this terrible event happened so close to the date of the Oklahoma bombings on 19/4 some 12 years ago…

    People die in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine in scores. But sadly, the world media controls what we see of the actual violence and how much we are exposed to on a daily basis. The violent killings and deaths have become so expected that they are treated with a casual mention: “a car bomb has exploded in….”

    What makes the Virginia Tech killings different is that this was a totally unexpected set up for a massacre. It is very, very sad indeed and as with all such killings, utterly inane.

    But what is even sadder are all the racist remarks and foul name calling that have appeared on the Internet as a result of this terrible event. The level of racism in the US stuns me, even now. Instead of looking at the perpetrator as a sick person or a criminal acting on his own, they attribute it to his race or his nationality.

    Comment by jewaira | April 17, 2007 | Reply

  5. Truly sad.. Such events make you count your blessings just to see the light of the day and pray for those who dont.. it puts things in perspective.. even though the end could be so painful and so unjustified.. its a reminder that we must be hopeful for its the lack of hope that lays at the root of those carnages..

    Comment by bu ziyad | April 17, 2007 | Reply

  6. EniGma – so so sad, and so so unnecessary. It breaks my heart when young people die, with their whole lives in front of them.

    Jewaira – You are right, and also one day away from the horrifying massacre at Columbine High School. Today’s news says the gunman bought the gun and ammuntion back in March, so it has taken some planning.

    Racism in the United States? No kidding. It seems to be a defining nature of human beings (she says with a great sigh)

    And, it occurs to me, as I read your comments, and Abdulaziz’s, and Bu ziyad, that terrorism, suicide bombings, violent actions – stem as much from despair as anger. Bu Ziyad hit the nail on the head.

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 18, 2007 | Reply

  7. When I was growing up there was a similar act of terror (thanks for pointing out the appropriate application of this category, Abdulaziz) at the University of Iowa.

    A Chinese graduate student in physics who had been struggling opened fire in the science office, killing 9, I think, and leaving those who survived either paralyzed or permanently injured.

    It scarred Iowa City deeply, both university students and the many “civilians” whose work lives were intertwined with the university. And it scarred Iowans generally, to think that such violence could erupt in our placid state.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | April 18, 2007 | Reply

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