Harlingen, Texas, April 18, 2007: There were words of healing. There were words of remembrance. There was a candlelight vigil. Three days into the massacre, the story still filled every news program to the exclusion of other national and international events.
Everything on the air, online, and in print was heartbreaking. Most of it was also sensationalized and filled with political undertones. Leading print publications used the blood bath of innocent lives as a platform to revisit the subject of guns in America. Thus, by these means we have come to know about the mass murders of 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech, the wounding of many others and the suicide of their killer.
The nation has witnessed an unfathomable tragedy, yet the Wall Street Journal started its April 17 article, “The massacre at Virginia Tech cranks up the debate over whether U.S. gun ownership laws are too lax.”
The San Francisco Chronicle in its April 18 edition reads, “The Virginia Tech massacre may reignite a national debate over gun control...”
Even overseas, publication such as London’s Guardian Unlimited wrote yesterday, “The Virginia Tech shootings sparked criticism of U.S. gun control laws around the world...”
The same tone and agenda driven comments were heard on the major television and radio news broadcasts. Instead of addressing the issue of pain and suffering felt by those left behind, media taskmasters again broke out their gun control playbook.
Why can’t those who are charged with reporting significant events in this country and abroad deal with the painful subject of the hour, which is lives of promise, lives of dedication, lives of hope, love and happiness are gone or forever changed because of the acts of a single madman.
As our national media race to rekindle another debate on the issue of gun control, they fail to pause and reflect on what really happened. People were killed and others were wounded, not because of guns, but because a lone individual suffered from an extreme mental breakdown. In his state of mind, two handguns were selected to vent his rage on the world. It could just as easily been a truckload of fertilizer, as was the case in Oklahoma, when an entire government building and dozens upon dozens of its occupants were destroyed.
This is not a time to be talking about laws and guns. It is a time to shed tears for all the fallen. Perhaps in the grief of a university, a state, and yes, even a nation, we can find a way to regain a sense of humanity for all.