The consistently brilliant Mark Steyn's piece in National Review is a good place to start analyzing what really happened at Virginia Tech, and why. The first line should indicate to you that it is a provocative must-read:
"I haven’t weighed in yet on Virginia Tech — mainly because, in a saner world, it would not be the kind of incident one needed to have a partisan opinion on."
Of course, he's right.
Steyn takes the media (including - gasp - Fox News) to task for its characterization of many of Cho Seung-hui's victims as "children." However, because of America's culture of prolonged adolescence, the victims were not "adult" enough to respond appropriately when confronted by danger. From Steyn:
"We should be raising [our sons and daughters] to understand that there will be moments in life when you need to protect yourself — and, in a 'horrible' world, there may come moments when you have to choose between protecting yourself or others. It is a poor reflection on us that, in those first critical seconds where one has to make a decision, only an elderly Holocaust survivor, Professor Librescu, understood instinctively the obligation to act."
Second, Steyn addresses the idea of "protection" - of course, the implication is that protection does not come from oneself (say, for instance, by lawfully carrying a concealed weapon), but through institutions...in this case, the school itself, but, on a much larger scale, the government. Naturally, constant protection provided by big government from danger is impossible, though many in the media fail to see that. Steyn uses a 9/11 comparison story to illustrate his point:
"The only good news of [September 11] came from the passengers who didn’t meekly follow the obsolescent 1970s hijack procedures but who used their wits and acted as free-born individuals."
Despite the fact that many of us have been on a heightened sense of alert since the September 11th attacks, tragedies like those at Virginia Tech prove that we are still vulnerable - deadly so. By ensuring our freedoms and constitutional rights both on and off campus, we will naturally offer better protection for ourselves and others.
Mot of those victims were helpless (with no way to defend themselves) and hopeless (with no idea how to respond to an emergency of this magnitude). Many are pointing to this article in the Roanoke Times as proof that the 2nd Amendment can be thrown out the window on campus - it's a shame that a tragedy such as this will provoke discussion concerning our rights as U.S. citizens, rights that should have been protected all along.
Morbid quote from the article:
"Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. 'I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.'"
Nothing could be further from the truth.