A few thoughts about the Virgina Tech shootings.
1. Watching the news, I hear a lot of negative sentiment concerning the news media's showing of the video made by Cho. Personally, I think we are coddled, many people not wanting to see the macabre or the disturbing and the news following dutifully along. I believe we should see everything, from this idiot's manifesto to the aftermath of suicide bombings and combat in Iraq and other war zones. It seems ironic to me that a lot of the folks complaining willingly let their children watch violent movies and play violent video games. Maybe, if people saw the consequences of decisions made by their elected representatives, they might ask a few more questions before cheerleading for war and violence against others. It is also ironic we are so puritanical about the human body and depicted acts of love between two people (regardless of gender), yet have no qualms about violent images and preaching violence against others. It's time for the American people to grow up and realize what is actually important in life. You cannot begin to solve the problem if you cannot face it.
2. Regarding South Korea, I spent 3 1/2 years of my life at Osan, the closest U.S. base to the DMZ. I lived among the Korean people, choosing not to live in the barracks, but in an apartment in town. I developed friendships and learned a lot about them; how they value education and honor, their unparalleled work ethic, and their closeness of family. As a 'round-eye' they only let me in so far, but from what I'd seen, this incident will become a source of national dishonor. I doubt the Chos will ever be able to return to their homeland, their perceived sense of disgrace probably overwhelming. As someone who has a great repect, admiration, and affection for the Korean people, my heart goes out to them.
3. Cho's rampage does not reflect on South Korea, Korean-Americans, or South Korean nationals. I fear for the safety of Cho's family and Koreans in general in this country. We have too many cracker assholes here whose fear of anything different will lead to a backlash against anyone with slanty eyes. After living in Asia for years, I can't tell the difference between a Korean, Japanese, or Chinese until they speak. Most Americans don't have that depth of perception. Remember the violence directed against anyone with a turban directly after September 11th? Indian Sikhs, Africans, and others were victims of stupidity, hate, and ignorance. Let's hope this doesn't happen now.
4. The NRA and all the 2nd Amendment cheerleaders who believe anyone should be able to buy a gun, to be able to own as many as possible without restriction, can go fuck themselves. This is a classic example of how a waiting period and stricter gun control could have stopped a tragedy. There are over 200 million guns in this country, yet only 35% of households own them. It is time for licensing, federal
regulation and oversight, and accountability for gun dealers and owners (How the fuck can anyone be allowed to purchase a gun online
?). This is not the Wild West, and if you think your gun will prevent the government from taking the rest of your rights, or your home away, you are sadly mistaken. They will take what they want and leave your dead ass in your driveway if you try to stop them.
5. As for Va. Tech's campus police department. You had 2 bodies, no shooter, and you refused to lock down the campus and acted like business as usual until the main attack began. I expect the resignations of the chief and his staff. This is a matter of gross negligence and someone has to pay. This should have stopped after the first 2 kids were killed and whether the decision was made for economic reasons or just ineptitude, these people should not be allowed to continue in their positions. The parents of these children depended on the campus police to keep them safe and the ball was dropped on several occasions. The failure is unconscionable.
6. The students, faculty, and their families will
get through this. It doesn't seem so now but they will. After 9/11, as we in New York gazed at the ruins of our city, many thought we couldn't go on. Many left, more than a few came back, but we survived and the bond between New Yorkers only got stronger. We have a deep scar on our psyche that will remain forever, but we have come back stronger, better, and more optimistic than we ever have been. We are New Yorkers and, while we lost 3000 of our brothers and sisters, we know we can overcome any obstacle and endure any hardship, any curve thrown us. The Virginia Tech family is also scarred but, from what I've seen of the Hokie spirit over the past few days, they will get through this horror and be a closer family for it. It is a promise I make to them.***
I got a couple more days of vacation left and I'm gonna enjoy 'em. We're steaming for NYC and will be in on Saturday. I'll see yas after we pick up Shayna.