Tuesday, April 17, 2007

If I had my druthers, I would never have to hear the name or see the face of the lunatic responsible for the murders at Va Tech. I would never have to read about his writings, never have to hear of the classmates who thought he was crazy or depressed, never have to hear his neighbor's impressions of him, never have to hear his parents talk about what he was like as a kid, and never have to listen to psychologists and profilers ramble on about what makes someone do something like this.

I would much rather hear the story of Liviu Librescu, the Holocaust survivor and Virginia Tech professor who blocked the doors to his classroom to give his students a chance to escape. Or the story of Ryan Clark, the dorm's resident advisor and one of the first victims, who was shot trying to keep things from escalating. Or the story of the other kids and professors who were shot yesterday. I would much rather hear of what they were like, what their dreams and aspirations were, how much they were loved by their families and how much they'll be missed by their families, friends and fellow students.

But just as more of the country can recognize the names and pictures of the two crazies who murdered their classmates at Columbine, and just as more of the country can pick out the pictures of the 9/11 terrorists than they can pick out the picture of a single one of the victims of that day, so too will most of the country soon be able to recognize the name and picture of the lunatic responsible for yesterday's tragedy more than they'll recognize the name or picture of any of those killed or wounded yesterday.

I don't care about the killer. I don't want to hear about him. And I wish more people - and in particular, those in charge of the web sites and newspapers who are at this very minute plastering the murderer's picture on their web sites and on the front pages of tomorrow's paper - felt that way. But for some reason I can't even begin to understand, people want to hear about the killer.

It is just one more thing I regret... that we as a country pay more attention to those who do the killing than those who were killed. What a warped sense of values we have.