One of the things that seems to have been forgotten in the Va. Tech shootings is that this is their tragedy, not ours. This may be a story of some national interest, but in the end, this tragedy has been suffered by the students, their families, and others directly associated with these shootings.
It is not about gun control, it is not about what the students and university should or shouldn't have done, it is about a tragedy, a local tragedy.
I understand that there's national interest, but can some one tell me how having CNN personalities (or Fox or NBC or whoever) poking around the campus, doing standups, and interviewing students really benefits anyone?
There has been the despicable "the students should have fought back" editorial angle from some on the right (nothing like national syndication to prop up your survivor's guilt), and a rather quick and tasteless appropriation of the tragedy by gun control advovates on the left.
There has been the bizarre fetishization of the killer, his history, and his video. (We're not going to understand why. The killer may not understand the real why. The coverage of the video is merely digging around in his rationalizations, not the real why.)
But in the end, the cameras and lights are going to leave Virginia Tech in a week or two, and the students and professors are going to be left alone with this tragedy.
This was not a reality show. This was a horrible thing that will haunt many of these people for the rest of their lives. Even decades from now, when those bizarre killer fetishization shows on cable worship these killings the way they do Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, or Charles Whitman, those close to this tragedy will have to witness themselves at 20 years old, in shock, trying to make some sense of all this on camera in front of a national audience.
We had no right to do this.
Today we start the funerals, and the cameras will be there, too.
This was their tragedy, and we did not keep a repectful distance.