Thursday, April 19, 2007

Watching and Listening

I think the various reactions to the memorial service and how the whole situation on campus at Virginia Tech has been handled is so interesting. I've read lots of criticism of the cheerleading chanting of the students. The way I look at it, it is the way of young people to bond together. The common bond is their school. School pride is huge at Virginia Tech and the atmosphere, from what I have learned is one of family and camaraderie. I wasn't surprised about spontaneous school chanting breaking out at these large gatherings.

Now, the Muslim representative and his behavior on the stage? I still feel offended by that. Doesn't matter to me if I am the only one, if I'm not being sensitive enough to some kind of cultural behavior. Diversity and various ideas and expressions of faith are good. I don't happen to believe, however, that one culture is entitled to special behavior. The service wasn't a funeral. The religious speakers were not delivering prayers or eulogies. They were offering words of condolence. The service was in a large arena, not a religious building. It was public and for everyone. A common courtesy among all of the clergy would have been a good show of unity.

I sure don't need lectures on diversity and tolerance. I've lived around this country and out of it. I live in a very large city. This city is surpassed in diverse populations only by New York City. Maybe. Anyone here for any length of time knows that. My son goes to a large public high school. His group of friends are like a rainbow coalition. I think that is a good thing. It is a reason we sent him there. It is the real world. It is America. There is no other country like us in the world. In times of stress, in good times, my son's teachers end announcements with the phrase, "Go, Wolves!". And, they do that for parents messages on the phone, too. It's the bond, the connection.

I'm turning off the news today. I will not endure any more of the blatant ratings grabs by the networks showing this killer's videos over and over again. NBC decided to air the 'edited' versions of some. The others followed. Law enforcement in Virginia said they are sorry for that editorial decision. They feel the families deserve to have their raw emotions better respected. I see where AP has gone after the killer's sister, a contract employee at the State Department. They are hounding her for interviews. That is despicable behavior.

The back and forth of the gun control issue will continue. The spewing of rhetoric from those wishing to alter the Second Amendment is too much for me to listen to anymore. If it's ok for the celebs to have armed bodyguards for themselves and their loved ones, like Rosie O'Donnell, a woman so filled with hate I feel sorry for her, then they are not to be acknowledged when they purport to deny the same to others. There is no amount of gun control that would have averted this killer from the campus that day. His plan was made well in advance. He was not going to be stopped. He chose a gun free zone, a campus, as he knew the others would not be able to defend themselves. That's what cowards do.

Don't misunderstand. I'm not a gun person. I don't know how to use one and don't plan to learn. I will, however, stand with anyone wanting to own them. It is a basic right established by the founding fathers. Our country was founded by men wanting to break away from royal rule. Europeans do not have our second amendment rights as they were never allowed to bear arms. The royal ruling class were far too scared of its people to allow that. Comparing America and Europe in this instance is comparing apples and oranges. The reaction in European press about this tragedy was predictably obnoxious. Blame the idiot Americans and their love of guns, they do. Let's not forget who they turn to when times are tough. Who saves their ass? The Americans.

Another timely example of the problems with gun control? The mayor of Nagasaki Japan was murdered two days ago at the hands of a gunman. A mobster, the killer was described as in news reports. Japan has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. They are simply not allowed in private hands.

The bad guys will always find a way to get them. And use them.


Paul is a Hermit said...

The more people qualified to carry a firearm the better. There will always be unfortunate accidents by firearms or cars but the chance of me walking up the center of a mall killing indiscriminately and running up the numbers if people are armed most likely will be curtailed.

The opposite is to remove firearms from everyone except one person, like Va. Tech. and the results are evident.
It's simplistic perhaps but I prefer the first scenario. At least there's a chance.

School spirit is the way students relate most to each other, they were only trying to show that bond with the dead and injured. It's all they had together, the religious and non-religious.

srp said...

Today, the only ones who deserved criticism is NBC... to air that filth with a straight face saying it was edited and just to get insight....

Those kids, those parents don't need insight right now, they don't need to be terrorized again. They certainly don't need an evil man's rantings and and his accusations.

Evil should not have a platform.

AC said...

Amen! To your post and Paul and srp too.

Beverly said...

Let them chant! They need to feel that unity. Being here in Virginia has been awe filling. I need to buy a VT shirt.