Thursday, April 19, 2007

Desensitized?

On Monday afternoon I headed to the gym in my office building with a colleague and saw the breaking news about the Massacre at VT. I remember stopping for a minute thinking how messed up that situation seemed, put on my ear phones and started running on the treadmill. I looked at the images on the TV screen and remembered being annoyed that they were showing the same footage over and over again. I finished my workout, showered and went back to work.

Later that evening I joined my colleagues for a work sanctioned happy hour and on my way home I just kept having that feeling that this whole incident/catastrophe was just so removed from my life. Sure it occurred four hours away and there are a gazillion VT grads in the DC metro area but I didn’t know any of them or even anyone who was there. I remembered a conversation that happened on my list serve about what type of violence/crime a neighborhood or area was used too and the shock when something equally violent and horrific occurred that wasn’t part of the general status quo. I started wondering if school shootings, mass murders were starting to be part of our general status quo and got worried.

The next morning the victims and the families of the victims started talking and expressing their grief and disbelief and it finally hit me that I too was shocked, saddened that so many lives were lost and realized that no matter what the numbers were, not matter that this shooter achieved a new US record that even one victim was one too many. Over the last few days we’ve been discussing the need for more gun control, the need for more mental health interventions and what exactly could have been done to prevent this. Hopefully we all figure it out before it just becomes the norm.

6 comments:

glory said...

let's hope we get it together. i can't fathom the loss the families of those victims are feeling.

i think it's sad that it takes death on this massive a scale to shock people nowadays. i honestly glossed over the story when it was reported in the early morning: 1 dead, 1 wounded. it wasn't until it skyrocketed to "at least 20" that i was shocked...

Nikki said...

Awful tragedy. Still can't figure out why even when it was reported years ago about his behavior, no one followed through to get this boy some help.

Jdid said...

hopefully we never fully desensitize to this stuff

The OE said...

VA Tech is bad...but think about this: People die every day in Iraq and we don't even notice anymore. Then there are those that die in Afghanistan. And then how many are wounded? Nobody knows.

It hits me every time I watch the Jim Lehrer News hour when they have a moment at the end where they show, in silence, the pictures of those who have died in the last few days.

Let's not forget Darfur where nobody really knows how many have died. And many other places in the world.

I have a lot of people in that game.

Too bad no one thought about that guy before he killed a bunch of people. Too bad there are others out there who, though non violent, are now that much more discriminated against due to a mental illness. And who still won't get help.

We spend a lot of time thinking and talking about what's in the news. I wish we would talk as much about what isn't in it.

I don't mean to minimize VA Tech, it's a tragedy. One of many that we will soon forget in favor of the next media blitz.

Luke Cage said...

We wore the VT colors at the job on Friday as a Hokie Hope day in remembrance. I have a few VT alumni at the job as well as some folks who currently have kids there. Thankfully, none of them were hurt. And Amen to what you mentioned also miss H. Especially the last sentence.

CreoleInDC said...

Sometimes I feel like we might not get it.