Horrific School Violence Leaves Question, Concern in its Wake
> 4/17/2007 10:29:12 AM

In the wake of the tragic events yesterday at Virginia Tech, we must all now come to terms with the nation's deadliest mass shooting. In reading about the most recent evidence, it appears that the two incidents were in fact the work of the same shooter, who has now been identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old student from South Korea. Very little information has been released about what transpired as police are still investigating.

Perhaps the most difficult question to ask or answer at this point is why. What could bring someone to the point where they kill 32 other human beings? As Dr. Lily Hung wrote earlier here in response to previous school violence, there are no easy answers to those questions. Police have encountered trouble in finding information about this most recent shooter. They've described him as a "loner," something that has been said of earlier school shooters.

By all accounts, the school, county and state of Virginia have acted as quickly as possible to establish counseling services and to begin to foster what will surely be a long recovery process. For the rest of us, we need to make sure that this is a topic that we can discuss openly. This event illustrates how any of our lives can be effected by gun violence, and now especially in the wake of this tragedy, it is important to be vigilant for others who might take a cue from this incident and copy what they have seen. Now that he has been identified, we can expect to see Cho's picture in every conceivable media outlet, and that kind of exposure can certainly seem like a positive result to others who have contemplate these kinds of horrendous acts. While it may seem trite, it can't be stressed enough just how unacceptable this type of outcome is, but only through increased awareness, something that should come easily in these difficult weeks and months of recovery, can we hope to avoid similar tragedies in the future.

Our thoughts will be with the members of the Blacksburg community and all those whose lives have been touched by this tragedy.

UPDATE: Newsweek has published a story about the struggle to come to terms with the hows and the whys. It's a worthwhile read.

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