Questions arise from tragedy at Va. Tech

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Questions arise from tragedy at Va. Tech

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<b>In wake of tragedy, nation is encouraged to focus on heroic victims of school shooting</b>

By: Megan Cox
Posted: 4/20/07

A great atrocity occurred in Blacksburg on the morning of April 16. Cho Seung-Hui, a Korean-born English major at Virginia Tech, shot 62 students and teachers, killing 32 people, wounding 29 and leaving an entire nation in shock and mourning.

Many people question how and why a single deranged individual could so proficiently commit "the deadliest rampage in American history." Did the university perform all of its duties to secure the safety of its students? Could a better response have saved any lives? How is the media handling this tragedy? What actions is the president taking? Could gun control laws have prevented this tragedy? Who was Cho Seung-Hui, and why did he commit these murders?

Details are now trickling in about the young murderer. In an English class, he wrote plays full of grotesque violence. The playwriting professor and the English department had sought help for the young man. He was detached and troubled. He was admitted to a mental institution in late 2005. Possibly the most disturbing piece of the twisted psychological puzzle is that Seung-Hui sent a multimedia package to NBC News between the killings in the dorm and the massacre in the classrooms.

It is too soon, both temporally and emotionally, to delve into all of the issues this tragedy presents. Of course, that a man like Seung-Hui should have such ready access to firearms is disturbing, and that the media is turning a profit by running such intense coverage of the tragedy is indeed unnerving. However, all these questions will pale in comparison to the introspection of human nature that follows such atrocities caused by a single man.

There is evil in our midst. Some things, some acts, some people, are so horrible as to merit the use of that overused epithet. Whether people are born into it or are brought into it, whether it is caused by neglect or ridicule, whether it festers or can be cured, there can be little denying that it does surface in our society. One man can come to embody evil in our lives. One man has ended dozens of lives and wreaked havoc on many others. One deeply troubled man can control our lives, drowning us in fear and sorrow.

Yet, as we weep over the acts of one disturbed man, we must resist the temptation to gloss over all of humanity as grotesque and depraved. We do have a great capacity for ordinary heroism.

Doctor Liviu Librescu was a Romanian-born Holocaust survivor. When the gunman tried to storm his classroom, Librescu blocked the door with his body and told his students to flee. At least nine of his students were able to jump out of the window to safety because of Librescu&#39;s actions. Librescu died a hero.

Ryan Clark was a jovial psychology major, a member of the Virginia Tech Band and a Resident Advisor in the West Ambler Johnson dorm. He was killed when he came to the aid of another student being attacked by Seung-Hui. Clark, too, died a hero.

Every time we think we&#39;ve reached our capacity as human beings, we need only look at the actions of others to realize that capacity might well be limitless. Heroes exist in everyday life. When put to the test, these people shine. They remind us of the good we all possess, of our capacity to do right even in the face of evil. We must remember to focus on the good of the heroes rather than the evil of the killer in the wake of this tragic event.

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Original Source: <a href=http://media.www.thehullabaloo.com/media/storage/paper958/news/2007/04/20/Views/Questions.Arise.From.Tragedy.At.Va.Tech-2873511.shtml> The Hullabaloo - April 20, 2007</a>

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Megan Cox

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2007-08-08

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Sara Hood

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"Dickson, Drew D." <ddickson@tulane.edu>

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eng

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Megan Cox, "Questions arise from tragedy at Va. Tech," in The April 16 Archive, Item #946, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/946 (accessed October 23, 2014).