Killer wins, brutality overshadows tragedy
April 20, 2007
After the tragic events at Virginia Tech., conversations filled the campus, including our newsroom, questioning what would happen if something like that occurred here at UW-River Falls. As we took the time to look closely at the issue at hand, we realized that it is not simply a problem that happened in Virginia, but rather a growing trend of horrific incidents, all tied to the current college-aged generation.
When the shootings at Columbine took place, the age of the killers matched those of the current university upperclassman; they were juniors and seniors in high school, and so were we.
Now, we’re at the end of our education and so was Cho Seung-Hui, the student at Virginia Tech. who went on a shooting rampage on Monday.
What is wrong with our generation that we feel the need to express ourselves through violence and anger? It seems that in the society today, pressure and stress build greater than ever before, but that pressure is also proportional to the amount that individuals expect to get.
We live in a greedy society where children carry cell phones before they reach the age of 10 and adults of every age spend $600 to buy the latest great videogame system. Aside from material items, punishment for any wrongdoing is lax. Even if a plan is not mapped out for us, we all expect to graduate, get a job and have a fairytale ending. Unfortunately there is not a magical ending for every human being. For some, their lives are taken from them; for others, the path is simply not headed in a positive direction.
At Virginia Tech. there were 32 victims. Those 32 students and faculty lost their lives because of one man’s greed. His name and his actions will unfortunately live in infamy — this is just what he wanted.
After Columbine and 9/11, the United States banded together to grieve as a solid unit. Everyone seemed to jump onto the proverbial bandwagon in order to support the families who lost loved ones and to feel sadness over the idea of each tragic event. Today, it seems the majority of the country has hopped on the bus again. The more we express our shock and anger, the closer we get to letting Cho get exactly what he wanted.
By constantly talking about the incident, we are overshadowing the actual event that took place Monday. Maybe we shouldn’t spend all this time ranting over the actions of a cowardly human being, but instead spend the time in these many conversations reminiscing about the amazing lives that victims lived.
The bright side to this tragedy may be draped in a dark shadow, but there is one there. It is up to us, people removed from a situation like this to grieve for Va. Tech. in our hearts, but to keep in mind the most important aspect of the whole ordeal — the victims. Don’t let the bad guy win.