Virginia Tech Tragedy: Wake Up America!

Monday April 16, 2007, the day a very disturbed Virginia Tech student shot and killed 32 people, will be remembered for many things. It will be remembered as the worst case of gun violence on a school campus in American history. It will be remembered for those lost and those who were left behind. Most importantly it should be remembered as a wake up call to everyone around the country: A call to each one of us to take personal responsibility in our everyday life to spread love and goodwill to our fellow man.

The mainstream media, as predictable as ever, focussed on sensationalizing this tragedy. Their sound bite mentality and catch phrase riddled reports (ie “Massacre at Virginia Tech”) concentrated on garnering sympathy and ratings. Consequently the issues of campus police response and gun laws in the state of Virginia were emphasized with a very heavy dose of personal information about the victims. Impact upon the family members, surviving students and teachers, and their biographical information (one student “loved Nintendo”) was the focus. We watched people grieve, cry, and hold vigils.

Yet no collective social behavior was ever explored as a possible solution to these kinds of events. Here in lies a huge problem we face as a nation: gun violence apathy. Our complete and collective acceptance of gun violence as a part of American society is the status quo. People are so desensitized by the astronomical incidences of gun violence in this country, they have come to accept these events without question. If we as a society do ask questions, they always seem to focus on gun control laws, ease in purchasing guns, and the psychology behind the perpetrators.

We have reached a point in our violent history where we as a country and as individuals need to take a collective approach to creating a safer planet. On a grassroots level each one of us can and should at least attempt to spread love and care to our fellow human beings. We need to watch out for those people who display irrational behavior; we need to follow up those observations with action and a loving-caring response.

It is time to get involved. It is time to reach out to one another. We must not accept gun violence in our society. Instead we must become more tolerant, observant, caring, loving, and active in our responsibilities to each other.

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2 thoughts on “Virginia Tech Tragedy: Wake Up America!

  1. Thank you for pointing out that creating a safer planet can and must begin on a grassroots level. As a society we were successful in standing up to our resolve that we would not tolerate coverage of the brutal OJ Simpson story on how he might have killed his wife this past winter. Together we stopped publication of the announced book as well as the planned media interviews simply by stating that we would not tolerate it.

    Although stamping out violence and war on a more global standpoint may seem like more of a stretch, it begins from the very same model. As we release our energy as individuals, it can become a flow that spreads.

  2. Susan,

    Thank you for your comments. It is vital that people understand and acknowledge the power we all have to change our mindset. By doing so, we may change socially accepted behaviors. We all to often neglect this personal “choice” of change.

    I appreciate the powerful example in regards to O.J. Simpson’s sleazy attempt to cash in. We as individuals made the decision to reject Fox’s plans for this show by taking individual action. It is a fine example of grassroots individual action which as a social collective behavior had a swift and decisive impact. A collective social change. . . the power of one through individual change.

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