Monday, February 18, 2008

Yet Again, a Nation Mourns

Up until this past thursday, Valentine's Day, at approximately 3:03 pm, some of my fellow IVCC students and I were scheduled to go tomorrow on a campus visit at Northen Illinois University in Dekalb, IL.  At that time, I was arriving at my job, preparing to co-facilitate a children's counceling group at the domestic violence shelter at which I'm employed.  It's a difficult but rewarding job in which I do my best to do what I can to help end the cycle of violence in these children's lives.  

Little did I know, at that very moment, only an hour and twenty minutes north of me Hell's fury was being released on a lecture hall full of innocent and unsuspecting college students.  A kicked in door, a blaze of bullets, and it was over.  Students barely had time to register that the scene that had just played out before thier eyes was real.  The shocking horror of seeing five of thier fellow students senselessly murdered burned into thier memories, destined to haunt them well into old age.

Another campus shooting had occurred, not even a year after the Virginia Tech Massacre. Across the state and the nation these bright, young souls are being mourned. People, young and old, are scratching thier heads and asking themselves how this could have possibly happened again. They are thinking of loved ones, of friends, of themselves...wondering if they will be next. They contemplate ways in which this can be prevented. Stiffer gun control? Metal detectors? Better mental health care? The proposals are endless, the solutions are few.

So what can we do?

We can hold our loves ones a little bit tighter. We can smile at a stranger a little more often. We can make just a little bit more of an effort to reach out, open our hearts and our minds, and embrace those that are troubled. Perhaps that is the key to preventing future massacres.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the NIU school shootings.

1 comment:

JDS (from TPF) said...

Such a tragic, senseless event! You asked in this blog entry what we could do..

While I am a believer that general acts of kindness can go a long way, there will still be those who are so twisted or messed up in their mind that will 'snap' and will choose to harm others - no one can change that decision process.

What I personally do to prevent things like this is to arm myself. Most states (I'm not 100% sure of Illinois) issue concealed weapons permits to those who apply to and complete a training course. This way, general citizens can legally choose to protect themselves from those who would do harm.

It is sad that we have to make that choice, for sure, but if someone intends to do harm to me, my family or loved ones, I simply refuse to just stand by and let them.

I wanted to keep this short and not make it sound like a big essay, and I hope that I have succeeded in keeping this comment from sounding 'extreme' or provocative. I honestly wanted to get the idea out there since it wasn't mentioned. I'd be curious of your thoughts on it. If you get time, a good read on the whole idea can be found here: