Archives - Learning From Virginia Tech: Page 3
Author: Thrty2Mars (Tue May 01, 2007 8:44 pm)
Title: The Backlash
The terrible shooting at Virginia Tech incited widespread panic regarding the safety of our colleges and universities here in the U.S. Like clockwork, our politicians could be found on any and all media channels spewing lies of reform and change that is so desperately needed. The truth is, they don't really know what this country needs, or they don't care. They don't care because it won't affect their re-election bid as long as they play it smart in the aftermath of major catastrophes. Take Hurricane Katrina for example. President Bush was bereted from all angles for not responding quickly enough to the disaster. Is it his fault that FEMA was unprepared for such a strong storm? Certainly not, as we wouldn't expect any president to have been involved in areas of our government on such a micro level. Yet he was largely blamed when rescue efforts lingered, and his own arrival was slow to occur. If he had been on site the day after Katrina made landfall, preaching about how severely we miscalculated our rescue preparedness and how he is going to institute a committee investigation into where our efforts broke down, he would have been spared much of the backlash he received. Now I ask you, does his presence immediately after the storm change anything? Does it mean less people lose their homes, lives, belongings, etc? Of course not, but it's politics. So what happens when we have a school shooting? Our elected officials rush for the nearest microphone and TV camera to tell the American public what needs to be done. Politicians; always telling us what we should have been doing AFTER something terrible occurs, instead of taking the time and energy to prevent it in the first place. Hindsight truly is 20/20.
Should we reform gun control laws because of Cho Seung-Hui’s actions? Perhaps, but that doesn't mean we should constrict the laws only for immigrants simply because he and his family were from another country. To do this illustrates another large problem facing America today. We always, ALWAYS attempt to fight problems with ill-conceived plans of reform. In the wake of the Columbine shooting, high schools across the nation issued identification cards to their students. These were to be worn at all times on campus: during class, walking the halls, even at lunch time. Some schools actually refused to allow entrance to the cafeteria without identification. Is this a proper response to the school shootings? Does it really contribute to the safety of our students? Or does an identification card on every student simply make it easier to identify the bodies once something terrible has occurred? We all need to take a minute to evaluate how we respond to bad situations. Yes, what Cho Seung-Hui did was irreprehensible, and shouldn't have been so easy to accomplish. But with that said, there is very little stopping someone from grabbing a gun, walking into their local supermarket, and opening fire. Chances are they would kill more that 33 people too. Does that mean Publix and Winn Dixie should post body guards outside every store, and frisk each customer before allowing them to enter? Taking time to evaluate the true underlying factors that contribute to these acts of cruelty will allow us to implement sound intermediary efforts. We should all consider what could have been done to avoid the Virginia Tech shooting, but we should not forget the futility of actions without logical analysis. Unintended consequences can sometimes be equally harmful to our society.