Friday, April 20, 2007

processing vtech

It's been a busy week in my technology world, and only today am I beginning to come to terms with the gravity of the Virginia Tech shooting and what it means for our society.

"The scene was something these experienced officers had never witnessed. As they entered each room, they asked the students to hold out their hands, show that they had no weapons, and then led those who could walk down the stairs and outside. But there were so many bodies. Blood everywhere, pieces of flesh. The shooter himself, with a gun lying nearby, was almost unrecognizable, a face destroyed. And the innocent victims did not just have bullet wounds, the police would recount later, but were riddled with bullets, gushing blood. The scene was so emotionally overwhelming that many officers could not hold back tears even as they went about their business."

There's not much I can add to the gravity of the scene described in the above text, so I won't even try.

Thoughts are beginning to formulate in my active-unconscious mind regarding how this event:

  • affects our sense of security
  • fuels both gun control advocates and opponents
  • draws scrutiny, criticism, and hopefully improvement to our mental health system and overall mental health awareness
  • encourages us to rethink our public and private safety
  • encourages us to rethink our humanity in the age of isolation, technology, and connected anonymity (word has it that some of Cho's attempts at human connection were in the form of IM correspondence with women that degraded into harassment and/or stalking).

Other stuff comes to mind, though, including a sign I see in town for an exhibit in Los Angeles, "In Violence, We Forget Who We Are," a title inspired from a Mary McCarthy quote. I haven't even seen the exhibit, but these words haunt me. Not sure why. Maybe a thought will solidify later.

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