I haven’t weighed in on this before because…well, frankly, the blogosphere and the freakin’ airwaves are blanketed with babbling about Monday’s unspeakable horror at VA Tech.
But here goes.
I’ve been listening to what seems like a building chant of "Where were the cops?" "Where was the university administration?" "How could they let this happen?"
Forgive me, but it appears that the lawyer’s chorus is forming a line, preparing their opening salvos in what will surely be a rising river of legal wrangling aimed to determine who to "blame" for the deaths of 33 people. Including Cho Seung-Hui, whose actions should be reviled, but whose humanity we all share.
How do things like this happen? How does anything happen? It just…does. Blaming the cops, the university’s administration, the counseling center, or the gun store where Cho bought the weapons is useless. Insanity is one of those things that happen, and what sets that in motion is often invisible to all but the person who tips into madness.
In this instance, it appears as though others noticed that Cho was more that a little nuts – it sounds like the kid was profoundly disturbed. But if his own family tried to "look on the bright side" (translation: take a really long trip down that river in Egypt and totally ignore a child’s mental illness), how can we be surprised that the rest of the kid’s world was struggling to cope with his behavior?
Rather than looking for "someone" to blame, how about we ALL take responsibility? Every single damn one of us. Every time someone we deal with exhibits signs of mental illness, how about we call attention to it in a meaningful way?
Cho’s room-mates tried, but they’re too young to have acquired the knowledge and confidence to essentially throw a net over a disturbed kid BEFORE that kid grabs a gun and goes on a rampage.
Here’s the really BIG lesson we can all learn from Monday’s tragedy @ VA Tech – live every single day as if it were your last.