By staff writer Nathan DeGraaf
April 18, 2007
Nathan: Where is Virginia Tech, anyway?
Doug: It’s that place where thirty people got murdered, today.
Every April 20th, I drink at least one toast to Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, the misguided nutbags who used excuses of being mistreated in high school (wow, now that’s a unique situation) as their reason to kill thirteen or so people (I hate research). Whenever I offer this toast up, many people refuse to join me, and those who do, do so only because they are curious about why I would toast those two little monsters. Many of my would-be toast-ees ask me why I would want to propose a toast to Klebold and Harris.
I usually tell them, “Every now and again, you gotta pay homage to the monsters who remind us just how easy it is to be a monster.”
That is, when I don’t tell said people to take a flying leap.
It is too easy to succumb to Evil and Crazy, though. It’s far too easy to grow up without really respecting life or caring about people—it happens to more people than you think. In fact, I would venture to guess that every one of us on this planet could, for whatever reasons, conceivably snap and start killing people.
“We are, for better or for worse, human. We buy PT Cruisers, drink well whiskey, and get in knife fights.”
I don’t know why this is. I have no evidence to back this up. Not empirical evidence anyway. But I have met a lot of people. And most of them sucked. (And I like people.) So from that I jump over three levels of logical thought and arrive at the half-assed conclusion that you and everyone you know probably could one day snap and strangle someone with a toaster cord. It’s happened before.
And that’s what makes what happened in Virginia Tech so very sad. It was an utterly pointless shooting. A lashing, evil way to end your time here on planet Earth. It’s like a rabid animal gnawing apart its babies and abandoning them on a rush-hour hosting freeway. It’s sick. And not in the good way.
If you don’t know, Monday, Virginia Tech played host to some murderous creature’s fantasies. Many college students were killed, less were injured (which proves, to me anyway, that this creature knew how to use a gun) and it will probably take a while before we find out why.
As I write this, it’s 9:58 PM on the East Coast, and we still don’t know why this murderous rampage took place. We’llprobably never know why. But people will ask. They’ll ask over and over again. Some for the rest of their lives.
Oh yes, people will be asking why.
But “why” doesn’t really matter, anyway. Why won’t heal families and friends, Why won’t save lives, and Why won’t prevent something like this from happening again. We are, for better or for worse, human. And humans screw up. They buy PT Cruisers, drink well whiskey, and get in knife fights. Sometimes, humans even short circuit and kill people. It happens.
And when it happens, the resulting mass media frenzy always focuses on how the powers that be screwed up and what can be done to prevent this from ever happening again. But that’s so fucking pointless that I cry a little inside every time I read or watch coverage of tragedies.
After Columbine, many schools in America adopted policies of No Tolerance. (I have no idea what that means, but it makes the high school experience sound like zero fun.) But shootings continued in high school. The fact of the matter is, no matter what we do, we’re not gonna erase Evil and Crazy. It cannot be done. It’s like trying to ban gambling and sex. The Natural Law of Mostly Men would not allow it. Evil and Crazy are not preventable. At least, not by policies of No Tolerance and by any police force. Evil and Crazy are unfortunate and they are sad. And Unfortunate, Sad, Evil and Crazy don’t give a shit about policies or how much tolerance any group permits.
Truly then, the only way we can even pretend to attempt to try to stop both Evil and Crazy is by understanding one another, having some compassion, and maybe working to understand our differences so we can create a society that enjoys and respects each other. I mean, that won’t stop Evil and Crazy from happening or anything, but I think it would make it a hell of a lot easier to enjoy this chunk of spinning clay.
And that’s really what life should all be about anyway, right?
Don’t answer that.
My condolences to all the friends and families of those injured in this massacre. I have nothing to say that will help you in this trying time so I’ll just give y’all the same advice my father would give me when something bad happened to me growing up. I hope this helps but I know it won’t.
“Keep your chin up.”