You know what? I'm pisssed. I've been reading some of my regular blogs and all anyone can say about the Virginia Tech killings is, "My heart goes out to those that were affected." I wasn't there. I don't know anybody who attends that school. I am affected. I AM AFFECTED. If you aren't affected by it, then where is your head? There are 32 victims dead.
One day you wake up and it's a pretty normalish day. You have a pop quiz in your Sociology 102 class, but you're comfortable with the material so it's no biggie. You're sitting next to the cute guy who also happens to be a Sociology major. It's still pretty early in the morning by college student standards so your'e not really focusing on what the teacher's saying. You heard something about picking partners for groups projects just as the cute guy next to you catches you staring at him. Luckily, he takes that as a sign that you want to be partners, so everything is okay. Just as you are told to break into groups to discuss your assignment the door bursts open and a gun starts firing. Every muscle and fiber of your entire being seizes up and you react by throwing yourself onto the floor of the class room. You knocked over a desk, but at this point, it doesn't matter. The teacher was hit and you think a student two seats away was hit as well. You can't scream or think at this point. All you want is get out of this room alive. You keep thinking how you want to apologize to your mom for being mad at her the last time you talked to her on the phone. The gun continues to thunder and echo off the walls reverberating the sound in your eardrums. You hope that you'll survive this shooting so you can ask that guy out on a date. The noise of the gun fires of several more rounds for what you're sure is hours. It's a an unending noise and panic which you can't react to. The whole time you're down on the floor and hidden behind the desk, you're praying that the next shot won't be you. You're praying that the man behind the metal, isn't looking to make the whole room red. From where you lie now, there are puddles of blood and splashes of burgundy all over the walls and floor. Tears well up in your eyes, but they're trapped as if they know that the sound will disturb the chaos.
Everything stops. Every single thing just stands still in that room for an eternity. There is no movement for minutes. When you lift your head up everything is indeed over. That final crash you heard was that man. That young, heartless man is there on the floor. You're positive it's him, even if you only got a few seconds to process his figure. You recognize the gun. Slowly, and with the effort of someone carrying an anvil, you stand. You scan the room and realize that you are the only survivor. By the grace of the powers above, you are alive. You stand there with the blood rushing to your head and the feeling in your legs giving way and realize that you are living.
The S.W.A.T. team rushes in towards you. At first they point the gun towards you until they realize the gunman lies beneath them. All you can do is stare and focus on the blood and the confusion. It all happened so quickly and so slowly that there is nothing left to process. You can't speak or breath anymore. You will never be able to erase this day and this tragedy from your mind.
So, when people say, "My heart goes out to those who were affected." I was affected. I was not there, but I was affected. 32 people died yesterday because of a madman. I don't know his story and I'm not sure that I want to. Massacres and tragedies like this are publicized for the entertainment of the Nation and the entire world. It's disgusting to think that at the time this was happening, before the second round of shootings was over, there was live footage. LIVE footage for a campus killing so big that the president of the United States of America visited to offer condolences and wisdom. Every incident prior to this is just as grotesque and tragic. Those incidents have been catalysts for people who have not learned or would not try to learn, how to express themselves. Those people can see these inwardly depressed people on television and think to themselves, "Hey, I'm having a bad time at life and I should definitely let people know it in a way that leaves a mark." These people are worthless in the sense that they think they are the only people to ever experience life in such a way. How presumptuous are you to think that you're the only person to have feelings of depression, anxiety, or isolation in a world with millions and millions of people.
I am hurting for these students, faculty, family, and friends that have to feel this situation first-hand. It saddens me to think we live in a world where schools are no longer miniature sanctuaries. You can't look over your shoulder ever time you heard a loud noise, but who knows what's going to happen next. Nobody knows. Bottom line here...give all you've got to every person you meet. There is absolutely not sense in trying to hold a piece of you back or trying to act superior because you feel you should. Who knows what would have happened if this guy had made some genuine friends and found out that people care about people? Who knows? Do you know?