By David Walsh:
The Virginia Tech massacre—social roots of another American tragedy
18 April 2007
A day after the mass killing at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, along with grief and dismay, some reflections on life in the US are clearly in order.
The event was horrifying, but no one who has followed the evolution of American society over the past quarter-century will be entirely shocked.
Such psychopathic episodes, including dozens of multiple killings or attempted killings in workplaces and schools, have occurred with disturbing regularity, particularly since the mid-1980s.
A timeline assembled by the Associated Press and the School Violence Resource Center lists some 30 school and college shootings alone since 1991.
Official reaction to the Blacksburg deaths, one feels safe in predicting, will be as superficial and irrelevant as it has been in every previous case.
The appearance of George W. Bush at the convocation held on the Virginia Tech campus Tuesday afternoon was especially inappropriate.
Here is a man who embodies the worst in America, its wealthy and corrupt ruling elite.
As governor of Texas, Bush presided over the executions of 152 human beings; as president, he has the blood of thousands of Americans, tens of thousands of Afghans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis on his hands.
His administration has made unrelenting violence the foundation of its global policies, justifying assassination, secret imprisonment and torture.
Speaking of the Blacksburg killings, Bush commented: “Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Now they’re gone—and they leave behind grieving families, and grieving classmates, and a grieving nation.”
If he and his cronies were not entirely immune to the consequences of their own policies, it might strike them that they could be speaking about the masses of the dead in Iraq, who have also done “nothing to deserve their fate.”
See also here.
The arms trader where the culprit of the massacre bought his guns was interviewed on Dutch TV.
He washed his hands of any responsibility for the tragedy, saying “He could have bought the guns anywhere”.
An indictment of gun culture and gun laws in the state of Virginia.
See also here.
Virginia Tech and Bush: here.
Later shootings in the USA: here.