Tuesday, April 17, 2007

 

We Can't Always Be Prepared

The Virginia Tech tragedy has been playing non-stop on our television. Tonight, on the CBS News, I saw photos and heard the stories of some of the victims. It moved me to tears, especially the story of the professor who was a Holocaust survivor who got shot while attempting to save his students.

There are all sorts of questions about why students weren't notified and the school locked down after the first shootings. I think that it's natural for people to think about how the further shootings could have been prevented, but two hours (the amount of time between the first shootings and the first notification) is not a lot of time to figure out what happened, try to find the suspect, and compose a response that tells everyone what happened. There has also been talk of how other schools can prepare for similar situations. While this, too, is a natural response - we all want our children safe - we cannot possibly prepare for the various permutations of a mind that has gone awry. We cannot prepare for every possible disaster. What we can do is realize that whatever gets thrown our way, we will find the best way to cope while we are in it. We are remarkable in our adaptability and ingenuity.

My condolences to those touched by this incredible tragedy.

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