In the face of a tragedy as monumental in both its scope and senselessness, it is only human to want to think that it could have been prevented. At this point, I am hearing more of that from the left. Doesn't this support a call for more gun control? But what - other than the total elimination of firearms - would have helped? There was nothing about the killer or the gun that he bought that was in anyway extraordinary.
While eliminating the private ownership of firearms might make us safer, it strikes me as impossible. There are too many guns in circulation.
Someone, we hear, should have reached out to Cho and helped him. But someone tried. We have generally abandoned the notion of involuntary commitment and mental health treatment in the absence of a crime or the most unambiguous demonstration of imminent harm. It was seen as a civil rights issue. Should we reverse course?
The most fatuous statement is probably from Sen. Barack Obama who somehow managed to equate mass murder with outsourcing. While I'll blog more on his statement in Milwaukee later, Obama takes the concept of violence, equates it with things that he does not like and then argues that we are a "violent country" that cannot see the way in which we are connected to each other. We are left to conclude that this is what we get.
Although we could debate whether the US overemphasizes individuality over the collective, this is just thumbsucking.
On the right, we are going to hear calls for expanded concealed carry and it is certainly possible that, had someone in Norris Hall been armed, the death toll would have been lower. But the likelihood that someone will happen to have a gun at the time and place when a rare event like this takes place is too remote to influence policy. If concealed carry is a good idea, it is not because it will prevent mass murder.
The reality is that, on this side of the fall, we cannot live in a world without danger or evil. There will always be sorrow.
And there will always be, as we see in Blacksburg, great love and heroism in the face of that sorrow.