Today a lone gunman killed 32 people (including his best shot, himself) and injured 28 at Virginia Tech, making it the second worse school-related mass murder in US history. Number one on the list is still the 1927 Bath School Disaster, followed by the 1999 Columbine Massacre and finally the 1966 Whitman Tower Shootings at the University of Texas. Being a veteran of the Columbine Massacre media frenzy (the shooting was less than 20 miles from my house) here is a list of things you can expect to happen in the next year:
- Local news media will interview individuals that had no involvement in the event save that they were enrolled at the school at the time said event occurred. Most normal family and friends close to the victims will grieve in private rather than talk to guys like Geraldo.
- Comparisons will run rampant between similar school shooting tragedies. Most news agencies will lead in tonight’s broadcast with, “Only four days away from the eighth anniversary of the Columbine Massacre…”
- An analytical breakdown of the killer’s lifestyle habits including what video games he played, what music he listened to, what books he read, what movies he watched and how disturbing his writing was on his Blog/MySpace page. Armchair psychologists will then diagnose the killer with a host of disorders that would have indicated he was going to commit mass murder sometime in the near future.
- The authorities will be blamed for not responding fast enough or for covering something up.
- Proposed knee-jerk gun control legislation will be drafted/enacted to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.
- A fabricated religious subplot will unfold and parents will exploit their dead children by writing books about them (like this and this).
- Virginia residents will be able to commemorate the tragedy by registering their State’s own “Respect Life” license plates (like this). Fellow drivers will then be able to relive the horrific event everyday during rush hour traffic.
Don’t forget the immigrant angle since the shooter was Korean.
Also don’t forget how the “respect life” plates will be repurposed by the anti-abortion types. That’s my favorite.
Mississippi already rocks the Flowers For Algernon Choose Life plate. I’m guessing most Bible Belt states have similar pro-life rocking.
I have much less of a problem with that. If that’s the explicit purpose, so be it.
But seeing a Columbine memorial plate on a pick-up with a gun rack because that person decided “Respect Life” means don’t kill unborn babies is kind of like seeing the Ford Explorer I saw the other day with dubs and a pink breast cancer ribbon plate … and a cigarette butt flying out the window!