Friday, April 27, 2007

English teachers: our first line of defense

Forget stronger gun laws. Forget better mental health care. Now it's the responsibility of English teachers to protect us all. That, apparently, is the lesson from Virginia Tech.

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Friday, April 20, 2007


This week's Economist says of the shootings in Virginia: "It was the worst peacetime shooting in American history." Peacetime? We're in peacetime? Has the Bush administration been that successful at fooling even the top newsweekly into thinking the war is something happening way over there and doesn't concern us?

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What I thought about during the minute of silence

Along with what I suspect were millions of others, I just observed a minute of silence for the victims of the massacre this week at Virginia Tech.

I thought of the parents and the survivors.

I thought of the broadcast of the killer's "martyrdom" tape, how sickening it was, how little I think of NBC News for broadcasting it -- and how essential it is to our democracy that NBC News be permitted to broadcast it.

I thought of how the nation came to a halt this week as a result of the shootings.

I thought of Iraq, where these type of massacres happen every single day, thanks to the intervention of our government. However horrible the shootings at Virginia Tech, however I want to stand aside the friends and families of those whose lives were ended there this week, I thought of how this is happening, many times, every single day in Iraq. It's a nation of Virginia Techs. I paid my taxes this week. I'm paying for the war. You're paying for it, too.

I thought of the American soldiers dying in Iraq, and how they're the same ages as the kids who died at Virginia Tech, and how they should have gotten a chance to go to college, not to war.

And then I thought of the parents and the survivors again.

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