April 17, 2007

From dictionary.com, a definition of evil:

1. morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life.
2. harmful; injurious: evil laws.
3. characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days.
4. due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character: an evil reputation.
5. marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.: He is known for his evil disposition.
–noun 6. that which is evil; evil quality, intention, or conduct: to choose the lesser of two evils.
7. the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin.
8. the wicked or immoral part of someone or something: The evil in his nature has destroyed the good.
9. harm; mischief; misfortune: to wish one evil.
10. anything causing injury or harm: Tobacco is considered by some to be an evil.
11. a harmful aspect, effect, or consequence: the evils of alcohol.
12. a disease, as king’s evil.
13. in an evil manner; badly; ill: It went evil with him.
14. the evil one, the devil; Satan.

There are no other words to describe what happened today at Virginia Tech. Sure, the media in the days to come will examine in great detail what happened, why it happened, and what the university could have done better to limit the carnage that took place today, in some sad and pathetic attempt to rationalize and make sense of what happened. And to some, that may be relevant, but not to me. For make no mistake about it, just as what happened on 9/11, in Beslan, in Littleton, CO, and in Paradise, PA, what transpired today in Blacksburg, VA is evil in our presence. And just as sometimes acts of pure goodness – such as forgiving someone who has done you an incredible wrong or injustice – cannot be understood in their entirety, neither can acts of pure, unadulterated evil.

And it should be recognized and called as such.

What happened today, when you come right down to it, has nothing to do with the politics of gun control, or someone who was misundertood, or angry, or disengaged from society in any number of dysfunctional ways. It is evil, a sad but essential part of the human condition; as disheartening, sad, irrational, and grevious in its scope as any other number of tragedies are, both great and small, highly publicized or ignored. There is no region, country, city, or town immune from it, and any one us could be next. It is only the sheer numbers of people we share our lives with on a regular basis that either reduces or increases our odds of being victimized in a similar fashion. In life, there is no safe place. There is only our relationships with our Creator and each other – those whom we love and those who love us in return – that truly matter, for it is there where the sole reason for our existence, and the only incentive for plodding forward in a world where so many things happen that cannot be understood no matter how you look it it, lies.

We live in a world in desperate need of prayer, and tonight prayers go out, and candles are lit, not only for the victims of today’s massacre and their families who grieve their loss – for they most surely ought to be in everyone’s thoughts and prayers – but for a world in which events like this seem to have lost their inherent ability to shock in the evil it both symbolizes and represents.

Make no mistake about it – there is such a thing as good and evil. And today provides us an all too real and all too horrific portrayal of the evil that indeed walks amongst us. The world will watch then go about its business. And Satan laughs and God weeps.

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. – The Collect for Aid Against all Perils, Book of Common Prayer, p. 70

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:33 | Comments (4)
  1. “It is only the sheer numbers of people we share our lives with on a regular basis that either reduces or increases our odds of being victimized in a similar fashion. In life, there is no safe place. There is only our relationships with our Creator and each other -those whom we love and those who love us in return – that truly matter…”

    Very nicely written. And very true. Prayers and Peace, Dona

    Comment by Dona — April 17, 2007 @ 4:57 am

  2. Good post.

    “what the university could have done better to limit the carnage that took place today,”

    Some things, but not much.

    They have a several thousand acre campus with 25,000+ students- try enforcing some kind of I.D. system, it won’t work.

    The ONLY thing they could have done was put the WHOLE school on lock down after the first shooting. The argument that they thought it was limited to that building is B.S. BUT if they instituted a full lock down, then the shooter would have just picked off those students who were caught outside of buildings between or on their way to classes.

    The one major change they could institute, and they won’t, is to allow law abiding professors and possibly students to carry arms (heck, even if you MUST subject them to psych reviews). Remember Pearl Mississippi? That school shooting isn’t so well remembered. Why? The death toll wasn’t very high, only 2. Why is that? Because the principal kept a gun in his car and retrieved it when the shooting began. He confronted the shooter and ended the violence.


    That never had a chance to happen at Va. Tech. Everyone who could have stopped him was unarmed and unable to confront him. There is a very valuable lesson to be learned here.

    Comment by John Kaiser — April 17, 2007 @ 5:05 am

  3. Found on Neal Boortz’s website today.

    “Now here’s something that I have yet to see reported in the mainstream media. Earlier this year the Virginia General Assembly failed to act on House Bill 1572. The citizens of Virginia are permitted to carry concealed weapons if they get a proper permit from the state government — unless you are on a college campus. This bill would have allowed college students and employees to carry handguns on campus — with appropriate permits, of course. It died in subcommittee. After the bill was thrown out up steps Larry Hincker, a spokesman for Virginia Tech, the site of today’s carnage, who says “I’m sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly’s actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.”

    So .. how safe did these students and faculty in Norris Hall feel yesterday?”

    Personal note from me: Personal responsibility trumps protection from institutions anyday.

    Comment by Dave Richard — April 17, 2007 @ 7:59 am

  4. Thanks for the comments and the kind words, everyone. And some good points made as well! Welcome to the Nation, John – always love to hear from new names and faces. Don’t be a stranger! Love, peace and blessings to you, Dona, and you too, bro!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — April 17, 2007 @ 8:27 pm

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