Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The blame game

It was no surprise that Tuesday was taken up with a national discussion of blame regarding the shootings at Virginia Tech (it really started Monday afternoon). When confronted with something so horrible, it seems that the simple explanations just won't do. Today, I've listened to blame placed on Charlton Heston and the NRA/Second Amendment crowd, on music, on violence in movies and television, on immigration, on Virginia Tech administration and faculty, on campus security, the President or the government, and so forth. Sometimes we try to find blame for the perpetrators being the way they are, figuring that something must have driven the person to it--insanity, demon-possession, a bad childhood, or past abuse. It seems to me that there is only one person to blame, and that is Cho Seung-Hui and the poor choices that he freely made. And the Christian response to him is, Lord, have mercy.


Courageous Grace said...

I think the Amish had a pretty good idea. Instead of trying to find someone to blame, pray for the departed, and offer love and support to the family and friends of the victims, especially Cho's family.

Fr Timothy Matkin said...

I found myself trying to blame students, in the sense of asking, "Where were they men who tackled this guy in a moment's courage after he started going around shooting people"? Is no one willing to lay down one's life for a friend? But then I had to remind myself that I can't know what the circumstances were that people were facing at that moment, or whether there was even such an opportunity to do something to bring it to a stop. And no one can really know what they would do in such a situation until that moment arrives.