Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Tragedy brings home war zone reality
Jim Gorman, 53, stood outside his modest home on the edge of the Virginia Tech campus Tuesday morning and took a moment to digest what had happened less than 24 hours earlier.

The part-time Virginia Tech security guard was off-duty Monday morning tending to other business at the student center when he saw several security personnel run past him with walkie-talkies.

"I assumed it had something to do with the bomb threats," he said.

Then he overheard students talking to their friends about the shooting.

"In a typical day in Baghdad, there are 30, 40 people killed and it's a blurb on the news," he said. "We had 30 people killed and the whole world is here. It kind of helps you relate to what's going on in a war zone -- if only a little."

-- By Ashley Fantz, CNN.com Producer
Posted By CNN: 2:50 PM ET
  8 Comments
I couldn't agree more with the comparison to the war in Iraq. These campus slayings are horrendous and have rightly shocked the nation, and friends and families of the victims need compassion and support from all. It seems wrong, however, that when similar carnage occurs overseas it doesn’t affect us as much, especially since it’s almost a daily occurrence. If we are so hurt by the Virginia Tech massacre, so should we be about those who are losing their lives in Iraq. The war must end now.
Posted By Anonymous Andrew, New York, NY : 5:31 PM ET
It's reassuring and terribly important, in the long run, that the people involved in this tragedy are aware that they have experienced the equivalent of a domestic suicide bomber. That at the same time they are processing their own emotions that they are connecting what happened to them with what equally innocent people are experiencing almost daily - half way around the world. My heart and my respect goes out to them for making that connection in the midst of their own grief.
Posted By Anonymous Shirley Darch, Wisconsin, USA : 5:50 PM ET
Because in Iraq, it's "them" and "they" are not really considered to be in the same category as "us" over here. And therein lies the tragedy.
Posted By Anonymous Barbara, Columbia MD : 7:19 PM ET
I think that as we process this horror at Virginia Tech, the most painful aspect is the fact that each of these people who have died have friends and family who loved them very much who are left behind to deal with the emptiness their death leaves behind.
I think that in relating this to the war in Iraq, we need to also see that each and every victim there has loved ones who mourn their loss as well.
This tragedy in VA is so personal to us and we want to stop it from ever happening again.
If we can also see the carnage of war as a personal tragedy, if not for us than for so many others who will never see again a brother or sister, father or mother, son or daughter, then maybe we will all do more to stop this senseless war too.
Posted By Anonymous Cheri, Idaho Falls, ID : 8:25 PM ET
I watched the coverage on CNN and AC360. It wasn't different from what I see these days on CNN about Middle East and Iraq.

What if this killer happened to look like someone from Middle East or sported a beard? He would probably been silenced at 7.30 AM and 30 people would be alive today!
Posted By Anonymous K R Kashyap, Bangalore, India : 5:08 AM ET
As the shootings became known I was flooded with thoughts about the perpetrator and the likelihood that he had severe mental health issues that may have gone unattended; the glorification of violence in our culture via action movies,the acceptance of bullying and insulting talk show hosts, demeaning Rap music lyrics, and aggressive video games; the ease of accessibility of semi-automatic guns in America and the power of the NRA to trump reasonable action to control these dangerous weapons; the lack of responsibility assessed to the gun manufacturers because of the power they yield over Congress.
Overriding all these is the knowledge that what happened in Blacksburg, Virginia, is daily life for the people of Iraq caused by the unnecessary war we started 4 years ago. Our bombings and attacks must be added to the kidnappings, torture, gang style murders and random gun attacks of the insurgents which have resulted in the Iraqi population living every day in fear of loss of life at the hands of unknown strangers.
Perhaps we Americans will use this sad and frightening experience to make rational laws to control guns and end the war. Americans need to look at who we are and who we want to be, and make necessary changes.
Posted By Anonymous Pat, Delaware, USA : 3:18 PM ET
When did being evil become heroic? Why does the media CONSTANTLY gratify the wrongdoer by posting their every word and action as their last wish portrays. That's why they do these things!

This is war!! Here in our neighborhoods, there in the local streets, everywhere in the world... there is death. Everyday people misunderstand, judge and hate. We've learned nothing year after year, seeing the same rampages from the same "type" of person, yet STILL can't prevent them. Days of coverage of people who don't deserve the attention, and not ONE day is ever shown of someone who does deserve the attention for their kind actions and strength in leadership. Let's learn how to be like them and keep our children safe! No... sadly its a better story to show us how to be evil, step by step!

Why does everyone analyze the situation but never asks themselves "What can I do to change society"? "How do my actions benefit my community"? It's simple really....Take responsibility. It's your world and YOU are responsible for the outcome.

A simple solution: We need better counselors who make an effort to interact with students from kindergarten through college. If we started earlier instead of instructing what classes to take, than we would catch these behavioral dysfunctions early enough to help guide people to a productive, healthy lifestyle. There is a solution, yet no one wants to fix anything, just point fingers and gasp. Enough already!

I wish from this day forward that the media would spend one full week, 24 hours a day, showing all the amazing, unselfish acts that citizens do EVERY DAY that affect hundreds of people in their community! I challenge YOU to make a difference in your neighborhood,in your family... today.
Posted By Anonymous Cindy Diakow, Ann Abor, MI : 6:19 PM ET
There were 170 killed in Baghdad today. Many of our troops are the same age as the young people killed in Virginia. We need to COME HOME.I think of the parents that are loosing their children in Iraq everyday.
Posted By Anonymous Barbara Touby Saranac Lake,NY : 11:19 PM ET
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