Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

Don't Be Offended, But...

When I found out about the Virginia Tech shootings yesterday, the first thing I did was call all of my friends at the school to see if they were O.K. After I spent zero seconds doing that, I turned off CNN, and got on with my life.

Too soon?

Yes, cable news companies and newspapers will do everything to ensure this latest massacre in the U.S. stays fresh in our minds so we mindlessly continue to watch hour upon hour of programming, but the outpouring of sympathy and sending of hearts out to victims will only last a couple of days. Then everyone will be in the stage of grief I'm already at: forgetting.

What's ridiculous about the coverage of this massacre is the relative non-coverage and ignorance of daily massacres in Iraq and other states around the world. Where are our hearts for those victims? Oh, I know: We care, it's just that this is Virginia Tech! We like their basketball team. And, and, well, this happened in America. This isn't supposed to happen in America.

Check out the side-bars in most of the sensationalized newspapers this morning and you realize this shoot-up isn't exactly unique in America. It's probably more shocking that a massacre doesn't happen more often in a country in love with guns. Anyone who wants to use the Virginia Tech killings as evidence for the need for stricter gun-control laws in the U.S. ought to realize it could have been 92 dead instead of 32, and it wouldn't make a difference.

In the end, the killings make great television. CNN executives probably locked themselves in a meeting room yesterday afternoon and enjoyed a large, fun circle jerk dreaming about the great ratings this "tragedy" will give the network. And that goes for every cable news network and every newspaper who trades its profits on dead bodies. Red equals green, and it's a wonder all the dead Iraqis barely register in our minds. I guess we're just more used to it.


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