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What about the family and friends (few though they may be) of the shooter? They just lost someone dear to them, too. And for the shooter himself... I can only imagine how much he felt his life sucked to do something like that. I can only imagine the chaos and/or "insanity" in his mind. The kid was obviously mentally ill. Having had my own run ins with mental instability, I can tell you it sucks. I feel so bad that noone was able to help this guy get back to a place of mental health and happiness. That the only end he thought he had was a horrible and bloody one for himself and for others.

Everyone's talking about sympathy for the victims and families and friends, as they should be, but noone's talking about the loss of the shooter himself and his family and friends. As if now because he took up a gun and killed a bunch of people, we're not supposed to feel sorry for his life and the life he could have possibly lived had he not done this and gotten better.

I have sympathy for everyone involved... BOTH sides.

Greta Christina

Yup. Good point. Them too.

Heather Findlay

Apropos to the theme of your blog, Christina: I heard on the radio this morning that some of rants in the writings they found in Cho's room were directed at white girls who'd rejected him sexually. This led Howard Stern and his (black comedian) guest to conclude that the underlying cause of this rampage was "white pussy." I may not have put it quite that way, but it did occur to me after the background of the attacker was revealed yesterday that mass/serial killings don't seem to be the province of weird white guys anymore. Especially in the wake of the Washington, DC sniper killings, specifically racial motives surface. Your thoughts?

Greta Christina

Here are my thoughts, Heather: My deepest sympathy goes out to the families and friends of the victims (and of the shooter). This is a terrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to them.

Really. For right now, that's honestly all I have to say. I'm finding myself very troubled by how quickly bloggers and pundits are jumping to conclusions about what this shooting means and whether/how it could have been prevented, long before all the facts and information are in. I do understand the impulse -- when something this terrible and this seemingly random happens, it's very human to try to explain it and make sense of it. But I just don't think it's appropriate to do that now. It's too soon: we just don't know enough, and we're too tangled up in emotion to be able to reason clearly. All I want to do now is to say that I'm horrified and sad about what happened, and I want to express my sympathy for the people who were most directly affected by it and are grieving.

Buck Fuddy

A couple of things I keep hearing over and over make me want to puke:
1. "My prayers go out to the victims and their families."
2. "This wouldn't have happened if they had permitted students to carry guns on campus."

This wouldn't have happened if Virginia didn't have the most laughably lax gun laws in the country. The perpetrator of this horror was involuntarily committed to a mental institution.

Virginia's enlightened law requires all gun purchasers to attest that they have never been involuntarily committed. They have to fill out a form and sign it!

Wow! That should help us all sleep at night.

Because we all know that psychotic homicidal maniacs never lie.

Why don't they just fucking ask them if they're going to use the gun to commit a crime, and then refuse to sell it to them if they say, "yes."

The reason these people were killed is because the NRA has thwarted any attempts to enact legislation to require background checks.

I think there's a little more evidence to support the effectiveness of background checks than that of "prayers."

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