Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Something's Missing

You may have noticed that there wasn't a posting last Tuesday. It wasn't intentional - life just got in the way.

It was the tax filing deadline after all -- although I electronically filed the weekend before. I already have my state refund and what I owed the federal government has been deducted from my checking account. So, it really wasn't that.

It was the shooting at VA Tech. I, like so many others, was overwhelmed by the tragedy. I anxiously watched news reports trying to find out more information -- not to gawk or anything so crass but just desperately trying to understand why this happened in the first place.

I've done a fair share of research into the FBI profiling of serial killers, I am tragically fascinated by the Jack the Ripper case (mostly because it's like a puzzle), I've watched just about all the crime documentaries on TV and Cable and still this tragedy defies understanding. I cry inside everytime I see a picture of one of the victims. I can't help it. This shouldn't have happened.

I know the occurrence of crime comes with the existence of humans. I know that those of us who write mysteries routinely think about the topic, but still this shooting has left us numb. It doesn't make sense.

In the mid 1980's I was stationed as an army engineer just southwest of Seoul, South Korea. I was surprised and even a little devastated that the gunman turned out to be South Korean. Despite the atmosphere of a cease fire between the two Koreas and the brutal image of the N. Korea dictator, the South Koreans as a whole are very welcoming and friendly. Many speak English. I would often go to rural and non-touristy places in S. Korea with my infant daughter where we were often the only Caucasians and I never felt afraid.

Then I heard that the gunman had come here when he was 8 years old and I have to wonder - would he have done this had he grown up in S. Korea? Did something happen to him after his family migrated to the US that planted the seed towards this horrible tragedy? Did we as a society fail him or would he have done something this horrible no matter what happened to him during his childhood?

These are all valid questions and I'm not sure we will ever find all the answers. One thing I do know is that there will be much written on this case for years to come. Unfotunately, it won't stop it from happening again. The question is - what will?


Morgan Mandel said...

Hi Terri,
I know what you mean.
Life has a way of knocking a person in the head when you least expect it. When horrifying events happen, it throws off your whole routine. You can't help but be chilled about the randomness of any tragedy.
Morgan Mandel

Deb Larson said...

Hi Terri,
I too feel overwhelmed with sadness over this event. Although my kids are beyond college age, I had to hear their voices to be sure they were okay. This tragedy hit at the core of our insecurities. Thanks for sharing with us.