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Free Liberal: Coordinating towards higher values

Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

A Tragedy, Not a Spectacle

by Paul Jacob

What a horrific event. One young man murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech.

It is a tragedy for all of us. We all have loved ones. We can all imagine the pain of rearing a child to the point of adulthood and to struggle so hard to place that child in a rewarding and very safe environment . . . and then lose that child.

But as much as it affects us all, we cannot truly appreciate the unfathomable, crushing loss of 32 — no 33 — sets of parents. And spouses. And brothers and sisters. And close friends.

So what do we do?

Maybe it is what we don't do. Media folk quickly jumped on the response to the shooting by the administration and police. As if they are supposed to be clairvoyant.

I know journalists want to pursue the next story, but show some respect, allow time to mourn. If the media can't, we viewers can change the station.

Others will rush to debate gun control. But guns were prohibited on campus.

The students and faculty at Virginia Tech will hug other students and faculty. And they'll suffer and grieve and go on as best they can. That's the bittersweet reality of this world.

And the rest of us? We might watch less TV and hold our own kids a little tighter.

This is no panacea, no big solution.

Paul Jacob's "Common Sense" is published by the Sam Adams Alliance. Their website can be visited at

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