You know, as a new parent I have to wonder if any place is safe for the kids to be anymore. Growing up, there were two places that I always felt the safest- at home and at school, but now it seems that the last bastions of safety are being compromised on the daily. The death toll from today's shooting on Virginia Tech's campus rose from 1 to 7 to 21 to 31, and I'm sure there will be more counting to do before we all go to bed tonight.
It seems in recent years for whatever reason, that schools and the students studying there are becoming easy, innocent targets for lunatics with firearms. I guess what I don't understand is why they choose places of higher learning to carry out their evil deeds. Why not just bust up into some crack house with guns blazing, or even round and take out a bunch of heinous pedophiles to make a point or seek revenge? Hell, take out a few corrupted politicians while you're at it, but spare our future teachers, doctors, scientists and social workers! Assholes.
The most fucked up part about this is that the folks who were killed today are all kids who are just hitting the prime of their lives. They were just getting to the point of understanding who they really are and what the fuck they want to do with themselves, all the while making those lifelong friends and memories to get them through life's most troubling times. College is that period where you can still be a kid, but pretend to be a responsible adult ("babydult" as my sister would say), study until 6 and play spades until 4, have company or have visitation revoked for the month, philosophize until your head spun or just learn something new about yourself by simply gazing at the stars.
And need I mention the assortment of characters you meet that enhance your very being? The clubbers, the stoners, the steppers, the junkies, the nerds, the jocks, the hippies, the drunks, the manwhores, the "tree people", the "wall people", the loud ass people upstairs, the cultists, the "career students" in mini shorts and jheri curls, and the strippers working their way through school. The people who would get you high- just because they didn't want to puff alone. The folks who make you smile and cry in the same day. The people who'd piss you off, but would clean you up after you throw up all over yourself from a night of binge drinking. The friends who'd sit and listen to you vent about Biology class and the chick who doesn't know you exist, and the "friends" who are so self consumed that they have to lie about shit to feel better about themselves. The people who make you a better musician, and the people who sketch your image in the midst of your musical growth. The friends who you get in trouble with, and the folks who take the sucker punches intended for you. Your openly gay, exchange student roomate, and the roomates who just might be. The folks who resemble you on campus, and the folks who you mistakenly call by someone else's name- in bed (I never did it by the way, but I know people who did! Whew!!!). THIS is what college is all about and THESE are the people who shape you and the life that is to come. You eventually learn the biggest lesson that college has to offer: that you are forever changed by the people you've encountered and wouldn't be the same had you not met. Instead of living out those experiences, a bunch of people in Virginia have lost their runnin' buddies, consiglieris, girlfriends, first loves, last loves, study partners, roommates, sorority sisters, designated drivers, fathers, daughters, mothers and sons- vital parts of themselves.
It's a goddamn, muthafuckin, wasteful shame! May they all forever rest in peace....