Monday, April 16, 2007

Yet Another

So. Another mass shooting at a school.

This time, 31 students of Virginia PolyTechnical University are gunned down as they were in the prime of life.

As I understand it, VT is a technical University, heavy into research much along the lines of M.I.T. or Cal Tech. There is a heavy emphasis on Engineering and science curriculum. They also have a pretty decent football team.

So what does the loss of these 31 students mean, exactly?


For one thing, 31 young lives have been brutally snuffed out before they could become contributing members of society.

31 families will receive the worst news any family could ever receive.

31 promising careers have ended before they even got a chance to start.

Perhaps, more importantly, the future of mankind could have been snuffed out today.

There may have been some student among the dead who was destined to invent the low-cost desalinization device that would ensure an endless supply of fresh water, enough for everyone on the planet and more.

There may have been some student among the dead who was destined to create the new fusion reactor that was destined to solve all the world's energy problems.

There may even have been some student among the dead who was destined to design the spaceship that would carry mankind out into the stars.

OK, so maybe not. Maybe these 31 dead children (that's what they were, and now will always be) were destined for nothing greater than a boring 9 to 5 in a cubicle in the headquarters of some random Fortune 500 company, mindlessly going through the motions of creating a false impression of job satisfaction (a task I am PAINFULLY familiar with).

But, thanks to the actions of a madman, we will never have the opportunity to find out.

But the madman did not kill everyone. Madmen will never kill everyone. Many have tried. None have succeeded. So let me say this to those who survived the attack today: You're alive! Each day you live from now until the day you die is a gift! And you have an obligation to those who did not live through this day to make the best you can of your lives.

Because you can never know when the next day will be your last.

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