Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Norris Hall

the despicable murders yesterday at Virginia Tech seem to have left our whole country in a deep state of shock and grief. i feel devastated and angry. the fury I feel is directed at Cho, but i am also appalled at reports that some in the international media are shrugging their shoulders and simply cluck-clucking their simple admonition- oh it's just america and her violent gun culture at it again. well fuck that- kids DIED yesterday. analysis is good and necessary and I'll be the last to defend the 2nd amendment, but have a little respect. and a little perspective- four years ago, eighteen people died in a school shooting in Germany (a country with strict gun control laws) and in 1996, a deranged gunman killed 16 children, a teacher and himself in Scotland. this is not america's problem; it's a human trend and a human tragedy. i am so sorry to all of the families of the victims.

not only is the connection ripened by the Schmitt's connection to the school (our close family friends, jon anita nic bonnie ric, whose two sons went there, one of them as the Hokie football team's star kicker last year), i'm sure oxy folk haven't missed the frequent reference to Norris Hall, where the majority of the murders took place. this VT academic building shares a name with a building where many of us lived for part of our time at Occidental. just that little coincidence is enough to drive this massacre home with even more strength. when you hear "norris hall", how can we not imagine a crazed gunman systematically moving from norris yellow to norris blue to norris green to norris orange; how can I not consider myself blessed to still have as lifelong friends the people i lived with there- uma, anna, bess, jamie, marie, jonathan, mike, ted. what grace to have never had such devastation to bear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i like your recent piece on norris hall. did u know that the Norris (at least oxy's Norris) fortune was made from selling weapons?