Friday, April 20, 2007

Too Soon? 

Yes, the school shootings at Virginia Tech are a terrible tragedy. No, they are not the worst thing to happen in the history of ever, and are not a sign of the downward spiral of human society, blah blah blah. Nearly eighty years ago, a far worse disaster occurred in Bath, Michigan when a man dynamited the new school, killing 45 people and injuring 58. His motive? He'd lost his farm to foreclosure because of unpaid property taxes. In his mind, that school was the symbol of what he saw as unjust theft. That's not to excuse his motive, just to explain it from his point of view.

But, again, there have always been lunatics willing to kill others to make a point. Virginia Tech is not a first, nor will it be a last. But we need to put it into perspective, especially in terms of this nation's priorities: George Bush arrived on campus for the convocation the next day, and gave a speech there. I'm not saying he shouldn't have done that, but...
  • Virginia Tech:
    • People Killed: 32
    • People Injured: 29
    • Distance from White House to site:
      • By Road: 262 miles
      • By Air: approximately 219 miles.
    • Time Until W. Arrive On-Site: Less than twenty-four hours after the first shooting.
  • 9/11:
    • People Injured: Still Counting
    • Distance from White House to site:
      • By Road: 227 miles
      • By Air: approximately 200 miles.
    • Time Until W. Arrive On-Site: Three days.
  • Hurricane Katrina:
    • People Killed: At least 1,836
    • People Injured or Left Homeless: Countless
    • Distance from White House to site:
      • By Road: 1,085 miles
      • By Air: approximately 925 miles.
    • Time Until W. Arrive On-Site: Seventeen days (to give a speech, alone with a television camera).
  • Iraq Invasion:
    • People Killed: 3,315 (as of April 18, 2007)
    • People Injured: Tens of thousands
    • First American Killed: Therrel Shane Childers, Harrison County, Mississippi
    • Distance from White House to Funeral:
      • By Road: 1,042 miles
      • By Air: approximately 875 miles.
    • Time Until W. Arrive On-Site: Four years, three months and counting.
    • Distance from White House to Washington National Cemetery:
      • By Road: 7 miles
      • By Air: approximately 5 miles (helicopter)
    • Time Until W. Came to Any Military Funeral: So far, he couldn't be bothered...

Just keep this list in mind the next time some NeoCon starts bitching about Democrats not supporting the troops, then ask them why it was so important for W. to rush to a convocation for civilian students who have chosen college instead of the military (NTTAWWT), and has yet to make it to a single military funeral for any Iraq War deaths, despite those deaths outnumbering the VA Tech fatalities by more than a hundred to one...

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