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Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates

Khaleej Times, United Arab Emirates

Shooting Shows Something Ails America 'At its Core'


"Without doubt, something is ailing in that society at its very core, symptoms of which are evident in cases like the Virginia one."




April 18, 2007


United Arab Emirates, Khaleej Times - Original Article (English)

AMERICA is yet to recover from the shock of what is being called, “the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history” - a shooting-spree that took the lives of 33 young, promising men and women at a prominent university campus in Virginia.


We too are shocked. All that is known so far is that a student of apparently of Asian origin wielded the gun, a fact which was confirmed in the second wave of attacks that took 30 lives, while some mystery still surrounds the first round of firings that killed three others.


What is also known is that this is the second time in nine months that this university has been shut due to gunfire; and that a bomb threat had been made against the campus two weeks ago. Under these circumstances, it appears strange that no special security measures were then put in place. Had they been, it might have at least helped minimize if not altogether avert, what happened on Monday morning.


It's also intriguing as to how, in an advanced state like Virginia, and on a high technology campus at that, it took two hours for an e-mail to circulate among students about a firing incident on campus - and alerting students that a killer was on the prowl in their midst. Had such a message reached students immediately after the first incident, they would have been in a state of high alert, and it might even have helped capture the assailant.


In many respects, America is currently in the best of positions. Its people are among the best cared for in the world by virtue of the affluence and systems that support life in that nation. Yet, without doubt, something is ailing that society at its very core, symptoms of which are evident in cases like the Virginia one.


Whether this has something to do with the overall weakening of its value system or America's pre-occupation with the affairs in the rest of the world leaving it little time to care for its own affairs, is simply a matter of conjecture.