April 17th, 2007


Unanswered Questions

A nation mourns yet again.


That's the one question everyone most wants answered.

Why would anyone slaughter college students indiscriminately?

It's just one of many questions begging for answers. Unfortunately, it's probably the one question for which we'll never get a full answer after a man mowed down dozens of students in a classroom building Monday at Virginia Tech. The shooter apparently took his own life as authorities finally zeroed in.

Certainly, we're left with more questions than bodies.

Among them are how could anyone possess so much rage to carry out such a premeditated attack? What level of anger does it take? How does it reach that point? Didn't anyone see it coming?

The university says the shooter was Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old senior from South Korea, but we know little about him. Did he come here full of hate or develop his rage here? What was the connection between him and the first two shooting victims in a dormitory? When will authorities be certain that Cho was the lone gunman?

How could so many people die before authorities closed in? Why didn't the campus declare an emergency and lock down when the first shootings occurred two hours before the classroom bloodbath? Who was responsible for that decision?

How will this university and the students who survived ever recover?

Monday's killings left 33 people dead. It was the worst massacre in U.S. history.

We were drawn to nonstop television coverage. We closely followed the news on Web sites and in newspapers. . We watched and read in horror. Finally, Don Imus and his troubles have been pushed into the background.

Since 9/11, we've feared and prepared for another attack by outside terrorists. Yet it has been shown time and again that it is the killer among us we must fear most.

After Monday's unspeakable violence, we can only hope and pray that officials at other college campuses and in our high schools have done and will continue to do all they can to prevent shootings. We realize Monday's murders occurred at a university, not a high school. Yet we can't escape the reality that the massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School occurred eight years ago this week. Was that on the mind of the Virginia Tech shooter?

We hug our kids a little tighter as they head out the door to school. We call our loved ones at faraway campuses and again tell them, with even more sincerity, that we love them.

And we wait and wonder for the answers yet to come from Blacksburg, Va."