Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech

My heart has hurt every time I've watched the news during the past 24 hours. The incident at Virginia Tech is just beyond reckoning. It's hard to believe that one person could be so evil, and I do think that's the word for it.

As I've watched the news I've had flashbacks to the Gainesville murders in 1990. I lived there when they happened, and it was just terrifying. Five students were murded in one weekend in pretty horrible fashion - beheaded, posed in scenes. The unknown was what was the scariest. We didn't know who had done it or why. Answering the door was terrifying. Pizza shops lost business because no one would order pizza for delivery. Cops would go to apartments in response to 911 calls and have people open the door holding a gun. We all went inside when it got dark, locked the doors and didn't come out until the morning. Even when it was announced that the killer was caught, people didn't relax much. Our safe little world in Gainesville was gone.

I still have nightmares about the murders. And when I get up in the morning and discover that Brandon has left a door unlocked, I'm genuinely surprised that we weren't murdered in our sleep; it's just what I expect to happen.

I was talking about it all with the director at Lily's preschool today, and I told her that the one chink in my very liberal armor was that I believe absolutely in the death penalty as a result of the Gainesville murders. I don't think for a second that the death penalty prevents crime; it serves purely as punishment. There are just some people who are too evil to live, and Danny Harold Rollins was one of those people. He was executed last year for the Gainesville murders.

It's too bad the murderer in Virginia killed himself. We'll never have any kind of answer about why he did it. But at least the killing is over, and the healing can begin, if that's possible.


t. Cooke said...

I've always stuggled with the death penelty. I used to be for it. I just think it's ironic that we punish killing by killing. Mass murder against innocent people his horrible and it's hard for me to let a person like that live on when he took so much.

No matter what: I am very against cruel forms of the dealth penelty. If we're going to give the ultimate punishment, I hope we have the decensy (sp) to do it humanely.

However, I am very much for doctor assisted suicide. I have watched both of my parents rot due to terminal illness, and neither enjoyed their last days. My father wouldn't have wanted to be "put to rest" early because of his beliefs. My mother, though, would have, I think. Still, I think that option should be there for the individual to decide.

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