<i>Our View is prepared by the Editorial Board which operates independently from the newsroom.</i>

By The Editorial Board

On April 20, 1999, the United States watched in horror as the shootings at Columbine High School unfolded and sparked a series of high school violence that has ensued in the years after. As the shock of the initial shooting subsided, educators and students across the country scrambled to both understand and prepare themselves for this new and horrifying threat in American education.

In the wake of last week&#39;s tragedy at Virginia Tech we can relate the emotion and logic of our response to Columbine
as we struggle with the processes of grieving, understanding and preparing ourselves to trudge forward.

While we will never entirely understand Seung-Hui Cho&#39;s motivation, feelings of anguish flood our mind as we try to comprehend the progression of his deadly thought-process. Although it is extremely difficult to find comfort following the deaths of so many, we can see as we did eight years ago that perhaps our best tools in the grieving process are overcoming and preparing as best we can for such events.

Key to our understanding of these tragedies, is our attention to their most obvious similarities. The gunmen of Columbine, Virginia Tech and other schools across the country all felt they were waging a personal war with the world.

While we are angry at them for their actions, if we can set aside those emotions and view them as victims of psychological disorders and an increasingly impersonal society, we can better grasp what led to these horrors.

In doing such, we form a deep respect for our individual ability to prevent these atrocities by consciously guiding ourselves in being more aware, respectful and interactive with people we see on a daily basis. Our generation and the generations
that will follow, live in a world where technological advancements allow us to move so rapidly that we can leave individuals behind and not even notice.

While preventing these events must be our priority, we must also prepare for our reaction if they occur. Here at UMD for example, we can install locks on our classroom doors, public address systems, electronic command stations, etc. We can also publish lock-down procedures and ensure every campus community member knows what to do if anything were to happen.

As we grieve for the victims of Virginia Tech, let us also move forward by devoting our individual and collective selves to preventing and preparing for a similar disaster. The most effective tool in ensuring our health and safety, which should be our number one priority, is not any piece of technology. Rather, it is our own attention to the people in the world around us.

Karin Gelschus ~ Content Editor
Joshua Newville ~ Editorial Writer
Anna Woodwick ~ New Writers Editor


Original Source:<a href=>The Statesman - April 26, 2007</a>


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Editorial Board, “THE STATESMAN: Our View ,” The April 16 Archive, accessed August 20, 2022,