Stop the Violence


Stop the Violence


Thursday, April 19th, 2007

While we spent the last two weeks railing at each other about racial insults, sexist jokes, hip hop music, apologies that won't fly, and weighty matters related to the First Amendment, a deranged college student sat plotting the mass murder of his classmates along with his own suicide on the idyllic campus of Virginia Tech.

Now that the fog of horror is beginning to lift everyone is scrambling to find someone to point a finger at.

Last week rap music was to blame for the arsenal of racist and sexist insults that are at the disposal of shock jocks like Don Imus. This week the NRA and Hollywood are to blame. The NRA, says the Left, makes it possible for mentally sick young men like Cho Seung-Hui to get his hands on an arsenal of weapons to act out their private fantasies of murder and suicide. At the same time, says the Right, Hollywood is to blame for churning out an arsenal of violent movies like Quentin Tarantino "Grindhouse" that feed our appetite for carnage and violence.

Nothing like hateful speech and violent rampages to keep things in perspective.

If we're going to blame NRA, Hollywood, or even video games we all have some blame to shoulder. Lord knows, ours is culture that is fascinated with violence.

I am as liable as the next person for indulging in the guilty pleasurable pasttime of watching crime dramas on television every week (e.g., Law and Order, CSI, Cold Case). I don't know when it happened. Recant: I do know. But that's another story. What I also know is that figuring out the motivation behind the murder is half the" fun" of watching the crime show. But the rampage at Virginia Tech is a sobering wake up call, or it should be.

It doesn't matter what "motivated" the gunman behind the Virginia Tech shooting. I won't join the media detectives in pouring over the identity of the killer's family and the putative ethnic nature of his rage, nor do I care to watch as journalists shove a microphone in the face of every person who ever bumped up against him in the hallway or try reconstructing what he had for breakfast the morning of his rampage. Besides, we haven't bothered to do the same type of psychological and cultural analysis upon those who four years ago committed our youth to the bloodbath and carnage reported weekly out of Iraq. Enough.

Stop the violence by keeping up the protest against pro-gun lobbyists and by boycotting movies that showcase gratuitous violence. Better time is spent praying for the tortured souls that commit these acts of violence. Stop the violence by turning it off in ourselves. After tragedies like the one this week, says one Virginia Tech student who also survived the Columbine massacre of ten years ago this week, normalcy never returns.

After a steady diet of violence all these years, can any of us say what normal — or decency and civility, for that matter — is anymore?


Original Source: Something Within by Rev. Dr. Renita J. Weems
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This work is licensed under a
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Rev. Dr. Renita J. Weems




Brent Jesiek


Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States





Rev. Dr. Renita J. Weems, “Stop the Violence,” The April 16 Archive, accessed July 21, 2019,