Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sad Events at VA Tech

Dom Bettinelli has a post on the shootings at VA Tech and points to some discussions that the Anchoress has been having with her son and his friends.

I left a comment on Dom's blog, and I've been thinking about this topic as well. I was hesitant to post until some time had elapsed. However, it looks like others are thinking the same thoughts that I am. Kathy Shaidle has commented on a similar situation in Montreal several years ago.

I'm not a particularly brave person, and I'm certainly not the kind of guy one would associate with excessive levls of testosterone or with violent dispositions. It's true that I've practiced karate and kung fu for around 17 years, but many of the skills I developed there came in response to training.

But I pray to God that if I'm ever in a situation where someone is threatening the lives of others or is committing acts of violence against others that I will have the courage to do what I can to stop it. It appalls me that one person armed with two pistols can shoot over 50 people without someone attempting to disarm him. I have to commend the jewish professor who gave up his life to save his students. That's the kind of self-sacrifice that men should be called to do--whatever is necessary and whatever we're capable of doing.

But this mentality of self-sacrifice is what goes right out the window with a culture of rugged individualism and the glorified value of self-interest.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman has an essay titled On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs. I mentioned that I'm not a particularly brave person. However, I do have the tendency toward being a sheepdog. On more than one occasion, I've run out the door armed with a bokken (wooden katana) in response to people yelling for help (or simply yelling). I've considered joining the military or law enforcement on more than one occasion—even tested for the county sheriff a few years back (and kicked everyone's butts on the physical portion). I've come to the conclusion that that's not really where God wants me in my everyday life, even if I've wanted it for myself.

BTW, Grossman has two excellent books: On Killing and On Combat. I've read the former, not the latter, but I've done enough reading on the subject to know that facing violence is traumatic to even those trained to deal with it.
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