Monday, April 16, 2007

Death in Virginia

I'm watching the story of the Virginia Tech story develop. When I went online about an hour ago, the CNN story mentioned one dead, seventeen injured, and a gunman in custody, while the breaking news bar at the top of the page said twenty dead. I assumed some editor had misread injured for killed and created the breaking news headline. CBS had the same mismatch of headline and story. By the time I got to ABC, they had updated the story and to read at least twenty dead including the gunman. Currently, ABC is saying twenty-five were killed and twenty-one wounded, with more dead expected. The count of wounded is different from the earlier count of injured, which included those hurt in the panic. All of the news reports appear to be based on the same AP feed, which itself is based on the campus information office and onsite reports from the student paper.

By the end of the day, the confused reports will be sorted out and we will find that around fifty people were killed or wounded and a couple dozen more will have been treated for lesser injuries during the panic. It's already being called the worst shooting incident in modern American history. All of the interested groups are already scrambling to take advantage of this tragedy. Blaming fingers will be pointed at pop music, lack of prayer in schools, video games, too much stress, teaching of evolution in schools, abortion's "culture of death," bad movies, and perhaps even overly easy access to guns. Gun groups will claim that this tragedy might have been averted if the teachers had been armed and willing to kill their students. The NRA will launch a major fundraising effort because "the liberals will use this as an excuse to take away our guns."

Nothing will really change.

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