The Killer Shall Remain Nameless
This topic has caught my attention and I'd like to take a little detour from my normal 'writerly' discourse to address it. Of course, you've all been bombarded with the same media frenzy as I have over the last few days. My mind is on the horrific massacre at Virginia Tech.
Here's where my mind reels - articles upon articles, press clips upon press clips, all about the killer. The killer shall forever remain nameless on this blog, and I'll tell you why - he deserves neither fame nor infamy... mental illness is not a good enough claim for what this is - obviously he wasn't sane, I got that. Maybe things should have been done... whatever. But let's look at this for one second. He took a two hour coffee clatch in between shooting unarmed people to send scads of material to NBC News!!! He did this so that you would know his name. It seems to me that most of what he did was so that you would know his name.
To me, he remains nameless. He decided that. He left nothing of worth and, in fact, left a debt so deep that I doubt a life time of good deeds might balance it. He took away a life time of positive influence that thirty two other people might have had on the world.
The other thing that struck me, besides the fact that this fellow's name is all over the news... speculation about his reasoning... what was it in his life?.... why was he so troubled?..... The other thing that struck me was that in one of these rambling tirades he made mention of the columbine killers, who shall also remain nameless here... he called them by name, he spoke of them in reverence... perhaps if their stories weren't propelled to the spotlight... perhaps if the news did not focus on the killers, their lives, their names... this nameless lost soul would have self destructed without taking any innocent people with him... perhaps he wouldn't have self destructed... or maybe at least, he wouldn't have seen a viable way to make his name forever known at the expense of innocent lives.
So let's not speak of the nameless killers. Just for today, for this blog, maybe forever would be a better fix. Let's not look with kindness on his tortured life, giving a new generation of the criminally insane a glimmer of immortality at his example. Why not, instead, remember the lives he extinguished... the ones who deserve to live on in our minds... the ones who deserve the fame they may have earned through their lives and actions had they only been left with the chance.
There's a site up, devoted to these victims.... if you must study some portion of this tragedy, honor them, rather than the nameless killer...
Names to Remember
One person that I will spotlight here, because the story so touched me, was a professor at the school named Liviu Librescu. He was a Holocaust survivor... The man made it through the terrors of the holocaust!!!!! He died, holding the doors closed in order for his class to escape through the windows.... He was shot through the door in his attempt to hold off the killer and allow his students a chance to get to safety. His heroism saved his students' lives.
Liviu Librescu, there's a name to remember.