Tuesday, April 17, 2007


This morning as I was getting ready for the day I was watching the Today Show, as I normally do, and it was nonstop coverage of the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech yesterday. It is absolutely terrible what happened yesterday with the shooting. My heart grieves with the families and friends who lost a loved one yesterday.

With that being said, I also found myself so very frustrated with the coverage of the event. Is there no other news happening in the world? What percentage of the coverage was sheer speculation? I can't begin to tell you how often I heard phrases like, "We think" or "We believe"... in my mind that is not news, that is guess work. I was frustrated with the questioning of the school administration and their handling of the incident. They make it sound as if the administration was working in conjunction with the shooter. What if they sent out an e-mail to the student body at 7:30 a.m. and all of the students were milling around outside and the shooter decided to open and fire on the campus square where it would have been more difficult to confine? Would they have praised the administration for the timeliness of their e-mail or would they have questioned their recklessness in sending it too quickly? I don't get it. What ever happened to assuming the best? What if we took the slant that the administration was doing the best they could with the information that they had and they were trying fallible, human best to do what they believed was in the best interest of the entire community?

Can you tell I'm worked up yet? Anyway, what finally got me was realizing that the hyped way in which the media (I use that generally because I tried flipping through channels and they were all covering the story in similar fashion) was covering this story was simply instilling fear. Underlying, perhaps unspoken, was this notion that you better be on the watch because the next gunman is probably going to open fire right next you at any moment now. Fear is no way to live our lives. We talked about it on Sunday when I preached on the story of Thomas in the gospel of John. Once again we have a very real example of the world telling us to live in fear, but Christ comes and tells us to live in peace giving us gifts of repentance and forgiveness. We sure could use that right about now, don't you think?

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