Last week Jim and I drove home from North Carolina over Fancy Gap and then turned from Highway 77 onto Highway 81. We come that way to enjoy the beautiful vistas of the Blue Ridge mountains and the Shenandoah Valley.
Monday a 23 year old young man shattered that silence with gun shots in Blacksburg, VA and killed 32 - students and professors - at Virginia Tech - and then shot himself.
Since then - minute by minute - the media piles up the details. Pictures of the lost, heartbreaking stories of promising futures stopped before they blossomed. A community stunned and grieving; a college reeling from this blow. How could this happen here?
Along with the story of the victims emerges the story of the shooter - a quiet loner with a raging storm inside him. And worse, it comes out, some recognized the danger. Some were afraid he was a threat -to himself they thought- - - because anything larger was unthinkable.
He was reported.
Nothing was done.
He had rights.
What could they do?
A time bomb ticked on.
He had rights. He had rights. He had guns. Bought as easily as a new suit. He had three forms of ID and the money. He had guns. He had guns. He had guns to go with his rights.
What about those others? What about their rights - to live.
Have we lost sight of something here?