Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Virginia Tech carnage and some Questions...

I don’t know if this is the right place for this post but the Virginia Tech incident had me numb with fear. For the last 3 days it has been gnawing at the back of my head and today 1 hour of NPR during my afternoon commute triggered this post.
First of all a small prayer from all of us at DMC for all the students, faculty, parents employees at Virginia Tech who suffered both physically and emotionally.

First the Columbine school and then this. I do sincerely want the Gun Control to come into effect to stop lunatics from opening fire whereever they want to.

Another thing I noticed is the media harping on the Gunman as South Korean. Yes he was a South Korean immigrant but then he spent 14 years of his adult life in the US having immigrated here in 1992. Other than the parents who seem to have cut off all connection with S. Korea, if it’s a country who shaped his life which was it? Why is his nationality more important than the fact that he was the legal owner of a Gun? The NPR reporter went on to say how S. Korea was responding to the incident and how some of their Govt. Officilas were worried that this could strain their relationship with US.

And from Seoul, South Koreans and their government appealed to Americans not to let the carnage generate racial prejudice against the 2 million South Koreans who live in the United States” -- Washington Post
Why should this situation even arise ? Why should S. Korea feel itself responsible for a cruel, lunatic boy who left the country 14 years ago to never go back and then open fire on his classmates in an American University ? If anyone is responsible its all of us, the entire human race and obviously the US Gun Control laws which sells Gun to all and sundry.

Mihae Kim, another community activist in Virginia, was especially worried about the impact on younger Korean Americans who might be insecure about their place in American society” -- Washington Post

Living in a state where there is a good balance of all races I have not seen much prejudice here yet. However when your kid goes to an American school have you ever observed any such thing that stems from a difference in nationality or race though the kid is an Indian American?

As parents how safe do we feel the educational institutes are here for our children ? Does such incidents ever make you think of going back to our country? Is India more safe ? I have seen many Indian parents wrapping up and going back when the kids are in middle school. Is this one of the reasons too ?


Dee said...

Sandeepa, You just spoke my mind. These questions have been bothering me for a while too. I am not sure why a race/nationality has to brought into the picture when the real problem is something totally different and very serious and needs to addressed to immediately. I read somewhere that in VA state it was legal to purchase one gun per month! also takes a minute to clear a background check!! What kind of logic is this ? It totally defies all my reasoning.
In that last 6 years there have been atleat 2 such attrocious incidents. It is a fact that kids are exposed to too much violence. TV, video games, neglect from parents are just a few things that contribute to an adolecent's pent up energy in the negative way. The root cause of this violence must be addressed and that is going to take a LOT of effort because there is problems at the grass root level in terms of a disciplined life. Sometimes values are being compromised because of this so called 'freedom'.
I am not sure if raising kids here is the safest thing - they will be exposed to violence, drugs, teen sex much earlier than the kids in India. That is why it is EXTREMELY important how you raise them at HOME. This is where the extended family and friends come into play. Give the children the faith, courage, confidence, pride, identity, dignity and knowledge and happiness will take care of itself.
Sorry for the long rant, but I feel strongly about this..

GettingThereNow said...

I do worry about my daughter's safety but don't think about going back to India - at least not yet.

I feel the people who were part of his life - parents, friends, family, teachers - are in some way responsible. Didn't ANYONE notice anything about him that made them wonder? And I agree with you - the US Gun Control laws are responsible for this in a big way. His nationality, specially since he left his home country 14 years ago, should not even figure in the list of causes. It is just the media distorting the facts and diverting attention away from the real issue - as always. I sometimes think the twisted media is going to be the main reason for this country's further decline in values and morals. They just ALWAYS focus on the wrong aspect of every story.

Asha said...

Sandeepa, it's a very valid article to write as a mom to other mom's.

At first,when they said "south Korean" ,I thought he was a foreign exchange students but NO!! He is almost an American who grew up in this culture!I thought it was so unfair as well.

Trisha is going to college in 2 yrs and I am little scared but I will prepare her how to survive if that happens rather than scaring her to death.It could happen anywhere and anytime,so we can not always live in fear.

It is a tragedy,he was mentally ill and he didn't get proper help.What a waste of so many young brilliant lives.I am devastated to see the parents on TV!!

Praba said...

These are things that worry me too. Hubby and I talk about it often - compare raising kids here and in India..I guess, we can't plan your life compltely the other way around because of stray incidents like these that happen once a decade, say? (columbine, then this...) It is very scary ...but, I think as parents we can never stop worrying about the safety of our kids wherever you raise them - scary episodes might take different forms and manifest in different ways ...

Here - prejudices and biases exist in every society...We just have focus our energies on the positives, and keep moving on...What else can we do? I worry about all the other kids with mental health problems that are out there, for whom we as a whole society/humanity think about ways to offer help...How do we prevent stuff like this need to be our society's focus, I guess...what do we learn from this episode?

swapna said...

Hi sandeepa
What u wrote is really a worrying problem..
Actually the racism has no relation with the original problem.But these people as u know will first start with that matter whatever the problem was.
Here i think it is a common one to have these type of violence isn't it?Not only in the colleges ..but on the roads and at many other places these type of shootings and all is common.I don't know why..?
I think India is safer than here.Not full safe....As dee said the kids raise here MAY have a chance of exposed to violence and all..i don't say everybody will be like that but some of now in India also the students are exposing themselves to drugs and all.So we can't say that India is also safe ?
We can't find a safest place for any body sandeepa...

indosungod said...

Sandeepa, it almost like you voiced my feelings. Gun violence is something we never heard about growing up. This incident and unfortuntely several others should have put Gun Control front and center. But I don't have hopes nobody woule even dare talk about it.

We avoided talking about the shooting but DD knew about it anyway, her friends had talked to her about it. She reads the newspaper mostly for the Comics and Kids Section and she reads the front page too. So it is difficult beyond a certain to even keep things away from them.

Big Zed said...

First time here and loving it!
We're all concerned and worried about our kids. The constant reference to South Korea baffled me as well. Haven't seen much prejudice in the US but plenty of ignorance.

Sharmi said...

Hey Sandeepa, sorry about being a lil late. but wanted to discuss on this topic form the time it has happened. Good you started. It was bothering me too, since it can happen to any of us in future. and this is not the first time such incidents are happening in schools and colleges. It has brought a lot of fear in my heart. while watching this on TV brought tears in my eyes too.
When will things change??