The pundits are already out in force, claiming they know what caused the Korean student to go on a shooting spree, killing 32 people, and how to prevent it from happening again. "Tougher gun laws" cries one. Another calls for cameras on every corner of campus. "This is just the work of a random madman" writes another.
I would respond that this killing was neither random nor unpredictable. We have always had mentally unstable people, yet until the Columbine massacre, we never heard of anyone taking a gun to school and taking out as many of his classmates as he can. So what has changed? Certainly availability of semi-automatic weapons is a factor, no matter what the NRA says. I doubt this otherwise law abiding kid would have had the "connections" to get a Glock on the street. If it were not legal for him to have such a weapon, he might not have gone to the trouble of finding one illegally. Yet even in a perfect world where it is difficult for maniacs to obtain weapons, one would never be guaranteed the guy next door isn't plotting their demise.
There used to be a common sense of connectedness among Americans. Yes, we were all different, but we knew to whom we belonged. One might murder someone with whom he has no emotional connection, but what cold heart would shoot the friendly neighborhood postman? Rampant "me first" individualism has taken over the ethos of America, and she is just now beginning to pay the price.
The intellectual driving force behind this disconnection is evolutionary social theory. That is, as we are told we are nothing but cosmic accidents, we begin to form a society not around a common ethos, but rather the individual's pursuit of vainglory. And why not? If there is no Creator, there can be no transcendent morality, and behavior that "dehumanizes" men will soon be ubiquitous.
Ironically, two days after the Virginia massacres, the Supreme Court affirmed the partial birth abortion ban passed by Congress back in 2003. I see this as encouraging, but little more than a band-aid on our wounded soul. Yes, the conservative Christians were able to re-elect President Bush, and as a direct result, the Supreme Court was able to chip away at abortion. This decision does nothing the heal the cold-hearted individualism that has taken over America, the attitude that makes both the Virginia tragedy and Roe v. Wade possible.
Who knows? Perhaps we will yet turn our hearts away from ourselves, and return to the God our forefathers worshiped. I don't know what it will take. Even the 911 disaster was only a bump in the road down the materialist path, a path that the "religious right" have unfortunately taken the lead in America. I have no idea what will shake us off that path. Is our fate sealed?