Reflecting On The Virginia Tech Tragedy

By admin / April 24, 2007
By: Ian Fisher
Category: Leadership

As a counselor and parent of a college graduate and college student I need to offer my most sincere condolences to the parents, students and staff members of Virginia Tech, who were so horrendously affected by the tragedy on your campus. There are really no words that can convey to you the extreme sadness that I feel, and I know the feelings you are experiencing, especially those who lost loved ones, can't even begin to be understood by most of us. The outpouring of grief by so many people who don't even know you must help somewhat, but in the end, the utter senselessness of this entire experience must be completely overwhelming. I only hope you can find some hope and healing in the days to come. As the media continues to churn out multiple stories about this horrific event, one of the themes that constantly emerges is why wasn't more done to stop this from happening. This is the one thing you can always count on from the pundits in our media establishment. It seems they always want to find closure by placing the blame on one or more of the institutions involved in the tragedy. Unfortunately, our medical, psychiatric, education and law enforcement communities are ill equipped to determine in advance whether an individual has the capacity for this level of violence. Since many politicians and corporate CEO's exhibit some of the personality traits of psychopaths, and there is truly a fine line between genius and insanity, as evidenced by the endless parade of celebrities involved with self destructive behaviors, the impulse to say this young man should have been stopped long ago, due to the "signs he exhibited" is foolhearty. Most psychopaths are very intelligent and adept at acertaining the intent of psychological tests, and if we tried to isolate people from society, due to "signs they exhibited", it would probably be the least sophisticated and least violent of our psychiatric population, not the cold hearted killers. It usually takes a triggering event to cause a psychopathic personality to resort to violence of this scale, and this triggering event may be something that is eventually uncovered. So, as you watch the various specials on television and read the multitude of solutions offered by journalists, try to remember the innocent victims of this tragedy and feelings of their families, who are suffering beyond belief. Don't be quick to rush to conclusions about who failed to do what in the heat of the moment, because it is easy to do that in hindsight. There is just one person to blame for this terrible act, and that is Cho Seung-Hui. We are all ultimately accountable for our actions, and while it is truly unsettling to attempt to understand why such a random, violent act occurs, the perpetrator of this massacre has met his fate and will surely face a wrath worse than any we could devise in this world. About the author: John Kaighn is a Registered Investment Advisor with Jersey Benefits Advisors, a counselor in the Middle Twp. School District and writes articles on various business and investment information, ideas and opportunities. For more information about this and other topics you can visit and

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