Alright, it's time for me to post my obligatory two cents about the Virginia Tech killings.
Every time one of these things happen, I can't help but think how fortunate I am that I didn't grow up to be a school shooter. There was a time in my life when I don't think I was too far away from it. When I was in high school, especially in freshman and sophomore years, I was lonely. I'd go through entire days and not say a word to anyone. I'd come home, and my parents would criticize me and question why I wasn't making friends.
I'm not sure why I wasn't making friends. I was pretty, smart, and I'd come from a place where I'd been popular. I'd been the captain of the cheerleading squad in the town where I went to middle school...but when my family relocated for me to go to high school because of my father's job, something inside of me changed, and it's never been quite the same.
I am glad my parents moved...I got a better education, and I'm a better person for it. However, I think if they hadn't moved, I would have taken a much more traditional path in my life. I would have married a nice local boy, lived near my family, probably taught high school English and gone to church with my mother every weekend. I'd probably have a baby already.
When I heard about the Virginia Tech killings and saw the video, I can't help but feel the rage that this kid is expressing. I remember hating everyone...HATING them. If I'd been a little less attractive, male, a little less intelligent, and had access to guns, I might have been one of those guys. It was an awful feeling--spending every day, alone. Looking at all the people and their social circles and feeling so very much outside of everything.
Being that kind of outsider does give you a special view on the situation you're in. You see people's falsity, their hypocrisy, and their pettiness in a way that you just can't when you're inside. Combine that enhanced ability to see people's ugliness with the deep pain of feeling lonely or being teased for being different, and a rage grows inside of you that's pretty awful.
There are people who teased me that I still can't forgive--2 boys in particular come to mine. If I saw them today, more than 10 years later, I'd still not be able to be civil to them. They were really awful to me, and it reaffirmed everything that I believed about the kids in my high school--they were snobby, superficial, wealthy, and judgmental. These 2 boys mocked my clothes, my drug use, and my shyness. There were times when I could have killed them I hated them so much.
I'm sorry for the families of the kids who died in the massacre, and I'm especially sorry for the kids who were just living their lives, going to class, and trying to do the best they could to get by. But I'm also sorry for Cho Seung-Hui and the pain and rage he must have felt to do what he did. I'm sorry that we live in a world where people have to experience such pain.