Lately, I’ve written a ton about Iraq, and I suspect that it will not stopped. I’m just aggravated by the whole thing. That said, I understand that not everything relates back to Iraq, the way everything for Walter Solcheck from The Big Lebowski went back to his experience in Vietnam.

One thing I know, and I have never served time in war, is that war sucks. That’s because violence is awful. This morning, more than 30 people were gunned down at Virginia Tech. It’s awful. So many dead people there. This story will dominate the American news media for the next week at least. I can predict what the stories will be about despite my reluctance to read anything about it: gun control vs. gun rights, violence in society, violence on campus, video games, who’s to blame, etc. Some commentator will say something about it that will infuriate someone. Months down the road, when the school opens up for fall term, NPR will cover peoples’ return to classes or why some students chose to go there after their admission.  I can see it like a softball down the middle.

It’s not wrong for the story to get coverage and for people to share their memories of the event; that’s helpful and essential in any tragedy. Nevertheless, when people get too dramatic about it, blaming anything and everything for person who snapped and killed dozens, it doesn’t make much sense. Why? Because people not only die every day in the world, but people also die because of us in the United States. Our country is responsible, directly so, for the deaths of thousands of Iraq men, women and children who never provoked themselves into being bombed or shot. Two years ago, in a small town in Iraq, as many as a dozen Marines carried out a mass murder of civilians. That story got very little press. People remember things because they’re close to home, which is understandable, but why get bent out of shape about it. If we want to know how things like what happened at Virginia Tech today occur we have to be honest. We are a society that values death and yet pretends to have some morbid revulsion by it. We’re a violent society for some reason or another and I’m not sure. Who knows. I just don’t look forward to the sanctimonious ponderings of commentators about violence in our society if we don’t recognize the dual tragedy in greasing Iraqi people in the name of our own safety or worse, theirs. Ours is a violent society. We’ve embraced death. It’s become an answer to our problems; warfare and abortion come to my mind. People are murdered everyday in America. If 30 is a tragedy, why not one? Isn’t 30 just 3o ones?