French 101: Surrender = Massacre or How To Reclaim Your Humanity in the Rat Race

by Mike Dugger


... we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender. - Sir Winston Churchill before the British House of Commons, June 4, 1940

The massacre at Virginia Tech on April 16, like others before it, is simply further proof that as long as there are guns there will always be a lunatic with a gun. Since guns aren't going to go away - ever - we have to decide how best to live with them. The emphasis here is on "live."

The question isn't - How do we prevent lunatics from getting guns and rampaging? The proper question is - How do we prepare ourselves for the eventuality so that massacres like Virginia Tech's won't be repeated? Perhaps we should militarize our police so that they can quickly dispatch the lunatics when they strike.


If you think that's the answer after the Columbine and Virginia Tech Massacres, then you've been watching way too many cop shows on TV. Somehow the sight of scores of police in full body armor with automatic weapons traipsing about like Keystone Kops, or cowering behind cars and trees, or simply wading in jurisdictional red tape while a massacre is occurring in a nearby school building does nothing to make me feel safer. Television cop shows have failed to brainwash me in that regard. Cop shows are merely dramatic fiction with little or no relation to reality. These massacres on the other hand, usually covered live by the networks because if it bleeds it leads, are truly reality TV. Writ large.

But just what reality is it that they present us with?

Well, first I suggest we settle on correct terminology before we proceed. I use the word "massacre" in reference to the incident at Virginia Tech. This isn't my way of over-dramatizing the event. It is simply calling a spade a spade. While I haven't been exposed to much of the mainstream media coverage of the event, I would imagine that it has commonly been referred to as "killings", "mass murder", "rampage", or weepily as a "tragedy." Likewise in the case of Columbine. I believe that these terms are wrong if one wishes to correctly characterize these events. Referencing Mirriam Webster we learn the following:

"massacre... the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty."