Friday, April 20, 2007

Noonan on Cultural Culpability After VaTech Shooting

Peggy Noonan:
There seems to me a sort of broad national diminution of common sense in our country that we don't notice in the day-to-day but that become obvious after a story like this. Common sense says a person like Cho Sheng-hui, who was obviously dangerous and unstable, should have been separated from the college population. Common sense says someone should have stepped in like an adult, like a person in authority, and taken him away. It is only common sense that if a person like Cho leaves a self-aggrandizing, self-celebrating, self-pitying video diary of himself to be played by the mass media, the mass media should not play it and not publicize it, not make it famous. Common sense says that won't help.

And all those big cops, scores of them, hundreds, with the latest, heaviest, most sophisticated gear, all the weapons and helmets and safety vests and belts. It looked like the brute force of the state coming up against uncontrollable human will.

But it also looked muscle bound. And the schools themselves more and more look muscle bound, weighed down with laws and legal assumptions and strange prohibitions.

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