It defies easy analysis. Or should.
Because when 32 people are shot and killed during a single senseless rampage, it's so incomprehensible it dulls the senses. Those of us who don't know any of the victims need time to let news like this sink in.
Of course, those more closely tied to Monday's shooting rampage at Virginia Tech will need a lot more time to grieve, to heal and to make whatever sense can be made of what took place on what was widely considered a safe, even peaceful, college campus.
Yet within hours of the shooting, there already were plenty of folks fighting the battle over gun control and how things would have been different if they had their way.
Some who no doubt want to ban firearms said if guns were illegal this wouldn't have happened, because the shooter wouldn't have had a gun – though there's ample evidence to suggest that anyone, even hardened criminals, can get their hands on a firearm if they want one bad enough.
On the other side of the issue, pro gun lobbyists said if the university wasn't a gun-free zone, this wouldn't have happened because someone with a gun would've shot the shooter. That standpoint assumes, of course, someone with a weapon would've been within shooting distance at the time the massacre took place and had the courage and skill to take out the gunman, a student from South Korea.
There also were those ready to point fingers at school administrators, blaming them for not alerting students or shutting down campus earlier, after two students were known to have been killed.
Perhaps there is something the school could have done to prevent what followed, though it's always easier to point fingers in hindsight.
But those should be arguments for another time, not now.
For now, just pray.
Bryan County News
April 18, 2007