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There are many lessons to learn from the VT Tragedy. I have written about these and my story is now released and printed in a book (as of 03-29-10): "The Virginia Tech Tragedy and My Personal Tragedy: Lessons To Learn From An Insider And From Scripture." This is available at many online websites and can now be ordered directly and securely by clicking on the book cover to the right. I am selling it "for $16" to help people remember 04-16. I will autograph copies ordered this way and personally address them if specified to me through my contact information below. Here on this website, I have posted many Blog articles and other things relating to what I have and am learning. I wonder if you would like to comment on some things that you have learned since 04-16-07? The block on the bottom right allows you to sign on with your own user name and password and comment to any posts below! Keep visiting this site and even mark it on your favorites, as there will be regular blog additions (click on "read more" to see the entire blog articles) below relating to all of the lessons we need to be learning to truly prevail in our lives and in our communities.
Through tragedy we can learn. There is much for each of us to learn in the aftermath of the VT Tragedy.
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While many are discussing the State of the Union Address, this article will take this moment in time and history to consider the real state of this United States and where things need to change to turn us around and unite us as a Nation. There is so much yet to be learned or understood, as I have regularly written and talked about since my life was turned upside down following the still deadliest school shooting in U.S. history at Virginia Tech on 4-16-07. So far, as of this date in 2014, there have already been 9 school shooting incidents (including one just occurring at Roosevelt High School in Honolulu Hawaii), which puts us on track to have far more than the 28 school related shootings in 2013. On top of that, there was a recent mall shooting in Columbia, Maryland, where three, including the shooter, were killed and five others injured. What is going on with our society and with our values? A large part of the problem is that we are not valuing life as we should!
Prejudice must first be understood. It is basically a pre-judging or judging before there is a more perfect or an accurate knowledge. We all tend to do this. It is part of our fallen nature. It is also part of a sense of pride that makes one believe he or she has a better understanding or knowledge than others. This tendency toward pride and prejudice is particularly a problem in an age of computerization and instant access to knowledge. Prejudice fights against objectivity and gets us into trouble! How often have you pre-judged something or someone, only to learn later than you had misjudged?
Wow, with all of the news lately, there is much that could be discussed! The Virginia Supreme Court REVERSED the verdict about the guilt of the Virginia Tech University following the 2007 Shooting Massacre. Whatever your feelings are there, much still does need to be learned to reverse practices that lead to such tragic shootings. My book focuses on these things further! Other news also shows the need for reversals. A bullying scandal has rocked the Miami Dolphins and the entire NFL along with the Sports world. The gun control debate was ignited yet again with the recent shooting at the Los Angeles airport where several were wounded and a TSA agent was killed. Thousands have also just passed into eternity in the Philippines, where a Super Typhoon devastated that island Nation. Since the U.S. debt limit was raised and the partial government shutdown ended (note my last blog article), grave economic fears have waned. Still, there are major concerns over what is directly, negatively affecting millions of Americans and what will have a personal effect on each of us. The debacle with the health care situation and the Federal Government’s website, the Affordable Health Care Act has been consistently dominating the news. What is going on? Where are the answers? We need a reversal here as well!
By now, you should have some opinion about the partial U.S. Government Shutdown. This is not a closing of any local or state government, so most things are continuing on as usual (at least in the short term). This is not even a shutdown of every aspect of the federal government, as many federal workers are still working and the government has to continue to function in many capacities, as we do not live completely separated from all the other countries in the world. Politicians are still working and we are certainly hearing more of their comments; the IRS is definitely not going to miss taking in revenues! All of the hype in the media makes this seem more like a horrible tragedy. Is it? Are we all or is the entire world in terrible danger? Is this a shutdown tragedy?
Fresh from the rare military death sentence being issued for the 2009 Fort Hood Shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people and wounded 31, comes yet another military massacre! The Nation, and military in particular, was just hit again with another horrible massacre at the Washington D.C. Naval Yard. This strike immediately made the news and has drawn the world’s attention rather quickly, given that it was on a military base and so close to the U.S. Capital and White House. Again, 13 souls have passed into Eternity, with 8 or more other injuries from the multiple gun battles with police, before the shooter, Aaron Alexis, was killed. More information about the shooter and shooting is still coming out, but no doubt, this latest military massacre is yet another horrible shooting that will leave us with many more lessons needing to be learned!
If you have been paying attention to recent conversations in this Country and not merely living in your own private world (see my last blog article :-) ), then you likely have some opinion in the recent George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin case. The verdict and acquittal of George Zimmerman has enraged many around the Country and the President even decided to address this issue publicly this past Friday. On Saturday, rallies focusing on the theme “Justice for Trayvon” were held in 100 key cities around the Country. Now, the United States Justice Department is even investigating this case for potential civil charges against Zimmerman. Whether you believe justice has been served or not through Zimmerman’s acquittal, you should be able to identify with the greater issues this case has brought to attention. Playing off this case and conversation, I’m writing today about Justice!
As we consider the 237th anniversary of the Independence of America, we cannot help but consider one of the greatest concerns in the Country today—“The Right to Privacy.” Do we actually have a right to talk to whom we want and when we want? Do we have the right to go where we want whenever we want? Liberty does have some limitation, even by definition (as there must be a way to explain what it is not), but is it really liberty to have the government or someone else pry into our phone records or monitor where we go? Most Americans are concerned about the revelation that government officials have been looking at thousands of private phone and email records and even the IRS targeting conservative organizations. Are there people monitoring every purchase we make, every place that we go and every conversation we have with others? Should they be? Do we actually have The Right to Privacy?
One of the hottest topics in this Country today and one that will likely be discussed for months to come is the issue of Gun Control. This subject may particularly be in the minds of those in this Blacksburg community, as we approach the 6th Anniversary of that most horrific 04-16-07 VT Tragedy! What can be done to help prevent so many of these terrible shootings that continue to plague our schools and colleges and other areas of the society? Do we need more laws to help prevent the use of certain high power guns and greater rounds of ammunition? Do we need more laws to keep certain people (such as those with a history of mental health difficulty) from acquiring guns or any such weapon? Well, these are the questions out there and where the debate is focused in what Government can do to control the problem and help prevent these shootings. While it does seem obvious that there are laws needing to be strengthened, or at least enforced, is there not some greater issue begging to be discussed? I submit that the deeper and more important issue is not some greater Gun Control; it is a greater GOD Control!
Last month’s State of the Union address and the current political climate related to these automatic budget cuts (actually there are no real cuts, but reductions in budget increase), leads to the subject of my latest blog article today. The current religious scene in the Roman Catholic Church (deciding upon a new Pope) also lends itself to a discussion of Unity. What is the State of the Union of these United States? What is the state of Unity among religious bodies? These questions lead me to a discussion of Unity and what I have as the 8th Lesson to Learn in my “Top Ten Lessons To Learn” (see my book and the overview on pages 411-12 or the website listing at: http://www.vtlessonstolearn.com/node/7): “Unify Diversity.”
To contact Charles Pugh directly, email email@example.com or call 540-552-5083.