Virginia Tech Massacre The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik Comments on the Ringing of the Cell Phones of the Dead
Kent State Massacre
The Ringing of the Cell Phones
Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker April 30, 2007:
The cell phones in the pockets of the dead students were still ringing when we were told that it was wrong to ask why. As the police cleared the bodies from the Virginia Tech engineering building, the cell phones rang, in the eccentric ring tones, as parents kept trying to see if their children were O.K. To imagine the feelings of the police as they carried the bodies and heard the ringing of the is heartrending; to imagine the feelings of the parents who were calling--dread, desperate hope for a sudden answer and the bilss of reassurance, dawning grief--is unbearable. But the parents, and the rest of us were told that it was not the right moment to ask how the shooting had happened--specifically, why an obviously disturbed student, with a history of mental illness, was able to buy guns whose essential purpose is to kill people--and why it happens over and over again in America.
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