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Virginia Tech Massacre The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik Comments on the Ringing of the Cell Phones of the Dead

Updated on May 14, 2009

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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    • profile image

      jennifer 10 years ago


    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      The only weapons that should be permitted are those used for hunting and target shooting. The only purpose of the large magazine pistols used by Cho at Virginia Tech is for killing people.

    • thecounterpunch profile image

      thecounterpunch 10 years ago

      I'm not for totalling suppressing guns because I remember History: before Hitler took power the first things he did was to pass a law forbidding guns.

      So I am for an intermediate solution which would give gun permit only to people who pass lessons for using guns (like driver's license) and are psychological sane (medical certificate and other proofs like when you open a bank account).

    • Woemwood profile image

      Woemwood 10 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      This is a snapshot of a spiritual diluted society, which insists that we are coming from the monkeys, and where they teach people in schools and in particular in universities, what is right, is realy wrong, and what is wrong, is realy right.They should not be surprised, if their children turn out to be criminally insane.