The guardian instinct

The guardian instinct

As is common with such horrific tragedies as the Virginia Tech murders, our initial shock often turns to introspection.

It’s not paranoia. It is the protective guardian instinct that is built into every man. We are hardwired to be ready to protect and even give our lives if necessary when danger approaches.

The Anchoress uses the time to talk with her teenage son and his friends about their reactions which were somewhat surprising to her at first. But first she notes the simple truth that despite whatever the pundits and the politicians promise, this can’t be fixed such that it never happens again, because the reality is that evil exists and will continue to plague us until the Final Judgment.

As for her sons, she notes how they refused to sit rapt in front of the news reports on the murders, but flipped the channel around to sitcoms and other shows. Their reasons why are somewhat surprising:

“There is nothing I can do for those people,” one young man said. “I can feel bad for them because they’re in a world of hurt, and if I were there, I’d have done something, or if I were a cop, an EMT worker or something, I could do something. But I can’t. All I can do is sit here and feel bad for them, which I do, but I can’t wallow in it. That would be like making porn of it.”

Isn’t that the truth of it? When the Anna Nicole story or Don Imus story broke or any other major story like it, the 24/7 news media (what Rush Limbaugh calls the “drive-by media” ) jumps on it, almost gleefully. The same with this situation. Even in the midst of horror and grief, there is an orgy of reporters saying little and repeating it constantly, filling up the minutes between actual news with a mindless chatter.

But then the boys say something else which grabs my attention and points up an essential difference between men and women that our society seems to try to drive out of men.

Running the scenario

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
4 comments
  • “Even in the midst of horror and grief, there is an orgy of reporters saying little and repeating it constantly, filling up the minutes between actual news with a mindless chatter.”

    Regarding the “drive-by” media garbage, we need to send a message the media that we do not want what they are peddling.

    One step, get rid of the TV in your home. We have been without one for 18 months and I do not miss it. Sure at first I missed the sports stuff, but now I listen to games on the radio. We watch DVDs on the computer or the portable DVD player.

  • I have to admit that my initial thoughts were along the same lines. This man had two semiauto pistols. If he bought them recently, he most likely had 10-round magazines, which means he would’ve had to reload clips at least twice on each pistol. And that’s if every shot hit a target only once, which is rather unlikely.

    Anyway, I have rehearsed such scenarios in my mind as well. I pray to God I would have the strength to do whatever was necessary in such a situation.

  • I’m going to be a college student in the fall, so it’s hard not to think ‘what if?’. I hope that I’d be able to think in a situation like that, be able to do something. I have to admit, my first thought would not be “take the bastard down”. My first thought would probably be: EVERYBODY OUT NOW. Maybe that’s the difference between guys and girls—when it’s a fight-or-flight situation, we’re more likely to get out of there. Not like running away—but getting people out, getting them safe. Making it so the shooter can’t find you.

    Sorry if I’m a bit incoherent.

  • Mothers and even grandmothers run scenarios in their heads also.  One of the sweetest things my very young granddaughter said softly to herself as we were heading to the park was, “Grandma will protect me.”

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