One item that interested me was the story of Liviu Librescu, a 76-year old engineering professor and Holacaust survivor. Dr. Livrescu barricaded the door of his classroom with his own body, allowing some of his students to escape. In the process Dr. Livrescu was killed by the gunman. This, ladies and gentlemen, makes Dr. Livrescu an honest-to-goodness hero. I include his picture below to remind us that remarkable human beings are moving amongst us every day, unbeknownst to many of us.
I have to go on about this. Does Dr. Livrescu look like a hero? How much time do you think he had to decide whether or not to barricade the door with his body? You can visit the doctor's website and see a list about ten pages long of publications in his field. Where do people like this come from?
In addition, I would like to comment on the cultural reaction to such events. It is indeed shocking that such a person can dwell in our midst unknown to us. Crazy people are nothing new, although they may be more numerous now than in previous eras. I'm afraid that the cultural knee-jerk reaction to this is to become more isolated, be it physically or spiritually.
Yet another cultural paradox we exhibit in the West is the propensity to breed monsters combined with an almost non-existent ability to deal with horror. I would propose that the two are not unrelated. It may sound trite or perhaps unusual, but I believe an essential component of healing from this process is taking responsibility for it. Public prayer is necessary to request healing and forgiveness. This act is primarily the responsibility of the gunman, but not his alone. Remember: we all live in a yellow submarine.
I don't believe that a large-scale public prayer event is forthcoming. In its absence, all we can do is pray individually or in whatever groups we can muster. For those who are conscious of such things, it is essential that we pray and not become discouraged. For that is really what those behind this act want you to do.