Like all Americans, the officers, directors and members
of the Illinois State Rifle Association are shocked and
saddened by the news coming out of Virginia.
At the moment, nobody knows too much about the
perpetrator - other than that he was an angry young man
who carefully planned to cause a maximum of carnage.
Naturally, there are a lot of questions that arise out
of a tragedy like this. First and foremost, is, "Why?"
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is known only
to the young man that did the killing.
There are sociological questions that must be answered.
We should be asking just how good of a job do our
schools do in helping foreign students to adjust and
adapt to American culture. It appears that this young
man was distraught over a failed relationship with a
girl. Breakups happen every day on our campuses - so we
have to ask ourselves just how well equipped colleges
are to help students through the emotional upheaval of a
Again, although all the facts are not in, it appears
that there was a breakdown in the public safety
mechanism at Virginia Tech. Certainly a thorough review
of campus safety plans, nationwide, should be conducted
in light of what happened yesterday.
In closing, I ask that you keep the victims and their
families in your thoughts.
Richard A. Pearson
Illinois State Rifle Association