Life is cruel, oh so very cruel. God must play dice with the world contrary to what Einstein said. How else can you account for Virgina Tech aeronautical engineering professor Liviu Librescu, who survived Hitler’s death camps only to die at the hands of a poor deluded 23 year old madman yesterday:
Students of an Israeli lecturer who died in the Monday massacre at a Virginia Tech said he saved the lives of several students by blocking the doorway of his classroom from the approaching gunman before he was fatally shot, his son said Tuesday.
…Students of Liviu Librescu, 76, an engineering science and mathematics lecturer in at Virginia Tech for 20 years, sent e-mails to his wife, Marlena, telling of how he blocked the gunman’s way and saved their lives, said the son, Joe.
“My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee,” Joe Librescu said from his home outside of Tel Aviv. “Students started opening windows and jumping out.”
…When Romania joined forces with Nazi Germany in World War II, the young Librescu was interned in a labor camp, and then sent along with his family and thousands of other Jews to a central ghetto in the city of Focsani, his son said. Hundreds of thousands of Romanian Jews were killed by the collaborationist regime during the war.
Who can say why people react the way they do in life and death situations. But I have a strong feeling that once you’ve survived the horror of the Holocaust you just realize that life has to be more than merely prolonging your existence. When you’ve looked evil in the face it is that much easier to know what to do when you glimpse it a second time.
NPR also did an audio tribute to Librescu today though I can’t find an audio link to it on their site. This Times of London story is quite moving. The NY Times covered his funeral today in Brooklyn. The story includes an interview with a student whose life Librescu saved.
Harry Reid was quoted today saying this tragedy didn’t mean there was any need for gun control legislation in this country. What an ass. I hope I haven’t sullied Prof. Librescu’s memory by using such strong language. But who does Reid take us for–fools? Of course this country desperately needs gun control legislation. This student was mentally ill and bought his guns LEGALLY! Does that tell you something about the ease with which disturbed people can wreak havoc on their fellow human beings?
I’m sorry to say that we are the laughingstock of the world in this regard. Well, not the laughingstock since no one is laughing at us now. But they are shaking their heads in wonder at how a nation known for common sense and the ability to solve problems can allow itself to be tied up in knots, thus preventing us from resolving one of the worst scourges of our society: gun violence. The NRA and the gun manufacturers in this country have blood on their hands. But they will never pay the price. They spend so much money in campaign contributions that they have the legislative process in the palm of their hands. This one great American tragedy. Will they ever pay a price for the blood of Americans needlessly spilled by their folly?