On culture, responsibility and ethnic groups.
So what happens when a member of your "group" commits an abominable, unspeakable crime? It's hard to say. Do you shudder more than you would if the perpetrator were a member of some other group? I remember thinking about how frightened I was for my country after the Twin Towers -- where I spent the Fourth of July as a kid -- were attacked, and also about how worried I was that the relaxed cultural climate of my youth might become a thing of the past.
For my own part, I have to wonder how responsible I would feel if an American student commited a shooting spree of this kind. It seems to me that a big part of the guilt and responsibility arises because the perpetrator was a student. We, as Americans, tend not to take responsibility for our fellow citizen-contractors that commit violent meaningless acts in other places. (If we do feel it, it's not very public). I've been told that the South Korean government has apologized to the US on 3 separate occasions since the VT spree. Does this strike anyone else as somewhat strange? Do you think our government would apologize for a shooting spree on forign soil? I would like to think so, and I'm honored that the South Korean's have taken responsibility for their own...even if that responisbility doesn't make sense to us.