Don Shomette

People are the Prize

8 Years Later…

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va tech

As a society we’ve slid into a terrible habit of labeling all deaths as a killing, regardless of whether it was an accident or not. Out of the necessity to protect themselves, I believe that the media reports any event where a person has died as a ‘killing’ because then they are less liable than if they proclaim it a murder.

I get it.

We just have to remember that being killed is not the same thing as being murdered, especially on today, the anniversary of the school attack on Virginia Tech.

Why is this important?

A person who has been killed, was killed by accident. A person who was murdered, was killed on purpose. Both are victims because they have been permanently deprived of their most precious thing in this world—their life. However, the person who was murdered has suffered a severe injustice at the hands of someone who had no right to do what they did. The injustice of murder is so great that it is the only crime that has the ability to make you a co-victim—even though it’s 8 years later and on the day of the attack you were thousands of miles away and didn’t know any of the victims personally.

Today in 2007, 32 people were murdered in the school attack on Virginia Tech. Those innocent people were not killed, but murdered and in eleven minutes all of their families, friends, and thousands of others became co-victims.

Today take extra care to reach out to those who may be suffering—even if they were not there and let them know that you care and remind them that what they are feeling are normal feelings about a terribly abnormal and unjust event.

Author: Don Shomette

Don Shomette is a trainer, speaker, consultant, and owner of People are the Prize, a violence prevention company that helps people to prevent and survive a school attack. He has spent a lifetime working with police officers and principals and is consistently evaluated by those who attend his trainings as one of the best instructors ever. Don challenges, entertains, and helps school personnel to think of preventing violence in a new and positive way.

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