Minister Prepares to Help Virginia Tech Students Cope With Shooting Rampage

Chris Faith, a minister and one of the elders of Blacksburg Christian Fellowship, was watching the television intently Tuesday morning as he ate breakfast at an off-campus McDonald’s, as victim’s names began filtering out.

There are about 200 students in his congregation, with at least one who was still unaccounted for, Faith said.

He said students so far have expressed shock from the intense surprise of Monday’s shooting rampage by a student at Virginia Tech who killed 32 people in the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

“One is just how shocking, and how brief life could be,” Faith said. And also, more specifically, how friends “could go to class Monday morning and expect friends to go to the hospital and in the morgue.”

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He said it’s important to remember that life doesn’t last forever. Asked what he would say to students seeking to cope with more than the death of a loved one, but something on the scale of Monday’s incident, he said: “My sense is life is unpredictable. Senseless things happen unpredictably.”

One student with whom Faith spoke mentioned video game violence as a possible culprit, if not a symptom of a greater societal ill.

“We’re training people to think life is like a video game, and a violent video game. So is it any surprise to find that people act as they are trained?” Faith said.