Something I heard about the shooting of the two men in front of Carter-Finley Stadium made me realize the significance of the event. “This is going to look awfully bad for N.C. State.” As tragic as the whole incident was, the focus of some students’ worries was about the image of their school. I can’t say that I don’t agree with their assumptions, but when did we become so cold?

I love football and tailgating just as much as the next guy. I’ve done it myself. This isolated incident, I assure you, is not the norm at an N.C. State tailgating. Yet it seems to have become the norm in this country. For me, the shooting is not so much a tragedy as a wake-up call. For whatever reason, our society has turned too often to violence as a solution to problems beyond our understanding.

David Brooks writes in The New York Times about a “Cult of Death,” where “people are proud to declare ‘You love life, but we love death.’” Brooks is primarily critiquing the blindness that we have developed toward acts of atrocity in other countries, especially after 9/11. On a smaller scale, he makes a good argument. Sept. 11 seems to have had a profound effect on many citizens. We are more unapologetic and nationalistic than ever. And we have become less forgiving and more headstrong when it comes to using violence as a means for dealing with our adversaries. What happened to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

It is sad that we do not care about the important things anymore. Sometimes, all I see is darkness in people’s eyes and on people’s faces when they speak angrily in front of a convention or on national TV about making the terrorists pay at all costs. Well, the cost is significant. We no longer view life as a right, but rather a privilege. A privilege for those who agree and submit to us.

I was told 15 years ago, when I immigrated to this country with my family, that this was a better place. But I didn’t sign up for this.