A Virginia Tech Victims Fund?
Regarding the July 29 Metro story "Fund Considered for Virginia Tech Victims, Families":
I suppose we shouldn't be surprised to see that Virginia lawmakers are tripping over themselves to appear compassionate by sending other people's money to the victims of the lone, crazy gunman at Virginia Tech (even as the same politicians impose enormous driving fines that will hurt the poor most of all). It would take real courage for a state lawmaker to stand up and say that as compassionate as the commonwealth feels, it is not the role of government to send large sums of taxpayers' money to the victims of a random tragedy.
It is at best misguided to connect the issue of Virginia Tech's potential negligence with the desire to comfort victims through cash payouts. Whether the university has any or no culpability related to the shootings is a distinct issue that should be determined in the courts. The legislature should not preempt any possible findings along those lines by dumping cash on the families.
Virginia lawmakers can show their true compassion by sending generous personal contributions to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, as many Virginia taxpayers already have. Turning grieving families into grieving millionaires -- which is what the federal government did after the Sept. 11 attacks -- is a perversion of the role of government.