Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

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Monday, September 13, 2004
The dead sleep; the living move on. Dunblane teenager takes US Open
"A Scottish teenager who survived the Dunblane school massacre has won the US Open tennis junior title. Andrew Murray, 17, became the first British winner of the prestigious competition when he beat Ukrainian Sergei Stakhovsky 6-4 6-2 on Sunday."

For each person there comes an event that brings it home: there really is evil in the world. Dunblane was mine. Of course I knew about the great slaughters of history and about contemporary massacres in far lands. Knew but never quite believed. Dunblane brought it home.

As I wrote here I thought about Thomas Hamilton’s victims, or their families, or the surviving members of the class almost every day for two years or more. For the most part this was a useless procedure. When brooding became prayer perhaps it helped a little. (Do I mean helped them, in their great trauma, or helped me in my little shadow of it? Both.) I don't know whether I'll end up depressing myself in the same way over the Beslan massacre. I have thought of it every day so far, but the days have been few.

One thing I am grateful for is that the press stayed away from the Dunblane survivors as they grew up. Whether this restraint on the part of the press was in obedience to their consciences or to some sort of injunction I do not know, but it is good that the children were spared the shrivelling light of unending public attention. Human beings, particularly growing human beings, are not made to be stared at too hard. That is why I also hope that they were not over-counselled; eight years of in-depth counselling might be a longitudinal version of a year of worldwide fame.

I assume that Andrew Murray was not in the actual class that was massacred, as the article says he was eight at the time and they were four and five. The children at the epicentre are still children. In the next couple of years we may hear more about them. May it be in the context of their achievements, as it has been for Andrew Murray.