Thirty-two innocent people dead, from the freshest of freshmen with their lives before them to an elderly Holocaust survivor who apparently decided one last time, never again.
One fractured soul that, in its death agonies, took the others with it.
And it all must mean something, of course -- preferably something that furthers one's own political agenda.
Ban guns. Give everyone guns. Stop school bullying. Catch these guys before they kill. No, that's profiling.
Because, buried under the blood and heartbreak that inundates the Virginia Tech campus, one very simple thing happened.
It was the same thing that happened at Columbine and the score of major and minor copies of it, including the one-man standoffs and threats at schools around the country and the hostage standoff that ended with two deaths at Johnson Space Center:
A pathetic loser decided it was the world's fault he was a pathetic loser and as many of "them" as possible had to pay.
A harsh judgment on our part? Maybe. Certainly not as harsh as the average three bullets pumped into the bodies of Virginia Tech students and faculty who anticipated nothing more than another routine day of classes.
But let's not romanticize this. Maybe Seung-Hui Cho was bullied in school. Maybe he was teased. Lots of people were picked on in school. The great and uncountable majority of them neglected to kill anyone, or even gesture with lethal defiance in a last video sent to the broadcast outlet of their choice.
Maybe there was something festering in Cho's head. Mental health professionals who encountered the man seemed to think so; classmates who feared a tirade at a less-than-laudatory word seemed to think so. But there he was, amidst those he resented and despised, until last Monday.
Now 32 of "them" -- us -- are dead, including some whose potential we will never know. That is the tragedy of last Monday, not whatever worms were burrowing in Cho's psyche.