In his capitol report of May 9, 2007, entitled "The Declawing of America's Sons," Emery wrote the following:
American young men are no longer taught to act in an emergency; today’s culture teaches that it is someone else’s job to act. Were these young men waiting to be rescued? Were they waiting on the police or campus security or some other official? If so, while they waited, 32 people died. It angers me that America’s sons seem to have been “de-clawed” by a culture of dependence, and on April 16th, some of our sons and daughters may have died because of it.
Emery spends considerable time blaming the "declawing of America" in this report, apparently an effort to make it clear that there needs to be no discussion of the role of guns in the shooting. Nowhere does he put the blame on the shooter. The report is printed below:
We are all shocked over the losses suffered by families of Virginia Tech University due to one crazed murderer. The Virginia Tech shooting revived some of the gun control debate, but before jumping to conclusions, gun control advocates should explain why we see shooting incidents in Post Offices but not in Police stations. Both are staffed by government employees, and both can be highly stressful professions. You may draw your own conclusions.
Apart from that debate, as I listened to the Virginia Tech story develop, I was haunted by the number of casualties that occurred without intervention. After some research on the history and demographics of the school, my concerns were heightened. Virginia Tech has a strong military heritage and continues to have significant voluntary participation in ROTC programs. Possibly a result of that proud history, the school is populated by significantly more young men than young women.
As a public servant, I can’t help wonder why, given these circumstances, was there only one “hero” account in the early reports? An elderly professor and survivor of the Holocaust died protecting his classroom. Accounts of other heroes may eventually surface, but how, in a school dominated by young men, could one individual kill 32 people without being stopped?
You would hope that some casualties were the result of young men assisting others, especially the young ladies, to escape, but why didn’t some of these capable young men rush the murderer? Why didn’t they throw desks or take some other spontaneous action? What caused the apparent paralysis and impotence? Is it possible we witnessed some tragic consequences of America’s new culture of entitlement and dependence? American young men are no longer taught to act in an emergency; today’s culture teaches that it is someone else’s job to act. Were these young men waiting to be rescued? Were they waiting on the police or campus security or some other official? If so, while they waited, 32 people died. It angers me that America’s sons seem to have been “de-clawed” by a culture of dependence, and on April 16th, some of our sons and daughters may have died because of it.
I confess that my first reaction stemmed from my role as State Representative, but then I considered my role as a father. Soon after the Virginia Tech tragedy, I spoke with my sons and asked what their reaction might have been and then shared my concerns about the danger of a culture of dependence. We spoke of three attitudes that might compel an individual to face danger decisively and not merely wait for rescue: first he or she must have a sense of divine purpose; second, a sense of divine sovereignty; and finally, a servant’s heart. They must be more concerned for the safety of others than for their own wellbeing.
I appealed to my sons not to wait to be rescued if they ever found themselves in a situation similar to the one at Virginia Tech. I don’t think they will. By Gods grace, they will do what then can, and not wait impotently to be rescued while a murderer kills 32 of their friends.