My heart and thoughts go all to all of those in the Virginia Tech family. Yesterday’s events were nothing short of horrific. I cannot put it into scope or scale.
I have spent time in Blacksburg. The student population dwarfs the city’s population. It’s a small, sleepy little town. Definately not a place where you would be walking around with your head on a swivel looking for trouble. I look forward to the day when I talk about Virginia Tech, it will be me making fun of them for being hillbilly dorks and not about senseless death.
I followed this story all day through the national media. From the morning when the reported death toll was one, to the evening when it climbed over 30. As the story was still developing, the media was already throwing blame around. Why didn’t the campus public safety do more? Why didn’t they act sooner? While details will trickle out over the coming days and weeks, the media was already throwing these school officials under the bus. I don’t know if this was a desire to place blame. Or maybe they just needed something to talk about while waiting for more details to come in. The cable news networks insist on round the clock coverage with all breaking stories. When no news comes in, they still have to talk about something. Having no news to report, something must still be talked about to fill the air time. After the requisit gun control stories, the local law enforcement was villfied.
There’s no way to shut down or evacuate a major college campus in short order. I’ve heard crazy ideas thrown around. From having to pass through gates to enter campus, to metal detectors, to biometrics to gain access to buildings. None of these would’ve mattered. You can’t police crazy. A young man snapped and decided to kill a bunch of people. This could happen any day, any time, anywhere. This kid was a student. He had access to these buildings. None of these outrageous proposals would’ve stopped him. And, even if he hadn’t been able to enter a campus building, he would’ve went to a grocery store, a shopping mall, or another public place. A massive amount of people were going to die, and no level of security was going to stop that.
On the plus side, every college will evaluate it’s emergency notification and evacuation procedures. But I fear the backlash, the overcompensation. College is a great time (I should know, I spent nine years experiencing it). Having to go through airport like security clearance everyday will not enhance anyone’s college experience. And it won’t prevent a psycho from acting psychotic.
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