Soap Box: Virginia Tech Massacre
April 18, 2007
On the Monday morning of
Letís first address the actions of the university, the
police, and campus security given thatís where the initial blame is going to
be directed, and where the slimy lawyers are going to target their lawsuits in
order to pad their pocketbooks. At
this time it appears that Seung-Hui was responsible for both shootings, at the
dormitory and the engineering building. Given
that more than two hours elapsed between the shootings, people are wondering why
the university didnít alert students or lock down the school.
First of all, police/security thought the scene of the
first shooting was contained. It was
either a murder-suicide, or the shooter had fled the campus.
There was no reason to believe that the shooter was still on campus,
hence their reasoning for not locking down the school.
But one must ask, how can you lock down such a large campus, that has
tens of thousands of students. Universities
are not like small public schools. They
are like cities, with many buildings, and many roads, and lots of people coming
and going. Itís a community in and
of itself, so it would be hard to lock it down, if it could even be done.
Secondly, if the university actually thought students should be notified,
how would that be done? Email?
Text message? Not everyone
checks their email constantly, not everyone has a cell phone, and even those
that do, thereís no guarantee they use text messaging features.
The best method would probably be some type of public address system, or
sirens. Again, at the time the
university had no reason to think a shooter was on campus.
Secondly, could the police have stopped the shooter sooner?
We have seen some cell phone video where you can hear quite a few shots
being fired. At this time, we
donít know if they are from the shooter, from the police, or an exchange of
gunfire. Iím assuming it was all
the shooter since we havenít heard any stories of the police shooting at
Seung-Hui. But police were on the
scene, so what were they doing? Let
me state at this time that I consider the police on duty at the
As more and more information comes out, we here that
Seung-Hui displayed all the signs of someone capable of snapping and committing
mass murder. He was a loner.
His writings were dark. He
had anger problems. He stalked
women. His fellow students were
suspicious about him. His teachers were suspicious about him.
So why wasnít anything done? Well
to be quite honest, other than the stalking, nothing else was against the law.
And his dark writings are the hallmark of some of our more successful
horror writers. So just because
someone is strange and scary, that doesnít mean you can automatically take
them out of society. But I do think
we need to educate the public on recognizing the tell-tale signs that someone
may be a future problem, and what can be done to address those problems, like
some kind of preventive counseling.
The biggest issue I see coming down the road is that gun
control will now be discussed on just about every talk show and will become
talking points for politicians. But
letís examine what kind of gun control could have prevented this, or maybe
lessened the carnage. Seung-Hui was
a permanent legal resident of the
Some call for the banning of guns all together, or strictly
limiting who can purchase them. That
just isnít going to work in the
Ironically, having guns more readily available would
probably help deter, and lessen the impact of mass shootings.
Almost every mass shooting ends in one of two ways.
Either the gunman tries to flee the scene, or the gunman is killed by a
gun (by his own hand or the police). In
almost all cases of where the gunman was stopped, it was done by the use of a
gun. Letís face it, if youíre in
a gunfight, you need to have a gun. Allowing
guns on school grounds would save lives. As
long as a teacher or professor is properly trained, and keeps their firearm
secure, I think it should be okay to have them on a school campus.
In every mass shooting weíve had, if someone would have had a gun, they
probably could have stopped the killing sooner, and saved some lives.
Take the previous most deadliest shooting for example.
In 1991, George Hennard plowed his truck into Lubyís Cafeteria, in
My own state of
The bottom line is that firearms are in our society to
stay, whether they are legally owned by the citizens, or illegally obtained by
the criminals. Bad people are going
to be doing bad things with guns. The
most effective stance against this violence is for citizens to be armed.
Iím not saying that everyone needs to go out and buy a gun, and carry
it wherever you go. But I think we
should allow those that are responsible enough to own firearms, possess them and
carry them wherever they go. That
means the chances of someone being armed in a crowd is much higher, which means
that if a bad person does show up, thereís a greater chance that he can be
stopped sooner rather than later. Those
screaming for gun control and the banning of guns needs to realize that the
criminal element does not follow the law. If
that were the case, our police officers would not carry firearms.
Allow law abiding citizens the means to protect themselves.
While it may not stop future tragedies from happening, it may have an
effect on the severity of them.
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