Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech made all the wrong moves

If Virginia Tech was a company and its stock was traded on Wall Street, there would be a lot of selling going on today. You can expect about 30 wrongful death suits to be filed, based on the way the college responded to the first shootings yesterday. This quote from the SF Chronicle nails it:

"I think the university has blood on their hands because of their lack of action after the first incident," said Billy Bason, 18, who lives in the dorm. "If you had apprehended a suspect, I could understand having classes even after two of your students have perished. But when you don't have a suspect in a college environment and to put the students in a situation where they're congregated in large numbers in open buildings, that's unacceptable to me."

The university president and campus police chief said they decided not to cancel classes after the first shooting because the initial indication at the dorm, based on interviews with witnesses, was that the attack might have been a domestic dispute and that the shooter probably had fled the campus.

Might have been? Probably? Haven't there been enough school shootings to convince every school to have a lockdown policy if there is even the whiff of violence on campus? Granted there haven't been a lot of colleges massacres, and granted a large college can be the size of a small city compared to a high school campus - but what other response can there be? Two people were dead at 7:15am, no one had been arrested for the crime, and no kind of warning went out to the rest of the campus population for two hours. The lawyers must be climbing over each other to get there.

Reports this morning are that they have found a note written by the shooter. Today's news cycle should bring us the interviews with people who knew him, questions about immigration since it appears he was a resident alien, interviews with sociologists about our violent society, an examination of lax gun laws, perhaps some insightful questioning of violent video games (which the shooter will probably turn out to have been addicted to) - and unless it turns out he was a radical Muslim (not too likely for a South Korean) then by Wednesday we will likely be on to something else and trying not to worry about the next random rampage. Let's be careful out there, people...

1 comment:

Scott said...

Now that we know a lot more about angry Korean shooter, it's hard to imagine who the police interviewed that would have told them it was "domestic dispute." The asshole didn't have a friend in the world...by his own doing. Hard to have a "domestic dispute" with someone who won't even say 'hi' back to you.