The Virginia Tech Shooting

In light of the events today at Virginia Tech, I’m suddenly not in the mood to talk about framing, or Imus, or the Pope’s statement on evolution. At this point the death toll is up to thirty-three people.

Blacksburg, VA, where Tech is located, is a roughly two-hour drive from my home in Harrisonburg. I just spent the weekend at a local math conference that included quite a few faculty members and students from Tech. I made some new friends, and renewed some old aquaintances. I do not know if any of them were directly affected. It’s hard to imagine that after the high spirits and light mood of the conference, they had to go back to find this carnage. It’s sobering to be reminded that it only takes one crazy person to inflict this much damage.

Comments

  1. #1 Scott Belyea
    April 16, 2007

    …it only takes one crazy person to inflict this much damage.

    Yes … but surely it also takes a societal attitude to have the continuing problem to the extent that the US does.

  2. #2 meerasedai
    April 16, 2007

    We’ve been following much of the chaos here at UVA, and I agree with all of your sentiments. Especially the sense of bewilderment that comes with a seemingly senseless act.

  3. #3 Salvador T. Cordova
    April 16, 2007

    Before transferring to GMU, I spent freshman year at Tech. I lived in AmblerJohnston, the building where the rampage began today.

  4. #4 Roy
    April 16, 2007

    One thing I picked up from the online coverage was that he chained shut a number of fire doors so that no one could escape.

    The fire doors are there ONLY for escape. Anyone who chains them shut should be dragged out and shot on the spot without hesitation.

    In my own experience, from kindergarten through college, it is normal to lock the fire doors to keep ‘the children’ (age 5 through 50?) from mischief. Anyone can do it if they act officious. Nobody will challenge them for what could be a murderous act. Today’s shooter locked fire doors and nobody raised any alarm, as we have all be trained to be good little Germans.

    So among the villains of today’s massacre are those school officials who have always held class attendance to be more important than students’ lives.

  5. #5 Kevin
    April 16, 2007

    (snarky comment about cordova withheld)

    sincere regret that humans hate each other so much.

  6. #6 Gilles
    April 16, 2007

    Roy wrote : « Anyone who chains them shut should be dragged out and shot on the spot without hesitation. »

    Looks like you and the killer think alike.

  7. #7 David D.G.
    April 17, 2007

    Scott Belyea:

    “…it only takes one crazy person to inflict this much damage.”

    Yes … but surely it also takes a societal attitude to have the continuing problem to the extent that the US does.

    A societal attitude shared by South Korea, perhaps, since that’s where the shooter was from? Beware of hasty generalizations.

    ~David D.G.

  8. #8 V&Marti.n
    April 17, 2007

    Maybe some check/exam for gun holders would help.

  9. #9 Alan Kellogg
    April 17, 2007

    A societal attitude shared by South Korea…

    Came here with his parents at the age of eight. That’s 15 years or so to pick up American attitudes.

    An American societal attitude most certainly played a role in the tragedy, but not the one people are thinking of.

  10. #10 mike
    April 17, 2007

    Yes … but surely it also takes a societal attitude to have the continuing problem to the extent that the US does.

    Then why have so many of these shooting been committed by immigrants or the children of immigrants? We had this shooting by a Korean immigrant, a shooting in West Virginia by a Nigerian student a few years back, a shooting at Montreal U by an Algerian-Canadian (who was a staunch anti-feminist Muslim), a female professor was shot dead at the University of Washington by a British illegal alien (who should have been deported for a prior drunk driving offense, but thanks to Seattle’s illegal alien sanctuary status, was not) a few days ago, and we had a massacre at the University of Iowa committed by a Chinese doctorate student back in the early 90s. Foreigners and their children certainly seem to have racked up their share of violent incidents.

  11. #11 Virginia Tech student
    April 18, 2007

    Yeah we’re all really shocked by the recent shootings at Virginia Tech. We don’t know if the immediate response by the administration was sufficient to contain the threat, and it’s unclear what exactly motivated the killer. Now all we can do is mourn for the victims…

  12. #12 Mustafa Mond, FCD
    April 18, 2007

    Va. Tech gunman sent material to NBC

    The package was sent by overnight delivery but did not arrive at NBC until Wednesday morning. It had apparently been delayed because it had the wrong ZIP code, NBC said.

    A loser, right up to the very end.

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