Stranger Fruit

Virginia Tech Tragedy

I don’t really have much to add to what people are saying about the terrible tragedy in Virginia. Suffice it to say, that any of us involved in education felt the sheer mindless unexplainable stupidity of it. As I stood in-front of my class of 150 (mostly) soon-to-be graduating seniors at 3pm yesterday, I found myself looking at the exits and wondering what would happen if a gunman entered.

A number of years ago here at ASU there was a discussion about allowing firearms on campus. A proffered solution was to arm professors.

Thirteen years in this country, and I still don’t understand why guns are so easily available.

What a sad and useless waste of life.


  1. #1 Roy
    April 17, 2007

    In the network news on this, some news idiots asked should the campus have been locked down. Huh? Norris Hall was locked down — by the gunman — which was why people couldn’t escape when his killing spree began. Because it was locked down, 30 more people died before he killed himself.

    Lockdowns are for prisons, not for campuses or neighborhoods or cities. Any police response which means to prevent the innocent from escaping is itself a criminal act.

    Also, had the authorities not kept the first murders secret, and the fact that the gun and the gunman were still at large, the whole campus would have been able to do what they thought prudent — like get the hell out of Dodge.

    The gunman wasn’t the only villain at Virginia Tech. The administration and the police were guilty of complicity by secrecy. They should all get prison time.

    As to the availability of firearms, does it make any sense the police and campus security to be heavily armed? Just coldcock a cop and you’ve got your hands on a high-capacity 9mm and extra magazines. Use the gun to pot another cop and you’ve doubled your firepower. And now most large police forces have as standard policy a machine gun in the trunk of the car of every sergeant.

  2. #2 The Ridger
    April 17, 2007

    On the other hand, had they been right in assuming the kid just wanted to murder his girlfriend and locked the campus down for hours and hours while he headed off out of state or just back to his own dorm, people would be screaming about that and how they were terrorized for no reason. Hindsight’s always 20-20…

  3. #3 Dawn
    April 17, 2007

    Thank you, The Ridger. The dorm where the first shootings took place WAS locked down, but as the Univ. Police said, they assumed the gunman had left the campus. After all, with a 2 hour lapse between shootings, who would have thought he was still around? It’s only a 5 minute walk between the dorm and the classroom building. It did not seem unreasonable for lockdown to be only one building, and lifted when it seemed the gunman was gone.

    And lockdown isn’t easy to maintain. The students are locked INTO their dorm rooms (asked to stay in their rooms with closed doors, all doors in and out of the building are locked). Most of the dorms have no food service, so if a kid has no food or beverages in their room, they could be very hungry/thirsty by the time lockdown was lifted.

    I have a child at VT. I honestly think they handled the whole situation the best they could.

  4. #4 Alan Kellogg
    April 17, 2007

    Why are guns so readily available in the U. S.?

    Because the cops can’t be everywhere. And even if they could, why simply don’t trust them that much. We’re a do-it-yourself nation, and that includes self-defence.

    There’s a lot behind the Virginia Tech shootings, a large part being played by our reluctance to teach our kids to protect themselves when danger arises. We’re afraid to teach people initiative, because we’re afraid of what they’ll do with the initiative. Thus, Virginia Tech.

  5. #5 merkin j. pus-tart
    April 17, 2007

    “Thirteen years in this country, and I still don’t understand why guns are so easily available.” All of my life in this country, and I still don’t understand why guns are so easily available!

  6. #6 Alan Kellogg
    April 18, 2007


    Because you can only rely on you to protect yourself in the event of trouble. There is no one else.

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