Well, I have thought about how I would go about this post for over a day now. Even now as I am typing I am not sure my thoughts are clear, and I fear that I may ramble on when what I really want to do is make a profound statement.
First, I feel a deep pain for the families who lost children. I can only imagine and pray I never realize what they are really going through. My prayers are with them as they try to make sense of it all and learn to go on about their lives without those they love.
Second, I would like to address whether or not the police erred by not closing down the campus. My thought is that you can NEVER over react when safety is involved. Yes there are those that will say that we are infringing on their rights by restricting their movement "needlessly". I however disagree. I can't help but wonder if 30 or so peoples lives could not have been saved if the police had immediately shut down the campus until they could further assess the situation. Yes I know this is difficult, but no one said life was easy. I wonder why they assumed it was an isolated incident, and that the shooter had fled the campus, but still locked down the dorm. I know that they needed to interview everyone, but it doesn't quite compute for me. Also, if they believed the shooter to have left the building all the more reason to close the campus. You have an armed assailant loose in a college town. He is obviously not in his right mind. I can't help but think maybe since they have had a similar situation within the last 8 months that maybe they should have handled it better. When the shooting occurred in Aug., a police officer was involved and the campus was closed until the shooter was apprehended. Is it just me, or is there a double standard here. Did they close the campus because an officer was involved? Again, better safe than sorry.
Thirdly, the University needs to address how they get vital information to their students. When the info was finally sent to the students, more than two hours after the first shooting, and 15 minutes after the second shooting began, it was done by email. Many students said that they didn't check their email before going to class. Now I remember my college days, and morning classes and I also remember rolling out of bed, half awake and dragging myself to class. My attire would be sweats, and I would only wake shortly before class would start. I was not the only one like this.
Quick aside. my husband is watching Fox news right now, and a reporter(Megan) is interviewing a student. As she was questioning him, she reiterates his story and says so he comes into the room and starts shooting and you tip over a desk and COWER behind it. EXCUSE ME! COWER! Hide yes, fear for his safety yes, cower bad choice of words. This young man just lived through hopefully the most horrific thing he will ever experience. People around him are dying and she essentially calls him a coward. She also ask why as a group they didn't rush the shooter instead choosing to hold the door closed after he left the room. Uh I don't know maybe because the dude had two nine mils that he was shooting at will for seemingly no reason. Normally I prefer Foxnews as it seems to have a little less of the liberal slant, but this lady pissed me off.
Ok back to my last point. Email isn't the most effective way to meet the student body. It should be part of the process but not the only part. Virginia Commonwealth University is erecting 15 lcd screens all over campus to use as reader boards to be a means to get info to their students.
Fourthly, I am getting real sick of all the gun control talk. Unfortunately I have lived in two communities where school shootings have occurred. (Kip Kinkel in Springfield, and now this one) Now Blacksburg is about an hour and a half from us, but you still feel the effects. There is so much I would like to express here I am not sure where to begin. I have heard all of the stats..ie most citizen owned handguns are used on a family member, blah blah blah. Other than not allowing private citizens to own guns, how could this tragedy or any of the other school shootings be prevented? I grew up in a home with a gun, I do not own one myself. I have thought of purchasing one. I fear the statistics. I also know that the majority of guns used in a violent crime are obtained illegally. That is something the gun control people do not want you to think about. I have known people who owned guns who have had their firearms stolen from their home. Some have had that weapon stolen from a locked gun safe (they pried it open). These are the guns that are being used in the majority of violent crimes. I try not to get caught up in all the information on the school shootings, but I do know that the guns used by Kip Kinkel were legally obtained by his parents, and it appears that in this shooting the guns were also legally obtained. Some experts were on one of the news channels debating this topic last night and one of them said that the by keeping the school a gun free zone it makes the students and faculty feel safe. It is strange that all of these massacres have taken place in gun free zones. Could one person who carried a weapon been able to stop him, I don't know, but for the most part I would say that it isn't the people that responsible own and carry a gun that we need to worry about, it is the people that flip out, or obtain a gun illegally. Would gun control stop either of them? I don't think so.
I am not sure I covered everything I wanted, and I probably did ramble. I hope however that I made some sense. I also hope that our gun rights are not taken away. I also hope that this University and all the others learn from this. That measures are put in place to help limit casualties.
Thats all I have for now, miki