Thoughts about the VT massacre

19 04 2007
  • First off, Liviu Librescu is a true hero, in every way.  In the midst of a tragedy, his actions stand out as a bright spot of the goodness there still is in people.  Hopefully that knowledge will help comfort his family.  (Chabad is passing on condolences to his family here.)
  • VT is being attacked from lots of angles by people saying that they should have done more, that this is their fault, that they were somehow responsible.  Speaking as someone living on a college campus, I’m not sure what else they could have done.  Yes, his teachers found him disturbing, but you can’t force someone to get psychiatric care.  It just doesn’t do any good if you don’t want it.  Could the school have notified students after the first shooting?  Yes, but I’m not sure it would have helped.  Most students don’t check their university email first thing in the morning.  A general email sent out saying “There’s been a shooting in one of the dorms” wouldn’t have given anyone useful information.  Even if I had gotten the email, which is doubtful, would I have stayed in my dorm room after having heard that there was a shooting in a dorm? No, sorry.  People have also said that they should have locked down the buildings, but if they thought it was a student, that wouldn’t help, since students have key card access everywhere anyway.  I live on a much smaller campus than VT (a little more than 1/10th the size) and even on my campus, it’s too spread out and too open to effectively keep someone from bringing a gun onto campus.  He had planned this for a long time.  He bought the gun a month ago, the fact that he killed about 2/3 of the people he shot shows that he knew what he was doing.  He didn’t wake up one morning and decide to do this, he planned it out, and he was determined.  There is realistically very little that can be done to stop someone who really wants to kill lots of people.  Honestly, I think the only thing that could have stopped him was if someone else had been carrying a gun and had shot him first.  It sucks, but it’s true.  I know people want someone to blame, but really the only one to blame here is the murder who did this.
  • Which brings me to my next point.  NBC is coming under fire for airing the photos and videos  sent to them by Cho Seung-Hui.  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  Part of me feels like people in general want to know why this happened, and showing these videos can help give people at least some sense of that.  That said, I also feel like by showing the videos they’re giving him a platform to air his views, and giving him what he wanted.  Perhaps a better response would have been to just let him be forgotten.  I don’t know.  Goodness, this is complicated… 

Edited to add:  I thought this was clear, but apperently this subject attracts trolls.  If you post something that is written in an inflamatory manner, which offers nothing constructive to the discussion, and use an obviously fake email to post it under, I will take it down.  That is not to say that I will take down all posts I disagree with, since I have no interest in censoring people, but I will not tolerate unsubstantiated attacks on the news media, the US, or any other party.  If you have facts to back up what you’re saying, or even reasoned opinions I’m happy to let you post them, but I will not tolerate the online equivalant of propaganda, on either side.  Thank you.

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3 responses

19 04 2007
Camilla

I suppose that really, not a lot could have been done to prevent this tragedy, but still, it’s hard not wonder why it wasn’t prevented. It’s not like school shootings are a new thing in this country. Okay, I’m going to stop here (not a good idea to rant on someone else’s blog) but do feel free to pop over to my blog if you get the chance.

19 04 2007
Emily

See, I think there’s a difference between blaming VT and constructivly talking about what we should do to prevent this in the future. Blaming VT doesn’t help anyone, it’s just turning a horrible event into an even more hurtful one by placing the blame on people who really don’t deserve it. Does that make sense?

20 04 2007
Alex

Hi

Please consider writing news pieces or an op-ed for Jewrusalem: Israeli Uncensored News. We strive to present different views and opinions while rejecting political correctness. Ideally, we try to make the news “smart and funny.” Thus, your input is very welcome.

Best,
Alex
http://www.jewrusalem.net/en

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