Monday, April 16, 2007

Campus Terror--Massacre in Virginia

Tucson, Arizona. Today is a dark, dark day for those of us in higher education. I am sure everyone reading this already knows what happened, or at least the summary of what happened at Virginia Tech today. As of this writing, the death toll is at 32, 33 including the mad man who did it, but some additional folks are pretty bad off in some hospitals and may not make it. This is just terrible.

The thought of what happened in that classroom makes me nauseas. Some folks are going to be highly critical of the school, and this criticism will be 95% inappropriate unless something really negligent shows up, which is unlikely. Universities do not think like Corrections Institutes, nor should they. Students are not inmates, and the academic environment is the one place where intelligence is supposed to prevail and the environment is supposed to be safe, which is why this is such a tragedy that freaks people out. I am not saying campuses are safe. I am saying we like to think that they are.

The only place worse for violence like this is obtained by turning the age down, as an Amish community learned recently. I just don't understand it.

What could have possibly been going on in the mind of this guy this morning?

Should anyone think it doesn't happen here in Tucson, turn the clock back to October 28, 2002, when Nursing student Robert Flores lost it. He entered the College of Nursing and shot three clinical associate professors to death. He shot Robin Rogers in her office and then entered a fourth floor lecture room where students were taking a midterm exam. Before the horrified students he shot Barbara Monroe at the front of the class and Cheryl McGaffic at the back of the class. Then he told the students to leave, and after they’d left, he shot himself.

That was right here at the University of Arizona. The very next day, as I discuss in Something Else a person in my building made the statement as he was leaving for lunch that he was going to shoot up the place when he got back. I had folks in uniform waiting for him. As odds predicted, he had just been mouthing off.

He didn't do that again.

If instead of mouthing about it, he had just done it, I probably wouldn't be here.

Well, on this terrible, horrible day, at least we can take comfort in the progress we continue to make in Iraq.


Anonymous Sirocco said...

It would be considerate if people who plan to commit suicide would just do it, and not take others along for the ride.

F****** bastard SOB.

4/17/2007 7:27 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

The whole thing is starting to look like another case of severe, undiagnosed mental illness.

I've been watching the mainstream media since this happened and I've got to say that the coverage seems kind of lame. Last night on CNN, Larry King was asking some kid how he felt when he found out that an RA in his dorm was one of the victims. I also saw where they were interviewing Dr. Phil. And, all of this passes for news coverage.

4/17/2007 1:56 PM  

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