Monday, April 16, 2007

Shootings at Virginia Tech

Well, I am home sick today. I have a pretty bad cold. It's been coming on for a few days, and now it's full-blown. I have felt terrible for 2 days.

I was going to share some of my bizarre Nyquil dreams with y'all today, but in light of the recent tragedy, I can't really think about anything else. I don't normally blog about news stories or current events or topics like that, but today's news hit kind of close to home.

At the time I'm typing this, the current fatality count at Virginia Tech is 32. I am very blessed that no one I know attends or works at Virginia Tech. I don't even know anyone in Blacksburg. My heart goes out to everyone there, working hard to figure out what happened and coming to grips with this tragedy. I know the community will come together to support everyone involved.
While no one in my family attended Virginia Tech (The Belles are hard-core UVA fans -- to be a Hokie would get you shunned in my family!), the campus is located about an hour from my hometown, so this hit pretty close to home for me. I almost feel like it happened in my hometown.

I called The Czarina just now, since she works at home and doesn't usually turn on the news during the day. She had already heard about it and then informed me about the college in my hometown, where a group of students was just busted for selling cocaine. This is totally crazy to me. (Partially because the vast majority of the students who attend this school are very wealthy and don't exactly need drug money in the first place!) What is going on at Virginia college campuses this week???

I've got CNN on in the background as I'm writing this, and they just announced that they think the shooter at Va Tech was a male Asian with two guns. There are conflicting stories as far as whether or not he was a student at Va Tech. And they just said that this is the largest number of fatalities in any shooting spree in American history. Unbelievable. It makes no sense to me why someone would take their anger out on total strangers. I mean, talk to someone, get help. Don't kill people!! Take some happy pills and get a therapist, like everyone else does! Smoke some weed or take up kickboxing. Gah, it's not like there aren't things you can do to blow off steam here in America. I just can't comprehend how someone gets to the point where they think this is the solution to their problems. It's very sad and troubling. I mean, what goes through their minds???

Can you imagine just going to class on a Monday morning, all tired and hung over from the weekend, just listening to a lecture, taking notes....when suddenly, someone busts into the room and starts shooting you?? Holy freaking cow. I can't imagine how scared they must have been or how terrible the scene must have been. Horrible. It must have been nothing but terror and mass confusion all day there. People jumping from 2nd story windows to escape. No one should ever have to live like that. It's incomprehensible, almost.

They are talking on the news now about how for the past 2 weeks, there have been bomb threats on the Virginia Tech campus. They said that one theory about that is, the shooter may have been making false bomb threats to watch the security's reaction to a campus scare. This is terrifying that someone would go to such a level of observation and research to determine how easy it would be for them to kill a bunch of innocent people.

What everyone keeps bringing up is how the first round of shootings happened at about 7:15. But they didn't cancel classes, so everyone was in class when the 2nd round of shootings happened 2 hours later. This is totally ludicrous. You have a killer on the loose, and campus is still going strong??? Whaaaaa? I think they said the campus was on lockdown after the 7:15 shootings, but apparently this doesn't mean classes are canceled, because the second round of shootings happened in a classroom full of students. Which begs for explanation, if you ask me. I'm sure things will become much clearer in the next few days, but right now, this seems pretty stupid to me. I hope I am misunderstanding what I've heard so far, because if I were a parent of a Va Tech student, and I heard that they don't shut down campus when a shooter is on the loose, then I'd be making some very angry phone calls. Probably to my lawyer.

And also, I guess last August, on the first day of fall classes, there was an escaped convict on the loose on campus. I really hope they took a good look at their security on campus after that just happened a few months ago. I really hope they didn't just say, "Oh well!" and go back to business as usual. I hope the school can say that once that scare happened, they had more training and took a good look at how to conduct campus security in the future. It seems authorities had plenty of warning and opportunities for practice and training before this happened today. It makes me worry about the state of other schools across the country. Most schools haven't had any scares even close to this. Let's hope they take to heart the difficult lessons Virginia Tech had to learn the hard way.


RWA said...

I can't speak to why classes weren't cancelled after the first round of shootings, unless possibly they thought people were safer indoors in classrooms than outside roaming around.

But, I've been to Virginia Tech's campus. It is a widespread area with very beautiful buildings and the mountains in the background. I can't really say incidents like escaped convicts and the like can be totally prevented - unless they build a 12-foot wall with barbed wire around the entire place.

This is a tragedy, and I hope that they are able to release more details and information as things progress.

mieke said...

Gah! I was at work today and did not know about this. It takes me back to the Columbine shootings and how sad it is! Why do things like this happen??? I hate that it seems like threats are not taken seriously until a tragedy happens. I'm glad no one you knew was there.

teahouse said...

I'm still in shock about this!

I met some guys from VA Tech one summer doing research, and they hosted a huge hokie roast. It was so much fun. What an awful tragedy for such a nice school.

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

I am in total shock over this, and this may seem weird, but I'm totally imagining myself in the students position. I couldn't even imagine being in class and someone just coming in and shooting up the classroom. What has the world come to? Is this making you second guess having kids too? It just seems like its getting worse and worse. The worst part about this is after the shooter was finished, he shot himself in the head, not even owning up to what he had done to the students, their family, and the community.

F*cking coward.

kimmykins13 said...

I live in Virginia and my boss is a graduate of Va Tech. It's a sad day in our office. I know so many people who have attended Va Tech in the past but fortunately no one in the present. It is an enigma to me how someone could do this. I just don't get it.

Jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan said...

Two cousins and an uncle are graduates of VT. One of my cousins is a graduate of the engineering school 5+ years ago. I do not know if he knew any of the professors but I have a feeling he did. Not sure what my other cousin studied there. Just really really sad.

had to delete the first one, too grammar mistakes...