Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Only the Names an Numbers Change

Virginia_tech_logo1I'm home today and have the opportunity to catch a lot of the media related to the tragic shooting of 32 innocent college students at Virgina Tech yesterday. I work at an urban university here in the northeast, and I can't imagine the impact such a tragedy will have on the VT community. My thoughts are with the dozens of parents who will have to come to the Blacksburg, VA campus to bring their children home for burial.

They won't have the joy of a commencement or even the difficulty of a transfer. All they will have is the outpouring of support from a nation that is shaken yet again by a gun rampage whose origins we can't understand. I wish there was more for them. I wish they had something more.

There are a million thoughts in my mind at this time. I won't say that any college I have ever worked for would have done better, but gosh it seems like the two hours after the initial shooting should have given Virginia Tech Police time to find this guy and do something.

NPR interviewed a Lucinda Roy, a professor of the gunman today. She discussed her attempts to inform campus authorities about her concerns about the 23 year old South Korean murderer. Her concerns went unheeded.

Liviu Librescu survived the Holocost, endured Communisim in Romania and was a well-thought-of professor at VT. He saved several students yesterday, heroically putting his body between them and the gunman. He died in his classroom. he was 76.

I'll be interested to talk to my brother, who just this minute is touching down on a return flight from London. I want to know how this horrible event was reported abroad and how his feelings differ from those of us who saw it unfolding live here in the US.

About the headline ... it just seems like these incidents keep happening in the US. I can't help but think that if guns were harder to come by, that many of the hundreds who have died since 1999 would be alive.

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