The Scolai

“Just a Good Guy…With a Few Bad Habits”

Virginia Tech

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It’s already beginning. I took my daughter to the video store tonight. While we were there, talk inevitably turned to the Virginia Tech tragedy. What struck me were the generational differences in the reactions to this terrible event. The kids (mid to late teens, early twenties), were knocking the police and administration for not locking down the campus when the first murder was discovered. The adults (40+, my age), were of the opinion that this disaster could not have been prevented.  

I have over 19 years of experience dealing with mass causality incidents and emergency preparedness, let me say this: The authorities did the best they could with the information they had. I’m sure that Monday morning quarterbacks will be coming out of the woodwork tomorrow, telling us all how they would have done things differently. “They”, of course, would have made all the right calls. “They” would have protected the students and faculty. “They”… weren’t there, so “They” don’t have a clue as to how they would have actually responded.  

Even if the Virginia Tech administration had given the order to lock down the entire campus, it wouldn’t have prevented this rampage. You are dealing with a student body numbering over 26,000, on a campus of more than 2,600 acres. That’s a small town. Once the shooter was inside, casualties were inevitable. No one, no matter how large their ego could have prevented these shootings.  

Believe me; those in charge are reliving the events that led up to these murders. They will probably beat themselves up for the rest of their lives thinking that, maybe, things could have been different. Another question asked by the younger people was: “Why didn’t anyone make an announcement to the students?” Leading up to the 2nd round of shootings, police investigators believed they were dealing with an isolated incident. Making an announcement would have, at best, caused a stir, and, at worst, a panic. How many more students and faculty would have been killed had this shooter had more targets? What kind of chaos would have resulted with a commons area full of students, and a lunatic with a clear line of fire? 

As I sit here, the questions are already coming; pundits on every channel are searching for answers, and in many cases answering their own questions. And, of course, the talking heads know all.  People, let’s do this: Mourn for those who lost their lives, help those left behind, and give the benefit of a doubt to those who were making decisions as to how to best handle the situation. 



Written by thescolai

April 17, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Blogroll, Virginia Tech

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