April 16, 2007 was a sad and surreal day…

The initial buzz of the day was…minutes til taxes due…and the effects of the Noreaster on the upper east coast….

Then, the news of a gunman at Virginia Tech.  Even with many details not official, it was clear that at least 32 people had been killed and the gunman had taken his life rather than face his deeds.

I won’t attempt to try to restate what the media has been saying all day.  I feel a pit in my stomach, disbelief and a lil of the surrealness that I felt during 9/11.  What an awful day.

Firstly,  just wanted to put a few words in honor of those students, their families and that community.  My prayers go out to all in this time of healing.

Things that jump out to me are….

-None of the students interviewed so far seem to have ever seen this guy,  even though the initial media reports are that this man in his 20’s of Asian descent was a student.  I guess a student population in excess of 25,000 is a lot, but you’d think people in the Engineering building would have remembered seeing him hanging around.  I did note that they were having German class in the engineering building, and with at least one nearby building under construction, so maybe that explains unfamiliar people in that building.

-Also, there seems to be growing steam to oust the University president and police chief.  At least at this point, it doesn’t seem like that’s the meat of any issue here.  They stated that the initial information that they had suggested a domestic situation and that the information they had suggested the first situation was limited to itself.  We won’t know more til we know.  What motivated that gunman or gunmen to such a horrific thing?   Armchair quarterbacking is easy to do.  I guess it’s just human to want to make a quick move to “fix” everything.  It doesn’t seem at this point that there was any gross negligence involved.  As with many tragedies, truly helpful changes may take time and reflection to put in place.

The good thing that may come out of the analysis, is a better system to warn large groups of people about emergencies.   With advance cellphone gps capability and things already in place like amber alert, maybe a better system will come about not only for a campus situation, but for other things such as natural disasters or terrorist threats to better inform and guide large groups of people.

*** Like some of my other postings that may generate a lot of response with a variety of thoughts and feelings, I will make every effort to read your comments, but I will likely not try to post them.  ***

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