Virginia Tech Massacre
A horrible tragedy. The bottom line is that sometimes awful things happen in life and there's not a satisfactory explanation as to why. Sometimes people fail to recognize this.
There's a lot of idle chatter regarding whether or not Virginia Tech handled the situation properly. I'm reserving judgment until more facts come out (interesting concept, cable news). I will say it's a lot easier to fault decision in the hindsight of a disaster than it is to make them in real time with incomplete information.
In the interest of saving many hours of TV airtime, I'll answer a few questions:
--Yes, this could happen at X college. (Whatever your nearby school is.)
--There are no security measures which will stop people intent on going on Kamikaze-style killing sprees.
--No, we don't need metal detectors and other fortress-like security measures on college campuses.
--No, right-wing radio, the fact that the shooter was an alien does not mean international students are about to lay waste to America.
--This could have occurred regardless of what the Blacksburg gun laws are.
--This could have occurred regardless of how many violent movies or video games were sold last year. [Not that those aren't legitimate issues, but speculative cause/effect chatter on these topics before you know anything about the suspect's background is silly.]
A trivial matter in the grand scheme of things, but I thought this clip yesterday afternoon is insightful in how our news media works. Here Wolf Blitzer asks if President Bush will be attending today's ceremony at Virginia Tech:
HENRY: No indication yet. Obviously, that's one event certainly the White House is weighing.Huh? Where did reporter Ed Henry get that analysis from? Sounds to me like he merely repeated a talking point the White House floated as it decided whether or not Bush would attend. Anyway, it was obviously wrong. Apparently, Mr. Bush is going to get in the way of local officials doing what they need to do.
Typically in situations like this, although there's never been anything quite like this on a college campus -- but whenever there's some sort of a disaster or tragedy, the president, and this president in particular, tries to stay away in the early days, let local and state official do what they need to do. And then within a few days he usually goes, after they've had a chance to grieve, but also deal wit situation on the ground -- Wolf.