Sunday, April 22, 2007

Virginia Tech at weeks end

Many stories in the Post about this weeks events especially in the Outlook section. This one in particular is good. It is written by a current student.

I find this very poignant:

I will always be proud to say I'm a Virginia Tech alumnus, that I was in Blacksburg during our darkest hour and that we all came together for something much greater than just cheering our football team. I'll be proud to recall the way the football field overflowed for the convocation last Tuesday, with students and faculty tearfully staring up at the live feed from Cassell Coliseum. Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said it best in his speech that day -- we showed the world our fortitude, our community and who we are as people.

I'm ready to leave, but only as a graduate. And a part of me will always remain at Virginia Tech, with a university that has offered me far more than I could ever hope to give back.

In fact the entire week I was very very impressed by the students at Virginia Tech. If any ounce of good can come from this horrible tragedy it was shown by those students. It gives just a little bit of hope.

There of course continues to be the second guessing. The campus should have been put on lock down. Like locking down a area that size happens with a snap of one's fingers. There was even some silly security "expert" on NBC that said the National Guard should have been called out. No one called her on this one. I think it would have taken a couple of days for the guard to arrive. This is not one building. This is hundreds of buildings. It's also thousands of people that have to secured somehow. This from the Post:

"Trying to lock down a college campus with over 25,000 people in over a dozen buildings spread across acres and acres presents monumental challenges. It is like trying to lock down an entire city," said Kenneth S. Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, a consulting firm.

Then there was this reaction from a mental health professional on Larry King. I don't remember the guys name or his exact title. His suggestion was that these types of incidents should be handled by Homeland Security. His idea that people like Seung Hui Cho should be on a government list. It was unclear exactly how bad your mental health would have to be in order to be added to the list. The people on the list would be tracked by Homeland Security and essentially every move they make would be monitored. The doctor thought that in this way when Cho had tried to buy a weapon he would have been denied it.

I have to say my jaw literally dropped open. I don't even know where to start with how many things are wrong with this idea. I would think the idea would be to have people seek out a mental health professional if they though they needed help. To me this idea guarantees that people will avoid seeking help at any cost. It also makes mental health professional an arm of homeland security. This is just a very bad idea. Hopefully this one goes away quickly.

What I hope for is people pause and reflect on what happened. As I said in an earlier post we need to think about:

What in the society so alienates or angers these guys? What conditioning in society makes it so that the only way these guys know how to express or solve the pain they have is through anger, rage and violence.

I hope the families can heal. I know that that will be a very hard task. They will be in my thoughts and prayers.

I'm not sure how to end this post. But what comes to mind is the spontaneous chant that went up at then end of the memorial service:

Let's Go Hokies!

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