As you might expect, I've spent most of my free time keeping up with events at Virginia Tech. I didn't attend VA Tech, but I've been there numerous times. My first visit was in 1998 with Daughter#1 taking the campus tour as she considered various colleges to attend. I've sort of adopted it as my own as I have my other children's' college - Ohio and Radford. When you visit Tech you're struck by the beauty of the campus, its openness with the sinking drill field in the middle that divides the dorms from the classroom buildings, the building all made of Hokie Stone and most of all the friendliness of the people. Va Tech is located in southwest Virginia, a very rural area and is surrounded by the Blue Ridge mountains. It is the last place you expect such violence to occur.
So far I've thought the media coverage has been pretty fair if a little hard on the President of VA Tech. The one exception was Paula Zahn on CNN. As I watched her interview various people last night, her sole intent seemed to get an admission that the authorities had mishandled the whole event. Few took the bait, but it sure was annoying. I think they did the best they could given the situation. VA Tech is not a high school or middle school. Locking down a single building, like a high school, is not the same as trying to lock down an entire campus. You cannot simultaneously contact 35,000 people (students and staff). Not everyone is sitting in front of their computers reading e-mail. Most were either in class or on their way to class or driving to campus or sleeping. Plus since the first killings occurred in a dorm, a lock down of the dorms, given the gunman was not accounted for, were not a guarantee of a safe haven. And to the gun nuts who have called radio talk shows and claimed that if the students had the right to carry guns on campus, they could have prevented or minimized the horror, lets get real. 25,000 not quite adults all packing guns? That's a disaster waiting to happen. Its all a mess and fills me with an unimaginable sadness. Still I look forward to visiting VA Tech again in the fall and creating new memories.