Thursday, April 19, 2007

how do we prevent the next massacre?---continued

There are three specific ways that the tragedy at Virginia Tach could have been prevented.

First, we now know that campus police had busted the killer on two separate occasions for stalking coeds. We also know that, in at least one of his college classes, his behavior towards female students was so alarming that the girls refused to come to class and the professor expelled him from class. Why was the young man not arrested and prosecuted? He broke laws and he broke campus regulations. He should have been expelled from school, and he should have been prosecuted. If those actions had been taken, the massacre at Va Tech wouldn't have happened.

Second, we now know that, after the initial shooting in which two people were killed, the shooter took a 2 hour "break" before crossing the campus and killing 31 more people (including himself). We also know that the campus police and administration didn't notify the campus as a whole until after the second round of shooting had started. I know from personal experience, as a school teacher, that if a shooting occured anywhere even close to my school, then we would immediately "lock down." Also, an email elert would be sent to all parents within seconds of the order to lock down. Local police would establish a presence at and around our school, and the students, faculty and staff would be protected. What was the Va Tech response after the first shooting? Almost zero--next to nothing! That campus should have been locked down, all classes should have been cancelled, and the local law enforcement, including SWAT, should have fanned out across the campus and the surrounding neighborhoods to apprehend the shooter and to protect the innocents. An email alert should have gone out to all faculty, staff and students IMMEDIATELY after the first shooting so that they wouldn't have a situation where innocent people were coming to campus, unaware of the danger. The Va Tech administration, the campus police and the local police all were negligent in protecting the people they were obligated to protect. You can expect a HUGE class action lawsuit in the coming weeks.

Third, we know that gun control laws result in innocent people being killed. The 2nd Amendment rights of the faculty, staff and students on that campus were violated. Had the students been allowed to arm themselves, this insane killer could have been stopped. As it was, Va Tech was a "gun-free zone" where only the criminal was armed. Everybody else was defenseless. That's tragic.

The lesson? We know what it takes to prevent massacres like this in the future. Knowledge is not the problem. Wisdom and courage, however, seem to be in short supply!


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