The shooting at Virginia Tech has become almost an obsession. It was horrific. It was terrible. Folks are still trying to get a handle on it. I have a neice at Radford, just up the road, so there was some immediate concern about her safety. When I last talked to Glynda, Katie was OK, but understandable shaken and concerned about some of her friends.
With a day now having passed, details are coming out. We’re beginning to hear the unfortunately typical tale about a disturbed loner, whose writings indicated a violent nature. However, we didn’t have to wait this long for the finger pointing to begin. There has been second-guessing. Why wasn’t the school locked down after the first shooting? Weren’t there indications that this guy might go off the deep end? The public demands that blame must be assigned somewhere, and the likely targets have been the university’s administration and the local law enforcement.
As for locking down the school, we’re not talking about a closed campus. It would be impossible for the entire area to have gone into lockdown after the first shootings. Did Clemson cancel classes after Tiffany Souers was murdered? I don’t believe so. The same applies here. As for the shooter, it’s been reported that he had been recommended for counselling, and was on medication for depression. What more could one have done other than to pre-emptively lock him up?
If it can go wrong, it will be you fault
Thus we were told in our administrative meeting this morning. Point is, it doesn’t matter how many safeguards are in place, if someone is determined, something like this can happen. It doesn’t matter that you may have done exactly the right thing according to the circumstances, if you’re in charge you will have blame assigned.
I would certainly hate to be in that university president’s position, both from the standpoint of the grief he must endure, and the constant barage of questions about "Why didn’t you…?" The healing process for this entire community will take a long, long time.