Once again, my attentions have been sucked into another "train wreck." I'm speaking, of course, of the shooting at Virginia Tech.
I am proud of myself for actually turning off the tv and diverting my attentions away from the endless loop on the news stations. I learned my lesson over 911 -- I had nightmares for months over the scenes in the endless video loops.
Of course, like everyone, I'm horrified. However, I'm also frustrated that before the facts are even known, the media was chewing into the officials at VT as if they could have or should have or willfully didn't prevent this event. I don't quite understand the human need to shift blame. The only person to blame in this incident is the shooter (or shooters). The latest news makes it appear that the perp planned this quite well. In this country, we do not police people until AFTER they commit a crime. And, our system is set up such that we try to avoid punishing people for the crimes they are likely to commit based on statistical probabilities.
The campus of VT is roughly the size of a largish town or small city. They can have upwards of 50,000 people coming and going during the course of the day. They have many buildings and acres and acres of land. It is ludicrous the suggest that the school could "close" the campus and prevent movement of students, faculty, staff, and residents of the community.
But, the person I'm feeling particular sympathy for tonight - beyond the victims, obviously - is the chief of the campus police. He clearly has had a long and emotional day. Because of his responsibilities, he does not have the luxury of taking time for himself to absorb or process what he has witnessed today. And, the media launched into him at the repeated press conferences in such a way as to treat him as if he personally were responsible for the vicious acts of another.
I admire that he was able to maintain his professional demeanor and do his job even as, literally, the world around him was falling apart. Good job. I hope you have the time in the future to take care of yourself - and that the administration of your school recognize the fine job you did today, and in days to come.