Posted by: Opey | April 17, 2007

Today, We’re All Hokies

Needless to say, my thoughts go out to the members of the Virgina Tech community today. As I sat in front of the window to the universe, better known as my T.V., I came to a few realizations about the situation. Firstly, there really isn’t anything that can be done to prevent this type of situation. I read in this mornings Daily Cardinal (one of UW-Madison’s school papers) that the UW campus has in place procedures to prevent and or minimize the effects of such an attack on this campus. They went into a brief rundown of the “active shooter” scenario. Sadly enough, this was no major prevention measure or a leap forward in minimization techniques. It was simply a commonsense type of system to search rooms and buildings for a shooter on this campus. What everyone, especially the blow-everything-way-out-of-proportion media, needs to understand is that the very nature of college campuses and the current day and age minimize the effectiveness of any type of prevention/minimization measures will have on a situation. For one, there was no good way to inform students as to the nature of events on the campus. As any student knows, you are pretty much isolated when walking to and from class. There is no reliable way to get word to those students. The same can be said for people in class. Unless they are sitting at a laptop or other computer and actively looking at news websites or checking email, there is no way to contact them. I do have a problem with the delay in sending out emails and at least attempting to lock down campus, but there were factors, such as a false shooter identification and subsequent taking of a suspect into custody that hampered those efforts. Short of sending police cars down the streets blaring a message over their speakers, there was no way to communicate with students on the move or in classrooms. The moral of this whole story is that unless we change the very nature of college life or go to extreme measures, such as creating a way to keep in constant contact with the school, there is no way to properly deal with such a situation. We just have to hope that these events will be stopped long before they even get into the planning stages.

Quote of the Day:

“Peace can not be achieved through violence. It can only be achieved through understanding.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
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