I’ve held off saying anything about the Virginia Tech shootings simply because I wanted to wait for the dust to settle and allow for some clear information to be presented. Anytime something like this occurs there is a flurry of information. Often, the massive amount of information (which tends to be a mix of accurate and inaccurate items) in a relatively short amount of time makes for a hazy view of what happened, to say the least.
Hot Air (see above) did do a pretty good job of disseminating things as they unraveled. Currently, Hot Air has started a new thread which brings further clarity. FreeRepublic is also a good clearing house for a plethora of news stories on the massacre (click on the vatech or virginiatech keyword).
I’m sure there will be plenty of details that will surface for the next few weeks.
Right now, three things seem apparent:
1. Students were entirely defenseless during the shootings. Virginia Tech retained a firearms ban. Of course, innocent, law abiding citizens will follow that rule while criminals will take advantage of it. One thing is for certain, no one knows what would have occurred if students and faculty were allowed to have firearms – just because they could, does not guarantee they would choose to provide for their on defense. Nevertheless, allowing law abiding folks the option to protect themselves wouldn’t have hurt – the gun ban only ensured protection for the murderer.
2. There was a significant delay in informing students about the threat and locking down the campus. Police initially classified the first shooting as a murder-suicide. More information is coming out about this and the ‘person on interest’ (see the new Hot Air thread I linked above). I’m not going to second guess the police or school officials at this time on this. Hindsight is 20/20, I’m certain things would’ve been handled differently, had they known. The only thing I would like answered here is what led them to believe that when neither body had a gun near it? Or was it just a miscommunication (ie they really classified it as a domestic homicide with a fugitive they didn’t believe was a threat to anyone else)…
3. Prior to letting the dust settle and clarifying any ‘facts’ or seemingly even attempting to learn of the firearms used, some in the media and politics have quickly jumped on the ‘ban guns’ bandwagon (Brian Ross – ABC News, Rep. McCarthy, MSNBC Gun Control Special)
After all, it has worked so well for gun-free schools compared to something like the Appalachian School of Law.
Finally, as in all tragedies, a hero emerges. I doubt he will be the only one.