First of all my heart and prayers go out to the victims and their families of the Virginia Tech shooting this morning.

I cannot imagin what the officials of the school must be feeling or thinking as the first shooting occurred at 715 am this morning where 2 people were killed and then 2 hours later another 31 people were killed and many others injured across campus in a classroom. This is the worst killing spree and tragedy.

I wanted everyone to know how deeply saddened I feel and my prayers are with the victims, their family and friends.

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I agree with you. This is a remarkable tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and all who are affected by this event.

All the best,
"I cannot imagin what the officials of the school must be feeling or thinking as the first shooting occurred at 715 am this morning where 2 people were killed and then 2 hours later another 31 people were killed and many others injured across campus in a classroom."

I, on the other hand, cannot imagine what anyone can be thinking to pin the blame for this on the university rather than on the sicko(s) who perpetrated this.
The gunman (that is known about) is dead. It's almost always more satisfying to be angry at the living. Also, I do question why the university authorities would assume the gunman had fled the scene and not warn the students and faculty that there had been a shooting on campus. But all the information is not out yet, so it's pointless to go pointing fingers right now. This is so very, very sad and horrible.
Ditto. But it's just so unfortunate what is about to happen over the forthoming days: finger-pointing,blaming, and searching for that staff member as a scapegoat, all because the "shooter" is dead.
My husband and I live on a college campus in the midwest-the college authorities did the best they could. Unfortunately on a college campus there is a tendency to want to prevent panics and keep information private. Whatever they did however, I'm sure it was done with the best of intentions.

One of my husband's staff members had been a neighbor of one of the shot students. This sort of incident is difficult for anyone to wrap their head around, but especially young people who still believe themselves somewhat invincible. My husband spent a long time tonight discussing the events at VA Tech with his staff and trying to reassure them.

Living among college students can be rewarding and frustrating all at the same time. You're dealing with a population that has a million stressors, but they're really quite charming. It's also a time when many mental illnesses first become evident-so it's hard to know what may have happened with this young man.
I hate to say it, but I don't know if you can. In a country of 300million people, there will always be a few people ready to snap and if they've got access to guns and ammunition, the worst can happen. How do you legislate for things like this with odds longer than winning the lottery? Put high level security on every public space?

My fear is that this might trigger the Werther Effect. I blogged about this three years ago. Whenever a tragic incident like this gets media coverage, the risk of copycat killings goes up in the following months. While I don't think you can stop things like this happening, it would be wise for other Universities to be extra vigilant in the aftermath.
As a Virginia resident, part of the aftershock is realizing that Blackburg is the opposite of the kind of environment where violence is expected. This is one of the best places in the nation to live, a bucolic college community where mean income, education level and church attendance are all well above the national average. There is no understanding why such a tragedy would happen there, and it is the unforseeable horror that is most frightening.
Perhaps this would be a good place to start focussing support against the NRA and the handgun manufacturers:
Anyone who thinks that this is, as the NRA says, an "elitist" (read: Eastern urban liberal) movement should go to the site, and note that the mayors of such distinctly non-Eastern cities like Dallas, Houston, Omaha, Des Moines, Racine, Baton Rouge and Billings are among the 172 courageous folk who are willing to stand up against this nightmare. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"?? Anyone seriously want to defend this? Provide an example of a disgruntled college student who could kill 33 people without a gun?

If you can get the mayor of Billings Montana to come out for gun control, you can get mayors anywhere to do so.
Bill, I would hate for this expression of grief about a human tragedy to be hijacked by any political agenda. While I completely support the web site you reference - Mayors Against ILLEGAL Guns - I can't believe I'm the only person thinking, in his deepest secret soul, that if anyone else in the building had been armed and properly trained, the body count would have been considerably lower. And yes, as a hardboiled detective writer I can even laugh at myself for thinking it.

But I favor us leaving the blame-casting and fault finding for later. Let's just take today to stare in horror at the things human beings are capable of doing to one another, and mourn the innocents.
I think sometimes that I write murder mysteries because, at least within the world I create, I can laugh at death. Today it seems a hollow conceit. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends and everyone who has been touched by this horror.
Today the news reports that the two incidents were by the same shooter which occurred 2 hours apart. Cho had purchased one of the guns in March and the other just a week ago. They are saying this was planned, they also point out that he was referred to as "The Question Mark" guy as he refussed to sign his name to the student roster. He was a loner, no contact with others, would not talk, and wrote strange letters and plays for his English Major. They are also reporting that he was on anti-depressants which I do not really (in my opinion) matters. The anti-depressants are used to help with any chemical imbalances within the brain and should have been helping, not making matters worse. And the bomb threats to 5 different states at universities is ridiculous and thank goodness they were pranks,


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