As I wrapped up my afternoon course today, my students informed me of the 31 deaths at Virginia Tech today. It was the first I heard of it and so I immediately looked to the news and am now glued to the press conference airing on NBC.
It is uncanny that this shooting tragedy has occurred in the same week as Colombine, 8 years ago (the very day I was interviewing for my job here). I am not sure what to make of this event yet, other than to be utterly horrified by this event and sorrowful for the community at Virginia Tech. We don't yet know how many of the deceased are students and how many are faculty. These details are sure to emerge over time.
I am dismayed by the tone of the press, who launched into an attack of VT's President for not locking down the campus after the first shooting incident in the morning. The idea of lockdown and the idea that in the future we might have to post guards on our college campuses is frightening. This is a tragedy. This was an event that no one could've forseen (unless I am persuaded by evidence to the contray), and to respond to this event with greater militarism on college campuses horrifies me (perhaps more than the event itself).
I will no doubt have something more to say about this event after I learn more facts and digest the coverage. In the meantime, I would appreciate any links to blogs from VT students or other bloggers covering this story.
UPDATE: From the Huffington Post
A White House spokesman said President Bush was horrified by the rampage and offered his prayers to the victims and the people of Virginia.
"The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," spokeswoman Dana Perino said