New Virginia Tech Shooting Reminds Us Lightning Can Strike Twice

virginia techThere was another shooting on the Virginia Tech campus today. As of now, two people have been confirmed dead and the shooter is still at large. State police officers, FBI agents, and campus security are currently doing all they can to find the guy, who's described as a white male in a maroon hoodie. Authorities have told students and faculty to stay inside until the situation has been resolved. An alert was sent over Twitter to alert students that a gunman was on the loose. Final exams have been postponed.

Virginia Tech, as I'm sure you remember, was the scene of the deadliest shooting massacre in the nation when, in 2007, student Seung-Hui Cho killed 33 people, including himself. Despite increased security and a better campus-wide alert system, lightning, unfortunately, struck twice.

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It's almost hard to believe. When I first read the headlines, I thought I'd somehow stumbled upon an old news story. To think that this happened again at VA Tech is depressing as well as discouraging. It just makes you realize that there's sometimes no rhyme or reason when it comes to random acts of violence. They can strike anytime, anywhere, despite the location's history.

I don't know what else Tech could've done, or any college for that matter, to prevent anything like this from happening. Campuses, mostly by design, are an open layout of school buildings, offices, dorms, cafeterias, sports complexes, etc. This type of blueprint allows for a sense of community and togetherness among students, faculty, and visitors. Start building walls around the place, and things become a little claustrophobic.

There are many college campuses that do indeed have gates and walls around them to keep "danger" out -- I remember not liking the University of Southern California for that reason -- but they're not feasible nor are they generally required for a majority of higher ed institutions. Tech shouldn't have, and didn't, erect a fortress with a moat around their school because of what happened in 2007. They took appropriate steps to ensure campus safety. The fact that there was more gunfire today has less to do with the school and more to do with an arbitrary sequence of events. I guess that's what life is, though, after all.

Our hearts and prayers are with Virginia Tech today.

 

Photo via virtva/Flickr

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