Identity of Virginia Tech Shooter Is University's Silver Lining

Virginia TechThe words "Virginia Tech shooting" hit my household like any in the Hokie nation. As pits settled in my and my husband's stomachs, we did a furious flipping of channels to find out what had happened in Blacksburg, who had been shot, and why. The only thing worse than learning campus police officer Deriek W. Crouse, a father of five, had been killed in the line of duty, was not knowing who did it.

But today we now have some clue just who did it, and I'd be lying if I said that it didn't make me feel at least a little bit better. The second person to die on the VA Tech campus has been identified as the shooter in yesterday's deadly attack.


And although police are not releasing his name, they have confirmed he was not a student of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Thank. Goodness.

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This isn't to denigrate the great loss to the family of Deriek Crouse. A family lost their loved one yesterday, and that cannot be forgotten. But as the mainstream media continues to rehash the horrors of the 2007 campus shooting by Seung-Hui Cho, the student who killed 33 people, including himself, on April 16 four years ago, there's an odd comfort in knowing that this killer did not spring forth from the university. Although his motives still remain uncertain -- cops can't even connect him to Crouse yet -- we know he did not originate as a "Virginia Tech problem."

It's something that may not mean much to outsiders, but to members of the Hokie Nation, it's one of the few straws at which they can grasp today. They don't have a killer in their midst, they aren't breeding the kind of contempt that Cho had for his professors and his fellow students. They are an unfortunate target, and a tragic one at that, but this seems more coincidental than anything. The as-yet-unidentified shooter seems to have harbored more anger at Crouse for his uniform than for his affiliation with the university.

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The Hokie Nation is ... well, it's safe from hatred if not from the evils of the outside world. And today, as the daughter-in-law of a Virginia Tech graduate and the wife of a Hokie, I can say that I do feel that my daughter can go there one day ... if she (hopefully) makes that choice.

Because Virginia Tech is not the problem -- the horrors of the world are.

Image via VaMedia/Flickr

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