As the names come out, and you see the faces of the victims... it hits you more and makes your heart break in two... like the professor who placed his body against the door to prevent the killer from entering and therefore died as bullets fired through the door. He was a leading researcher in the quest to find a cure for cerebal palsy.
And it frightens you because what happened there can happen anywhere. It could have been any campus, and it could have been anyone. When I was teaching we had a lock down due to an intruder twice. I remember locking the doors, closing the blinds, turning off the lights and huddling with the little ones on the floor. I remember the confused and scared expressions of my students and feeling amazed that I was in charge. I couldnt be afraid, they are in my care. Thank God nothing happened... but it could have. I guess that never hit me until now...
I sent an e-mail to my Dean today, hoping that they will take the mistakes made at Va. Tech (like not informing anyone until over 2 hours after the shooting through email that a first attack had occurred!) and learn a lesson. I can count on both hands incidents of muggings, and one of armed robbery on campus, and yet all is heard through the news and word of mouth rather than through the authorities on campus whose job it is to keep us safe.
Needless to say its horrifying and its depressing. I pray such a thing never happens again. I pray that we can figure out what it is that makes such incidents not "one time only events" as Columbine, and this has now proved is not the case. I hope this will make people who say that people kill people not guns... think twice because just as many things require the concert of two to create a result.... it took both a person and a gun to be able to cause 32+ deaths as he did and cause 32+ mothers to grieve last night and for the nights to come.
** I guess I should have maintained my blog hiatus. I say things and they seem to cause controversy when none was intended. I agree that if I make a statement I should be willing to address it. I have up to this point addressed it. But- I have a raging fever and upcoming exams and dont have time to deal with the stress of people making assumptions of what I feel or don't. For the record: 1) I dont think this is the school's fault. I said V-Tech made some mistakes. I did not say V-tech could have prevetned this. What I meant was that I wish that schools IN GENERAL had better procedures to handle such situations like police patrolling after one violent instance is reported. In August at Va. Tech there was one shooting by an escaped inmate at a school employee. From what I read, they put the school in lock down and patrolled the campus. In this instance would that have stopped the massacre? Probably not. But its good practice in my opinion. 2) I dont think its fine to make racist jokes againt your own race. I used to always put disclaimers on everything I wrote in the past but now figured that those who read know what I mean since most are regular readers. I thought people knew I dont enjoy racist jokes.. even about our own.. I wrote about it in discriminating from within. My intention with that post was that when that convo was interpreted by an outside party listening to the conversation what felt okay suddenly felt NOT OKAY. I apologize if that was not clear but thought that people knew my intent by now. Henceforth for any such posting I'll always have a disclaimer explaining exactly what I mean and dont mean by what I say. I will not be addressing any more attacks regarding whether I think V-Tech is at fault or why I am such a racist. I apologize for being grumpy at the momen but its probably the stress combined with the fever. But I will say what I always say... respect is desired... if you make statements that indicate otherwise, it will be deleted.