I have been getting mail telling me that Virginia Tech’s decision not to close off the engineering buildings…or shut down the campus.. was quite understandable and defensible, and that hindsight from journalists is easy.
Here is my response:
If hindsight is easy, why didn’t Virginia Tech benefit from it? Why is it that authorities were able to shut down the campus…and the whole town… when William Morva, a survivalist and alleged murderer, was on the loose in the neighborhood last year, but could do precious little this year?
“The shooting was the second in the past year that forced officials to lock down the campus. In August of 2006, an escaped jail inmate shot and killed a deputy sheriff and an unarmed security guard at a nearby hospital before the police caught him in the woods near the university. The capture ended a manhunt that led to the cancellation of the first day of classes at Virginia Tech and shut down most businesses and municipal buildings in Blacksburg. The accused gunman, William Morva, is facing capital murder charges.”
If they could lock down the campus for that, why not for this?
Was that because in the Morva incident, the victims were police and security?
I hate to put it that way, but I feel compelled to. I do understand that the killing of policemen tends to be regarded as more heinous for a variety of reasons, some of which might be defensible, but it goes to show that Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who will guard the guardians) is always a relevant question.
And to the Virginia Tech Administration groupies who wrote to me, let me point out that I did wait a couple of days and came down on the administration only when I saw the self-indulgent posturing going on.
In the old days, a university president would have stepped down immediately, regardless of who was to blame, simply for having had something like this happen on his watch. But university presidents today are like corporate CEOs – nary a word of self-reproach or self-recrimination. I think that was what angered me….and judging from the rest of my mail, a lot of people.
Still working on that summary…stay tuned.