The Scapegoats For The Psychopath

Whenever a horrible event like the massacre at Va Tech occurs, a lot of people immediately start looking for a scapegoat. It’s not enough to just accept that bad things happen to good people and there’s a dead psychopath at the root of it, somebody else has to be responsible.

The fall guys for the South Korean psychopath’s rampage are apparently the Virginia Tech president and police chief. Here’s the latest from Fox,

“Parents of a Virginia Tech student expressed outrage Monday at what they call an inadequate response by college brass to the worst mass-murder shooting in American history.

John and Jennifer Shourds of Lovettsville, Va. demanded the immediate firings of University President Charles Steger and Virginia Tech Campus Police Chief W.R. Flinchum who he said “screwed up” the handling of separate shooting incidents that left 33 students dead, including the shooter.

“My God, if someone shoots somebody there should be an immediate lockdown of the campus,” said John Shourds. “They totally blew it. The president blew it, campus police blew it.”

The Shourds said they received a phone call from their daughter, Alexandra, a freshman at the college in Blacksburg, who was unsure of how to handle a vague university e-mail received around 9:20 a.m. regarding the first shooting incident that happened at the West Ambler Johnston Hall around 7:15 a.m. Later, it was learned that a lone gunman entered that hall, two buildings away from Alexandra’s dorm, and opened fire, killing two people.

Shourds said the e-mail left no detailed information of how the students should proceed and didn’t call for a campus lockdown. There were no public safety announcements or warnings before the second shooting at Norris Hall that killed 30 people.

John Shourd said he told his daughter to stay put and avoid her 10 a.m. class until the university sent more information.

At about 9:50 a.m., Alexandra Shourds told her father a subsequent e-mail was sent to students instructed them to stay put and not go anywhere. An e-mail announcing the cancellation of classes for the day didn’t come until 10:16 a.m., said John Shourds.

He said many lives could have been saved had the school locked down the campus immediately after the first shooting.”

It’s easy to say that “many lives could have been saved had the school locked down the campus immediately after the first shooting,” after 33 people have been killed, but, how many people would have said it beforehand? Very, very, few — but now that it has happened, the Nostradamus effect has kicked in, and some people think it’s obvious that they should have shut down the campus.

But, look at it like this; we have a lot of murders in this country. How often do these murderers kill someone they know and then go on a mass murdering spree aimed at the general populace later in the day? The answer isn’t never, but statistically, you could probably count all the times that has happened in American history on your fingers and toes.

Since that’s the case, was it inappropriate for them to pour security all over the building where the first murders took place and not shut down the campus? No, they handled it correctly.

But, what about the emails? Weren’t those out kind of late? Perhaps, perhaps not. After an incident, it takes time for the police to arrive at a location, find out what happened, and communicate that information to someone who can then put together a draft and send it out. It’s not an instantaneous process and again, there was no reason to think taking two hours to communicate that information to the campus was a danger. Besides, is the average person at a university that size going to stay home because a shooting happened earlier in the day across campus? Maybe a few would have, but most people would have gone to classes anyway.

Look, I don’t know much about Charles Steger & W.R. Flinchum or have any reason in particular to stick up for them. I don’t know if they’re Republicans or Democrats, conservative or liberal, or anything about them other than the jobs they do for a living. But, I can already see that the fickle finger of blame is about to be pointed at them and I think it’s wrong that these guys are going to be made into scapegoats for the actions of a maniac. I hope more people will stand up and say the same thing.

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