In Rememberance…VT

Today marked the 2nd anniversary of the Virginia Tech massacre, the day when an emotionally disturbed student went on a killing rampage and killed 32 students and faculty members.

What has changed since that fateful April 16, 2007? Have gun laws made it less likely that some crazed killer can get access to firearms? Have security systems been been revamped so that students can be alerted to immenent danger? Has building security improved?

That fateful day, we were all Hokeys. What about today?

Full story on a Day of Remembrance.

24 Thoughts to “In Remembrance — VT”

  1. IVAN

    A sad day for my alma matre.

  2. Elena

    Violence, in general, is just so hard to comprehend.

  3. Rest in peace, and prayers for the living family members.

  4. Punchak

    Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t understand this “remembering” really bad dates. Those concerned DO remember; maybe some of them don’t WANT to see references to it everywhere. I know I wouldn’t, had a family member been killed or wounded.

    I feel the same about the horrible 9/11. It’s become an occasion for politicians to get in the act; almost a celebration.

    Let’s celebrate the dates when good things happen!

    PS – It’s like the re-enactments of Civil War battles. Why on earth do people want to remember bloody battlefields, running around in woolen fake uniforms in the hottest part of summer pretending that they are soldiers?

  5. Punchak, I see it as the chance to grieve and the chance to remind us these tragedies should never have happened, nor should they be allowed to happen again. If we don’t remind ourselves and learn, we’re pretty much doomed.

  6. Moon-howler

    I am not sure Virginia will ever recover from that horrible assault. I can remember sitting there watching all day long and simply not being able to remove myself from the TV. Perhaps we remember for ourselves.

  7. Emma

    It was a horrible day, and just like 9/11, I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard about it. But I can’t help but be sickened by the family members who don’t feel that $11 million dollars is enough settlement cash. $20 million wouldn’t bring their babies back, would it?

  8. Punchak


    There’s also the risk that some insane people will get ideas. Two sides to most things> (not talking about 9/11 here)

  9. Punchak, that is always the risk, isn’t it? But I suppose if we applied that to every bit of history, we wouldn’t study any of it.

    We can only hope to learn and then teach what we learn so as not to repeat mistakes.

  10. Moon-howler

    Emma, I agree. How can a price tag be put on a life like that? Of all the tragic deaths that day, I think the one that just grabbed me the worst was the Holocaust victim’s death. To have survived all of that and then to be gunned down like that….

    The flip side, I keep telling myself, is that he was such a hero and he saved many younger lives.

    Punch, idiots will copy cat anything. I think it is up to those of us who remember and those who survive to put things into place to make it less likely that things like this will be possible to happen.

  11. Emma

    People have been committing senseless acts against each other since Cain and Abel, and presumably they didn’t have any firearms back then. Tech made mistakes on that day, but you can only put so many things in place and impose so many restrictions before you lose the open atmosphere of a university town.

  12. Poor Richard

    “April is the cruelest month” – at least it seems to be recently.

  13. Punchak

    What all of you write is correct. Guess I’m just feeling depressed about all that’s happening. Need to get out in the yard (can’t call it a garden) and plant som bright flowers.

    Emma, I’m with you about the two parties who are suing every possible source for more money. What’ll they do with it, should they get it?
    (which I sincerely hope and pray they don’t)

  14. Moon-howler

    I guess you can take that a step further, Emma, and apply it to the entire country. After 9/11 that was my worst fear: that we would no longer be able to live in an open society.

    Frankly, I don’t know what steps I would even suggest taking at Tech or any other college. I grew up in a college town. There is only so much you can do.

    On the other hand, I think the hoops we have to jump through regarding mental illness are almost too restrictive. There is now a ‘nothing we can do’ attitude until a person does something. (throwing up hands) I don’t know what the answer is.

    How do you reduce the suicide rate at colleges and universities. This phenomena also causes senseless death.

  15. Moon-howler

    Punch, pansies can cheer anyone up. They aren’t expensive and are in an array of colors. Plant some in a barrel. Pansies see me through the winter also.

  16. MH, there have been lengthy discussions about how colleges can help students with mental illness.

    One of the problems post VA-Tech is that students who visit the college psychologist and who are deemed depressed have been asked to leave the school because they might be a danger to themselves. This has deterred students who really do need help from seeking out help.

    On one hand, we can’t have dangerous people roaming the campus (or anywhere else for that matter). On the other hand, we can’t assume that all people suffering from depression or any other mental illness will become threats to self or others.

  17. Elena

    My husbands co-worker lost her only daughter that day. No one knew what to say to her, it was just so tragic.

  18. Moon-howler

    pinko, and that is what takes us right back to square 1. I don’t have answers.

    Elena, from the shooting?

  19. Yeah, I know. There has to be a way to deal with mental illness so it isn’t stigmatizing.

    To me, there’s no difference between the brain and the body. Mental illness is a neurological and brain anomaly. Look, does a blind person perceive the world differently and act differently than people who can see? Yes. So what’s the difference between people with mental illness and people who are blind in this aspect?

    You can make the argument that people with mental disorders can become violent. This is true only to a certain extent. The majority of people with mental disorders are not violent. (I have the stat somewhere on my blog but have to find it again.)

    It’s about good health care, accommodations, regular support and education.

    One has to wonder if this guy had all of those things if the tragedy would not have happened.

  20. Elena

    Yes Moon, her daughter was a freshman, nineteen years old 🙁

  21. Moon-howler

    Elena, how sad. I fortunately did not know anyone personally. Many degrees of seperation there for me.

    Pinko, If we look at many mental illnesses as chemical imbalance, then it is even more bodily than we thought. When I did my work in psych, the body chemistry end of it was in its infancy stages. On the other hand, (my favorite entrance into arguing with myself) Some mental illnesses cause people to commit heinous crimes. As long as that happens, we are going to have to accept the stigma on mental illness, in my opinion. The stignma as been around since the beginning of time, and isn’t quick to disappear.

  22. “Some mental illnesses cause people to commit heinous crimes.” Very true. But like I said, it’s not as often as people think, and that’s where education comes in.

    It’s damn difficult to get people to change their minds about ANYTHING, isn’t it?


  23. Moon-howler

    Yes. And even though it isnt that frequent, when violence occurs, it is usually not a quiet matter. Of course, I am convinced that a fair number of people in prison are mentally ill.

  24. “am convinced that a fair number of people in prison are mentally ill.”


    And they aren’t typically the ones who tried to get out of paying back society by claiming mental illness. The ones who don’t claim usually are the ones that are mentally ill.

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