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My Virginia Tech Post

April 19, 2007

Here is my Virginia Tech post:
1. Considering that Cho Seung Hui had been on prescription drugs for depression at some point, and had been reported for stalking two women, and one of his professors was concerned enough about his emotional state to request additional security while he was in class and referred him for counseling and to the police… Your Montag has to wonder if the main problem that led to this particular tragedy is in how we deal with mental illness as a society.
2. Perhaps we could make it harder to purchase hand guns, though as with the other issues we like to talk about here at The Stump, (i.e. domestic spying, presidential power, torture,) we should be careful with regard to how much (if any) of the liberty we at one time took for granted should be relinquished.
3. If numbers 1 and 2 remain unchanged/don’t work, perhaps we will have learned something about emergency communication on college campuses, and prevent tragedies of similar scale.
4. If that doesn’t work, perhaps we are well served to consider in advance how we would want to respond personally in a similar situation.
5. And just as importantly, let’s not vilify Korean people or “quiet” people or depressed people… or gun people for that matter.

My thoughts are with the families and friends who lost loved ones in this seemingly senseless act. —

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2007 4:22 PM

    I’m with you save some reservations on #3: the villification of the campus authorities/police is just ridiculous. Sure, just like everyone else I wish that it had turned out another way, that he’d been apprehended before the second round of shootings. But there’s just no planning for the insane, anomolous event. Geographically-targeted messaging, neighborhood-watch type informant systems (unqualified people making judgments and acting on them), technology that allows for real-time, all-the-time positioning of individuals, “lockdowns” – these are PRISON techniques, and I don’t think that they should be instituted as a general solution. The reason that this is a tragedy is precisely because it is unthinkably horrible – and I don’t think I want to live in a place where this particular sort of unthinkable becomes, in its rationalization via a wide-spread systematic preventative response, thinkable at an everyday level.

  2. April 19, 2007 7:30 PM

    I don’t disagree. As far as the post the link goes to, I had zeroed in on the technology that would broadcast emergency information to cell phones; and the instant messaging and information sharing for responders: methods to improve the response to an anomalous event; not to attempt to prevent the unpredictable. That is, I don’t favor a constant paranoia apparatus, or a prison-style security arrangement by any means.

  3. April 19, 2007 7:40 PM

    And: I didn’t intend to pile blame on the campus police response.

  4. April 20, 2007 6:49 AM

    I should have made my target (the frenzied media and others who benefit from the suggestion, incitation, or spread of FEAR) clearer – no intent to suggest that you the erstwhile Montag were yourself blaming campus police or encouraging paranoid prison-style security on a society-wide scale. (An even cursory glance at most any of the posts on the Stump will reveal this to be abundantly true.)

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