Mere minuets had passes after the planes hit the World Trade Buildings and everyone was looking for someone to point the finger at. Now, with the VA Tech shootings people are asking probing questions about why the campus wasn’t locked down after the first two victims were shot. Can someone tell me how in the hell you are going to lock down a 2,600 acre campus with 30,000 people in it?
Everyone seems so quick to second guess the camps administration and police, suggesting that the community should have been told or the campus should have been closed down. What I don’t think these presumptuous pundants realize is that a shooter will always be able to find large groups of people on a college campus no matter how “locked down” it is. Had the administration canceled classes and somehow informed every student at VA Tech about the shooting, they would have all rushed to the nearest computer cluster and started emailing their friends. If they didn’t do that, they would have gathered in large groups to play hackie sack or some other group activity. The point is that people on college campuses tend to gather. When they don’t have classes, they tend to gather more. In all likelihood the shooter would have been able to find even larger groups of people to target had the campus been locked down.
I’m usually not one to stick up for the police, but in this case they did the right thing. When a person kills someone, they tend to run as fast and as far from the crime-scene as possible. The assertion that the shooter had probably left campus after the fist two shootings was reasonable and prudent. Ignoring the fact that it is logistically impossible to instantly notify 30,000 students of anything, closing down the campus would have most likely led to larger individual groups of students that could be more easily targeted. Americans really need to lose the habit of finger-wagging and blaming after something bad happens. The administration and police probably feel badly enough without having the whole country pontificating about what they should have done.