First off, it's clear that the shooter had serious issues. Most people around him thought he was very very strange... several people have now gone on record claiming that they viewed him as "most likely to go on a killing spree", or even flashed to his name when they first heard there had been a shooting at the school. Here's a tip, one that more people should remember: If your subconscious warns you about a person or situation, then there's a good chance you should be worried. If you haven't already, I would suggest reading this book.
That being said, I doubt that calling the police and saying "I think this guy is creepy and will go nuts someday" is overly valid. What can the police do? What should they do? What do we, as the innocent citizens, want them to do?
Then there's the question of notifying the students. Many claim that the school fell down, and that they weren't warned in a timely fashion. I dunno. The administration probably could have done more, but I'm not sure exactly what or how. It needs to be looked at, in the wide world of things. Emails saying "don't go out" don't seem to have helped much.
One of the bigger and uglier questions regards gun control on campuses. It almost sickened me to learn that the topic was put forth in the Virginia legislature a year before, and was shot down almost immediately. The response was immediate:
At the time, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said he was happy to hear of the bill's defeat, according to the Roanoke Times.
"I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus," the Virginia Tech spokesman said.
As somebody said, it might have allowed them to "feel safe", but it seems to have missed out on the actual safety of the people. Reminds me of something I read after September 11, where an Israeli Intelligence official was asked by Congress for his take on airport security in the US. His response was something to the effect of "it's good at what it does... which is give people the illusion that they are safe."
Then there's the story of the instructor who died to save his students. We can never state his name, Liviu Librescu, enough. RIP to a brave and true man. This story has been sticking in my craw since I first read it. To my mind, the idea of diving out a window while an old man stays behind to protect me, is disgusting, despicable, and a few other choice terms. But most of the people I've asked think that it's a product of our culture. The young men in his room have never had somebody demonstrate courage or integrity to them, growing up in the me-centered culture of the US today. This being the case, how could they be expected to do the right thing? As my brother just put it to me, they were in a panic situation and somebody- an authority figure- told them to run. So they ran. True enough, but still...
And today we have this story. So mentioning race is a Bad Thing. Nice to know the media is in favor of censoring information, no? While I suppose it is, strictly speaking, not "germane" as they say, the term "Asian" is a descriptive one. Otherwise, people might assume the killer- or should I say butcher- was, for instance Black. Or Arabic, or whatever. To me, the issue here is simply that, as I said, the term Asian merely describes him, and also provides data that the public has a right to know. But the journalists don't want to tell us. Scary stuff from those that are, in their own minds, the protectors of our freedoms. Ack.
Finally, I have a thought from the "I'm sooo gonna burn in hell for this thought" file. This tragedy having occurred at Virginia Tech, I thought at some point "During all of this, where was Marcus Vick?"
That, folks is a "joke". Admittedly a tasteless one, but there it is. I am not in any way implying that Vick was involved. I'm sure he was not. But given his history, I hope I can be forgiven. If not, then I guess life's really a drag.
My thoughts are with the victims of this tragedy, but probably more with their families. Dymphna from GoV posted a response to a comment I made that describes it perfectly. Scroll down to the comments and read it. I'd post it here directly, but I'm writing on the fly, and won't do so without her permission. Perhaps I'll drop her a note and ask. Meanwhile, wander on down and find the comment. It's worth the effort.