I started hearing the grumblings yesterday, but today the Monday morning quarterbacking is in full force, and covered here in this WaPo article. Putting aside the question of how we can expect to thoroughly examine a response this close to it, I’m not sure how I see I would have done anything differently if I’d made decisions for the U. Two people in a building are shot and there’s no indication of who did it or why. Lock down the building? Cancel classes? Evacuate the campus? Or just go on with life and assume it was an isolated violent incident – what I think I’d have opted for.
VT’s 26,000 students and a sizable number of employees makes them about 5% of the total population of Washington DC, spread out over 2,300 acres – about 6% of the District’s 39,040, meaning about the same overall density. We don’t typically make announcements and empty apartment buildings – much less several city blocks – when there’s a shooting like the initial one. I’m not sure why most people think it being a campus makes such a difference.
Perhaps my friend Jason is right. When I mentioned this reaction to him he said it seems too soon to know what the right action would have been, and added “I think too much of the reaction is ‘oh crap, this could’ve happened to me.'” Sudden random violence is scary stuff, and nobody wants to think they might face “death at any minute of the day.” If it could have been averted if someone else had just done something differently then that possible nutbag at the next table is a little less scary.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs