Tragedy from afar

News from my alma mater last night threw me into a lot of shock and put quite the damper on an otherwise wonderful Valentine’s Day.

There are a lot of kids from my family’s friends (my family resides in Naperville) who attend NIU; I’ve not heard any bad news from that end of the story, thankfully.

So why am I writing about something that happened out in Illinois in a DC-centric blog? Well, it does affect me in a way. But more importantly – and this really sucks, honestly – NIU was able to handle the incident relatively successfully due to a new security plan put in place after the Virginia Tech tragedy last year. For that reason, I think, the tragedy was less severe than it could have been, and I am thankful for that.

Though it still bugs me that all this still happens. This is the fourth college shooting in a month – what the hell is wrong with these people?

While NIU’s plan isn’t perfect – many students never got a text from the school but several from friends – doubtless it was better than whatever the plan was before. The school was closed and locked down within about 20 minutes. Notifications went out just as fast, and I commend the school’s administration for acting quickly.

Let me posit this question, then, to our local college attendees: with all the recent violence on campuses lately, do you feel safe at your school? And are you aware of what the security plan is? Share your thoughts in the comments box.

And if you have a moment, offer up a moment of silence for the NIU victims (now seven dead, nearly 20 wounded), faculty and students during their hour of need. Hopefully this is the last college tragedy we as a nation have to deal with.

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Having lived in the DC area for ten years, Ben still loves to wander the city with his wife, shooting lots of photos and exploring all the latest exhibits and galleries. A certified hockey fanatic, he spends some time debating the Washington Capitals club with friends – but everyone knows of his three decade love affair with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A professional writer, gamer, photographer, and Lego enthusiast, Ben remains captivated by DC and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

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