After the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, college campuses may never again be quite the same. That’s both good and bad.
College administrators and students have already become more focused on campus safety issues than ever before. Discussions…most pretty meaningful…are going on at all levels about how students can be better protected against all potential threats to their safety. Six months from now, maybe even sooner, many campuses will be safer places than they are today. And, students who never spent a minute thinking about their safety are already taking precautions they had never before considered.
Yet, it’s kind of sad that campuses, once at least a relatively safe refuge, have fallen prey to nearly every danger that exists in the outside world. And, it’s even sadder that some loud voices advocate metal detectors, the kind of security presence we now find in airports, and other fairly radical changes on campuses in the name of safety.
Most of the second guessing that has been done about the decisions of the Tech administration has been grossly unfair. What kind of security do most reporters have in their workplaces? Is there anything in place to prevent someone from walking into your school or workplace with a weapon? All of us will learn from the unspeakable events in Blacksburg, but it’s too early for definitive answers.
In fact, we’re not yet hearing all of the right questions. And some of the loudest voices we’re hearing are not serving us well.
The only “answers” we’re hearing so far are the tired, old answers we always get from the NRA types who have been saying that now is not the time to talk about gun control. In a state considering a bill to make it legal to carry guns on campus…a state where someone who was judged to be dangerous to himself and others by mental health professionals can buy guns and ammunition legally, when would be a good time to talk about gun control?
I have no answers, only hope that we may someday, somehow, reduce the violence that has become so much a part of our world, even on school and college campuses.
The shootings at VA Tech were too horrible and too sad to be described. In their wake, and in the future, let us hope educators and students do all they can to prevent a similar tragedy.