Virginia Tech

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ABC News:

At least 29 people are dead in what may be the biggest mass killing on a college campus in American history — and the death toll may rise.

Police at Virginia Tech, in Blaksburg, Va., said that the shootings happened at a dormitory and a classroom on opposite sides of the university campus.

I’ll add more information as I learn it.

Update: There are some reports as many as 32 people have been killed, but there seems to be some confusion.

CNN is calling today’s incident “the worst mass shooting in American history.” It isn’t, if you count incidents in which there was more than one shooter. Details later.

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. QrazyQat  •  Apr 16, 2007 @3:37 pm

    The first thing that went through my head when I say this was engineering school, gunman, mostly women being killed. Just like the incident in Canada. We’ll see.

  2. joanr16  •  Apr 16, 2007 @6:09 pm

    Were most of the victims female? I hadn’t heard that.

    This morning my boss came in, all pleased because his son had just been accepted to a graduate program at the U of Va. Never mind that it’s not the same school; bad enough that it was the same state… country… planet. My boss is pretty high-strung, so after this news broke we kept it from him.

  3. Daniel DiRito  •  Apr 16, 2007 @6:51 pm

    Read an analysis of the influences in our “Chain Letter Society” that may be precipitating events like the tragedy at Virginia Tech and how our focus on winning and being number one may be fostering a generation of children with fully inadequate coping skills who have a misguided sense of self-worth…here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com/2007/04/chain_letter_society_on_the_virginia_tech_tragedy.php

  4. joanr16  •  Apr 16, 2007 @7:30 pm

    Daniel DiRito, interesting assessment of a root cause. However, I think there are a lot of components to these tragedies: our faith in the gun as solution to so many of life’s problems; our excuse-making for the hatemongers among us; our separation from reality, as an entire society, when adversity comes knocking. “Chain Letter Society” does a very good job of addressing the last of these.

    Still, I can’t help thinking of the old Boomtown Rats song. Maybe the shooter would have said he just didn’t like Mondays.

  5. Chief  •  Apr 16, 2007 @8:05 pm

    Maha,

    I would suggest Wounded Knee and Sand Creek were much worse. But the killed at Sand Creek and Wounded Knee were by and large people of color.

  6. Swami  •  Apr 16, 2007 @9:14 pm

    After a steady diet over the past 4 years of hearing about daily mass killing my emotions aren’t at a place where perhaps they should be. I’m glad that Bush has kept his emotions tender enough to be” horrified” by this senseless act, maybe it’s because the victims were young?…no, innocent?..no, students?..no, Americans?… Ah,yes!. I guess I just haven’t learned to compartmentalize killing where some lives have more value than others.
    I guess it’s alway’s wiser not to offer anything by way of comment if you can’t offer compassion and sympathy, but sometimes like the bible says..from an abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

    I do feel for the families of these victims.

  7. atablarasa  •  Apr 16, 2007 @9:39 pm

    Chief beat me to it, but I’ll add in “the worst mass shooting in American history” might want to include the Tulsa race war where up to 300 blacks were killed, many of them shot by the rampaging lynch mobs.

    The Mountain Meadows Massacre in Utah wiped out about 120 souls, at least a third of them shot through the head.

    The other comment I would offer is that “mass shooting” seems a little limited in terms of killing people. Why eliminate “mass murderers” like David Burke, who killed 43 people by shooting the pilots of a plane, causing it to crash?

  8. Swami  •  Apr 16, 2007 @9:58 pm

    Well, not exactly a qualifier, but Rosewood deserves an honorable mention.

    http://www.displaysforschools.com/history.html

  9. atablarasa  •  Apr 16, 2007 @10:03 pm

    Continuing…

    The Oklahoma City bombing killed considerably more than this shooting spree has.

    It is in no way a diminishment of the horror of today’s events to put it into a proper relationship. We ignore the rest to our shame.

    Furthermore, it should be noted that this tragedy happens on a regular basis in Baghdad and in other cities across the world.

  10. Bonnie  •  Apr 17, 2007 @12:23 am

    Why do men think that when a relationship doesn’t go their way that they have the “right” to go get a gun and shoot his wife, his girlfriend, his ex-wife, his ex-girlfriend, his children and then shoot himself and not face the consequences of his crimes? Why do men think this? If they want to commit suicide, then by all means do so–it’s your life; but, you don’t have the right to take the lives of other innocent people with you. Why?

  11. QrazyQat  •  Apr 17, 2007 @2:28 pm

    Were most of the victims female? I hadn’t heard that.

    No, my comment probably wasn’t clear. I wrote it when there was no real info on just what happened, and I was pointing out the odds. (It does turns out the gunman seemed to be looking for a girlfriend, and also had a history of stalking women.) It’s the odds when you hear of a murder at a home, you look at the spouse or significant other, and odds are that’s the culprit. Not always, but the odds are. And when I hear shooting at a school or workplace like this (and esp. at an engineering school, which sadly are still hotbeds of misogyny) I think misogynist male shooter, because that’s what the odds tell us is likely.

  12. No Blood for Hubris  •  Apr 17, 2007 @3:09 pm

    They think that because they regard women as their personal property, and rightfully under their power and control.

  13. Bonnie  •  Apr 17, 2007 @6:00 pm

    Thanks, No Blood for Hubris. Someone needs to tell all the men who believe that that they are wrong, wrong, wrong.



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