When you work at a large university, you just can’t hear about things like this and be unmoved. Best wishes and condolences to the families and the community at Virginia Tech.

Over 30 Shot, Killed at Va. Tech.

(CNN) — The Virginia Tech police chief said at least 20 people were killed in twin shootings on the Blacksburg campus Monday morning. “Some victims were shot in a classroom,” Chief Wendell Flinchum said, adding that the gunman was dead.

“Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions,” said university President Charles Steger. “The university is shocked and indeed horrified.”

EDITED to add:

I wanted to mention this article in New Scientist, that discusses the traumatic effect of watching a great deal of news coverage of a traumatic event; in this case, 9/11. This news will be covered extensively for the next few days; personally, I plan to not watch much of it. I agree that watching the tape over and over again can increase stress and trauma. I can’t watch the video clip on CNN from a student’s phone; each one of those bangs on the recording is a student dying.

Running that video 24/7 cheapens the loss, makes us all more afraid, and reduces the probability that we will discuss why students (and the public) so rarely gets the mental health care they need. Here at my university, students are limited to 5 visits to the Counseling Center/academic year. After that, it’s on their own dime.

No, there is no evidence yet of what the shooter’s issue was. But to go on a multi-building shooting rampage, you gotta have issues.

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!

One Comment

  1. A couple of weeks ago a staff member of the large university in my community was murdered by her estranged boyfriend.

    The building she worked in was not really on the main campus, but on one of the buildings that was built on land acquired by the university in the community as it expanded its traditional boundaries. It is right next to a couple of arterials and the main freeway… isolation was not an option:

    Oh, and she told her co-workers… yet the loon got through and shot her in her office. And then himself.

    The lesson here is that you should beware of all who have issues… and do not rely on the authorities or their representatives to save you.

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