Virginia Tech Massacre
Beau Yarbrough presented a very thought provoking article in the Hesperia Star (April 24, 2007) on his graduate and post-graduate experience at Virginia Tech. However, I have been troubled with the handling of events of Virginia Tech regarding the massacres of April 16th.

At 7:15 a.m. on the 16th of April, two people were murdered inside the West Ambler-Johnson Student Residence Hall. Crime and Criminal Justice experts say that the protocol at a homicide when the perpetrator is still at large is to immediately "lock down" the crime scene. Virginia Tech President, Dr. Charles Steger and the Chief of Campus Police, Mr. Wendell Flinchum, decided that the homicides were domestic in nature and a campus "lock down" was not necessary.

Virginia Polytechnic University like all major universities, have international reputations and their administrations are sensitive to negative, pejorative publicity. Depreciatory publicity would affect the universities' ability to acquire top students, first-rate professors and affect the universities' ability to secure funds. A campus wide "lock-down" would be negative.

At 9:26 a.m. the University sent e-mails to all students advising caution (like the students sit in front of their computers 24/7 waiting for bulletins). During those 2 hours and 11 minutes, Seung Hui Cho went back to his campus room, prepared some media, went to the Blacksburg Post Office, mailed the media to NBC and reentered the campus at Norris Hall. At 9:50 a.m. the University sent a text message (like everyone carries a cell phone 24/7 and has it turned on). At 9:50 a.m. it was all over; 31 students and instructors were slaughtered and 29 had life threatening gun shot injuries.

It appears we are a society with our heads cemented to our digital (virtual) realty. (Sorry for being tendentious.) The question I want to pose is the following:

If the University Officials spent the 2 hours and 11 minutes canvassing the Virginia Tech campus in jeeps (or in helicopters) with BULL HORNS announcing "lock-down," would we have 31 souls prematurely in their graves?

Early Tuesday morning (April 17, 2007) a news conference was held at Virginia Tech. The coroner stated that it could take several days to positively identify the deceased. No matter, the University decided, with celerity, to have a memorial service that Tuesday afternoon in spite of not knowing the names of the victims. The sooner to put the massacre under the rug, (less ongoing negative publicity) the better.

John F. Konieczny
Apple Valley