Monday, April 16, 2007

Slaughter on campus

From ABC News:

Apr. 16, 2007— At least 25 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 said that the shootings happened at a dormitory and a classroom on opposite sides of the university campus in Blacksburg, Va.

Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said that one person was killed in the first shooting, which occurred just after 7 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a large dormitory. Flinchum said that at least 20 more people were killed in a later shooting at Norris Hall, an academic building.

The gunman, whose identity has not been released, is among the dead. Flinchum wouldn't say whether the shooter had killed himself.

ABC News has confirmed that there were two separate bomb threats last week at Virginia Tech that targeted engineering buildings. The first was directed at Torgersen Hall, while the second was directed at multiple engineering buildings. Students and staff were evacuated, and the university had offered a $5,000 reward for information into the threats.

Not all the students involved in the shootings are dead. Two local hospitals have reported treating 21 people.

University president Charles Steger said that police have not officially tied together the two shootings.

Our prayers go out to the families of the dead and to the injured and their families.

There will be time later on to point out that it is already against the law to bring firearms onto educational property. There will be time later to point out that this left an entire campus of disarmed cattle waiting to be slaughtered by the first terrorist of lunatic to come along.

Later we can speculate about what an armed faculty member or grounds keeper or janitor could have done to stop this before the death toll climbed so high. Later we can point out that many of the students at this college would have been over 21 years of age and were therefore eligible to own handguns and obtain a Virginia concealed handgun permit and therefore could have saved their own lives and the lives of their fellow students. If firearms were not forbidden to the law abiding on educational property.

There will be time for all that later. For now let's just pray for those who were harmed by this terrible event.


The Washington Post is reporting that 22 have been confirmed dead.