Let me begin by saying that my heart and prayers go out to the families of those lost & wounded in the Virginia Tech tragedy. A single disturbed individual has cost them so much in just a few minutes. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain they are going through.
In looking through this morning's paper, I found a small insignificant e-mail to one of the reporters. It pointed out an incident that also occured in Virginia in January 2002. It peaked my interest ,and I have subsequently researched the subject to check its truthfulness. Sure enough it is correct.
On January 16, 2002, 43-year-old Peter Odighizuwa, a Nigerian student at the Appalachian School of Law, arrived on the campus in Grundy, Virginia. He was told that he was being dropped from the school for poor academic performance. He then pulled out a gun and began shooting people. (A total of 3 people died and 3 more wounded. He shot at several others but missed.) The major difference in the outcome of these two incidents is: The Appalachian School of Law is a private institution, so the state law banning guns on college campuses did not apply. Fortunately in this case, two of the school's students who were present had firearms training, were able to retrieve guns from their vehicles, and then use them while capturing the gunman before he could do anymore damage.
The ironic part of all this is that early last year a bill was proposed in the Virginia legislature to remove the state ban on firearms on college campuses. However, it was voted down and did not pass. At the time, the Roanoke Times quoted VT spokeperson, Larry Hincker as saying, "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty, & visitors feel safe on our campus."
Granted, if I were a college professor, I'm not sure that I would like to have my students "packing" when I handed out their grades at semester's end. That just might be adding fuel to an already smoldering fire. However, If faculty members or other law abiding persons in responsible positions had been allowed to pass a test and have a firearm handy, could the outcome at Virginia Tech have been similar to the outcome at The Appliacian School of Law? Just food for thought.
For those who want to verify the truthfulness of the above mentioned items or get further details, I suggest they start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_School_of_Law_shooting#_ref-5