Three lessons shaping society after Virginia Tech massacre
Guns on campus, active shooter scenarios, and state culpability are all still changing society’s preparedness.
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But no matter how tough to explain, the tragic massacre by a deranged student continues to have a significant impact on US society, ranging from debates about concealed-carry guns on campuses, police response to “active shooters,” and -- more specifically -- the question of Virginia Tech’s culpability in the deaths of students and professors at the hands of the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho.
In just the past few weeks, three developments touched directly on how the deadliest peacetime shooting in US history by a single gunman continues to spark debate and shape society:
New details anger parents
Basically a clarification to the original report, the correction changed the timeline of the university’s response, pointing out that university officials failed to alert the campus of a “shooter on the loose” for two hours even as they locked down university offices and at least two staffers informed their own families of the first shooting, at Ambler Johnston Hall. The new report also notes that the university cancelled trash collection 20 minutes before alerting the campus.
The addendum doesn’t change the findings of the review, which had already determined that the university’s poor response between the first shooting at Ambler Johnston Hall and the classroom shootings at Norris Hall nearly two hours later contributed to the loss of life.
But it did give vent to families who still believe that state and university officials have yet to tell the whole truth about what happened that morning, confirming, at least to some, that it is accuracy and responsibility -- not concerns about image and culpability -- that are critical to the healing process after a mass shooting.
“We still suffer emotional pain dealing with the impenetrable layers of bureaucracy in our simple quest for answers,” a statement from the victims’ families said. “An accurate, complete and thorough accounting of what happened before, during and after April 16th, 2007 is the legacy we seek on behalf of those who died and those who survived.”
All but two families accepted an $11 million settlement from the state.
University overrides students, bans guns