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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Despite pleas from gun rights groups and even many college students, the result of the Virginia Tech shooting has been a focus on controlling guns on campus, not allowing more students to carry.Skip to next paragraph
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To be sure, the Virginia Tech shooting revealed weaknesses in Virginia gun laws since they did not prevent a person with a history of psychological problems to purchase the eventual murder weapon. But others say the rampage might have been stopped had fellow students been armed.
On Friday, Colorado State University, one of the few colleges in the country to allow concealed-carry guns on campus, revealed the prevailing winds when the Board of Governors voted 9-0 to enact a policy that will likely lead to a campus gun ban, despite a student senate vote this week in support of allowing weapons at the school.
Nearly all college campuses in the US ban concealed weapons, but the debate about the wisdom of such bans intensified after the Virginia Tech rampage. Since then, proposals to lift gun bans have been raised in dozens of states, although none have been successful.
“If we wanted to ban concealed weapons because they could be dangerous, we might as well ban everything on campus because they could be a potential risk,” CSU history student Brady Allen told the Denver Post.
Fort Hood rampage tests VT’s “active shooter” legacy
The Virginia Tech Review Panel never faulted the police response in the wake of the VT shootings, writing that police responded quickly and used “appropriate active shooter procedures.”
But the official response from the Virginia State Police after Cho’s attack -- sending officers into an “active shooter” situation without a plan or backup is counterproductive -- has since been largely discredited in the law enforcement community.
After a disgruntled Army Major opened fire at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, officials credited lessons learned from the Virginia Tech shooting for ending the rampage when a civilian police officer shot and injured Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged attacker.
“The lesson from Virginia Tech was, don’t wait for backup but move to the target and eliminate the shooter,” Chuck Medley, chief of Fort Hood’s emergency services, told the Monitor. “It requires courage and it requires skill.”
As part of the post-Virginia Tech “active shooter” response scenario, Officer Kimberly Munley was shot, and may never work a beat again because of her injuries. Officials credit her with saving “countless lives.”
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