Wednesday, April 18, 2007

On the subject of violence

I could discuss various atrocities that have struck our country this week, but I think we are all pretty much in agreement that these are terrible things. This really strikes home for me and especially for my wife, who has had the misfortune to be involved in two such horrible incidents: one which happened mere feet in front of her, and the other of which involved the murder of a dear friend. She also has some ties to VT, actually (what is this?). So yes, you might say that we both have strong feelings on the subject of violence at universities.

Perhaps I should write a much longer, much more eloquent essay on this subject, but for the moment words fail me. I don't know what the solution is to this problem, or how to keep such violence from constantly recurring. After this latest incident gun control is the hot topic, and I'm all for that, but that doesn't stop people who want to use cars or blunt objects to inflict their horrors upon the world. As my wife has aptly pointed out, all three of the individuals in all three cases exhibited warning signs of varying severity and/or had prior histories. Better screening by universities, or at least better education of faculty, staff and students should be required. The list of incredibly severe warning signs with this latest guy is amazing, but never underestimate the power of selective perception. Unless they have been involved in a previous incident, people rarely see the danger until it is too late. That's what has to stop.


Rachel V. Olivier said...

And a MUCH better warning system should have been in place. There should have been a phone tree established from Security to the President and on down to every single RA and from there to the students.

Christopher M. Park said...

Yes, quite so. NCSU is considering putting in a reverse-911 system, which lets them ring all phones at once with a message, which I think is great.

Rachel V. Olivier said...

What a GREAT idea! Gives me chills thinking about it.