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Virginia Tech

CNN described the massacre at Virginia Tech as “the deadliest shooting in U. S. history. ” 32 people were dead and the gunman committed suicide, bringing the death toll to 33. 29 others were injured. On Monday, at around 7:15 a. m. on April 16, 2007, two people were killed at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a co-ed dormitory on campus. Officials thought that “it was an isolated event to that building and the decision was made not to cancel classes at that time. ” They thought that the shooter has fled the campus.

Two hours later, a shooting rampage took place at Norris Hall which claimed the lives of 30 people (students and faculty members) and then the killer shot himself to death. Somewhere between the two shooting incident, the shooter mailed a multimedia package to NBC News containing his rancid manifesto. The gunman was identified as Cho Seung-Hui, 23-year-old senior majoring in English. Cho was a South Korean who arrived in the United States as an 8-year-old boy in 1992. The young man was described as a loner and had written deeply-disturbed screenplays in his playwriting class.

In 2005, various complaints were raised against Cho concerning stalking. He was also declared mentally ill by a Virginia special justice and was ordered to be taken to a mental health facility for outpatient treatment. Just this year, Cho possessed Walther P22 and Glock 9 mm handguns. Authorities also found out that he purchased ammunition clips on eBay just three weeks before the shooting incident. A note found in his dorm room contained his rants against rich kids and religion.

In his multimedia manifesto, Cho mentioned teenagers Eric and Dylan of the Columbine High School massacre of which there where 15 fatalities including the shooters. Shockingly, the Virginia Tech massacre was just four days behind the 8th anniversary of the Columbine incident. Virginia Tech students complained the absence of immediate notification on campus about the first shooting incident because officials thought that the first shooting was an isolated case. No public-address announcements were made that could have prevented—if not lessened—the fatalities of another shooting two hours later.

Apparently, Virginia Tech University doesn’t yet have emergency communications systems wherein students could instantly receive text message alerts on their mobile phones. The e-mails that the university had sent came around the time when the gunman struck again. To prevent another tragedy from occurring, authorities are teaming up to brew fresh ideas for the safety of students in campuses across the United States. I think that gun policies should be reinforced. Despite Cho being mentally ill, he was still able to purchase guns and ammunitions.

Evidently, that carelessness caused the lives of innocent people. Universities should also take advantage of modern technology such as advance communication systems for emergency and security purposes. There had been many campus shootings before the Virginia Tech massacre and schools should be prepared and equipped for these kinds of incidents. Fatalities could be prevented or lessened if proper measures are taken. Early signs of psychotic breaks must not be ignored so as not to endanger the lives of others within a community.

References

CNN. com. 18 April 2007. Killer’s manifesto: ‘You forced me into a corner. ‘ 23 April 2007. <http://www. cnn. com/2007/US/04/18/vtech. shooting/index. html>. CNN. com. 17 April 2007. Witness survives by pretending to be dead. 23 April 2007. < http://www. cnn. com/2007/US/04/16/vtech. shooting/index. html>. Time. 17 April 2007. The Va. Tech Gunman: Well Prepared 23 April 2007. < http://www. cnn. com/2007/US/04/16/vtech. shooting/index. html>. CBS. 16 April 2007. At Least 33 Killed In Va. Tech Massacre 23 April 2007. <http://www. cbsnews. com/stories/2007/04/16/national/main2686709. shtml>.

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