Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Virginia Tech Window Dressing

Virginia Tech was just fined $55k for failing to timely warn students during the 2007 tragedy.  There's a lot of argument on the radio and web about whether this is an appropriate fine. 

I don't care.  It's all worthless.  You see, all they want is a way to make us all feel better.  Virginia Tech paying this fine will not make the campus any safer than it was yesterday, or any safer than it was on April 16, 2007.  Perhaps, as a result of this fine, Virginia Tech will notify everyone sooner.  Of course, in order to notify everyone, there must have been an incident.  This means that this fine, the noticing system, and all the feel-good nonsense, will do nothing to prevent the incident.  It just means that others will know about it sooner.

You know what would have been better?

On January 30, 2006. a year before the shooting, a subcommittee in the Virginia General Assembly stopped a bill that would have allowed students to carry weapons in the university.  Since that bill was killed in committee, many students were killed in Norris Hall.  Even if they would have had the means to protect themselves, the Virginia General Assembly said they could not do so.

When the bill was stopped in committee, there was this great quote:

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

How'd that work out for you?

You see, it's all about feeling safe.  It's all about the warm fuzzies.  It's all about sticking our heads in the sand, and believing that if we pretend it won't happen, it won't.  Since the General Assembly said no guns on campus, that should take care of it, right?  After all, the killer (who ignored laws against killing) would of course obey laws against guns on campus, no?

I guess not.

This fine changes nothing.  We can all argue about it, agree, disagree, whatever.  It's a waste of time. 

It's all window dressing.


Rev. Paul said...

"I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part!" (Animal House)

Sad, really, when a 33-year-old movie can be used to predict the actions of a legislature.

Graybeard said...

I'm not sure what blog link I followed to end up here, but if I may add a point: Va Tech has something that makes this even worse. They have a big, active ROTC program.

So you have young adults on that campus who are trained in firearms use. I wouldn't be surprised to find that you had adults over 21 who are trained in firearms and can carry them anywhere other than on campus. Any one of them could have ended that before the psycho killer got his death toll up.

It's really incredibly illogical to not allow these people to carry on campus. You have to hold an advanced degree to think that poorly.

SiGraybeard, another gun blogger (most of the time. OK, some of the time.).

Lawyer said...

Rev. Paul: That made me laugh. But, then again, there are people who are still complaining that the fine against Virginia Tech is not enough. That movie line is so true.

Graybeard: I hadn't even thought of the ROTC. You're right. That makes it even dumber. It's depressing to think of how the story could have ended differently if one person in that group would have been allowed to defend themselves.

It's really sad.

TOTWTYTR said...

Since we're quoting movies,
Governor William J. Le Petomane: We've gotta protect our phoney baloney jobs, gentlemen!

That's all that the fine amounts too, protecting someone's phoney baloney job.

Someday, hopefully soon, we'll look back with incredulity at "Criminal Empowerment Zones" and wonder which idiots thought they were good ideas.

Lawyer said...

I have more hope, every day, that more and more people are recognizing that these "Criminal Empowerment Zones" as you have called them, are worthless. We need to keep pushing until the tide is fully turned in our favor.