Some observations on the Virginia Tech shootings
April 16, 2007 § 5 Comments
America, meet World
I just watched an interview with Jamal Albarghouti, the Virginia Tech graduate student who captured today’s shootings on his cell phone camera. Toward the end of the interview, the always hyperbolic Wolf Blitzer asked if he had “ever imagined” that he would experience such terrible violence.
To this, Albarghouti responded that he was a Palestinian from the West Bank who lived for many years in Saudi Arabia, where he witnessed the bombing of the Interior Ministry in Riyadh. He then politely added that he never imagined that he would see such violence while living in the United States.
What is it with Engineering departments?
At this point, little is known about the person responsible for the killings, who turned his gun on himself after the rampage. What is known is that he shot two individuals two hours before setting off for the Engineering building, one of whom was reportedly his ex-girlfriend. According to Fox News, university administrators did not order a lockdown of the campus because they believed that the incident was “only” a domestic dispute.
Listen up, kids
According to various reports, some Virginia Tech students wandered dangerously close to the shooting scene, even as SWAT team personnel screamed at them to run for cover. The reason: they could not hear the repeated bursts of gunfire over the music on their iPods.
At thirty-three confirmed deaths, the Virginia Tech killings stand as the worst mass shooting in American history. In a statement from the White House, President Bush extended his condolences to the victims’ families, then reaffirmed the right of American citizens to bear arms.