Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Tech students mute sounds of gunfire on TV
A group of teary-eyed Virginia Tech students gathered in a room near where a news conference was being held on campus. They stared at the television with their arms interlaced. Each time they were approached for an interview about the shootings, they gave a frustrated "No." They told other students in the area to stop talking to reporters.

Another student beside me said they were waiting to hear about a friend, and no one wanted to talk to anybody. It was still Monday, just hours after the nation's deadliest shooting.

CNN started showing I-Report footage of the shooting. You could hear gunshots and a student say, "Whoa." The students I was sitting with didn't want to hear it. They didn't want to see it. They scrambled for the remote saying, "Can anyone mute this? Where's the volume?"

One girl's phone rang. She started crying and left.

The student beside me made a phone call.

"It doesn't look good," he said.

-- By Kristi Keck, CNN.com Writer
Posted By CNN: 10:50 AM ET
  10 Comments
If only we could Mute, fast forward, rewind our lives. I feel for these people and I hope the media will not intrude on their pain. There's no story in sorrow and no words, no comment, is the only way for them to grieve. My thoughts and prayers are with them.
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton,Calif. : 11:42 AM ET
I sympathize with the students, families and the community of VA Tech. I myself live in Buchanan County, Va. The same county where the Appalachian School of Law is located. Our community suffered a tragedy in 2002 with the law school shootings. Our community received an abundance of support and prayers from everywhere. Even though we are only a few hours away from Blacksburg, and many students from this area do attend VA Tech, we are shocked that this has happened. After all of the coverage we seen last night, I myself could not bear to hear or see the clip of the gunshots anymore. This is now the grieving and healing process. Hopefully the media can be sensitive to the needs of the students, families and community of this wonderful town.
Posted By Anonymous Amanda, Vansant, VA : 12:11 PM ET
This is such a tragedy. My heart goes out to all that have been affected by this terrible event. It is my hope that in the future, organizations seriously scrutinize their security policies and make sure that they work in the most horrible of situations. As a country we need to seriously look at ourselves and learn to treat each other with more dignity and respect. I know that this is still a developing story and motives of the shooter are still not known, but I am willing to make a conjecture. It possibly has something to do with rejection, anger, and possibly revenge.
Posted By Anonymous Sylvie Grace, Atlanta, Georgia : 1:20 PM ET
This happens EVERY DAY IN IRAQ, and WE ARE RESPONSIBLE (or, well, George W. is responsible).
Posted By Anonymous Sam, Houston, TX : 2:08 PM ET
Unfortunately, as we've all seen in the past, the media simply cannot be sensitive to the needs of victims, both dead or alive! Even CNN, the most respected news station in the world, succumbs to tabloid news and treats such horrendous tragedies as a media tabloid event! Especially the student survivors of the classroom carnage should not be sought out and interviewed. Tech should be doing everything in its power to protect these psychologically wounded young people from media vultures! The nation and the world DOES NOT have a need to see and hear all these horrible details. CNN and others like them just think we do!
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Y, Wenatchee, WA : 2:51 PM ET
man takes God out of the school system, the devil moves in, all hell breaks lose.
My prayers are extended to all of us who are affected.... and we are all affected.
Posted By Anonymous junior, woodbridge, nj : 3:22 PM ET
I watch CNN often, particularly when there is breaking news, but I was very disappointed to see so many internationally recognized journalists asking so many leading questions of students at Virginia Tech on Monday, transparently trying to create a real sense of "outrage" against the school administration and/or law enforcement who were dealing with an unprecedented situation based on the repeated suggestions that the tragedy could have been averted had the school been locked down after the first shooting at 7:15 am. How amazing it was that these highly experienced reporters got so many impartial, and astute comments from students who were able to speak in a poised fashion even while they were necessarily in a state of shock. In response to repeated questions/comments from reporters about whether the student felt a sense of "outrage" about the lack of warning, I heard the truthful replies that should have been suggested by the reporters; "we don't have all the facts yet" "the authorities were acting based on the information they had at the time" "if the shooter wanted to find a crowd to shoot into, he would have found it, even if the school was locked down" "the administration did everything they could given the circumstances." I was proud of the students but highly dismayed by the reporters trying to dredge up the emotion repeated over and over "outrage." The emotion of "outrage" no doubt caused the tragedy. Why intentionally add pain and anger to a situation fraught with raw emotion? CNN sounded more like other news sources I do not respect and would have expected this from. If you want to express outrage, look at the gun laws.
Posted By Anonymous Judi Toleman, Lexington KY : 3:23 PM ET
I prefer CNN for my news but I am upset with how CNN is looking more and more like other news channels in their reporting of the tragedy of Virginia Tech. Please refrain from asking leading questions of the students trying to get the response that you want. This is not reporting the news but an attempt to create the news. The most important item that I've picked out of what has been reported the last two days has been the strength and maturity of the students, who have been severely traumatized. This should be what is being reported, not looking for somebody to blame. We know who to blame. God bless Virginia Tech and its community.
Posted By Anonymous Rick Churchill, Apple Valley,CA : 11:45 PM ET
More than eleven years ago, I attended a junior high school where a school shooting occurred. (Back then we didn't have a universally understood name - "school shooting" - for it, though. It's amazing to think that that term came into being in my lifetime.) I vividly remember outrage at the media among my fellow students for invading our lives and getting in the way of our grief. We viewed the scrutiny of reporters as exploitative. Today, I know it's a major news story and I myself am constantly refreshing news site homepages to get the most recent updates. But I still worry that the media has a particularly prominent role in cases like these - because I think in the mass killings of which this is the most shocking example, the killers simply would not have committed these acts were they not certain that the story would top news headlines.
Posted By Anonymous Former Student, Los Angeles : 2:13 AM ET
I am so thankful that all of my friends who attend Tech are ok. It was a very tense time because most of them were not able to respond straight away, and through facebook they could alert all their friends of their status. In retrospect the worry that I experinced campares little to what the students who attend Tech went through while they called and waited to hear from roommates, classmates, and friends.
Posted By Anonymous Melissa P. Auburn University : 2:27 AM ET
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