Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Cafferty: Reacting to the VT massacre
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How should college campuses react to the Virginia Tech massacre?
I am a junior at Texas A&M, Corpus Christi. Like many other college students around America, the events that happened at Virginia Tech hit close to home. There was a beef-up in campus security and counseling was offered for some students who were scared of the chance similar events would occur. -Ron, Corpus Christi, Texas

Other colleges should look at what has happened at VT and find a way to make some kind of a procedure. Many if not all high schools have a plan for if a shooting happens. Colleges should also have one! -Laurie, King George, Virginia

Jack, As a professor, my greatest fear is overreaction. We tend to do nothing until something bad happens and then we do way too much. We all need to take a deep breath and study what has happened and then when we need to decide on a course of action. -Michael, De Kalb, Illinois

The problem is not closing down campuses or upgrading security, the problem is that mass email is an unacceptable way to notify thousands of students about a shooting and give instructions. We need to incorporate a better system like text messaging or calling students, what they do after that is their own agenda but you cannot blame a student for not listening to something he hasn't been told. -Jordan

What can other states learn from the mass murders in Virginia?
The lesson we all should learn is the absolute need for a long "cooling off" period... two to three weeks minimum, for every citizen. -Skip, Fulton, Texas

To assert that our campuses would be safer if we allowed our students to carry guns is ludicrous. Do you honestly believe that students should carry guns to class? While there is an off chance someone at Virginia Tech may have been armed yesterday and may have been able to stop this mad man, there is a much greater likelihood that it would lead to more campus violence on a regular basis. -Bret, Lombard, Illinois

These psychopaths always seem to be able to find the gun free zones when looking for helpless targets. How many would have died if several of those students or teachers had been armed. I dare say only 2 or 3, one of those being the shooter. These animals will always find a way to violate the law, don't take away my right to defend myself and my loved ones. The police can't be everywhere. -Brian

How would you rate Virginia Tech's response to yesterday's shootings?
Unfortunately, we always react this way and we shouldn't. Any time there is a crisis, no matter how small, people need to be notified right away. Let them be the ones to decide whether or not to leave the area. Had the police alerted the students that someone was on the loose with a gun, perhaps some of those individuals would still be alive today. -Laurie, Wheaton, Illinois

I work at a university myself which is smaller than VT but still a large public university. How do you close off an entire campus from commuters and students? How do you actually put a campus in lockdown? The only sensible thing I have heard suggested is an outdoor warning system similar to weather warnings we receive in many cities. -Rhonda

With an armed killer on the loose, you close down, lock down, cancel everything and alert everyone any way you can. It's that simple, Jack. The school police and school administration made a very, very bad decision; whether it would have stopped the second set of events is undeterminable, but it could have. -Steve, Philadelphia

I think that the university, which after all is a place of higher education and not a defense compound, handled this terribly sad situation as well as could possibly have been expected. We should all offer them our prayers, not our Monday morning advice. -Tom
Posted By Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator: 4/17/2007 05:39:00 PM ET | Permalink
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