Arlington, VA

Thoughts With Virginia Tech

(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) Arlington is home not only to a high concentration of Virginia Tech graduates, but also to the new Virginia Tech National Capital Region Research Center.

Given this afternoon’s breaking news about a shooting on the Blacksburg campus, our thoughts are with Virginia Tech and the local VT community. As of 1:50 p.m., news outlets were reporting that two people had been shot and killed, with scattered reports of more shots fired and a shooter who may still be at large on campus. Follow the real-time reporting of the Collegiate Times student newspaper or the reporting of local TV station WDBJ for more details.

Today’s shooting no doubt conjures up bad memories of the 2007 shooting spree that claimed 33 lives. Feel free to voice your thoughts in the comments.

Comments (61)

  1. Why does this keep happening at VT? It enrages me.

  2. It doesn’t “keep happening at VT.” Did you think they were magically exempt from crime?

  3. Yes Mr. Brown every other major University has multiple shooting deaths happen every few years.

  4. Hikin' the pike

    The Hokie Nation will pull through.

  5. This sounds like a traffic stop gone horribly wrong. My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of the officer and the other victim.

  6. I wonder why this keeps happening at VT? Sad. A school should be a place to learn, not fear these kinds of things.

  7. It doesn’t “keep happening at VT.” Did you think they were magically exempt from crime?

  8. I am so sad. I graduated from VT in 2007 and this is bringing it all back. Supposedly it’s a traffic stop/drug bust gone horribly wrong. I hope they get the suspect soon.

  9. There are lots of false claims of “gunshots heard” coming from all over campus. This type of outlandish behavior is harming police efforts to find the shooter. The kids making these false claims should be prosecuted.

  10. Or maybe they heard something and just don’t want to not report it in case it may help catch a killer. Do you really think students are trying to intentionally hinder the police finding someone who might walk into their dorm and shoot them? I doubt it.

  11. I don’t know what the motivation is. But if I heard popcorn popping in the microwave, I wouldn’t think to myself, “That could very well have been gunshots even though it sounded like popcorn, so I’m calling the cops just to be sure.”

  12. If you don’t know the motivation, don’t suggest people should be arrested. I know you think you’re cute with your “popcorn” analogy, but there’s sometimes when it’s better if you just keep your thoughts to yourself.

  13. Such as ^^^

  14. No, John. You are in the wrong here. Not Greg.

  15. How so.

  16. Frankly, your behavior is childlike and bizarre. I don’t know why you take a murder on a college campus where a lot of people have friends and family as an opportunity to go on a self-important rant. You could just say, “sorry, my comments were in bad taste”. That would take a big person.

  17. Greg – I still stand by my view that intentional false claims of gunshots heard should be prosecuted. And I think that, to the extent they occurred, it is terrible. Sorry if you disagree with me.

  18. Such as one car backfire on campus might spur a hundred calls reporting a gun shot under this circumstance. You don’t know why anyone is reporting anything.

  19. I’ll bet the number of “gunshots heard” calls received by Bburg and campus police today is many multiples of the number received in a typical month. Does that mean it was just random chance that a lot of cars were backfiring on the day of a campus shooting or does that mean something else?

  20. Duh. Many many people can hear ONE car backfire. Under the alert, don’t you think many of those people are going to make a phone call?

    Digging your hole deeper….

  21. Sorry, but a car backfiring on one side of campus isn’t likely to result in calls from the other side of campus. Are you familiar with the campus and town?

  22. Indeed I am, and the dorms are in various “quads” where many dorm rooms may hear a loud noise at once.

  23. So how would you explain mutliple gunshot heard all around campus from a single backfire on one side of campus?

    And you do know that car backfires are extremely rare in modern cars, right? So if you don’t have a rash of backfires happening, how do you explain a rash of gunshots heard calls?

  24. Easy for you to say in the safety of your home or office. Those kids are probably terrified.

  25. This just reminds me of the DC sniper situation where lots of false reports tied the shootings to a white work van when the pair were driving a blue sedan the entire time. All the false reports caused a ton of misdirected efforts by police and likely led to many extra deaths.

  26. along w/ people talking out their ass…

  27. The local news is reporting multiple false claims of gunshots heard. I’m just passing along what they are saying on the news right now.

  28. Wow, wow, wow.

    You are not “just passing along what they are saying on the news right now.” The news is NOT saying that students are making false reports and should be prosecuted. YOU are. DO NOT try to sit here and convince us, and yourself, that you are just trying to be a concerned citizen. Geez get off your high horse. You are going to frown upon someone who took the road of caution and could atleast be happy they made a mistake instead of sitting at home later thinking why they didnt act. Go down there now and tell the people who are looking out for their fellow students that they should be arrested. Geez.

    Thoughts and prayers are with the victims families, hope they catch this guy soon

  29. I never said that the news said students should be prosecuted. I was obviously stating my opinion that intentional false claims should be prosecuted. Not sure why that is such a controversial matter.

  30. This is your post:

    “There are lots of false claims of “gunshots heard” coming from all over campus. This type of outlandish behavior is harming police efforts to find the shooter. The kids making these false claims should be prosecuted.”

    You do not use the word “intentional”. Now, in hindsight, you would serve yourself good in saying you meant to say it.

  31. I don’t think anyone would reasonably think that legitimate reports should be prosecuted. Therefore, it wouldn’t be reasonable to infer that was my belief from my post (and it isn’t my belief).

    We’ll have to wait and see, but I suspect the investigation into this will support the media’s report of multiple false claims of gunshots heard. Again, I was just passing on what the local TV station reported.

  32. You keep saying “I was just passing along what the TV reported.” You try to make yourself sound so innocent and helpful by making yourself sound like the good citizen. However, thats only half the story. You fail to mention how you then went on to connect this TV report to the outlandish assumption that students were intentionally making false reports. THAT is why everyone is mad at you here, not because you were just the kind man who informed us what the TV was stating.

    Here is you original post again

    “There are lots of false claims of “gunshots heard” coming from all over campus. This type of outlandish behavior is harming police efforts to find the shooter. The kids making these false claims should be prosecuted.”

    Statement from TV. Outlandish assumption of behavior related to VT student. Maybe you need to work on your reading comp, sir.

  33. I’m glad you admit your words were unreasonable.

  34. People calling to report they heard gunshots, when they did hear something, is one thing.

    People calling in reports when they heard nothing is another thing.

    I doubt many people are calling in deliberate hoaxes, just hearing things and getting nervous.

    Let’s not act nervous here, btw. It’s an emotional issue, I know, but lets not let it get to us.

  35. There’s a big difference in something being unfounded and false.

  36. Apparently a trash truck was in the area banging a dumpster potentially causing some of the false reports.

  37. Does VT allow those with Concealed Carry Permits to carry on campus? If so, that is a HUGE deterrent.

  38. Stop believing the NRA’s lies. If an armed society were a polite society, we’d already be the safest society in the world. And we’re not.

  39. And yet the most well armed areas of our country (the rural) are the safest, and those with lower incidents of gun ownership (urban) are much less so.

  40. +1000

    According to the NYT, it’s because handgun owners “choose to live in low crime areas.”

  41. correlation != causation

  42. Except when it does, right?

    Which side of the river would you want to pull a robbery on?

  43. No, VA Tech Campus is a “Gun Free Zone…” that’s why I’m not sure how this is possible?

    (Oh… wait… spree killings pretty much only happen in Gun Free Zones/ Unarmed Victim Zones like schools, Government installations, the post office…)

    *my thoughts are with the victims and I don’t want to politicize this topic.

  44. If you don’ want to “politicize this topic” then don’t make an over-the-top political statement. You can’t have it both ways.

    Also, the last “spree” in the US was at the largest American military base in the world, which I doubt it was a gun free zone. I’m struggling to not go off on a rant about your comment. It’s a sensitive subject, given that after the 2007 incident President Bush’s first words were essentially about gun rights rather than the victims. I’m a recent VT grad, so this makes me pretty sad. I don’t want to hear hyper-political BS on top of it.

  45. Newsflash… Military posts *ARE* gun free zones. No CCW on post, no live ammo off the firing line. I understand that you’ve never served, but I’m struggling to not go off on a rant about people talking about things they don’t understand and have never experienced.

  46. It’s really only a deterrent to pre-meditated crime, which this doesn’t seem to be. And even at that, I’m not sure how much of a deterrent it is. The 2007 shooter, may well have still gone on his rampage if he knew that CC was permitted as he wasn’t rational or logical.

    What it IS though, is a fail safe. It is an extra layer of protection that can limit the amount of damage done if an incident does occur. In 2007 it could have saved dozens of lives. Certainly not all, but possibly many.

    In this case? Doubt it would’ve helped any. Being armed is only good if you already know you’re in danger (as is evidenced by the dead policeman). This was a case of a snap decision by some perp, and most likely couldn’t have been stopped.

    Horrible for the victims’ families and VT community at large (albeit to a lesser degree). I hope they catch the guy, but I guess they will as he must have some connection to the car he was driving. It’s only a matter of time.

  47. Agree this likely could not have been stopped by the policeman or the other person who has died. It will be interesting again to see the history of this individual when they catch him to see if anything in his history could have been handled differently to stop this.

  48. I graduated from VT in 2009. I was on campus during the April shooting. I have a license to carry a hundgun, and do it everywhere it is legal. If someone wants to victimize me, I will try my very best to kill that person. I will not allow that person to victimize someone else. I hope they catch the suspect, corner him, and shoot him dead.

  49. Can someone please explain the rationale behind the stance that says violence will go down if more people have guns?

  50. Yeah, it’s really simple. Think about fast food, for example. The more fast food joints you have, the less people eat fast food.

  51. Horrible analogy. There is no immediate threat to somebody who walks into a fast food restaurant.

    Let’s say a particular area has a high instance of trained guard dogs living in the homes of that area. The threat is the dog, so it would be expected the rate of burglary is lower (and it likely is). The same could be true with a firearm. The knowledge of an individual having a gun poses a threat to a would-be assailant, thus the assailant moves on to someplace where the personal threat is lower. The only reason that logic breaks down is because some gun owners are not responsible and could be likely to utilize them. But, those owners are also probably those folks who would own them illegally anyway.

  52. To be consistent with the original argument, your position would have to be that the incident rate for dog bites in an area with lots of guard dogs is lower than in areas without many guard dogs. Likely, this isn’t the case.

  53. For example. If you wanted to rob someone, would it be easier to rob a woman, child, or a 6’6” 250 pound male wearing a MARINES shirt? Same principle goes with someone who is at a school or government building or a bank. Only criminals have guns there. That person would know he would not have any opposition worth worrying about. Thats where I would go if I wanted to victimize people.

  54. Seriously. The gun nuts’ rationale is rooted in watching too much TV.

    They think that law-abiding citizens with CCW permits will always act rationally and will never get drunk or angry or merely clumsy and discharge their weapon. They also think these armed “good guys” can always shoot and hit only the bad guy under all circumstances.

    More people carrying guns is not the answer. Getting guns out of the hands of criminals is, but of course, the gun lobby works against laws that would make that possible, too.

  55. Your knee jerk is silly, but your politicization is offensive.

    CCW is an awesome responsibility and not taken lightly. You might not always get lead on target first, but what’s your other option? Cover your eyes and hope he makes it quick?

    Not for me.

    Self Defense is a basic human right and as long as we have Gun Free Zones where victims are deprived of this, we will continue to have big body count spree killings. (This was not one.)

  56. “your politicization is offensive” Not as offensive — or lethal — as gun nuts’ insistence that we need even more guns on the streets. It threatens my safety, my family’s safety, and my community’s safety.

    “CCW is an awesome responsibility and not taken lightly.” Sorry, bub, but it *is* taken entirely too lightly, when the requirements are almost non-existent.

    I might want to live in a gun-free zone, but at least I don’t live in a reality-free zone, which is where your feet seem to be firmly planted.

  57. I know I’m not going to change your mind. I have no interest in pursuing this on this particular thread, because I think you’re in poor taste. I will reserve my political comments for a thread about whatever knee jerk legislation pops up.

  58. Certainly. The more deterrent threat a rational criminal faces, the less likely he is to perpetrate his crime. This is why areas of the US with high rates of gun ownership and less restrictive CCW laws have lower crime and are generally more enjoyable places to live.

    Does this help?

  59. WABC7 News reports on twitter that the gunman is dead and the lockdown has been lifted.

    And please can you all just for once stop arguing???

  60. We are closing the comments on this article.


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