Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Should Virginia Tech Have Been Locked Down Sooner?

My answer to that is No. And here's the reason why:

All over the airwaves today, people have been questioning the decision of the police and the university administration not to lock down the school immediately after the first two murders. Now far be it from me to defend the police, locked up as I am here in the Yoni School for Wayward Poets, for I am a child of resistance to authority, an inveterate Naysayer. "No" is the most common word in my vocabulary. But this second-guessing so soon after the event is really too much.

A little common sense tells you to look at the timeline. The first shootings took place around 7:15am. The second wave occurred just after 9:00am. So there was a space of about 2 hours. The police arrived at the first scene fairly quickly, I believe, and secured that building. Other law enforcement agencies -- the FBI, the state police -- would have been informed, I presume. But in two hours, it's only logical that the investigation -- and all of the detail that involves -- would really only have just begun. Think of it: securing the building, identifying the crime scene and securing that, looking for witnesses, canvassing the building, who knows what-all. And up to that point, as far as anyone could tell, they were looking at a double homicide. Not some lunatic who was preparing to gun down another 50 or so.

Think of how much you accomplish in 2 hours on any given day. With tasks not nearly as complex as a murder scene. And then tell me that they should have foreseen what would happen next...

The only other possible solution would be to shut down everything every time there's a murder just in case he/she decides to strike again. Which is silly. And you know people would find fault with that too.

So I say, cut 'em some slack.

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