Virginia Tech massacre: How did this happen?

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A 23-year-old Virginia Tech student from South Korea killed at least 30 people in America’s worst shooting rampage in U.S. history.

However, many questions are left unanswered...

  • How did this happen?

  • What now?

  • Are university campuses safe?

  • And what do you think? What is your reaction to this tragedy?

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    31 Comments

    I am very sorry about what happend. 4 those who are gone r.i.p. this is the worst thing any body could do, or could happend 2 someone. the bad thing is about it is that someone was trying to do something with there life and there life got token.

    I THINK THAT U SHOULD HAVE A DETECTIVE WHEN SOME ONE WALKS IN SO IT CAN BE SAFER AND LESS PEOPLE WILL GET HARMED. THIS IS A MAJOR INCCENT THAT HAPPEN ALL OF THESE PEOPLE LOSEING THEIR LIFES. WILL THE STATE INPROVE ON OPENING THE SCHOOL UP AGAIN BECAUSE OF THIS INDIENT.

    NO THIS SCHOOL IS NOT SAFE FOR ANY OTHER STUDENTS HE KILLED THESE PEOPLE FOR NO REASON HE DESERVED TO BE KILLED BUT SHOOTING AND KILLING INCCENT PEOPLE NOW I BET THEIR FAMILY IS WORRYING AND WONDERING IF THEY SHOULD DO HOME BOUND SCHOOL FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND ANY OTHER PEOPLE IN THEIR GENERATION.THAT'S JUST SAD HOW THESE PEOPLE GOT KILLED IN A TRAGIC DEATH THEY CAME TO SCHOOL TO LEARN AND KNOW ALL THEY CAN KNOW ABOUT LIFE AND SCHOOL AND HOW IMPORTANT LIVING IS THE WAY SO MANY PEOLPE HAS GOTTEN KILLED IN TRAGIC DEATHS OVER THE PAST YEARS.IT'S JUST SAD AND SELFISH HOW LIL KIDS IS GETTING RAPED AND KILLED.

    I thik the guy who kill these kid did not have a real life

    how did this happen? why he/she want to kill 32 people that is so crazy! how did it start.

    I feel very bad for what had happen at these schools. If i can help i would. I WILL PRAY FOR THOSE THAT ARE DEAD AND THAT ARE BADLY INJURED.

    It is criminally negligent for Virginia Tech to have not immediately locked down the campus until they had ABSOLUTE, VERIFIABLE PROOF that the gunman from the first shooting in the morning had left, the campus was thoroughly searched and buildings cleared,or he had been caught. Their excuses to this point have been pitiful. People had been shot and killed. You lock the campus down after the first incident until you can CONFIRM that there is no further danger of a gunman roaming free about the campus. Period. Also, this nutcase had previously started FIRES and stalked women on the campus, and he was SILL ALLOWED TO BE THERE TO ATTEND CLASSES. Virgina Tech screwed up, and people died as a result. They are indirectly responsible, in my view.

    im sorry to say but america is a messed up country at the moment.it needs strict gun laws,better schooling, a new president who doesnt ruin the world (environmentally and politically-hopefully obama will bring america back respect). You never hear of cases like this in countries where its hard to obtain a weapon i.e. ireland doesnt even have an armed police. i hope theyre wont be reprisals against korean students , just because the killer was of that nationality , he was just a pissed off student who had easy access to weapons, and like a coward killed defenseless people

    Keep pushing for tougher gun control laws!
    "Virginia Tech is a "Gun-Free Zone." In 2005, VT took action against a student who had a state issued Concealed Carry permit when he brought his legally owned and registered gun onto campus.
    We wonder where that student with the Concealed Carry Permit is today.
    Lack of gun control didn't kill these students - gun control left them completely at the mercy of a madman""

    this is so tragic.....how could this person be allowed to walk the halls with guns and no one noticed this guy? How could VT not have better security? This is such a horrific tragedy, had the police and admin of the school been on their toes, maybe there would've only been 2 murders and not 33!!!

    The media no longer brings up gun control after these incidents, probably due to gun lobby harrassment. But I have to ask: Where did this man acquire two powerful automatic weapons? Is there any reason for a private citizen to possess guns like these? Especially if he has a history of arson and stalking as indicated by another poster. We need background checks, waiting periods, and limits to channels of gun purchasing such as "gun shows". No law is foolproof, but it is insane not to start reducing the weapon supply in this country.

    Why does it take a tragedy for we as people to understand and acknowledge , we all want to enjoyed the same common goal "LIFE, FAMILY, SUCCESS,ETC." It's take a tragedy to erase preduice and racism............."WHY". It was a utterly, horrible situation that happen, sometimes GOD removes them to you can see him. Those them are "them jobs, them houses, them cars and them friends" so then you can focus on him. May GOD bless them all....something good will come out of the horrific incident...GOD rule all.

    Why does it take a tragedy for we as people to understand and acknowledge , we all want to enjoyed the same common goal "LIFE, FAMILY, SUCCESS,ETC." It's take a tragedy to erase preduice and racism............."WHY". It was a utterly, horrible situation that happen, sometimes GOD removes them to you can see him. Those them are "them jobs, them houses, them cars and them friends" so then you can focus on him. May GOD bless them all....something good will come out of the horrific incident...GOD rule all.

    My heart and prayers go out to the families of the dead, the wounded, and the VT student body and staff. This was such a horrible ordeal. I even pray for the family of the young man who took his own life after his own anguish and losses caused him to do such great harm to so many. If only someone had been able to reach that lost soul before his anguish reached such deadly critical mass, this might have been averted. This is such a terrible tragedy.

    How did it happen? A sick person decided to kill as many people as possibile that day. The answer here is vey simple and shoud have been waht the press reported that day. My 11 year old son got it.

    Who is at fault? This is the day I have given up on the media ..The answer here is easy again - The sick guy who killed all these people. The Media though???? NO really who is at fault ? Was it the president? The chief of the police? The campus President?

    I mean someone has to be at fault ....RIGHT????

    I mean they had 120 minutes to get their act together and knowing how well the average american responds to something like this I am sure no one would have been distracted by their cells, blackberrys, starbucks, paper, and everyone would have run out of there in a orderly fashion! Right?? Right???

    My heart goes out to the families of the victims, I wish that it had not taken place....But on the same day our press bears down looking for fault...... Easy to be armchair quarterbacks is it not?

    My wish - the next incident happens at a media office.....Why? To see their swift and perfect response, no one gets hurt, everyone exits in a orderly fashion and meets at starbucks for lattes.

    The media is just flat out digusting... Wonder why those paper sales are down, viewers are down, etc. Easy answer here to....everyday for 20 years I bought the Sun Times, Tribune, USA Today,and recently the NY Post....as of today? Not a one, no more internet, no more cable.....you are very sick people and you need to get your heads out of your back side.

    HEADLINE - Whos Fault???? Who cares.....People died.....that is the story, not who your going to take down as the jerk du jour...

    This could also be a subtle reminder to University officials and faculty across the nation to have some level of involvement with all of their students. Incidents like these can be avoided if teachers and faculty are trained to notice these "problem students". For officials to refer to one of their students as a "loner", seems to show that they are not doing their job very effectively. I don't think it is an issue of a University failing to inform their students on time. This is like saying, "the Chicago police are responsible for letting me know when there is a shooting on the North Side." It is impossible to imagine a University numbing their students with such news flashes. These types of problems are circumvented by parents, teachers, friends, and associates. Take notice to people that appear to be loners, and exhibit violent tendancies. I am not saying to personally comfront these individuals, but take notice when someone close to you begins to slip into irrationality. A helping hand to a troubled soul could save lives.

    I would like to send my condolesences to the families and friends of the victims of this deadly shooting my prayers are with you.

    You cannot blame the University for the shooting that happened yesterday. There are over 22,000 students enrolled at the University. Tell me how you are going to lock down a University of this size? Is this a gated University where they can simply lock it down so no one can come or leave as the please? Also, do you know how long it would take to lock down an area of this size with the amount of people within this given area? Everytime a gun goes off or there is a shooting, is the whole area suppose to cease to exist until the gunman is found? What if there was a shooting in a neighborhood? Should no one leave there house, leave a business, lock the doors, and stop their lifes? The blame should go to this sick individual who took so many innocent lives, and not to the University. It is easy to look back at the situation hours and days later, but what do you do in the heat of the moment when the chaos is unfolding infront of you? You do the best that you can. And if anyone thinks the University did not do enough, I have one question for you. What would you do in their shoes? Not hours or days after, but at that very moment!!!!

    I agree that the campus should have been locked down right away. The first shooting happpened at 7:15am and the second at 9:15, I'm pretty sure within the 2 hour period they could have let everyone know, they could have done so many thingd to prevent the second shooting the way it happened. And if this kid was so troubled with stalking, setting fires, and the isturbing "creative" writings he had done, someone should have been watching this animal. Now the lives of so many are forever ruined. Its just a sad sad day, and it disgusts me that there are people out there like this. Also the fact that you can go to a gun show in that state and walk away with almost any type of gun with no backround check is just wrong. i know it has nothing to do with this since he bought it legally, but its just something to ponder.

    You have to ask how this could happen? Were you born yesterday? This is a real tragedy but not one that should surprise anyone as unusual in this day and age. Our society is very tolerant and soft on crime. In fact, our society celebrates violence as acceptable. A real shame.

    What I don't understand is how he actually had time to get to the building and chain all of the doors and everything before anybody thought of alerting an authority figure to this extremely suspicious behavior, either by cell phone or by any other means. Nobody noticed a guy with a semi-automatic walking through campus in a bullet proof vest? Or coming from the scene of the first shooting? I find it extremely disturbing that he was free and roaming around campus for almost two hours before the second shooting, and nobody noticed anything strange. I mean, just think if he was taking people down outside too, en route to Norris Hall, how many more people could have been seriously injured and/or killed. Granted, it was earlier in the morning, but I'm sure students were already on their way to classes, at 9:00. It just teaches us to be a little more observant of the things going on around us, if anything at all. I'm sorry for everyone's losses...of their significant others, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, and friends...to say it was a tragic thing that happened is a complete understatement.

    My heart goes out to the families who have lost someone. The feeling - no one could imagine. My heart goes out to the friends and students at VA Tech who had to witness this tragity on TV and in person because you will never forget.

    These students were innocent and didnt deserve what had happened to them. No one ever derserves to have this happen to them.

    I believe that all colleges, highschool, and middle schools should take this into consideration. You can never have enough security to keep your students safe at all times.

    You could see this coming five years ago when the Nigerian student murdered five persons on the campus of Appalachian Law School, Grundy, VA, just a few miles west on US Highway 460, claimed an insanity defense, and ultimately plea-bargained a life sentence with a Commonwealth's Attorney who would not seek the death sentence. If there's one salient point to be glad about, it's that Cho killed himself, too, sparing us all the the second victimization of modern justice, in which his defense would have impeached the 32 victims and society. Too bad Mr. Cho didn't kill himself first.

    how did this "happen"?

    First, it didnt "happen"...it was something this individual knowingly, willingly, and most likely, cheerfully, chose to do. He had intent, and willfully , proactively did this .

    Second, it "happened" because the universities continue to take in anyone who can get a loan. Including misfits with no social skills. This guy spent too much time getting straight A's and sitting at his computer.

    Third, this happened because students need to arm themselves.

    What if the suspected gunman did not kill himself? How much of our tax money would be wasted to trial him in court? Let's look ahead. What if one or more of the instructors were allowed to carried weapon, or our citizen were given the right to bear arms? I don't think we would have this kind of tragedy anywhere in the united states.

    It starts with kids being able to buy guns at the age of 18. the idea that you can buy a weapon before have sip of alcohol is mind-boggling. i was not sure b4 but there is no doubt in my mind that their should be more strict gun laws.

    We can't blame the gun laws or the school for what happened - the blame stands with the mental health system in this country. The signs were all there that Mr. Cho was a deeply disturbed young man, people were reading the signs and trying to get him help but nothing could be done until Mr. Cho "did something"..now 32 people are dead. Perhaps the laws can be changed to make it easier to obtain treatment/evaluation for mental illness then waiting for them to "do something" or meet the "dangerous to self or others" criteria. Also feel sorry for Mr. Cho's parents, they not only lost their son to the gunfire but to his mental illness.

    My biggest question is how did he manage to shoot to people on one part of campus then get all the way over to the Engineering building without being noticed, stopped, or something to that effect??

    When are people going to stop blaming others and blame the person that is really responsible???? The shooter is the one that killed these people. Quit blaming the school, the police and everyone else. It's not feasible to have a detective at every door at every school . Should every student at every school be searched upon entry??? Let's stop critizing the people that try to help and keep the blame where it should be - on the shooter!

    Too often in our society we miss red flags staring us in the face or are too afraid or timid to step up and do anything about it. This particular tragedy passed several eyes and minds. Until we step up as a society and take certain situations into our own hands (a phone call never hurts) this will be an everlasting problem, hopefully never again to this degree.

    Why didn't they stop him sooner? why did it take them longer then 2 hours to get to the attacker. I think that they could have found some way to stop the attack. I don't believe that they did all that could have been done. Now students are dead. Thanks alot.......

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