I’ve been on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg a few times. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s sprawling, and you’d bankrupt the place trying to fence it and man all the gates required if you did.

Also, it, like most all school campuses, is a place where legally-permitted firearms may not be legally carried. There will be pundits who will weigh in (or have already weighed in) on both sides of this argument — that if we didn’t have guns, this wouldn’t happen AND the counter argument that if someone had been legally able to carry, this could’ve been lessened/prevented/stopped. I know which way I lean (hint: I used to teach firearms safety, marksmanship, and self-defense, and I was once a very good shot. Now I’m rusty but accurate on those rare occasions I have a chance to go to the range — and rent a range gun ’cause I don’t own any anymore).

This is not a place for arguments for or against. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but this is my place among the pixelstained interweb technopeasants I’m proud to call my friends and acquaintances.

Now, all that out of the way:

This is a tragedy for all involved. My heart goes out to the victims and their families, the VT campus, and the lovely little town of Blacksburg, which really is a neat place. I wish like hell that this didn’t happen, not only for senseless death and injury some very disturbed individual or individuals (still working on a possible 2nd person for the dorm shootings according to the latest I’ve heard). And possibly worse than this, the onslaught of the press corps.

I listened to the press conference this evening on the radio, and it went okay, I guess, until the “questions” part started.

At which point the press once again proved that although they may be free, which I’m all for, there’s no guarantee that they have more than 5 firing neurons. The speaker had said specifically what he wasn’t going to answer, and why he wasn’t going to answer questions about those items, and the first 5 questions were about… things he wasn’t going to answer. The assembled press corps made complete asses of themselves in my opinion.

So, an open letter to the press: Don’t just hear, LISTEN. And don’t be assholes.


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