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Suspicious Activity at Burruss Hall at VTech

Update: The police just called the all clear. According to a state trooper, the situation was "an unfounded but suspicious event." I'm not exactly sure what that means. Understandably, everyone's got to be a little touchy right now.

Police have descended upon Virginia Tech's Burruss Hall this morning. Fox News has just confirmed that there's a bomb threat inside the building. A state trooper is expected to hold a press conference in the next few minutes.


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Comments (17)

It is called "jumping at sh... (Below threshold)
cstmbuild:

It is called "jumping at shadows". Oklahoma University was locked down yesterday, because a girl saw some carrying a rifle. Guess what? It was an umbrella. (I'm not making lite of their concerns, just pointing out the current expectations.)
It will be this way for a week or two and then the students around the country will move on.

The general opinion of Wizb... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The general opinion of Wizbang seems to be , that the university should ignore the suspicious activity of a student:stalking woman, writing ominous violent menacing rage filled essays, causing apprehensive reports from academics and roomates that they felt he was dangerous, all in the name of privacy of the individual and no else, who is responsible for his own actions, however borderline psychotic...but after 'the horse is out ot the barn'. Wizbang seem very quick off the mark to highlight any unfounded but suspicious event, that a deceased Cho had nothing to do with. More emphasis is needed on preventive measures before the event. This kid not only needed but required psychiatric counselling and some genuine and sustained police or campus police questioning before his rampage.

I object to the objectifica... (Below threshold)
kim:

I object to the objectification of 'Wizbang'. What are you, some mad labeller?

And how do you legislate a 'requirement' for psychiatric counseling?
==============================

The media's continued 24/7 ... (Below threshold)

The media's continued 24/7 coverage of this tragedy acts as an enticement for the sort of a**hat who calls in bomb threats. If I were the authorities in Blacksburg, I'd be encouraging the broadcast and cable networks to tone down the rhetoric.

Is it finals week? .... Ju... (Below threshold)
Burt:

Is it finals week? .... Just askin'.

By Wizbang, I mean a strong... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

By Wizbang, I mean a strong tendency of the hosts, not necessarily this host Kim but others and many of the commentators to focus the blame squarely on the shooter... Obviously they are right in legal and moral sense..and that's where they want to end the story. ..However notwithstanding the university's first responsibility is the safety of the staff and students..And it seems something is amiss here, when a campus which prides itself on having a large Health centre, an enormous student resources department, a large campus police force ,wide psychiatric counselling services Thomas E. Cook, counselling could not notice that Cho was in deep distress. Virginia Tech which prides itself on graduating "well-rounded" students was about to graduate, 'a walking time-bomb', a man whose only ambition seemed to be hell bent on getting a B.A. in homicidial mania. Surely there will be some second guessing as to the procedures which allowed someone like Cho to fall through all the holes or passsages of undergraduate life, without being deflected from his mission.

SC, a dirty little secret i... (Below threshold)
kim:

SC, a dirty little secret in health care is that no one wants to take care of the acutely mentally ill. It's an age old problem. We don't do it much better now than in the old days. Probably worse, now it festers.
======================

Every campus should be on e... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Every campus should be on edge every day. From now on.

Columbine, Breslan, Virginia Tech...

Students should ALWAYS be on alert...and should be taught to FIGHT BACK! Pre 9/11 the official airline policy in the face of aggression was: "Be calm...don't resist...wait for the authorities". That policy is GONE.

The official policy in schools remains: "Be calm...don't resist...wait for the authorities".

That policy needs to go too. Fighting back won't stop madmen...but it WILL lower the body-count!

This kid not only needed... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

This kid not only needed but required psychiatric counselling and some genuine and sustained police or campus police questioning before his rampage.

I'm not sure where you are getting your general opinions from, but the last part of this statement is absurd. From what I've heard and read, one of his teachers recommended to the school that he seek counseling. At what point should people intervene and commit someone against their will?

And where in the hell do you come up with the police questioning this kid before this incident? Because of something he wrote in an English assignment? Are you willing to give the police the power to question individuals based on their fictional writings?

Your solution is completely based on hindsight and would not be feasible in a free society.

Kim.. I agree with you here... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Kim.. I agree with you here..J.R. It turns out Cho hada little police questioning and mental health counselling..I suppose undergradutes have changed since my day. I would have been 'held over the coals for something like this' at my university, and probably have had to leave the campus...but Cho received no censure in so far as we know.

SC, a dirty little secre... (Below threshold)
mantis:

SC, a dirty little secret in health care is that no one wants to take care of the acutely mentally ill. It's an age old problem. We don't do it much better now than in the old days. Probably worse, now it festers.

Definitely worse. While asylums of days past were often very unpleasant, now we just throw the mentally ill in prison, where they are very ill-equipped to deal with them. Watch this Frontline for more. From the PBS site:

In 1955, there were 558,239 severely mentally ill patients in the nation's public psychiatric hospitals. In 1994, this number had been reduced by 486,620 patients, to 71,619, as seen in Figure 1.2. It is important to note, however, that the census of 558,239 patients in public psychiatric hospitals in 1955 was in relationship to the nation's total population at the time, which was 164 million.

By 1994, the nation's population had increased to 260 million. If there had been the same proportion of patients per population in public mental hospitals in 1994 as there had been in 1955, the patients would have totaled 885,010. The true magnitude of deinstitutionalization, then, is the difference between 885,010 and 71,619. In effect, approximately 92 percent of the people who would have been living in public psychiatric hospitals in 1955 were not living there in 1994. Even allowing for the approximately 40,000 patients who occupied psychiatric beds in general hospitals or the approximately 10,000 patients who occupied psychiatric beds in community mental health centers (CMHCs) on any given day in 1994, that still means that approximately 763,391 severely mentally ill people (over three-quarters of a million) are living in the community today who would have been hospitalized 40 years ago. That number is more than the population of Baltimore or San Francisco.

...

How many people with severe mental illnesses are in jails and prisons on any given day? If such illnesses are defined to include only schizophrenia, manic-depressive illness, and severe depression, then approximately 10 percent of all jail and prison inmates appear to meet these diagnostic criteria. The most recent data available in 1995 indicated there were 483,717 inmates in jails and 1,104,074 inmates in state and federal prisons in the United States, a total of 1,587,791 prisoners. If 10 percent of them are severely mentally ill, that would be approximately 159,000 people. It is also likely that the mentally ill often rotate back and forth between being homeless and being in jails or prisons. ...

Sorry to go off topic in response.

You got no argument from me... (Below threshold)
kim:

You got no argument from me here, mantis. The blessing is that prison often does provide effective treatment for mental illness. We've criminalized the problem by putting it back in the community; exactly the opposite happened from what the advocates of deinstitutionalization hoped.
============

SC, thanks for the link to ... (Below threshold)
kim:

SC, thanks for the link to Geller's article. What is the matter in that English Department?

I'm serious, it looks to me like liability there.
====================================

Geller's article details st... (Below threshold)
kim:

Geller's article details students leaving class for fear of him, and a teacher threatening to quit unless he was removed from class.
===================================

On examining the evidence p... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

On examining the evidence presented so far, I don't really fault the English department, other than I wonder how he managed to pass year after year, withour any participation. One of his professor's passed her serious concerns concerning his threatening behaviour and his writings to the authorities..but they said "their hands were legally tied" unless he made real threats. Even after his homicidial rampage their hands remain tied, because the authorities can't disclose Cho's disciplinary records, because of privacy issues.

Well, this latest link of y... (Below threshold)
kim:

Well, this latest link of yours claims he was committed involuntarily. Boy oh boy, the more we hear the more we are looking at contemporary society's inability to even approach appropriate treatment of severe mental illness.
================================

RememberWe wonder ... (Below threshold)
Andrew:

Remember

We wonder our halls all straight and tall
Not thinking something will happen like this
I'm running with tears in my eyes, as I see my fellow students fall
He's hurting people around me, he does not miss

All the screaming, crying, and hearing my friends in pain
God why does this happen to us, this question we want to know
As nobody had a clue that this guy was insane
I believe that all guns have to go

The day was beautiful with the sky being blue and us without a clue
We're working very hard with smiles, and laughter around me
At that time no one knew this guy was shooting up our school
As how this day twisted so fast, for their lives they plea

He keeps his rampage going, until our rescuers came up the stairs
It's over now, as he struggled with his life
God please shine your light to you children with care
As these angels of your, will never be a husband or wife

I was not there, and cannot imagine how they feel
Thou my prayers our with all of you on this horrible tragedy
How this wish upon a star this was a dream, not for real
All those will be remembered and missed so badly

God shower your love and carry them on this day forever
As they barely fulfilled their life, their love, and harmony
As 33 angels fly to heaven, and in return detaches their feathers
They will always be Hero's and Angels indeed


This is a peom I wrote for the victims and their family. I totally disagree with alot of the comments made, i think the gun law should be changed to a certain age, also if guns are used for hunting, they should be locked up in peoples cabins, cottages or somewhere else where their child that goes to high school or college can not pull something like this. Also everybody pins it on the shooter. There must be heavy powerful things that are going through his mind to carry it out for so long. Another thing i also like to say is Why can't we all be friends, isn't life to short already for this, why do people want to hurt other, or make them emotionally or physically hurt. Last thing. FOR ALL COPYCATS!!!!!!!Stop, think, and realize what pain this world is going through when they hear this kind of tragedy happened. Don't make the world suffer, or other people just because you are. If you want to leave this world early, then go yourself, don't bring your innocent fellow students or wherever it occured suffer aswell. Please, your killing all of Gods children, and killing all of his creations aswell. Please this has to stop!!!!!!!!!




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