The Corner

From a Va Tech Parent


I know the gun control types will immediately jump to gun control approach – my child is there so I’m not unbiased — but from watching the press conference right now it seems the biggest mistake was not locking down the campus after the first shooting and getting information about the shooting out asap.  But it seems they thought it was an individual isolated incident – not a school wide threat – an understandable assessment probably – but tragically wrong.  They did the classic “don’t alarm everybody” approach when they would have been better off telling everyone about the shooting as soon as possible and students would have behaved accordingly.  More information and sooner is always better.  The command and control approach in the days when we have mass communications that can work FOR us just doesn’t make sense anymore.  Telling the media immediately and then getting word out fast was the quickest way to get everyone locked down on their own and to get everybody acting to contain the situation.   If you recall the sniper incident in D.C. back in 2002 – the police wanted to keep all the information even after they had the license plate – but FORTUNATELY someone leaked the license plate to the media and the media put it out and then a truck driver caught the bad guys.  That is the better model.  Get the masses working for you instead of command and control and new regulations.  And given all the ROTC kids at VA Tech – having a few of them armed to fight back wouldn’t bother me either. 

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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