Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Apathy Towards Domestic Violence Obvious in VA Tech Massacre

Everyone must have heard about the shooting at Virginia Tech that happened yesterday morning, where 33 people, including the gunman, were killed. What the mainstream media isn't talking much about is how apathetic the campus police were at the first shooting, which happened around 7:15am, in which the gunman's ex-girlfriend and a resident assistant were shot and killed. The second shooting by the same gunman started at 9:45am, and 30 people and the gunman were killed. Why was nothing done in the 2 and a half hours between the shootings? The university's president Charles W. Steger had this to say:

"We had one shooting early in the morning that initially, and we don’t know the answer to this, appeared to be a domestic fight, perhaps a murder-suicide,” Mr. Steger said. “It was characterized by our security people as being contained to that dorm room.”

So basically the campus security heard it was a domestic dispute and figured that the gunman got all the anger out of him by brutally murdering his ex-girlfriend. "Don't worry about the guy with the gun! He just wanted to shoot his ex-girlfriend! Back to class, people! Don't you have exams to prepare for?!"

And security judged that the incident was contained to that dorm room? How? Campus security didn't contain the incident to that dorm room. Did they think the incident contained itself? While gun nuts blame legislation that doesn't allow all students to carry concealed weapons on campus for the deaths of the 30 people killed after the gunman killed his ex-girlfriend and the RA, I blame the VA Tech campus security, who dismissed this act of domestic violence at its worst.


Megan said...

No one seems to care that incidents like this are often driven/sparked by blazing misogyny and anger toward women.

The Annarchist said...

I like the phrase "gun nuts" and how it's green. If you put the two words together, it's Gunnuts, which I think will be my pretend last name for tomorrow's mock therapy session. Yes, Janet Gunnuts.
And to respond to what Megan had to say, did anyone see Oprah? On part two of the town hall meeting today about Don Imus and racism and misogyny, rappers took to the stage and said that while of course it was wrong for women to be referred to as bitches and hoes and for Snoop Dog to arrive at the VMAs with two women on leashes (yes, you heard right!), they said it was due to the extreme poverty and misinformation of the black community in America. Well, does this mean we have to solve poverty before women can be treated as human beings??! I think the common link I was trying to make here was that apathy is the culprit for a lot of evil in this world.

Megan said...

I think that's a notion I can agree with, the annarchist.

FEMily! said...

At the risk of sounding like Nickelback, I think this world would be a lot safer and happier if everyone cared.

Anonymous said...

I, too, have been extremely bothered by the fact that the first shooting was so quickly labeled a domestic violence incident and that it was considered to be "contained," and I'm relieved to see that someone else is mentioning this. We've since learned that police don't even have hard evidence yet of who killed the first victim. So what made them assume it was a domestic dispute? Because the victim was female? Even if this had been a domestic dispute (it's not clear at this point whether the first victim had any relationship with the shooter at all), would that somehow make this gun-wielding maniac less dangerous to others? How could they possibly assume the situation was contained before having the shooter in custody? I have to agree, that there's a hint (or more than a hint) of dismissiveness toward domestic violence, as if it is somehow less threatening than "regular" violence. And I find knee-jerk assumptions that crimes against women are most likely perpetrated by spurned lovers troubling.

FEMily! said...

I totally agree with you, anonymous. And this guy stalked two women on campus before and was deemed to be a danger to himself and others after taking a court-ordered psych evaluation. This guy was allowed to buy two guns! And stay on campus! It just keeps getting worse.