The forest for the trees


The forest for the trees


Letters to the Editor
The forest for the trees

Tragedy struck at Virginia Tech Monday. Unfortunately, the sadness of events is not only in the actions themselves, but also in the reactions. I want to assert that we still need to keep an eye on the forest while inspecting the trees.

Reporter after reporter fired questions, and I use the term fired here for a reason, at Virginia Tech Police Chief Flinchum, about security policy. The officer looked visibly shaken, dismayed, saddened and reporters piled on frustration as he tried to deal with the condescending questions from the gallery.

Now, let's be clear. Was the reaction as good as it could have been? Of course not. Was it even good? It doesn't appear that it was. But let me say this. I'll bet that if you poll anyone who went to college after1999 (Columbine), you'll find that over 85 percent of the students have or had no idea of any kind of "lockdown policy." As a recent University graduate, I can't even tell you what the school's hurricane policy is. But here is where we're missing the point yet again. The problem here isn't campussecurity. Chief Flinchum didn't kill anyone. The Virginia Tech police didn't harm anyone. The problem yet again is gun control.

As we approach the eight year anniversary of the tragedy at Columbine, what has happened since? To truncate the depressingly long list of school shootings, I'll just focus on Virginia colleges. In 2002, the Appalachian School of Law was the site of a tragedy where a dean and fellow student were killed by a student. Two of these shootings in five years in the same state at college campuses exemplifies the problem we're facing as a nation.

So what's the real problem here? Is it security? Is it emergency response? Of course not. If people want to commit crimes, people will commit crimes. The problem is that when they want to commit these crimes, access to weapons with which to commit these crimes is tragic.

What's the answer? If we continue missing the forest for these trees, we'll never get to the real problem.

Aaron Schmidt
CLASS 2005


Original Source:<a href=>The Cavalier Daily - April 18, 2007</a>


Aaron Schmidt


The Cavalier Daily




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Aaron Schmidt, “The forest for the trees,” The April 16 Archive, accessed June 18, 2024,