Wednesday, April 5, 2017


Let’s take one more look at problems with the Governor’s Review Panel Report (The Addendum) on the Virginia Tech rampage.

 Look at page 75—The second paragraph of the Key Findings simply states the obvious, again an indication of the panel’s timidity and lack of dedication to tackling difficult issues.  

Original Sentences
Reasons for Replacing
My Replacement Sentence
Cho was able to kill 31 people including himself at Norris Hall in about 10 minutes with the semiautomatic handguns at his disposal. Having the ammunition in large capacity magazines facilitated his killing spree.
It simply restates the obvious and adds nothing to the findings.
Cho’s ability to kill 33 people, including himself, is a clear indication of a systemic problem that permeates Virginia’s legal and law enforcement system when it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves and others.

            On the same page, t
he third and final paragraph of the Key Findings needs to be completely rewritten: 
Original Sentences
Reasons for Replacing
My Replacement Sentences
There is confusion on the part of universities as to what their rights are for setting policy regarding guns on campus.
It does not address Virginia Tech specifically, and is in fact far too general in every respect.
Virginia Tech has one of the tougher policy constraints among Virginia schools concerning possessing guns on campus, yet this did not prevent the killings on April 16, 2007. Moreover, there is confusion on the part of universities in Virginia as to what their rights are for setting policy regarding guns on campus. The panel finds this confusion to be a major weakness in improving campus safety. Moreover, the panel finds that no matter what the policies are, if organizations responsible for keeping guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others do not do their job, campus security is seriously undermined. This is evident by the failure to have Cho’s name on the list prohibiting him from purchasing weapons.

Time and time again, the report soft-pedals the mistakes made by the police. Look at the reference to the double homicide at West Ambler Johnston Hall on page 79: “… the police may have made an error in reaching a premature conclusion that their initial lead was a good one, or at least in conveying that impression to the Virginia Tech administration.”  The word “may” needs to be dropped—it was a mistake.

The Governor’s Review Panel Report, The Addendum, failed in so many ways; from a flawed timeline, to critical omissions, to its failure to assign accountability,  the report shied away from what needed to be done: uncover the truth.

 As long as no consequences are assigned, as long as there are no public reprimands, the job remains unfinished. As a consequence, our schools are not as safe as they need to be. It is nothing short of a tragedy that an opportunity has been lost to make a difference, to find some sort of meaning in a horrific crime. As long as people are not held responsible for their actions or inactions, nothing meaningful will be done to protect our campuses.

Many of the actions taken or reasons for not taking actions following the double homicide at Ambler West Johnston Hall were based on pure conjecture.

The Governor’s Review Panel Report represents a singular lack of courage and ethical behavior on the part of politicians on both sides of the aisle; a lack of courage to get at the root of the problem of school shootings, and a lack of willingness to find the truth about the shooting at Virginia Tech. Then-Governor Kaine and then-Attorney General McDonnell both turned blind eyes toward the fictitious timelines concerning “a person of interest” and ignored the TriData conflict of interest. Both men are lawyers. It stretches credibility to the limits to give them a pass on these oversights. As a result of these two men’s inaction, they will, at best, go down in the annals of Virginia history as politicians of monumental smallness.

Kaine and McDonnell sat by as words were used to disguise the truth; it is as if they were complicit in a strategy to investigate without repercussions. Hindsight makes it appear that from the outset Kaine, McDonnell, and other Virginians in positions of authority were bent on marginalizing the truth and ensuring that no one would be held accountable for gross negligence and incompetence.

After extensive reviews of the facts surrounding the events of April 16, 2007, you get the impression people involved in the early response to the shootings were in over their heads. They didn’t know what to do, what to look for, or how to respond correctly to the shooting crisis. None of that is specifically addressed in the Addendum.

Virginia taxpayers were billed over three-quarters of a million dollars for the nefarious conclusions contained in the state’s “official report” on the Virginia Tech shootings—a report that is a blatant attempt to manipulate history and reality. (To be continued)

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