As my previous posting point out, a comparison of the shootings at Columbine, the Appalachian School of Law, and Virginia Tech shows disquieting common traits: repeated failures to heed warning signs, poor and incompetent decisions on the days of the shootings, and a willingness to deny facts, deceive, and in some cases, engage in out-and-out lies.
Unfortunately, what we learn from the Virginia Tech tragedy, and the other two school shootings discussed in this chapter, is that authorities will investigate only if they can do so with minimal or no repercussions to any person or institution. We learn that people will engage in specious arguments to cover up wrongdoings.
Part of the healing process after any disaster is learning from it so that even if we cannot prevent all future occurrences we can at least mitigate the damage. The problem in healing from school shootings is that there is no precise algorithm we can learn to help solve the problem. But there are patterns and indicators we can learn from that could go a long way toward identifying potential killers and preventing these campus massacres. However, the confluence of deceit, denial of facts, and incompetence on the part of some influential politicians, law enforcement officials, and school administrators prevent us from learning. When people engage in well orchestrated and cunning campaigns of denial and deception, there is no way we can ever comfort the grieving parents by saying that we will learn from your child’s death and we can help prevent other killings from learning. When people engage in well orchestrated and cunning campaigns of denial and deception, there is no way we can ever comfort the grieving parents by saying that we will learn from your child’s death and we can help prevent other killings. (To be continued)