Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day Massacre

CBS2 News Chicago reports:

DE KALB, Ill (CBS) ― A gunman opened fire on a geology class at Northern Illinois University Thursday afternoon, killing five people before taking his own life on stage as panicked students ran and ducked for cover.

NIU President John Peters said a total of 22 people were shot, including the gunman. Four people, including the gunman, died at the scene; two others died later at area hospitals.

All five of the gunman's victims, four females and one male, were students...

Peters said the gunman was a former NIU student but was not currently enrolled at the school and was apparently taking classes at another state college. The gunman was a graduate student studying sociology at NIU in the spring of 2007.

NIU Police Chief Don Grady said the gunman acted alone, but that officials have not yet established a motive for the shooting. Officials said a preliminary investigation revealed the gunman had no criminal record and there was no record of him having any previoius contact with police.
The Chicago Tribune has a video of an eyewitness account.

I've often wondered about the safety of sprawling university campuses which seem so open and accessible to the public, in spite of several school shooting incidents in the past.

I suppose tighter security in the form of metal detectors and vehicle inspection checkpoints would severely alter the quality of campus life, not to mention cumbersome for universities that are practically towns based on their size and population, but something like this couldn't hurt:

In keeping with a new security system put in place after the Virginia Tech shootings, NIU issued an alert at 3:20 p.m. CT Thursday telling students to avoid Kings Common and buildings in the area. All activities were canceled until further notice.
No preventive measure can guarantee anyone's safety if some wacko goes berserk, but some type of warning system that can quickly warn students of imminent danger is a must, and all universities should be required to have them.

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posted at 9:28 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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