Virginia Tech: All I know to do is to pray for them. I don't know why I felt so affected by that event, not that it wasn't tragic or significant, but unlike for other events around the world, I found myself crying as I watched the news about VTech. I couldn't not cry and friends know that I show emotion very rarely.
Maybe it was because of the two that died in the dormitory. The dorm's a home away from home; it should be safe. Or maybe it was listening to the students talking about being in class or taking an exam when the guy just comes in and starts shooting. I can't imagine...and I don't know what I would've done in that situation.
But in a time when we seem to be the farthest apart from each other than we ever have been, even when sitting shoulder to shoulder on a bus or brushing shoulders in a crowded hallway, as sad as I felt watching the news the past few days I'm learning to focus on the positives, what few there were, of the tragedy. The stories of courage and bravery, of heroics in a time when we need heroes... truly uplifting.
We've heard of Prof. Liviu Librescu, Holocaust survivor, blocking the door with his life so that his students could escape; how often do we wonder if educators really care about their students and no doubt that he did. Other students also blocked doors and looked for other opportunities to help their classmates who were shot.
UH Security: I wouldn't feel safer with armed police on campus. Yes, in situations like VTech, time is very important. Other times, the sight of a gun or other weapon may exacerbate the situation, or entice someone to do a stupid thing. It would be impossible to post an armed guard at every classroom, or at every entrance, and even that would not guarantee every person's safety.
I do, however, have confidence in our guards and in our policemen. And hopefully we never have to test ourselves, but I would hope that in a time of need, of life or death, that we would rise up and protect each other.
As an aside regarding humanity, at times I worry that people from even just 5 years younger than me are...not well. It would take too much to explain exactly what I mean, but I would say, don't be discouraged about young people or write them off completely. Every so often I ride TheBus and I have to smile when a young person gives up their seat to the elderly or to a mother with her child. Not all do, and some are not so considerate, but let's take courage in those that do.