Weapons on Campus

By: Roger Sheppard
By: Roger Sheppard

Challenge for Faculty, Students, Parents

Good evening.

If you could have stopped last Spring's massacre on the campus of Virginia Tech, wouldn't you have done so?

Sure you would have. Anyone would have.

But as the administration, faculty, and students at Marietta College are finding, that's easier said than done.

As WTAP reporter Allison Rhea has reported this week, college security personnel found the car of a student parked on campus, with several fire-arms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside.

While that is NOT against the law, it IS against school policy. The student received a 3-day suspension.

But this is apparently NOT the young man's first or only brush with the law. A search of his home in Summitt County, Ohio, turned up an astounding array of weapons.

And he had a presence on two of the so-called "social networking website" that showed him and friends with weapons, spouting all sorts of hate-speak and Hitler worship.

All of this sounds eerily familiar. These are similar things that have been found after other mass shootings in recent years.

Obviously, not everyone who owns a gun is a likely mass killer and anyone who is so inclined, is free to worship Hitler or whomever they may want.

But if you are a faculty member, a student, a parent of a student, or a member of the college administration, this is scary stuff, especially when you are virtually powerless to do anything about a person who may have violent tendencies.

You can't arrest someone for having a properly registered weapon in a car. Or having ammunition. Or for posting immature rantings about a long-dead tyrant on the internet.

One thing we CAN ALL do is make sure we are NOT walking around with blinders on. If you see something suspicious, or see someone acting unusual, don't just shrug it off. A well-intentioned report that turns out to be innocent, is much better than doing nothing and wishing you had acted sooner. And that goes for stuff on the internet, too.

That's this week's editorial.

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