Expert Speaks To Tulsa Students About Virginia Tech Tragedy

Thursday, April 19th 2007, 10:24 am
By: News On 6

When Cho Seung-Hui went on a shooting spree at Virginia Tech, beyond the shock, disbelief and sadness, many wondered how something so violent and senseless could happen. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports sociologist Dr. William Thompson says we may never know why.

"Obviously this was a sick person, did a horrific act, but even if we knew why, we still have 33 people dead. The tragedy is not diminished in any way," said Thompson.

Thompson is a criminologist and author of several books. He's a professor of sociology and criminal justice at Texas A & M Commerce. During a guest lecture at TCC's Metro campus, the Virginia Tech shooting was the focus of much of the discussion. Thompson says what happened at Virginia Tech should be analyzed in a broader societal context.

"How many of these kinds of tragedies after they occur, people say I'm not surprised, this was a time bomb waiting to go off?” said Thompson. “When can we intervene? When can we do something about that? I think these are issues that have to be explored."

Thompson says some of those issues are increased mental health services, whether exchanging some personal freedoms for increased security is good and the availability of guns.

"I'm not an anti-gun person. I'm not saying you seize all guns, but the ready availability of high powered weapons with multiple clips that you can wreak havoc of this kind of sort. We've got to examine those kinds of things," said Thompson.

Thompson also says students should have awareness without paranoia. He hopes by increasing dialogue and debate, violent acts can be prevented or at the very least, will have us better prepared if something so tragic happens in the future.

For the e-clip of this story click here.