Nation reflects on Virginia Tech shooting

James Heggen

With the release of disturbing plays by Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung-Hui, many are trying to understand possible warning signs of violent behavior, how grieving students can heal and how authorities can respond during a crisis.

Susan Cross, associate professor of psychology, said there can be warning signs for individuals capable of this type of behavior.

Someone who starts acting “bizarrely,” begins to plan an event, or someone suddenly starting to take an interest taking an interest in firearms are all signs, she said.

Although not everyone who talks about violent behavior draws violent pictures or writes violent stories will act out violently, Cross said it is important to take notice.

She said the possible embarrassment or anger caused by confronting someone about this is a “small price to pay” in order to prevent an event like this.

There is some debate about whether society and the media play a role in a situation like this, Cross said, but that she thinks it does.

Cross said the violence in media and news has increased and there is a message of violence being a way to solve problems. Cross said the easy access to guns in this country also plays a role in an event like this.

Cross said there are opportunities for help, such as counseling services, that should be taken advantage of if needed.

“We need to look out for each other,” she said.

Anne Greenwood, Virginia Tech graduate student in history and 2005 ISU alumna graduate said there are a lot of people on campus, including parents and reporters. She said there is a sense of coming together, not only on campus but in all of Blacksburg.

“There’s a lot of Hokie spirit,” she said.

Greenwood said she was on the Virginia Tech campus yesterday, but didn’t know the severity of the situation until she left campus.

Greenwood said she lives off-campus and doesn’t know what security is like on the campus.

“There’s a lot of police and that’s all I can tell you,” she said.