The Crystal Ball will not publish this week in honor of our friends and colleagues at Virginia Tech, and in memory of the student and faculty victims and their families. The insanity of senseless death is no stranger to any sector of society, here or abroad. But all of us who are connected to college communities have been deeply affected by the senseless acts of a deranged individual. This could happen at any college campus; tragically for Virginia Tech, it happened there.
As we go forward after this week of mourning, we at the Crystal Ball hope that some reasonable balance can be struck between increased security on campus and individual liberty. It is essential that universities remain free and open, in thought and access. It is also vital that students and faculty be as free as possible from the fear of violence-though there are never any guarantees in a violent country and world.
It is Pollyanna-ish to believe that campus shootings will never happen, but it is irredeemably cynical to assert that we can do nothing to reduce the odds of more mass killings.
There is much grieving to be done, and then serious work to be accomplished by all people of good will.
The University of Virginia and Virginia Tech may be longtime rivals, but this week we are all Hokies. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Blacksburg.