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HCC students react to Va. Tech shootings

April 16, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN

Students at Hagerstown Community College gathered in front of television sets across campus Monday afternoon and watched live coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings that left more than 30 people dead.

Sophomore Robert Green said he feels safe on the HCC campus, but something more has to be done about gun control.

"It seems people aren't responsible enough to own guns, especially with people shooting students who've done nothing wrong," he said.

Green's friend, Long Vo, a sophomore, said stricter gun control won't make a difference.

"They'll still be able to get guns," he said. "I'm not shocked (about Monday's shootings). Times as of late ... It's just getting worse."

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Vo and Green said the shootings won't influence their collegiate careers.

"It's just a mind-set of where you feel safe," Vo said. "No matter where you are, you have the same chance ... The only certainty is uncertainty."

Sophomore Karey Toms and freshman Matt Fortese said they have friends who attend Virginia Tech.

As soon as she heard about the shootings, Toms said she called her friend, Nick Wagaman, a Waynesboro, Pa., resident and Virginia Tech student, to make sure he was safe.

"(The shootings) were just a freak occurrence," Fortese said.

HCC has a police officer on duty from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. to handle emergencies, said Anna M. Barker, HCC's vice president of administration and finance.

She said events like those Monday at Virginia Tech typically don't change operations at HCC, however, the police officer might patrol a little more to make sure a copycat doesn't strike.

"There's not a lot we can do," she said.

Barker said the campus has a student patrol that reports suspicious activities, and the Hagerstown Police Department and Maryland State Police are nearby if a crisis occurs.

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