Mourning + Newsworthiness = $$$

Virginia Tech will offer the families of the April massacre victims $180,000. Some families don't think that's enough.

No word on how much the family of Michael Whitfield is being offered.


  1. Hmmmm…this one is going to be a “touchy”. I’m going to have to say that I too agree that $180K is not enough. Say what you will - the failures in communication on that campus, as well as poor choices once the shootings began, led more people to lose their life. Had the school went into some type of lockdown after the first shooting (in the dorm) the 30 victims in the other building could have conceivably been saved.

    Another side note, the 9/11 victims were paid out one million or so, yes? Now these were young college students with their lives ahead of them. When you compare the two amounts 180K looks pretty miserly. Please note that I am not trying to compare these two tragedies…just making a side by side comparison.

    Lastly, your reference to the Michael Whitfield case is a moot point. The VA Tech shootings and 9/11 victims were “paid out” because someone was at fault; someone dropped the ball. In the VA Tech case it was the school with their lack of preparation and inability to manage a crisis situation that dropped the ball, hence they pay. In 9/11 it was the government who failed to stop the terrorism even with intelligence and such, hence they pay. I fail to see the relevance of the Whitfield case? Random street crime sucks, but that case didn’t happen because someone “dropped the ball” if you will. So why should the Whitfield victims be paid? Anyone agree, or am I totally nuts?

  2. I agree. And Virginia Tech should have had the school on lockdown with a murderer on the loose.

    I just want to make sure that the two murder victims from last night were remembered. It's kind of silly that the families of the VT victims "lucked out" and are getting a payoff while the many victims of DC street crime are forgotten.

  3. $180K does seem like a small amount, but if what the news is reporting is true, the money comes from donations made to the school. If that's true, they can't get what hasn't been collected.

    Additionally, VA Tech isn't paying these people out of their own coffers. Dropping the ball is apparently not being held against them.

    The line in the first comment that says, "Please note that I am not trying to compare these two tragedies…just making a side by side comparison." is too funny. How can you not be comparing things if you line them up side-by-side and compare them? Thanks for the laugh!!

  4. Yeah, come on guys. The money that's being divvied up is from donations -- not from someone admitting fault. This isn't to make up for what happened, it's from regular citizens trying to help these families with bills, etc.

    The reason the families of the other people -- and most other people who are violently killed -- aren't getting any money is because a) they don't have a charitable organization already set up, b) they will never get the kind of coverage that the VA shootings got.

  5. While I'm certainly sympathetic to those who lost loved ones in the VT massacre, were I still a Virginia taxpayer (I lived in Norfolk for about 5 years, left in '04) I'd be LIVID that the Gov. and legislature want to consider a taxpayer-funded compensation fund. Taxes should in no way be going for that purpose, even if VT is a state school. Just my $.02.

  6. These families can also get money and assistance from the Victims of Crime Act, but honestly how much is a life worth. I think if I were some kids family I'd turn down their "blood money". They should use it to improve their emergency response system, not pay off mourners.