Virginia Journalists Killed by Disgruntled Former Employee



The fact that two Virginia journalists were killed by a disgruntled former employee on live television shows what kind of security the U.S. needs when it comes to gun control. Although legal measures may be hard to implicate, given the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, it might be better if company owners, instead, instilled a sort of security plan for their business.

Americans live in the land of opportunity, and with that opportunity comes the possibility of destruction. For starters, businesses can lose value and that can cause significant loss. This is apparent in the current financial situations regarding China, Greece, and Brazil, among other nations, including the U.S. Also, emotions can rise high in work situations, whether it be through casual encounters or business-related ones, such losing one’s job or reporting a coworker for indecent acts, such as sexual harassment.

Even if persons are blindsided by an act of terror in a place of business, security measures may be appropriate in order to alleviate hostile situations. For example, video cameras at the workplace can help monitor daily flow by a security team. Should an event arise from a hostile situation, a guard can be on duty in order to help alleviate the situation at hand.

Since a license is required to carry a gun in the U.S., mandatory gun checks may need to occur in businesses with medium to high amount of workers and visitors. Having gun owners declare they have a secured weapon and for what reason seems crucial in determining why it is being carried in a public area in the first place, particularly that of a business.

Two Virginia journalists were killed by a disgruntled former employee named Vester Flanagan in the Bridgewater Plaza near Smith Mountain Lake when the suspect opened fire on WDBJ7 TV reporter, Alison Parker, photographer, Adam Ward and the executive director of the regional Chamber of Commerce, Vicki Gardner. Flanagan, who reportedly went by the name Bryce Williams at the WBDJ7 news station in Roanoke, Virginia, killed both Parker and Ward, while also leaving Gardner in critical condition. Gardner has since recovered.

The troubling thing about this entire incident is that Flanagan recorded the incident and then fled. He then reportedly sent out tweets stating Parker had made racist comments. He also allegedly sent a 23-page manifesto to ABC News. Flanagan later died after confrontation with police and reportedly, a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Flanagan allegedly posted a video recording of the incident to Facebook, which was later taken down. The author of this article was able to view it prior to this occurrence happening and saw that Flanagan had blindsided all three victims.

Although it may be impossible to have security personnel escort most, if not all groups of people working on a project on or off the business field, it may just be wise. To start, costs associated with these incidences tend to be enormous since they never quite cover damages inflicted, not to mention time needed with investigations and possible lawsuits. Therefore, it would be wise for some businesses to assure protection for their workers and their own form of business.

Two Virginia journalists were killed by a disgruntled former employee of WDBJ7, while a high school in West Virginia was also threatened by a shooter on Tues., Aug 25. Though it may take legislation or initiatives from company owners to instill a more secure atmosphere in a place of business or public area, it may be wise given the growing possibility that areas filled with people may be threatened by lone shooters or terrorist acts. In this day and age, it is better to be safe than face loss of life and harsh damages associated with these types of hostile situations.

Opinion By Liz Pimentel

KTLA5 – Suspected Gunman Reportedly Kills Himself After Fatally Shooting Virginia Reporter, Photographer on Live TV
NBC News – Armed Student Holds Hostages at West Virginia High School, Surrenders

Photo courtesy of Boston Harborfest – Flickr License