It seems that 911 is getting with the times so to speak as the FCC is updating the 911 system to handle text messages. I can see it now we can have quality texts such as:
OMG SUM DOOD SHOOTIN DA SKOOL, SEE PIGS
I’m guessing a dispatcher will be wasting more time trying to decipher most peoples’ text messages than sending actual help to an emergency. What really puts the icing on the cake for this story though is the reason the FCC is updating the 911 system:
“The technological limitations of 9-1-1 can have tragic, real-world consequences,” the release said. “During the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting, students and witnesses desperately tried to send texts to 9-1-1 that local dispatchers never received. If these messages had gone through, first responders may have arrived on the scene faster with firsthand intelligence about the life-threatening situation that was unfolding.”
That’s an incorrect diagnosis if I’ve ever read one. The problem with Virginia Tech was the fact there was a gunman walking around killing people. There aren’t a lot of solutions prevent such a case, you can only strive to make the situation end quickly. I highly doubt being able to receive text messages would have allow the police to arrive any faster. What would have had potential to end the situation faster would be to allowed students and faculty to legally carry their firearms on campus. Even to this day if a student or faculty member has a carry permit they are not allowed to carry at Virginia Tech. This limitation means any guy walking around shooting people on campus has several minutes at the last until the police are able to arrive.
If the FCC wants to limit the impact of these types of situations they should be placing their support behind a law to abolish the concept of the “gun-free zone.” Obviously that’s not the FCC’s area of jurisdiction so it’s best if they just stay out of it all together but it’s the only real solution to the problem they’re claiming to address at the moment.