Wade Smith: This is absolutely unbelievable. A forced mental health examination, an expulsion over a piece of fiction, the kid had concealed permits for his weapons - welcome to Orwellian 2008. I hope he sues the pants off UVA-Wise and ends up with enough to take care of his student loans and more.
Jim Williams: To Mr. Barber. From the previous story it sounded as though you had stepped on some toes and unfortunantely the submission of your story which reminded the staff of the writings of the VT shooter gave them the ammo they needed to get rid of you. Your mental evaluation was satisfactory I suppose. Thank you for your willingness to serve this country.
Ann Smith: It is not very often that a story can give you the feeling of being kicked in the stomach but this one has. It is revolting and ridiculous that this young man did as the school asked by writing a fictious story for a creative writing class and is now being persecuted for it. Well if the university does not want any type of violent content on its campus, they need to clean house starting with it's own library. Then move onto every dorm room with a Playstation and toss those games (try pointing out one rated above E that does not contain violence). Not to mention the author of the story about the girl who kills her boyfriend by stabbing! Shouldn't this person be expelled as well?
Joe Allison: I wonder what UVA-Wise would have done to Senator Jim Webb if he had attended college there. He came back from serving in Vietnam and wrote several novels based on his experiences there, some of it was violent and sexual in nature. If he had been attending school at UVA-Wise and submitted this kind of material to a creative writing class would the university have tried to railroad him out of school like they did Daniel Barber? I think Mr. Barber should write to Senator Webb about this travisty and he should also lawyer up and go after the university. In my opinion he's due some major compensation.
Chuck Williams: You see news stories about adults who write stories regarding sick and twisted things such as pedophilia, but the liberal politically correct crowd yell that it's protected as free speech. Although this young man's story is a little bizarre, isn't it protected as well? The ironic thing is that he's served his country protecting the very thing that's not been given to him. Sad, very sad. Good point about Jim Webb, Mr. Allison.
Amanda Piper: I am a student at UVA-Wise and I know Barber Personally. The only reason this really caused such a "scare" on campus was due to the rumors that flew around without students really knowing what happened. I may not have been in his creative writing course, but I was close with him as a friend and I have read the story. The incident at VA Tech had a student who was withdrawn, had been commited before, and consitently wrote macabre stories. Barber wrote one story, and if we cannot write stories in college, in our creative writing classes without being expelled then reason really has been replaced by the paranoia of the school system. Barber was well liked by a good portion of the faculty, and had many friends. He was outgoing and did not exibit any signs of being violent! A student "giving trouble" to a professor is not violent behavior, so the professor had no reason to feel threatened by Barber. Perhaps it is only my close perspective, or even my far perspective (coming from far out-of-state) that allows me to feel that this is a case of paranoia rather than "reason". Had any of you met Steve personally, you would know his behavior is almost the opposite of threatening.
Dan Jones (in response to some negative comments here ): I've decided to put some fact out their for Ms. Brittany and Mr. Gregory. First to Brittany, I'm the editor for the newspaper "Notes from Underground" that circulates on the campus, if you don't believe me you can find the last issue and check, so your, "if you don't go to UVA-Wise then stay out of it" argument isn't going to work on me. I'm going to go ahead and tell everyone here, Steve's paper was no worse, and in my opinion it was less, 'threatening' than whats being reported. Their wasn't even any violence in it, only contemplation. Now for Gregory. First Im going to cite the Virginia Attorney General's opinion, which can be found here: http://www.oag.state.va.us/OPINIONS/2006opns/05-078.pdf "It is my opinion that the governing boards of Virginia’s public colleges and universities may not impose a general prohibition on the carrying of concealed weapons by permitted individuals." In other words the blanket ban on guns that UVA-Wise has is unconstitutional in the opinion of the Attorney General, the school policy needs to be changed, not the student thrown out. And your "legal under the Constitution but not under school policy" is a little maddening, are adult students at universities supposed to have less rights than in other places? And our code of conduct in the student handbook says, "It (the college) is committed to preserving the exercise of any right guaranteed to individuals by the Constitution." Is the right to bear arms not an individual right? You asked if I remember VT, yes I do, I remember that over 30 unarmed people were killed that day, they had to run and hide behind doors and basically get killed execution style because they had no way to defend themselves. Now I have a question for you, do you remember the Appalachian School of Law shooting? if you don't, only three people died in that incident because when the shooting started two students went out to their cars, got their personal firearms and ended the shooting. Your right that their needs to be a fear in this country, but a fear of an administration that would strip its members of a basic human right, not of students having guns.