Mass Death in Blacksburg

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Horrible story still developing.  Reports of 22 dead in two separate shooting incidents (but just one shooter) at Virginia Tech.

Feel free to post updates in the comments section.

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  1. this would never have happened if students were allowed to pack heat in the dormitories, right?

    just checking.

  2. There still isn’t a confirmed death total, and the talking heads are already telling us that we need to ban guns.

  3. It might have happened anyway, Mr. Crane, but probably not to this extent.

  4. I expect some of the victims might have wished they were allowed to “pack heat” so they could defend themselves.

    The rules didn’t protect the good people. It just made them helpless before the bad, non-rule following people.

    Asshat.

  5. this would never have happened if students were allowed to pack heat in the dormitories, right?

    You *do* recall how a similar incident at the Appalachian Law School in Grundy, Virginia (about four counties southwest of Blacksburg) was brought to an end precisely by a student packing heat, don’t you?

  6. Isn’t it interesting that this type of tragedy happens every time the RKBA has the potential for a quantum leap in effectiveness, as the recent DC Appeals Court ruling on the individual nature of the right?

    And if the students had been truly raised in the American tradition, even at a paltry 1-in-20 rate of being armed, at least one kid could have taken out the shooter.

    What a tragedy… an avoidable tragedy…

  7. Jesus wept.

  8. How can this happen? I am told VaTech is a “gun free zone”. Didn’t the shooter know that? He is going to be in big trouble for bringing a gun on campus.

    This is horrible. One thing is for sure, a conceal and carry law might not have prevented it but certainly wouldn’t have caused it and as the Appalachian Law School incident shows, it might have prevented it. It will be interesting to see if the lesson that is taken from this is the proper one; the uselessness of gun control or the typical one; we must take away everyone’s guns to prevent this from happening again. I am betting on the latter but maybe I am wrong. I hope so.

  9. 25 now…I heard execution style…unbelievable.

  10. I spoke to an administrator at VA Tech a few minutes ago. Current word on campus (or at least in the accounting department) is that a non-student got into an argument with his girlfriend in her dorm room, shot and killed her, and then went on a killing spree.

  11. In this age of homeland security, how is the college still operating two hours after a murder with a gunman running loose?

  12. Guys, this isn’t the time or place for politics. 🙁

  13. Sad day.

  14. You know, any points that anybody might care to make about gun laws, pro or con, probably won’t be all that persuasive to anybody at a time like this.

  15. My condolences to the Virginia Tech community. Beyond that words fail me. Blacksburg is such a beautiful place, this just seems unbelievable.

  16. Think it has anything to do with drugs?

    I bet the anti-depressants did it

    /waiting for toxicology

  17. In January of last year, the VA House killed a bill that would have allowed concealed carry on VT’s campus.

    Gun bill gets shot down by panel

    “Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. “I’m sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly’s actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.”

  18. execution style

    I don’t mean to sound like an internet Rambo, but I can’t imagine just complying with some guy’s order to line up against the wall and wait for the shot in the base of my skull. The psychology of mass murders is…interesting.

  19. Other than the above, I can’t say that I have anything to add to the discussion, but to offer my condolences to those affected.

  20. From a FoxNews.com article: “Police also said there is no evidence the two shootings at opposite ends of campus were related.”

    WTF is in the water?

  21. Warty,

    It is kind of interesting. I would think that someone would just say fuck it and take their chances. Indeed if fifteen or twenty people charged the guy he wouldn’t stand a chance. He would get five or six of them but they would get him and beat his brains out. I think at some level people don’t really beleive that the guy is going to do it and they go along with it thinking that if they just stay calm and controled he won’t kill them.

    I had a good friend of mine who was a special forces guy tell me once that if you are ever confronted by someone with a gun and have any way of doing it just run. The fact is that it is really hard to hit a moving target when you are under stress of a real situation, even highly trained FBI and Delta Force guys can only hit about 25% of the time under those circumstances. Your typical murdering scumbag probably will hit a lot less. Also, he might not have the balls to shoot you right them. Whereas if you stand there or God forbid get in a car with him, he has time to get up the guts to shoot you and can do it at point blank range.

  22. On a brighter note, Anna Nicole and Imus will soon (like, instantly) become invisible. On a horrible note, Nancy Grace has fuel for six more months.

  23. All I can say is, sad so sad, my heart goes out to everyone involved.

  24. All that I can say about this is that I am very sorry for the victims and their families. I suspect that the numbers we’re getting right now will turn out to be wrong, simply because the first reports usually are wrong.

    Or at least I hope the numbers are wrong…and wrong as in “too high.” I’d hate to find out that even more are dead.

    John-

    That’s interesting. I guess it makes sense.

  25. “The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed,” Perino said, noting that Bush and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings held a conference on school gun violence last October. “Certainly, bringing a gun into a school domitory and shooting … is against the law and something someone should be held accountable for,” Perino said.

    Bringing a gun into a school domitory and shooting is against the law?? That’s what that fucking buffoon chooses to say? Jesus, how I hate that chimp-looking asshole.

  26. the shootings were hours apart

    1 at a dorm

    20+ at a classroom across campus “hours later”

    I bet the school hopes the two shooting weren’t related

    otherwise, here come the lawsuits

  27. Warty,

    I imagine there’s a difference between what you would do if you’re given a few minutes to think about it, and what you would do if someone kicks in the door, shoots someone, screams for everyone else to get up against the wall, within the space of five seconds.

  28. I’ve read 22 confirmed dead.

    what you would do if someone kicks in the door, shoots someone, screams for everyone else to get up against the wall, within the space of five seconds.

    If I had a gun, I’d probably get a tad panicky and shoot the motherfucker who just screamed at me to get up against the wall. Only I couldn’t if I were at Virginia Tech, since the school banned guns for my protection.

  29. Right, joe, that’s what I was trying to say with the “internet Rambo” comment. I would like to think that I would have the balls to not meekly submit to my death, but I’m afraid that I wouldn’t.

    Has anyone seen the video on CNN where it looks like the cops are waiting outside the building while the guy is killing people inside? Shades of Columbine.

  30. I’ll bet the shooter had eaten high fructose corn sweeteners in the last 24 hours.

    And so had the victims. That stuff is unpredictable. It’ll turn you into a crazed gunman or a passive lamb for slaughter.

  31. Has anyone seen the video on CNN where it looks like the cops are waiting outside the building while the guy is killing people inside? Shades of Columbine.

    Typical. It’s illegal to protect yourself and the cops are too chickenshit to do it for you. Just wait until the gunman runs out of ammo, kills himself or plain gets bored.

  32. Guys, this isn’t the time or place for politics. 🙁
    A-fucking-men.

  33. Warty, also, would you rather be shot in the back of the head, or have your ballls and/or kneecaps blown off THEN be shot in the back of the head?

  34. This IS a time for politics. Politics is why none of the gunman’s victims had a fucking chance, due to jackass politicians making self-defense illegal in the name of safety.

  35. Abso-fucking-lutely, Kit.

  36. There’s another angle to consider, though, on the subject of what to do if confronted by a psycho: If you don’t run right away, then he might have time to lock or otherwise block exits. At that point, running might just get you caught in a corner where he can shoot until he hits you. In which case the most rational response might be to keep your head down, try not to make yourself a target, and wait for the cops to arrive.

    I know that the passive approach isn’t a popular one here, but if escape is not possible, and if you doubt your ability to surprise and overpower the psycho, then the best odds might be on simply waiting for help. Yeah, it sucks, and it’s no guarantee, but in highly uncertain situations the odds are all you have.

  37. Warty,

    Now that I remember a few years ago a Jewish militant went into a mosque on the West Bank and started mowing people down and the crowd charged him and riped him to shreds. He got his share but they got him. So, not all crowds react the same.

  38. Jennifer,
    Liberals think that the police are here to protect us. The truth is, their job is not to protect but to arrest after a crime has been committed. Although, sometimes they encourage criminal activity (this used to be known as entrapment) to justify their paychecks.

  39. “Has anyone seen the video on CNN where it looks like the cops are waiting outside the building while the guy is killing people inside? Shades of Columbine.”

    Exactly what I was thinking. Shots pounding all over the place, most likely from the shooter, and these cops are hiding behind the fucking trees. I guess they only become heroes when they die.

    Or, perhaps my expectations have been raised to the height of Jack Bauer, who would have stormed the building all by himself and saved the day “within the hour”. The only people that would have died would have been the ones he personally promised to protect.

    I can understand why the cops would be scared, not being Jack Bauer and all.

  40. This IS a time for politics. Politics is why none of the gunman’s victims had a fucking chance, due to jackass politicians making self-defense illegal in the name of safety.
    This isn’t time for pissy “my political side wouldn’t of let this happen” chest thumping. I’m sure that even if it weren’t for that gun law, if violent video games where illegal, if all guns where banned, if bla bla bla bla, this kind of thing would still happen. I think that’s the biggest lesson from Columbine, at least to me; some times you can’t do anything about bad things.

  41. thoreau | April 16, 2007, 1:18pm | #

    You know, any points that anybody might care to make about gun laws, pro or con, probably won’t be all that persuasive to anybody at a time like this

    Indeed. It’s also just boringly predictable knee-jerk type stuff.

    Rather, lets fume about how illegal immigration provokes these crimes. Oh wait, thats Steve Sailer’s blog.

    Lets fume about how it’s all the fault of the decline of our christian values. Oh wait, we’re all athiests here

    I really dont understand people what makes people want to shoot other people for no reason.

  42. Jesus, this is horrid.

    Let me just say right now that I have no idea how I would react if a gun were stuck in my face or to the back of my head. I hope that I don’t do something in my pants.

    I see them kick the gun out of the bad guy’s hand all the time in the movies. Maybe I’d try that.

  43. Good point, t. This makes me want to get a good holster; no-carry-on-campus laws be damned. Do any of my fellow gun nuts here have a recommendation? I have a Makarov.

  44. I’m sure that even if it weren’t for that gun law, if violent video games where illegal, if all guns where banned, if bla bla bla bla, this kind of thing would still happen.

    No doubt. But if someone other than the mass-murdering psycho could’ve had a gun, it sure as hell would’ve evened the odds a bit, no?

    This isn’t time for pissy “my political side wouldn’t of let this happen” chest thumping.

    No chest-thumping here, just an objective fact: my political side isn’t the one dumb enough to think that if you make guns illegal, the guy who wants to kill 21 people will refrain from doing so for fear of violating the no-gun law.

  45. Jennifer/Rambo,

    If you had a gun, you’d probably get drunk at a pub some Friday and not notice when it fell out of your purse, or your purse got snatched.

    At least, that’s what you’d do if you were a typical college freshman in the United States. If you’re going to insist on arguing politics before the blood has even coagulated, I’m going to remind you to account for human nature. Let’s not pretend that college freshmen are the most rational and responsible human beings on the plant, mmm-kay?

    Warty,

    I don’t think reflexively responding to the guys orders is a question of balls. In a confusing moment of panic, human beings have a tendency to follow the person who seems to know what he’s doing. It’s instinct.

  46. “Has anyone seen the video on CNN where it looks like the cops are waiting outside the building while the guy is killing people inside? Shades of Columbine.”

    I hate to say it but cops are basically cowards. They are the ones that have guns and they are paid to put their lives on the line for the public. Yet, when the opportunity arises and there is real danger but also real need, they basically stand around outside and wait until the guy is done shooting and then go in and clean up the mess. That is what they did at Columbine, that is what they did at the Edmond, Oklahoma Post office to just name two and I wouldn’t be surprised if that is what they did here. I contrast this to the behavior of the police during the Charles Witman rampage in Austin back in the 1960s. Two Austin police officers went up to the top of that tower and got the guy. An act of incredible bravery. If that happened today, they would just put everyone on “lockdown” and hope he didn’t shoot too many of the wounded. Cops just are not what they are supposed to be or once were.

  47. Judging by the way the CNN guy is talking,, I think that if he where to stand up from his desk, we would see a throbbing erection

  48. The shootings at Penn State in 1996 (or was it 1997?) happened on the lawn right across from my dormitory. These were open-air shootings wherein the shooter took up a position at the top of the lawn and fired downhill in the direction of my dorm. She killed one person, grievously wounded another, and hit another who didn’t realize it until hours later when a bullet fired from her rifle fell from one of his textbooks when he opened it.

    Anyway, I was in my room getting dressed at the time and heard shots. I knew what they were, being a shooter myself, and hit the deck, not knowing where they were coming from. When I got the nerve to look out the window (facing away from the lawn in question), I saw many people continuing to walk up the hill, oblivious to what was going on, as if they did not recognize gunshots.

    In this case there were only 7 shots fired and it was over quickly as a rather heroic student attacked the shooter as she reloaded. She drew a knife on him and when she realized she couldn’t fight him, attempted to suicide with the knife, which he stopped.

    At the time, I had a rifle in my room (VERY much against school policy). If my window had been facing the lawn it is likely that I would have attacked the shooter from my window, but I certainly wouldn’t have been a student there for very long.

    By the time I was dressed, the shooting had stopped, and I felt it was not the best idea in the world to go out with a rifle looking for the shooter. I lost no time in clearing the room of any trace of the rifle, however.

    That was one really scary day.

  49. – Sorry delete first “people”. Me type no good.

    Seriously, what the fuck is it with killing innocents. Dont they get their rage out playing paintball, torturing their pets or something?

  50. Fuck this guy/those guys. What a deplorable thing to do. All the best to the families.

  51. “I think that’s the biggest lesson from Columbine, at least to me; some times you can’t do anything about bad things.”

    Such policies may very well exacerbate the outcome of such situations.

  52. I think cops don’t do anything because they don’t want to be the ones responsible if something goes wrong. it’s a problem with people having too much respect for chain of command and procedure.

  53. If you had a gun, you’d probably get drunk at a pub some Friday and not notice when it fell out of your purse, or your purse got snatched. At least, that’s what you’d do if you were a typical college freshman in the United States.

    I was far from typical as a college freshman. But let me see: are you trying to argue that guns may as well be illegal anyway, since even if those kids were allowed to have a means of self-defense in their dorms they’d be too much of a dumbass to use it?

    If you’re going to insist on arguing politics before the blood has even coagulated, I’m going to remind you to account for human nature.

    Ditto to you. Lesson one: a guy who’s not afraid of the legal consequences of mass-murdering 21 people in a death-penalty state like Virginia won’t give two shits about the possibility of a fine or a few months in jail for carrying a gun on campus. The only people who obey such laws are naive little college students who could legally do absolutely NOTHING except wait meekly for death when their killer stormed their room.

  54. It would be nice if this were not a time for politics. But that isn’t the case. If you listen, you can already hear the thudding of the gun control folks’ war drums.

  55. If you listen, you can already hear the thudding of the gun control folks’ war drums.

    Yeah. If only we had stiffer penalties for guys who carry guns on a college campus, I’m sure the shooter would NEVER have done this.

  56. The only people who obey such laws are naive little college students

    Um, some people obey firearms laws for very rational reasons.

  57. Discussing the role of gun laws, hypothesizing about their effect in incidents like this, is certainly not out of place on this blog. Enough with the sanctimonious “this is no time for politics” bullshit.

    We’re adults here. We’re not bad people just because our reaction to Bad Stuff isn’t simply weeping and moaning. Or if you want a moment of silence, head to a church — they’ll certainly have plenty of room for your self-righteousness, too.

  58. BTW-Due to a power outage, I’m working at home today, and watching CNN. It’s been on for about 20 minutes and I haven’t seen the video mentioned.

    Oh. it’s one now…

    My take: The movies aren’t real. You do not simply charge into a building with an active shooter. Too many things can go wrong, and you could end up with even more people dead. I doubt the cops were just scared; they were probably frustrated as hell, and wanted nothing more than to take the guy down. But they also knew that acting precipitously can help rather than hurt.

  59. I just wet ’em.

  60. “I don’t think reflexively responding to the guys orders is a question of balls. In a confusing moment of panic, human beings have a tendency to follow the person who seems to know what he’s doing. It’s instinct.”

    It’s not instinct, it is an extremely conditioned response since early childhood in our culture. Instinct comes in two forms- fight or flight, not do as your told.

    I can see the fnords…

  61. Um, some people obey firearms laws for very rational reasons.

    I mispoke. I’m talking about in the context of this story.

    But I wonder, when classes resume, how many Tech students will keep a gun illegally stashed in their dorm rooms, just in case?

    At least until some gun-control fanatic rats them out in the name of keeping everybody safe.

    Christ. I grew up in Virginia and had many friends go to Tech. Had this happened just a few years earlier it could’ve been MY friends dead at the hands of this psychopath, because it would have been illegal for them to have the means of self-defense.

    If any of the dead happen to be gun owners, I hope their families sue the fuck out of the school for denying them a means to self-defense. So far as I’m concerned (and I’ll freely admit I’m frothing furious right now), that no-gun law is the political equivalent of holding a woman down while someone else rapes her.

    Only worse. At least that hypothetical rape victim lived to complain about it.

  62. Incidentally, the cops in the video are advancing.
    Some of the things they had to think about:
    Was the building wired with explosives? (There were, apparently recent bomb threats.)

    Is there another shooter covering the doors? What about the windows?

    Is there a sniper somewhere else, waiting to take down SWAT teams?

    What does the building look like inside? Is there a hall? Do the doors lock? Are they wood or steel? Do they have windows?

  63. I live in Blacksburg and work in a town right next to it. Obviously the information we have here isn’t going to be much superior to anything anyone else can get. Talking heads are basically repeating just the same information over and over again. From everything I’ve heard the two shootings were the same person, and I heard the girlfriend-shooting angle as well. Although I’m now seeing numbers like 29 and 32 dead, the shooter is one of them from all I’ve heard.

    I agree w/ the sentiment of keeping politics out. I seriously doubt that it would occur to many early college students to carry a concealed weapon anyway. In anyone’s conception of a utopia, there are still enough fucked up people out there to ruin things regardless.

  64. “My take: The movies aren’t real. You do not simply charge into a building with an active shooter. Too many things can go wrong, and you could end up with even more people dead. I doubt the cops were just scared; they were probably frustrated as hell, and wanted nothing more than to take the guy down. But they also knew that acting precipitously can help rather than hurt.”

    In 99% of the cases that is true. In the one in a hudred case where the guy is just lining people up and shooting them how could going in possibly result in more death? At that point the cops simply have nothing to loose but their lives. You can not sit and do nothing while that is going on. Had the cops confronted the killers at Columbine they would have saved a lot of lives. They were punk teenagers who would have stood no chance against a trained, armed person. All they could do was shoot unarmed kids. In cases like these, you have to go in and do something.

  65. Also: What does the shooter look like? Will he try and blend into the crowd?

    What is he armed with?

    Has he built a barricade wherever he is?

    Will he have time to kill more hostages when he hears you coming?

  66. ASDF, normally when people contradict themselves within one post at H&R it is time to pounce. (calling others self-righteous at the same time calling their view “bullshit”)

    In this case, I won’t, given that another young college student has probably been pronounced dead since you typed your comment.

    Take a break.

  67. John- They didn’t know that it was some guy lining people up and executing them. They didn’t know it was one guy. That’s my point.

  68. Jennifer,

    “are you trying to argue that guns may as well be illegal anyway, since even if those kids were allowed to have a means of self-defense in their dorms they’d be too much of a dumbass to use it?”

    Nope. You’re the one seizing on this case to argue for your politics. I don’t even have a strong set of beliefs about gun rights. College freshmen, on the other hand…been there, done that, probably a good thing I wasn’t armed.

    “Lesson one: a guy who’s not afraid of the legal consequences of mass-murdering 21 people in a death-penalty state like Virginia won’t give two shits about the possibility of a fine or a few months in jail for carrying a gun on campus.”

    Lesson two: psychopaths who set out to kill dozens of strangers aren’t the only threat to people’s well being. Drunk macho men who like to pick fights and hate to lose them are a lot more common than spree killers.

  69. “I seriously doubt that it would occur to many early college students to carry a concealed weapon anyway.”

    FWIW, I did.

  70. This is so fresh and there are so many rumors swirling around that anything beyond the BARE facts (including the number of dead) is just bald speculation. There’s no point in arguing about someone lining people up execution-style or what, since we don’t know what happened, TV and radio will continue to repeat basically nothing to ad nauseum and beyond, but we really won’t know what went on until things can return to something approximating normal.

  71. “John- They didn’t know that it was some guy lining people up and executing them. They didn’t know it was one guy. That’s my point.”

    How do you know anything if you don’t go in and see what is going on? It is not as if it is a hostage situation. You know someone has a gun and people have been killed. How do you not go in and look for the guy? How do you just stand there? If you go in and confront the guy, I don’t see how it gets any worse.

  72. Jennifer, agnostic as I am re: campus gun laws, I have a hard time imagining many folks going armed to engineering lab. Its entirely possible that conceal and carry laws would have had no effect on the outcome, or even more people could’ve been killed in the shootout by ricochets, collateral damage, etc. And yes, lives could’ve been saved too. But its far from crystal clear your argument for safety wins out. Now, an appeal to the constitution is another matter, but that speaks nothing to safety.

  73. I contrast this to the behavior of the police during the Charles Witman(sic) rampage in Austin back in the 1960s. Two Austin police officers went up to the top of that tower and got the guy. An act of incredible bravery.

    Don’t forget that they deputized, on the spot, Mr. Allen Crum, a citizen who had a hunting rifle in his back window.

  74. Schultz,

    “It’s not instinct, it is an extremely conditioned response since early childhood in our culture. Instinct comes in two forms- fight or flight, not do as your told.”

    When an animal is denied both options, the instinctive response is to freeze.

  75. Whoops, Pedant was me.

  76. John- They were going in. They were advancing. But they were doing it carefully as befits a well-trained unit.

  77. Lesson two: psychopaths who set out to kill dozens of strangers aren’t the only threat to people’s well being. Drunk macho men who like to pick fights and hate to lose them are a lot more common than spree killers.

    Oh, I get it. The kids at Tech had to be disarmed lest one of them turn out to be a macho man just waiting to get drunk and pick a fight? If that’s not the proper interpretation of your statement then please explain how I should interpret it, so that it applies to the topic at hand.

    College freshmen, on the other hand…been there, done that, probably a good thing I wasn’t armed.

    Don’t be solipsistic enough to assume that if you couldn’t handle it, nobody else can either.

  78. Pendant,

    I forgot about that. They also borrowed hunting rifles because back then the cops just had handguns and shotguns and nothing with enough range to get to the top of the tower.

  79. “Some James,” I know a guy named James that lives in and works near Blacksburg. Does your last name start with a P?

  80. Jennifer, agnostic as I am re: campus gun laws … its far from crystal clear your argument for safety wins out.

    Oh, I’m not saying that if Tech students were allowed to have guns, this absolutely positively would have had a less-tragic outcome. I’m just saying it could have changed the odds: maybe the kids’ chances of survival would have been something higher than ZERO.

  81. I think the example of “name withheld”, assuming it is true, puts lie to the idea that college students wouldn’t ever arm themselves or that doing so would never do any good. We will never know what would have happened if VaTech had not been a “gun free zone” but I think it there was at least a chance that things might have turned out differently.

  82. Oh, and for the “keep politics out of it” crowd: There are already Senators taking the opportunity to be publicly concerned.

  83. “I have a hard time imagining many folks going armed to engineering lab. Its entirely possible that conceal and carry laws would have had no effect on the outcome…”

    But at least they wouldn’t have been denied the possibility of self-defense in the first place.

    Look, a gun is not a mystical totem. If you carry a defensive weapon of any sort (gun or no) you should know how to use it. You should be absolutely willing to use it if the situation warrants it.

    However, just having a gun, or even having training doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to win.

    But at least you have a fighting chance.

  84. Jennifer,

    All your nattering about disarming people is coming from your own head. I haven’t written a word about disarming anyone.

    Finding your argument – everything would be ok if everyone was armed – unconvincing does mean I’m arguing the opposite.

    So you can knock of the John impersonation any time.

    “Don’t be solipsistic enough to assume that if you couldn’t handle it, nobody else can either.” Back atcha, dear. “I was far from typical as a college freshman.”

  85. “Don’t be solipsistic enough to assume that if you couldn’t handle it, nobody else can either.”

    In my experience, this is the base for why many people are anti-gun. A horrendous case of psychological projection.

  86. “I haven’t written a word about disarming anyone.”

    Perhaps not in this thread. But you’ve argued as much in others, especially with regard to banning guns based purely on scary aesthetics.

  87. Twenty-nine dead is the latest estimate. As for the political commentary, the people who speak most glibly about death are most often those who have spent the least time in its company.

  88. “Don’t be solipsistic enough to assume that if you couldn’t handle it, nobody else can either.” Back atcha, dear. “I was far from typical as a college freshman.”

    Joe, I’m not the one arguing that college freshmen, as a group, are too fucking stupid to be trusted with a gun like a grown-up. And even if I were, I sure as hell wouldn’t base that on the evidence “Gee, *I* couldn’t be trusted at that age, so of COURSE nobody else can!”

    So what point were you trying to make with your comment about dangerous drunken macho men who don’t want to lose a fight?

    Finding your argument – everything would be ok if everyone was armed – unconvincing does mean I’m arguing the opposite.

    Not even close to what I argued.

  89. BTW, John: You only see one group of police. Could it be that they were using standard procedure and using several teams, one of which was providing cover, and one of which was entering?

  90. Oh, and for the “keep politics out of it” crowd: There are already Senators taking the opportunity to be publicly concerned.

    We’re talking about human decency, here. Taking your cues on that from politicians is not completely unlike taking your cues on truthfulness from…well, politicians.

  91. I hope they didn’t send in a dreaded SWAT team.

  92. Nice smartassery, but I’d think that this would be one of those context where Mr. Balko would conceivably approve of the use of SWAT

  93. The latest AP report says that 31 students are dead. Yikes!

  94. If I lived in your sick, violent country, I think I would want to be armed. Thank God, I don’t.

  95. mediageek,

    “But you’ve argued as much in others, especially with regard to banning guns based purely on scary aesthetics.” No, I haven’t. As a matter of fact, I’ve argued exactly the opposite. Please stop confusing me with the liberal that lives in your head, and makes arguments that you can easily refute.

    jennifer,

    “Joe, I’m not the one arguing that college freshmen, as a group, are too fucking stupid to be trusted with a gun like a grown-up.” No, you’re the one arguing that they are so dependable that campus would be a safer place if they were armed.

  96. Fuck you, frenchy.

  97. Could be Number 6. Perhaps the police did everything they could in this case. I don’t know. But one thing is for sure, the didn’t do everything they could at other times.

  98. If I lived in your sick, violent country, I think I would want to be armed. Thank God, I don’t.

    Funny, I thought the same thing during the Paris riots last year.

  99. I’ll try again: “Some James,” I know a guy named James that lives in and works near Blacksburg, has the day off, leans libertarian, used to be on a SWAT team, and can make up words like “smartassery” at the drop of a hat.

    Does your last name start with P?

  100. “Fuck you, frenchy.”

    Hear, hear. How are things in the banlieues, anyway?

  101. Yeah Jean Michel,

    Too bad all of those Jews the Viche French shipped off to the death camps weren’t armed. I guess they didn’t realize what a sick violent country they lived in.

  102. Ha, no, that’s not me, but that’s amusing. Never been on a SWAT team, I was born around here but only moved back 8 months ago or so, I’m working today and my last name starts with K.

  103. Gun rights is a side issue.

    This is what happens when people who can’t count, (read: handle calculus) attempt engineering.

  104. horrible news. hope they’re wrong about the body count.

  105. Joe,

    College freshman arent old enough to (legally) get drunk at a pub.

  106. I am certainly against laws banning guns on campus, etc. but it’s certainly within the rights of a university to ban students from having them on university grounds; I’d say that should hold for state universities too.

    Presumably then we would have some schools where guns were allowed, and others where they were not. Personally, my college experience apparently having been more similar to joe’s than Jennifer’s, I would never want to go to a college where guns were permitted, nor would I allow my child to go to one. But hey, that’s me, Jennifer is free to differ.

    I bet insurance premiums alone make my school cheaper than yours though.

  107. Jean-Michel | April 16, 2007, 2:33pm | #

    If I lived in your sick, violent country, I think I would want to be armed. Thank God, I don’t.

    Yes, one lunatic takes out 32 people, and we as a nation are to blame.

    Please go back to protesting your own country into the sewer.

    JG

  108. No, you’re the one arguing that they are so dependable that campus would be a safer place if they were armed.

    Was I wrong to say that their odds of survival would’ve been higher if someone other than the killer had a gun? A simple yes or no will suffice.

  109. Look, a gun is not a mystical totem. If you carry a defensive weapon of any sort (gun or no) you should know how to use it. You should be absolutely willing to use it if the situation warrants it.

    Mediageek, for WiW, lemme tell you some anecdotal truths.

    I lived with three people who ‘knew how to use guns’ in college. Armed forces actually. Over time, our basement was turned into a shooting range. One guy shot a picture of his girlfriend after a brutal breakup. Another shot a hole in a bike and television. Another shot a stereo after being kept up all night when he had to go to reserves the next morning.

    20-22 yr old Marines, all.

    Finally, a couple years later, while rock climbing along the New River one day, I witnessed another, unrelated to the above, Marine shoot himself in the hand while digging through his truck for fishing tackle. I drove him to the Christiansburg hospital, the same one that is so busy this morning. While there, I swear to you, a boy came in with his father. He had shot himself in the leg with a rifle.

    Somehow, I have never been shot.

  110. I would never want to go to a college where guns were permitted, nor would I allow my child to go to one. But hey, that’s me, Jennifer is free to differ. I bet insurance premiums alone make my school cheaper than yours though.

    Unless your school were Virginia Tech.

  111. If I lived in your sick, violent country, I think I would want to be armed. Thank God, I don’t.

    Don’t worry about guns, JM. Just fireproof your car and you’ll be fine.

  112. I think I now realize what drove this guy into his murderous rampage=

    Tax Season

  113. Hey!! For everybody riding Jean-Michel, he could be Quebecois, don’t forget Canada bans guns too!

    Blame Canada.

  114. Jennifer,

    “Was I wrong to say that their odds of survival would’ve been higher if someone other than the killer had a gun?”

    I think you already know the answer to that. I was making a different point, one you’ve responded to with – yaaaawwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnn – the accusation that only an elitist would say that college freshman are irresponsible.

  115. he could be Quebecois

    In that case, fuck that frenchy-with-an-inferiority-complex.

  116. I briefly attended a college in one of the few towns in the U.S. that statutorily required each household to have a gun. I had one, a tiny 357 revolver. Got good at plinking floating debris in the river. But I had no occasion to need it in campus or in town, given that there were no murders or shootings and only a handful of breakins in the entire town the whole time I was there.

  117. Jesus, Matt, after hearing your story, I’m wondering what my odds of survival are around here!!

  118. Oh, and for the “keep politics out of it” crowd: There are already Senators taking the opportunity to be publicly concerned.
    But none of them got up and said “it’s video game’s fault.”

  119. guys, the bodies aren’t even cold yet.

    and yeah, it’s going to be ugly, and yeah the brady fucks and the conservative agit-proppers are going to be doing their best reenactment of the war of terri shaivo, but we can be a little bit better than that.

    there will be plenty of time for the ugly to come a runnin’.

  120. One mass-shooting gets a lot more press than 50 individual shootings.

    That does not mean that the one high-profile event should be weighed more heavily than the far more common events when we think about how to keep ourselves safe.

    Jennifer, you’re fallen for the “airplane crashes get a lot more press than car crashes” error.

  121. They were going to send the SWAT team, but it was busy making drug busts.

  122. Marine shoot himself in the hand while digging through his truck for fishing tackle.

    This is a gun case, this is not.

  123. I think you already know the answer to that.

    I should hope so, since I doubt you could bring yourself to say it.

    I was making a different point, one you’ve responded to with – yaaaawwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnn – the accusation that only an elitist would say that college freshman are irresponsible.

    I did not use the word elitist but solipsist, regarding your insistence that since you were at the age of 18 too irresponsible to be trusted with a gun, so too must all 18-year-olds be.

    By the way, if that long “yawn” had only three w’s more, it would have convinced me. Ooooh, you were so close.

  124. One mass-shooting gets a lot more press than 50 individual shootings.

    Especially the individual shootings wherein a would-be criminal is stopped by a responsible gun owner. Those shootings hardly get any press at all.

  125. “That does not mean that the one high-profile event should be weighed more heavily than the far more common events when we think about how to keep ourselves safe.”

    Funny, I’ve never seen any data that shows that conceal-carry laws result in more gun deaths. Maybe that’s just me.

  126. joe,

    Both get a lot more press than “victim pulls gun on mugger, who runs off”

  127. dhex,
    The bodies may not be cold but the Brady Campaign already has a Press Release for it.

    Blacksburg, VA – Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement:

    “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the Virginia Tech University community, and to the families of the victims of what appears to be one of the worst mass shootings in American history.

    “Details are still forthcoming about what motivated the shooter in this case to act, and how he was able to arm himself. It is well known, however, how easy it is for an individual to get powerful weapons in our country.

    “Eight years ago this week, the young people in Littleton, Colorado suffered a horrible attack at Columbine High School, and almost exactly six months ago, five young people were killed at an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania. Since these killings, we’ve done nothing as a country to end gun violence in our schools and communities. If anything, we’ve made it easier to access powerful weapons.

    “We have now seen another horrible tragedy that will never be forgotten. It is long overdue for us to take some common-sense actions to prevent tragedies like this from continuing to occur.”

  128. Joe where is the evidence that increased gun ownership results in higher crime? If that were true, Washington DC and NYC would have the lowest murder rates in the country. Of course they don’t. Moreover, cities like London and Paris, while having lower murder rates, are also much more dangerous in terms of assault and other violent crimes than comparable U.S. cities. In the U.K. it is illegal to defend yourself against someone breaking into your home. In the U.S. breaking into someone’s home is an invitation to get shot. Needless to say, live breakins are very infrequent in the U.S. and all too common in the U.K.. Indeed, if you take out the urban black subculture and its appalling murder rate, the U.S. murder rate is actually quite low. The U.S. doesn’t have a gun problem it has an inner city youth gang problem.

  129. Jennifer, if someone bitchslapped you, would you shoot them?

    This an not an argument for or against CCW.

  130. No, the SWAT teams were busy rounding up the poker playing criminals.

  131. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9D0CE0DB1538F930A35752C1A967958260

    A similar incident happened at the University of Iowa in 1991. The reports out of VaTech I’ve seen say he was Asian, or of Asian descent. At Iowa in 1991, an Asian physics graduate student who was distraught over not receiving a top prize for his thesis went on a killing spree. He killed several of the top physicists that were on his committee execution style.

  132. Jennifer,

    If you can work up the honesty and courage to address what I wrote, go ahead.

    Evan!,

    Where did “concealed-carry” laws come from? We were talking about whether it’s a good idea for college students to go about armed. If there is any regulation in play here, it is the rules that colleges adopt for their enrollees’ behavior.

    Anyway, since you seem so curious, I don’t think that conceal-carry laws result in more gun deaths. I don’t think they make a detectable difference, one way or the other.

  133. How exactly is whether the guy is Asian or not relevant, Yogi?

  134. it has an inner city youth gang problem.

    It has a prohibition problem.

  135. Crap, no close tag.

  136. Wow, you people are REALLY eager to argue with someone who supports laws agaist owning firearms!

    Maybe you should find some, and have a blast.

    Heh.

  137. “It has a prohibition problem.”

    Perhaps so. But I don’t know that legalizing drugs would keep the gangs from killing each other. They would just have less money.

  138. Could we all at least agree that it would be OK to bar internet tough guys from carrying concealed? I don’t need the mall ninjas getting suspicious and taking it upon themselves to put down the cinnabon and respond to a rumor of suspicious activity at the Spencer’s Gifts.

    Especially if their idea of a tactical entry involves impersonating some TV actor. Guys with 52″ waists should not be impersonating actors who live at the gym when not on camera.

    Even worse, anybody who isn’t injured by the mall ninja would probably die of laughter from watching him.

  139. “If anything, we’ve made it easier to access powerful weapons for armed psychos to kill you and your loved ones, while you pray to whatever God you have for it to be over soon.”

    All fixed.

  140. Damn, Some James, that would have been something else.

  141. Indeed. Now I’ll have to be on the lookout for this doppelganger/namesake/workmakerupper.

  142. The fact that he’s Asian just that it reminded me of the Iowa incident.

    Many here at Iowa seemed to think that the incident here was partially caused by the shooter being a recluse which in part was exacerbated by being a foreign student who had very few friends.

  143. Jennifer, if someone bitchslapped you, would you shoot them?

    Honestly? That depends. I’m (physically) small enough that pretty much any healthy male above the age of 10 could kill me barehanded if he so chose. I’ve never tolerated a man who would hit me (nor known many jackass enough to try), so I suppose it would boil down to this: did I think this was a guy planning to slap me once and walk off, in which case I’d use bitchy-but-legal methods of psychological sadism to get back at him, or have I reason to think the slap was a prelude to my being beaten to death?

    If you can work up the honesty and courage to address what I wrote, go ahead.

    What you wrote has little bearing to anything being discussed here. To address what you said I don’t need honesty or courage; I need hallucinogens. Go on and keep implying that Tech’s gun ban made the new corpses safer, though, if it makes you happy.

  144. To Edward (I believe),

    This is exactly what SWAT is for. Too bad they were probably raiding some grandma’s house.

    Nick

  145. If that were true, Washington DC and NYC would have the lowest murder rates in the country. Of course they don’t.

    Actually, NYC does have one of the lowest murder rates in the country. Feel free to look it up.

  146. Perhaps so. But I don’t know that legalizing drugs would keep the gangs from killing each other. They would just have less money.

    Guns don’t grow on trees, you usually have to buy them. Additionally, most of the gang “wars” are over drug/illicit behavior turfs that generate said money for the gangs. Take away their means of income and there won’t be much to fight over.

    Gangs worldwide are a direct result of the prohibition of consensual behaviors. Triads, Yakuza, Crips and Bloods all make their money by peddling drugs, prostitutes and numbers rackets. These things exist even when prohibited, so why should the money go to violent criminals?

    Of course this should really be a discussion for another thread.

  147. Jennifer,

    Something tells me if you were packing heat, the guy wouldn’t slap you in the first place and you wouldn’t have to shoot him. If knew you had a gun and he slapped you anyway, I guess there would be a good case to be made that he needed killin.

  148. Internet Tuffguys shouldn’t even be allowed nerf guns. Although the Mall Ninja could probably benefit from some of those nerf shuriken and maybe a nerf-tana.

  149. I am not doubting that both sides are ramping up for a “surge” in the firearms debate. I fail to see how public discourse is served by arguing while standing in the still-warm blood.

    C’mon folks, I know you all have the right to pontificater. If you can’t find the decency to wait until the bodies are buried, how about trying to wait until the bodies are counted?

  150. Fair enough, Yogi. You didn’t say enough the first time around to let me know whether I needed to lower my eyebrows and ask that with scorn.

    Anyway, Southwest VA is not exactly racially diverse (as a white guy who moved here from CA, I’m actually a bit freaked out by how white it is around here). But Virginia Tech has a large population of international students and is fairly diverse, at least for the region. In the Iowa case, I can see that argument, but in the end some people are just psychopaths.

  151. If you can’t find the decency to wait until the bodies are buried, how about trying to wait until the bodies are counted?

    Politics contributed to this travesty. Damned if politics should be let off the hook now.

  152. In case you don’t realize, they are in fact kids. The reason why kids don’t carry guns is because when they are illegally drinking (breaking one law), what’s to stop them from breaking another and shooting at someone because they are mad or upset. You said it, they are kids! Now on the note of making this a republican agenda for you gun loving fiends, this is about a kid who was disturbed and 31 kids who lost their lives.

  153. Jennifer =

    🙂

    I think the right answer would have been, “I’d kick him in the balls, then stick my gun in his mouth and scream at him and make him cry”

  154. Emmy,

    “In case you don’t realize, they are in fact kids.”

    good point. kids. “kids” who are old enough to join the military and…wait for it…shoot people.

    So, in effect, what you’re saying is that these kids are old enough to defend out country…to be sent to Iraq and brave the horrors of war with an assault rifle, but not old enough to take shooting lessons and apply for a concealed carry permit.

    Yes, great point.

  155. Emmy–Sorry, all of our troll positions are currently filled. Should one of these positions become an open in the future, we will keep your record on file.

    Best of luck.

  156. Emmy,

    I agree w/ your sentiment, and I think Jennifer is being particularly craven and trying to make political points, just as her opponents will do in trying to blame this on video games or that gun laws aren’t strict ENOUGH. I see no difference in that sort of “blame it on society/politics” mentality. The fact of the matter is that some fucked up kid decided to do this. Jennifer’s not even attempting the argument about how many people would have been saved if the laws had been somehow different. I really don’t know that many late-teens in this rural/suburban area desperate to pack heat if not for those pesky laws. All the same, Emmy, I also don’t think that a conscious thought about what is and is not against the law is what motivates kids (or people in general). If people want to drink, they will; If they want to carry a concealed weapon, they will; And unfortunately, if they are determined to carry out a massacre, there’s a good chance they will to.

  157. I think the right answer would have been, “I’d kick him in the balls, then stick my gun in his mouth and scream at him and make him cry”

    Naw, I wouldn’t want to give him the chance to take the gun out of my hands.

    I went digging through the archives to find an example of what I meant by “bitchy-but-legal psychological sadism.” This is what I wrote on a thread dated June 23, 2006:

    If the guy is physically violent, then he needs to be arrested. If he’s emotionally violent, that doesn’t give the woman the right to physically hurt him; just respond in kind.

    Like when I broke up with this one (mega-asshole) ex of mine: I did not sound angry, but spoke in a very sad and regretful tone as I explained that, while he certainly had many fine qualities and ordinarily I’d be madly in love with him, he was absolutely the worst lover I’d ever had [not true], and I’m just too selfish to spend my life with a man who was so thoroughly uninspiring in bed. (My own version of the “it’s not you, it’s me” cliche.)

    You should’ve seen the way his face crumbled. See? I have nothing against emasculating asshole guys; I just do it with sharp pointy words rather than sharp pointy devices.

  158. Yogi:

    Even 5 years ago when I was still at VT, there was a very large foreign student population. Asians moreso than many others…and Pakistani too. They have their own student clubs, etc. If this guy had trouble finding friends, then…damn.

  159. Jennifer’s not even attempting the argument about how many people would have been saved if the laws had been somehow different.

    No, I’m not, because it would be dishonest to pretend I can say with any assurance “If Tech allowed guns only X people would have died, rather than Y.” All I’ve said, repeatedly, is that it would’ve changed the odds.

  160. I had fallen in love with you earlier in the thread, Jennifer. Now I’m just scared of you. Please don’t hurt my ego.

  161. Jennifer,

    I had a similiar conversation with a particularly evil and unbalanced ex girlfriend. I told her that she was just the kind of woman that I would normally want to marry but her tits just weren’t big enough and her sister was just so much better looking than her. It had the desired effect.

  162. Emmy,
    ????

    Breaking one law means I am likely to break another? Because I speed on occasion means I am likely to rape and kill somebody? I’m sorry, but your theory doesn’t hold water, try again.

  163. Jennifer =

    Men prefer to be shot.

  164. Men prefer to be shot.

    I know. That’s why I won’t shoot ’em.

    Heh heh heh heh heh.

  165. “I lived with three people who ‘knew how to use guns’ in college. Armed forces actually. Over time, our basement was turned into a shooting range. One guy shot a picture of his girlfriend after a brutal breakup. Another shot a hole in a bike and television. Another shot a stereo after being kept up all night when he had to go to reserves the next morning.”

    FWIW, In college I had close friends in the same apartment building who were all armed. I’ve spent time with people from every facet of the shooting community from 10 meter air pistol competitors to the (extremely rare) full-auto enthusiast.

    Starting in college, I’ve shot in IDPA, IPSC, 3 Gun, Service Rifle, Bullseye, and 25 Meter International pistol matches. Most of which were attended by more than thirty people.

    I have, to date, not witnessed one injury resulting from a negligent discharge.

    Just because your college room mates were incompetent and irresponsible doesn’t mean the rest of us are.

  166. Just saw the news at lunch, very sad situation for a lot of people.

    I can’t understand the whole emailing of students about SHOOTINGS on campus, doesn’t seem like the best way to get the word out especially when you don’t mention it in the 1st email you sent to them at all.

    The anti gunners will be jumping all over this of course and already have apparently as posted above. What I have to point out is the news footage of all the cops with BP vests on and the AR-15’s and .40 cals on their sides. Dressed in their best about to kick someones door down outfits. If the cop feels the need to have all that hardware and defensive clothing why should I not feel at least inclined to carry a gun of my own at all times at a minimum and be allowed to unhassled by the law? I mean face it when the shit hits the fan unless they are kickin YOUR door down they are not there to defend you in the immediate moment. Something tells me had 1/2 those dead been carrying a weapon themselves the number would be a lot lower.

    Its easy to shoot chickens in a coop when their not shooting back. People would think long and hard about pulling out a gun if they knew in all likelyhood 1/2 the room would be pulling their own to take them out when they did. Compared to someone who knows they have the only gun and is gonna be the “man” and shoot defenseless people.

    If the cops feel the need for it give me one reason I shouldn’t feel that same need for my self preservation and defense? Most cops carry their pistols off duty, they are not making overtime for it, they do it because they know damn well if something goes down no on duty cop is going to be around to save their ass at that very moment. It says a lot about the police forces own view of public safety when off duty cops still fell they need to carry a gun, doesn’t speak highly of their own outlook on the public safety they themselves provide.

    Not knocking cops because they could never be there when the shits hits the fan everytime without being a police state.. But we are working on that.

  167. hahaha, y’all got trolled by a drifter.

    hey look over there!

  168. “mediageek (just getting back from lunch.”

    THIS JUST IN

    Since the people at the lunch counter were armed, mediageek had to pay for his lunch, thereby preventing him becoming…

    WAIT FOR IT

    a lunchstealer.

    [ducks]

    Comfort and condolences to the family, friends, and loved ones.

  169. Jennifer,

    It *could* have changed the odds. But you can’t say for certain in which way. There could have been no change, less people could have been killed or more people could have gotten killed/injured in crossfire. You can’t say you know for sure. And if the reports are right that he did himself in, then different laws would not have been anything like a deterrent. In the end, even in that hypothetical-fantasy land, this still would have been a tragedy and we’d still be here talking about it.

  170. For all of those arguing that “the bodies aren’t yet cold” and that “this isn’t the time or place for politics,” let me just point out that this is a political blog, and you are currently reading a thread specifically about the Virginia Tech killings.

    I understand the sense of distaste many of you are feeling when confronted with less-than-respectful comments about the dead (or the cops, or the school, or the laws), but this might be a good time to use your own personal V-chip and surf to a different site.

    There are plenty of times and places to not talk about politics, but I suspect that a URL starting with https://www.reason.com isn’t one of ’em.

  171. It *could* have changed the odds. But you can’t say for certain in which way. There could have been no change, less people could have been killed or more people could have gotten killed/injured in crossfire. You can’t say you know for sure.

    Nor have I said I know for sure. But your comment could almost be interpreted as “Whew! Thank Grog none of the victims had a gun, because things would’ve been so much worse.”

    There’s no guarantee of safety even if you have an entire arsenal at your disposal. But fuck any government and any supporter thereof who would use the law to make sure people don’t even have a fucking chance.

  172. “There could have been no change, less people could have been killed or more people could have gotten killed/injured in crossfire.”

    How do more than 31? now people get killed in the cross fire? That is just crap. If one of those people had had a weapon and been able to defend themselves, things would have only turned out for the better. You can name any number of instances where one person with a gun stopped these kinds of things but I can’t think of one instance where more people were killed in the crossfire because someone had a gun and defended themselves. These people are psycotic bullies and get off on killing the defenseless. Once someone starts firing back, they are not so dangerous anymore.

  173. James-

    You could indeed be correct. There’s no way to know if the outcome would have been better or worse.

    However, I find it reprehensible that the authorities see fit to deny people at least the chance, regardless of how slim you think it is, to defend themselves.

  174. this might be a good time to use your own personal V-chip and surf to a different site.

    But Jake, the government hasn’t approved personal V-chips, just ones for your television. I do nothing without the approval of the FCC. 😀

  175. Jennifer’s thought process is interesting.

    Does she really think that college students would have been carrying a piece to the chem lab even if it were totally legal? And does she really not comprehend that nobody sane wants to live in a society were we all go around armed?

  176. Agree with Jose Ortega; the bodies haven’t even been counted yet. Vultures like the VPC might be shitting everywhere and looking to feast, but that doesn’t mean we should emulate them. In the tradition of Monday-morning quarterbacking, shouldn’t we at least wait until the day after with our criticism?

    (After Preview: Jake Boone’s comment makes a lot of sense. Instant commentary is what blogs are for. Well said.)

    That said, I’ll ignore my own advice and wonder how in the hell does Va. Tech allow the second shooting to happen, over two hours after the shooting in the dorm? How was the campus not flooded with cops after the first shooting?

    My deepest condolences to the victims, their families and friends.

  177. In an engineering lab there’s probably some method of defense anyway, but I do think it’s criminal to deny people the right to carry if they feel like it. But at least the authorities never wrongly shoot students, right? Oh wait

  178. I don’t think Hooked on Innuendo has the requisite qualification to be talking about what sane people want.

  179. Hooked:

    Let’s try facts, not opinions, as our starting ground for comments, eh?

  180. “Does she really think that college students would have been carrying a piece to the chem lab even if it were totally legal?”

    Hooked, I know you’re a (quite mediocre) troll, but here’s my response anyway.

    Some might or might not. The point is that it’s asinine for the authorities to deny the opportunity of self defense to those who wish to exercise it.

    “And does she really not comprehend that nobody sane wants to live in a society were we all go around armed?”

    I have no problem whatsoever conducting myself in environments where the vast majority of people are armed. Why the fear of law-abiding citizens able to defend themselves?

  181. Virginia Tech has a policy which helps to ensure that everyone on their campus is unarmed and thus easier to kill…

    “2.2 Prohibition of Weapons

    The university’s employees, students, and volunteers, or any visitor or other third party attending a sporting, entertainment, or educational event, or visiting an academic or administrative office building or residence hall, are further prohibited from carrying, maintaining, or storing a firearm or weapon on any university facility, even if the owner has a valid permit, when it is not required by the individual’s job, or in accordance with the relevant University Student Life Policies.”

    From: http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache:2MvPM3ykFWUJ:www.policies.vt.edu/5616.pdf+weapon+site:policies.vt.edu&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

  182. “Does she really think that college students would have been carrying a piece to the chem lab even if it were totally legal?”

    Any more likly than carrying a gun to law class? The example of Appalachian State Law School mentioned above puts lie to that assumption.

    “And does she really not comprehend that nobody sane wants to live in a society were we all go around armed”

    Why not? I don’t have a problem if everyone is armed. What other than irrational superstition would cause you to fear people being armed?

  183. Emmy–Sorry, all of our troll positions are currently filled. Should one of these positions become an open in the future, we will keep your record on file.

    Best of luck.

    JW wins the thread.

  184. Douche-Bot is right. Jennifer’s thought processes are interesting. Give him a little credit.

  185. “But your comment could almost be interpreted as ‘Whew! Thank Grog none of the victims had a gun, because things would’ve been so much worse.'”

    That’s not my view at all, or what I meant to get across. What I’m saying is that this is a tragedy regardless. And it still would have been a tragedy if the laws were different. Even if some of the victims or bystanders were permitted to have guns, that doesn’t mean that they would have. I’m avoiding the whole conceal/carry argument as a whole, because like I said, this is tragic regardless.

  186. I completely agree with Hooked. I wouldn’t want to live in any society that allows people to drive around in 4,000 lb wheeled vehicles and could run me over at any time they like.

  187. Hooked,

    If I had had a concealed carry permit in college and it had been okay to carry on campus, I would have carried in my backpack. Probably in the same pocket that always had a deck of cards.

    Im mostly sane, I have no problem with an armed society. Literally everyone in my office has a CCDW permit, it doesnt worry me a bit.


  188. Why not? I don’t have a problem if everyone is armed. What other than irrational superstition would cause you to fear people being armed?

    You know, the irrational fear of being injured or killed via gunshot wound. I’ve never been shot but damn if it doesn’t look like it hurts.

  189. Fuck you, Fuck you and Fuck you!!!

    My firearms had nothing to do with this tragedy but now I will quite likely be subject to even more restrictions associated with possessing them!

    I will not comply with any of them!

    So while I am profoundly sympathetic to the victims of todays events those of you who will prostitute this incident for political purposes can now and forever kiss my fat fucking ASS!

  190. “He appeared to have specifically targeted the two locations, a co-ed dormitory and a classroom housing engineering and business classes.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18134671/

    The whole “no one would ever bring a gun to engineering class” argument doesn’t hunt. He went after a dorm to. If someone had had a gun in their room, they could have defended themselves. In a perfect world about ten people would have had shotguns and the story would have been “lunatic killed by armed mob”.

  191. I just can’t figure how someone does something like this. How horrible.

    I think the debate would be easier if we had reliable nonlethal methods of defending ourselves (Tasers, for instance, seem to not completely fit the bill, though I know too little to say so with any authority). I suppose such devices could be abused, too, especially if they had any range to them, but a totally defenseless culture scares me, too. Still, a weapon with an undo capability has some advantages–“Oops, sorry Mr. Fireman, thought you were a burglar.”

  192. mediageek,

    Thanks for finding that thread. I suppose you didn’t bother to actually, you know, READ IT.

    Because here’s what I wrote: ‘Durin the runup to the non-renewal of the federal assault weapons ban, I saw a cop on one of the morning shows firing an AR-15 at a cinder block, to show how much damage it can do. Pow. Pow. Pow. Yep, it can blast big chunks out of a cinder block.

    Nobody bothered to ask the cop, “So, what kind of damage can a legal rifle do that cinder block?”‘

    Please, tell me more about how I supported bans on guns for “aesthetic” reasons.

    LOL.

  193. If I had had a concealed carry permit in college and it had been okay to carry on campus, I would have carried in my backpack. Probably in the same pocket that always had a deck of cards.

    Fair enough. I guess that’s why they aren’t allowed on campus in the first place.


    Im mostly sane, I have no problem with an armed society. Literally everyone in my office has a CCDW permit, it doesnt worry me a bit.

    I see this logic a lot, and to me it comes across as “I don’t care if people I know are unlikely to shoot me are armed.” Which is great, but that subset doesn’t include everybody.

  194. “You know, the irrational fear of being injured or killed via gunshot wound. I’ve never been shot but damn if it doesn’t look like it hurts.”

    Do you think that someone who is otherwise not dangerous is just going to shoot you because they are possessed by the gun or something? Do you think the guns will just magiclly go off? Yeah, as this indident demonstrates it is possible to be shot, but the fact that it occured where guns are preported to be illegal says that allowing guns has nothing to do with the danger.

  195. Grey Ghost,
    I suspect they were treating the first shooting as a “run of the mill” homicide. In other words, a single individual shooting another single individual, for a specific reason (hate, jealousy, money, etc). They were actively engaged in processing that crime scene when the shoot-out occurred on the other side of the campus. Indeed, there is no evidence at this time that the two are actually related (none saying they aren’t either). Do you lockdown a whole city block because a man was shot in his apartment? If not, then why would they lockdown the whole campus for a single individual?

  196. “I don’t care if people I know are unlikely to shoot me are armed.” Which is great, but that subset doesn’t include everybody.

    The people who are likely to shoot you are already armed, you twit.

  197. The whole “no one would ever bring a gun to engineering class” argument doesn’t hunt. He went after a dorm to. If someone had had a gun in their room, they could have defended themselves. In a perfect world about ten people would have had shotguns and the story would have been “lunatic killed by armed mob”.

    I must concede that John and Jennifer are basically correct on the point that there’s a good chance the bloodshed at VT today could have been minimized if more people in the vicinity had been armed.

    Of course, it’s also correct that this shooting wouldn’t have happened in the first place if there were no guns in our society.

    That’s the beauty of speculation I guess.

  198. What I’m saying is that this is a tragedy regardless. And it still would have been a tragedy if the laws were different. Even if some of the victims or bystanders were permitted to have guns, that doesn’t mean that they would have.

    This is true–not everybody who is allowed to have a gun does. All I am saying, for the umpteenth time, is fuck any government or organization that would make it illegal for people to even have the chance to defend themselves.

    And I’ll repeat: if any of the dead owned a gun, I hope their families sue the everliving fuck out of the school and the evil, craven, scumsucking, cowardly waste of human genetic material who decided that making sure an entire campus was full of unarmed, helpless people would make people safe.

  199. Evan! | April 16, 2007, 3:15pm | #
    Yogi:

    Even 5 years ago when I was still at VT, there was a very large foreign student population. Asians moreso than many others…and Pakistani too. They have their own student clubs, etc. If this guy had trouble finding friends, then…damn.

    You’re right, same here at Iowa. However, it’s a much smaller population to draw friends from. On top of that, many of these university shootings are from graduate students. The pressure (self-induced) that they feel to succeed, along with being in a strange place a long way from their friends and family. Let’s face it, most graduate students aren’t exactly the most extroverted people. Academia tends to attract the introverted recluses.

  200. Do you think that someone who is otherwise not dangerous is just going to shoot you because they are possessed by the gun or something? Do you think the guns will just magiclly go off?

    If the guy wasn’t at least kind of interested in the idea of shooting someone, why would he be carrying a gun around? Being armed means you are dangerous, kind of by definition.

  201. You know, any points that anybody might care to make about gun laws, pro or con, probably won’t be all that persuasive to anybody at a time like this.

    guys, the bodies aren’t even cold yet.

    Could we all at least agree that it would be OK to bar internet tough guys from carrying concealed?

    OK, how can I put this…

    This is not a fucking Friday Fun Link.

    This is a post on a political blog about an event with ugly political freight. If you don’t want to read people talking politics in this thread, close the tab or window of your browser.

    I’m sorry, that’s about as sympathetic as I can be.

  202. I have to say that on the one hand, it’s sick to talk about politics right now. But on the other hand, we have to look for reasons so we can find ways to possibly prevent future incidents.

    What about destigmatization of seeking mental health treatment?

    Obviously the people who commit these acts are both MORAL MONSTERS and also REALLY REALLY SICK.

    Maybe we could’ve gotten this guy into therapy earlier and he wouldn’t have done it. Maybe pills or talking could’ve prevented today’s tragedy. Just a thought.

  203. Hooked,

    One possibility, more innocent people being armed and being able to defend themselves, is realistic. The other possibility, no guns in our society is not. Further, not having guns in our society has a host of other bad consequences, citizens unable to defend themselves against the government, women like Jennifer unable to defend themselves against the vermin they choose to date, home owners unable to defend themselves against intruders and so fourth. A world with more guns is just a lot better.

  204. Of course, it’s also correct that this shooting wouldn’t have happened in the first place if there were no guns in our society.

    Hmmm, what would Jesus shoot?

    Hey Hooked, if you ever find this completely unarmed society of yours, one that doesn’t involve living under stone-age conditions and typically dying from disease before age 25 (assuming you survive childhood), let us know. ‘K?

  205. Jennifer, it seems that anti-gun laws make most college campuses very safe. Today’s shooting is not in any way a common occurrance.

  206. “I must concede that John and Jennifer are basically correct on the point that there’s a good chance the bloodshed at VT today could have been minimized if more people in the vicinity had been armed. Of course, it’s also correct that this shooting wouldn’t have happened in the first place if there were no guns in our society. That’s the beauty of speculation I guess.”

    Well, on the speculation scale of wildness from 1 to 10, Jennifer’s speculation is a 1, and yours is a 15. It would take a very simple passage of a very simple law to allow people to apply for conceal-carry permits on VT property…whereas it would essentially take martial law and untold trillions upon trillions of dollars to get guns out of our society. And then…well…Kodos and Kang have a little something to say about it, too.

  207. Please do not feed the troll.

  208. Wow, nothing drives a thread like an extremely rare occurrence.
    Too bad Imus wasn’t the killer.
    He wasn’t, was he?

  209. “Jennifer, it seems that anti-gun laws make most college campuses very safe.”

    Backup, please.

  210. One possibility, more innocent people being armed and being able to defend themselves, is realistic. The other possibility, no guns in our society is not. Further, not having guns in our society has a host of other bad consequences, citizens unable to defend themselves against the government, women like Jennifer unable to defend themselves against the vermin they choose to date, home owners unable to defend themselves against intruders and so fourth. A world with more guns is just a lot better.

    Move to Baghdad then, if you really believe this nonsense. No pesky gun control liberals to bug you over there.

  211. FWIW, there have been school shootings that have been stopped when the perpetrator was confronted by someone else who was armed.

    Most notably the law school shooting in Virginia and the school shooting in Pearl, Mississippi.

  212. If the guy wasn’t at least kind of interested in the idea of shooting someone, why would he be carrying a gun around? Being armed means you are dangerous, kind of by definition.

    HOI, you can be a much better troll than that. Shame on you. As a former teacher, it bugs the fuck out of me to see a promising person too lazy to live up to his potential.

  213. “this shooting wouldn’t have happened in the first place if there were no guns in our society.”

    Yes and the world would be a happier place if every little girl had a pony.

  214. “Of course, it’s also correct that this shooting wouldn’t have happened in the first place if there were no guns in our society.”

    You know, I’d like to live in this imaginary world where, if you banned certain items such as guns, people would just say, “ok”, and we’d never have incidents such as today’s. Seriously, does anybody actually believe that banning guns will solve our problems? There will always be a black market for banned items – it’s human nature. To say that a gun ban would have prevented this is absolutely idiotic. Grow the fuck up, morons!

  215. “If the guy wasn’t at least kind of interested in the idea of shooting someone, why would he be carrying a gun around? Being armed means you are dangerous, kind of by definition.”

    Yes, and when I put my seatbelt on, I am “interested” in being involved in a serious automobile accident.

    Somebody fill me in…is “hooked on innuendo” the new troll?

  216. Name one illegal thing on this earth that can’t be had with enough time, money, patience, or requisite force.

    Making guns illegal will not keep them out of the hands of people who want them.

    Can’t the Brady-bots just crawl back in their holes and lick their nuts for awhile? There are plenty of legitimate debates about forms of gun control, but to suggest that making guns illegal would result in no one every getting shot again is beyond retarded.

  217. Are campuses “very safe”? I’ve always had the impression that–at night, at least–violent crime was a serious concern on most large campuses. I don’t have any statistics to back that up, mind you, but it was certainly the feeling that I had at UF, for instance (and that my near-wife has at USF). Ditto Ohio State, where I used to work.

  218. Here’s another question for the gun crowd – why do you think so many people would rather risk their lives by going unarmed than break a law?

  219. I’ve got no problem living a society where there are people walking around armed.

    I make an exception for teenagers living away from home for the first time, surrounded by other teenagers in the same circumstances.

    A lot of crazy shit happens on college campuses. Riots after basketball games. Fights between good friends in the basements of frat houses at 2:30 in the morning. People drinking themselves into comas. The “good people don’t shoot anyone, only criminals” theory doesn’t do a good job accounting for the 18 year old with a head full of mushrooms who watches Scarface three times in a row and decides he’s a gangsta.

    The only reason college freshman should be allowed to possess sharp-tined forks is for the pedagogical value.

  220. I see this logic a lot, and to me it comes across as “I don’t care if people I know are unlikely to shoot me are armed.” Which is great, but that subset doesn’t include everybody.

    To reiterate what JW said above I will rephrase your paragraph using his example.

    I see this logic a lot, and to me it comes across as “I don’t care if people I know are unlikely to drive over me own cars.” Which is great, but that subset doesn’t include everybody.

    You are correct, it doesn’t include everybody, but those people who view the likelihood of being run over by a car out of proportion to the actual occurrence of it are called “irrational” or “paranoid”. That or they are agoraphobic. Because I own a gun, or a car, does not mean that I am predisposed to killing someone with it. If you wish to live in fear of an occurrence, fine. Me personally, I like to take precautions to avoid the occurrence of being run over, or shot. I walk on a sidewalk (as far from the road as I can get) and carry a gun for protection.

  221. “Jennifer, it seems that anti-gun laws make most college campuses very safe. Today’s shooting is not in any way a common occurrance.”

    Translation:
    Gun control laws work and are totally sweet, except when they don’t.

    lollerskates.

  222. Here’s another question for the gun crowd – why do you think so many people would rather risk their lives by going unarmed than break a law?

    Probably similar to the reasons many people go unarmed when it’s perfectly legal to buy a gun.

  223. Somebody fill me in…is “hooked on innuendo” the new troll?

    No, he’s just the same shit in a new bag.

  224. To say that a gun ban would have prevented this is absolutely idiotic.

    Especially since Virginia Tech already had a gun ban. Apparently, the guy who went on the mass murder spree wasn’t frightened off by the possibility of a fine, a couple months in jail, or whatever penalty faced those with guns on campus.

  225. Are campuses “very safe”? I’ve always had the impression that–at night, at least–violent crime was a serious concern on most large campuses. I don’t have any statistics to back that up, mind you, but it was certainly the feeling that I had at UF, for instance (and that my near-wife has at USF). Ditto Ohio State, where I used to work.

    I must confess to using anecdotal evidence here – I’ve been on college campuses many times and never felt as though I was about to get shot. Maybe there are schools out there were murders and shooting sprees are common occurances, I don’t know.

  226. Somebody fill me in…is “hooked on innuendo” the new troll?

    Yes, but he’s not “showroom new.” He’s sort of “Dollar Store new.” Cheap and low quality.

  227. Okay, the way this commentary is going I’m tempted to yell “He’s got a board! With a nail in it!”

    Jennifer,

    At this point, I take no issue w/ what you’re saying. We’re clearly coming at this from different angles and you obviously have much stronger feelings about gun control/conceal & carry than I do.

  228. it seems that anti-gun laws make most college campuses very safe.

    Yep. And them drinkin’ laws are keeping them sober too.

    Where have all the smart trolls gone?

  229. Eh, I like SugarFree’s response better.

  230. I’m a believer in the Second Amendment, but you won’t hear me argue against the suggestion that the magnitude of this disaster might have been lessened without the Second Amendment. Normally, you might hear me argue that freedom is worth the price of such tragedies, but arguing that right now would be tasteless.

    I may be obnoxious but I’m not tasteless.

  231. Probably similar to the reasons many people go unarmed when it’s perfectly legal to buy a gun.

    No, in that case people who go unarmed obviously don’t feel the need to be armed.

    I’m asking why people who think they need to be armed for the purpose of survival would let a silly law stop them.

  232. “Move to Baghdad then, if you really believe this nonsense. No pesky gun control liberals to bug you over there.”

    There you go, HOI is well on his/her way to being supreme troll. HOI honestly believes that lax gun control laws are to blame for all of Baghdad’s problems…

  233. Interesting thread. Sad for the victims, sad for the survivors. And yes, they’re victims of politics in my eyes.

    I’ll have to say that I agree with Jennifer. I have a serious issue with the opportunity to defend myself being denied. You don’t have to defend yourself, but having the option to is a good thing.

    I am still armed and dangerous when not carrying – I have black belts in Karate and Judo. So what?

    I was not irresponsible in college either, for the record. Then again, I went to college in Canada where the drinking age is 19, and had a hunting license and firearms.

    Lastly, you have to be 21 to get your CCW in Virginia. Just like drinking. It’s also unlawful to carry concealed in an establishment with an ABC liquor license. Many of the students would not have been able to carry concealed, but some might have made a difference.

  234. “Here’s another question for the gun crowd – why do you think so many people would rather risk their lives by going unarmed than break a law?”

    Not terribly concerned by it. If a person doesn’t wish to carry, they are free to do so.

    But why would someone wish to prohibit a proficient, law-abiding citizen from carrying?

  235. Holy crap, this thread is growing quickly. Maybe we should talk about whether Rick Santorum’s daughter should be allowed to use a gun to give her Muslim stem cells abortions in the Virginia Tech engineering building.

    We could get a million posts!

  236. “Here’s another question for the gun crowd – why do you think so many people would rather risk their lives by going unarmed than break a law?”

    Part of it is freeloading. I don’t have a CCW because I am too lazy to get one. But I live in a state that has them so I get to free ride off of the people who carry. The crooks don’t know if I am carrying or not.

  237. From Kwix, I suspect they were treating the first shooting as a “run of the mill” homicide. In other words, a single individual shooting another single individual, for a specific reason (hate, jealousy, money, etc). They were actively engaged in processing that crime scene when the shoot-out occurred on the other side of the campus.

    Kwix, I see your point. We don’t expect everything to get put on hold in a neighborhood when someone gets shot. However, the reports I’ve read indicate the first shooting involved multiple victims (with only one dead) and no information that the shooter was captured/killed. Given that info, yeah, I’d expect them to lock down Va. Tech. Or at least close classes whilst they look for the guy. Or have enough extra police presence on campus so that this other guy might have been deterred on this day.

  238. I’m asking why people who think they need to be armed for the purpose of survival would let a silly law stop them.

    All boils down to numbers HOI. What is the likelihood of a shooter on your campus killing you VS. the likelihood of being ratted out by somebody for carrying a gun. In the more likely event (being ratted out), you get kicked out of school and perhaps face jail time. In the less likely event(being shot by a murderer) you end up dead. People are willing to take the chance that they won’t get shot and stay in school instead of carrying a gun and getting kicked out.

  239. Jennifer, it seems that anti-gun laws make most college campuses very safe.

    And also, the policies of the Bush Administration have made the US safe from terrorists.

  240. Gray Ghost,
    Aah, multiple victims. Okay, that might make a bit more sense then. Again, not sure how much you lock-down though. VT isn’t exactly a small place and who’s to say that the first incident wasn’t the shooter’s only one. Say, he was not a student, drove onto campus, shot up the dorm, got into his car and fled? What do you do? I am not trying to give the cops too much credit mind you, but I doubt they foresaw that a second mass shooting would occur the same day on the opposite side of the campus. Of course, I suppose having them be on a bit higher alert might have shortened the incident and saved lives but that is an entirely different discussion that Number 6 and John were discussing above.

  241. Given that info, yeah, I’d expect them to lock down Va. Tech.

    Lockdowns always seem obvious in retrospect but never seem practical as a situation evolves. It takes a seriously extremely event (as it should) to inspire administrators to take drastic action, and even a multiple shooting of the likes of the first event is not really to be enough to call for a general closure.

  242. This is a tragedy, like so many others, but I am not sure that any further restriction of gun ownership would have prevented this. This is a college student at a tech university. Zip guns, high explosives and the like are all easy to fabricate with materials found on the campus or your local hardware store and these students have the brains to make it work. I seriously think that this fella used a gun because it was the easiest method, but by no means the only one.

  243. Sheesh, 30 people were killed last minute in Iraq. How quickly we tired of that.

  244. Does she really think that college students would have been carrying a piece to the chem lab even if it were totally legal?

    This college student, for one, would. Specifically because of things like this.

    And does she really not comprehend that nobody sane wants to live in a society were we all go around armed?

    How many gun nuts do you know? Because most of the ones I know are pretty damn responsible. They’re a little wide-eyed about the one issue, but they’re exactly the kind of person who would stop to help a stranger change their tire.

    I have a friend who is as liberal as they come. He’s a lawyer, and some of his clients are . . . crazy (fewer now that he decides what cases to take instead of his boss). He decided to look for a gun a couple years back, and I went with him to some of the local gun stores. Although he’d never been particularly hostile to gun ownership, that changed his image of gun owners. Most of them aren’t crazy rednecks who would shoot you if you looked at their girlfriend wrong. That would likely not change under a regime where more people were armed. Would there be more deaths from people shooting others in the heat of the moment? Probably. But more people would be saved, too, in my opinion, and the benefits would outweigh the costs. Seems callous, but the gun control side can be just as callous to the victims of crimes that could be prevented under a less strict gun control regime. It’s all a matter of where you think the proper balance of costs and benefits lies.

  245. Grylliade,

    Most of the real “gun nuts” I know are just kind of nerds. They are least dangerous group of people I can think of. Instead of going to Star Trek conventions, they go to gun shows and spend $2000 building a rifle that can split playing cards at 600 yards.

  246. Also, it seems that people seem to focus on students being armed, and the associated “lack of responsibility” in that segment of society.

    Revoking the firearms ban for the VT campus does not mean necessarily that the students would be armed – faculty and staff (janitors, etc.) could have been in a position to shorten the rampage.

  247. Yeah, it’s not the “gun nuts” you have to worry about. Most of them are like stamp collectors, except the stamps go BANG. Half a step removed for Civil War reenactors.

  248. Please do not arm the senior faculty. It’s inevitably the students, assistant professors, and technical staff who wind up explaining technology to the senior faculty.

    Otherwise this scene will unfold in the Faculty Club:

    Emeritus: “Back in my day, you had to load these things through the muzzle. Hmm, I don’t see anything in there, it’s too dark.”

    (stares down muzzle of loaded gun)

    Yeah, it shouldn’t go off if it’s a well-designed gun and there’s no finger on the trigger, but still.

    Or:

    Law Professor: “We need to test the safety mechanism on this gun. Here, I’ll put the safety on, then we’ll pull the trigger and see what happens.”

    BANG!!!

    Law professor: “Nobody told me that the button there is actually the magazine release rather than the safety. Let’s sue!”

  249. Damn good point Jaydub. I know every one of those classes had a prof at the head, at least one was shot (according to the news report I read). It may not have made a difference but it couldn’t have hurt.

  250. OTOH, if they give the chemistry faculty access to hydrogen sulfide, why not trust them with a Glock?

  251. Yeah, it’s not the “gun nuts” you have to worry about. Most of them are like stamp collectors, except the stamps go BANG. Half a step removed for Civil War reenactors.

    Joe, you say you’re not calling for a gun ban so I ask this in all sincerity–what the hell point are you trying to make on this thread?

  252. I’ll have to say that I agree with Jennifer. I have a serious issue with the opportunity to defend myself being denied. You don’t have to defend yourself, but having the option to is a good thing.

    Fair enough, but nobody is forcing you to go to places where guns are not allowed.

  253. Fair enough, but nobody is forcing you to go to places where guns are not allowed.

    I meant what I said earlier, HOI. You have the potential to be an A+ troll, which makes your D-minus commentary on this thread all the more disappointing.

  254. “Joe, you say you’re not calling for a gun ban so I ask this in all sincerity–what the hell point are you trying to make on this thread?”

    That the “more guns would save lives” argument is as vacuous and indefensible as its opposite.

  255. I’ve always had the impression that–at night, at least–violent crime was a serious concern on most large campuses.

    Personally, I went to UVa and always felt perfectly safe walking around at night. I am generally of the opinion that people who are extremely afraid of violent crime (in most areas) aren’t terribly good at statistics–media hysteria notwithstanding, you are not all that likely to be bludgeoned to death for walking around at night.

  256. That the “more guns would save lives” argument is as vacuous and indefensible as its opposite.

    Well, either that statement is true or its opposite is true. Either the lives saved exceed lives lost, or vice versa. (Barring the case where they exactly cancel.) The real question is whether the effect (in either direction) differs from zero in any significant way.

    From everything I’ve heard, the effect is probably negligible in either direction. There are people who defend themselves from crime, and there are also people who do things in the heat of the moment that they wouldn’t do without easy access. One effect may very well be bigger than the other, but nobody has come up with good evidence that the difference is particularly large, at least under the laws that have been tried in the US.

  257. I guess I just channeled Cathy Young there.

  258. I just can’t get over the number of dead–how was he able to shoot so many people? Without anyone being able to stop him or at least restrict his movements? I’m not surprised that the university or even the cops had trouble reacting properly to something like this–the scope is unprecedented, after all–but it just seems insane that this many people could be shot by one guy (there are a number of injured, too, I believe).

    Brian24,

    I’m not talking about my personal comfort or lack thereof. I was on campus at UF at night pretty often. However, there did seem to be occasional problems with robberies, rapes, and property crime. How widespread those problems were is another question, of course.

  259. That the “more guns would save lives” argument is as vacuous and indefensible as its opposite.

    Which would imply that you did, in fact, disagree with me when I said that if the victims had had guns they might’ve had a chance of survival.


  260. I meant what I said earlier, HOI. You have the potential to be an A+ troll, which makes your D-minus commentary on this thread all the more disappointing.

    On the other hand, Jen, I’m not the one making the argument that the key to stopping violence is for more people to carry tools of violence.

    At the very least you could admit that the occasional mass murder is going to happen when a society is armed to the teeth, even if you consider the victims to be collateral damage.

  261. I am generally of the opinion that people who are extremely afraid of violent crime (in most areas) aren’t terribly good at statistics–media hysteria notwithstanding, you are not all that likely to be bludgeoned to death for walking around at night.

    I sincerely don’t mean this as a “you Y-chromosome people don’t know what it’s like!” kind of statement, but as an undersized woman I wonder if Brianna24 would be as confident as Brian24 was with this statement.

    I avoid certain areas at night, but it’s not the thought of a bludgeoning that scares me.

  262. At the very least you could admit that the occasional mass murder is going to happen when a society is armed to the teeth,

    I never said otherwise, jackass. Pray point out where you thought I did.

  263. Yeah, it’s not the “gun nuts” you have to worry about. Most of them are like stamp collectors, except the stamps go BANG. Half a step removed for Civil War reenactors.

    Hm…that is the best description I’ve ever read of my hobby. *Runs off to get that M1 carbine to complete his WW2 collection*

  264. One effect may very well be bigger than the other, but nobody has come up with good evidence that the difference is particularly large, at least under the laws that have been tried in the US.

    And then, if one believes that both approaches (more guns vs. more control) lead to similar net outcomes (lives saved vs. lives lost), one no longer has to make the the “more guns” argument, due to the ROI of zero on the “more control” argument.

  265. “On the other hand, Jen, I’m not the one making the argument that the key to stopping violence is for more people to carry tools of violence.”

    I guess I don’t get it.
    What’s wrong with a person using violence to protect him/herself from aggression?

    Why do you care if law-abiding citizens carry around the ability to defend themselves?

  266. The fact of the matter is that those young Americans who go to war, choose to go to war. They either needed money or wanted a different life. No one forced them to. My friend is in the marines as we speak and he chose to be there and loves what it means to be a marine. That doesn’t mean because he chose that path of life that every other 18 year old in the country who passes a test should carry a gun for their protection. Based on court rulings, you can’t shoot someone unless you can prove that you were provoked and that is often hard to prove. Understanding this case would be one of the exceptions, I think many people would act before they think and this is the very reason why everyone in the country shouldn’t be allowed to protect themselves with guns. When you come up with the perfect psychological test to separate the crazy people from the normal people, then and only then are you good to go. Instead of looking at changing gun laws, why don’t you try to add to the law and ask why these gun dealers are dealing to psychotic massacre driven people.

    ON ANY NOTE…. it was a tragic occurance today and I don’t think that many students would say that they wish they had a gun or there parents for that matter. Two students blockaded the killer from reentering the room and was able to save the lives of all those in that classroom. It was an effective action that did not involve all 30 of those people having guns. Wits over bullets, thats the ideology that should be reinforced in todays society.

  267. At the very least you could admit that the occasional mass murder is going to happen when a society is armed to the teeth, even if you consider the victims to be collateral damage.

    Shit happens, HOI. Deal with it. No one ever claims that Libertopia = Utopia.

  268. “Wits over bullets, thats the ideology that should be reinforced in todays society.”

    Especially if the authorities have made it impossible to use the second of those in your own defense.

  269. How do you know that those exact people would have been the ones that chose to have guns anyway!? You don’t unless you interview them and research this. Until you do, just don’t assume!
    I know I would not be carrying one around. I’m 21 and a student at a popular university.

  270. At the very least you could admit that the occasional mass murder is going to happen when a society is armed to the teeth, even if you consider the victims to be collateral damage.

    I’ll admit that even when a society isn’t armed to the teeth, mass murders will occur.

    Consult your local history text for more information.

  271. I never said otherwise, jackass. Pray point out where you thought I did.

    Well, I didn’t say that you said otherwise.

    But you’ve spent most of your energy here blaming yet another gun-related massacre on people who are against gun violence.

  272. Problems with letting the students be armed–drunken kids letting off shots because they think it’s “fun” (there are a heck of a lot of frat jocks who I wouldn’t want to be allowed within a mile of a gun), forgetting that what-goes-up-must-come-down, nebbermind what happens when you actually aim at someone. Still, probably best alternative, provided we can whale the shit out of any college student with a gun who acts stupidly with it.

    Problem with letting the faculty be armed…..um, think back about some of your professors….

  273. With so many people hating on cops, I can see why they would be scared of the masses carrying guns. Thanks for the one liner though.

  274. “How do you know that those exact people would have been the ones that chose to have guns anyway!? You don’t unless you interview them and research this. Until you do, just don’t assume!
    I know I would not be carrying one around. I’m 21 and a student at a popular university.”

    I’ve already stated as much above.

    But again, I ask:

    Why should law-abiding citizens be prohibited from carrying a sidearm if they so choose?

    It may or may not make a difference in a lethal force encounter, but some chance is better than none at all.

  275. Why should law-abiding citizens be prohibited from carrying a sidearm if they so choose?

    Because they might shoot or threaten somebody with it.

  276. Because they might shoot or threaten somebody with it.

    I think Miss Jennifer’s is going to make you repeat this grade or go to summer school.

  277. But you’ve spent most of your energy here blaming yet another gun-related massacre on people who are against gun violence.

    No. No one is to blame for the massacre. Let me repeat…sh!t happens. What the gun control lobby is to blame for is the elimination of the potential to short circuit the massacre.

  278. Who seeks guns? People who fear and people who want power. It isn’t the people in between who seek to be protected my arms. It is the people who fear for their lives who will act quickly without thought, or those who believe that they can assert power. They are the ones who will pull out a gun during a fist fight to assert this power, and believe me the one who started the fight (the one who didn’t pull out the fun) will not be the one going to jail. So if you are the power driven person seeking th run laws to change, just remember that when the law isn’t protecting you on the judicial side.

  279. How do you know that those exact people would have been the ones that chose to have guns anyway!?

    How do you know they wouldn’t have been?

    I’m 21 and a student at a popular university.

    Fear the student from the unpopular university.

  280. Because they might shoot or threaten somebody with it.

    I think Miss Jennifer’s is going to make you repeat this grade or go to summer school.

    Well, some guy shot a bunch of people today with some guns. Didn’t you hear?

  281. Who seeks guns? People who fear and people who want power.

    You don’t have a shred of a clue about what you’re talking about.

  282. Wow, smart ass is definitely the way we should decide laws in the country. Well he has a gun, I want one too! Grow up!

  283. Grumpy Realist,

    “Brandishing a Firearm” is a felony in Virginia, and the discharge thereof in many areas (mostly urban/densely suburban) is a misdemeanor. Anyone going through the training required to get a CCW issued to them would know that and the consequences. The training also covers what’s behind the target.

    Those jocks in question would land in jail pretty darn quick.

    Death toll is now up to 33.

  284. Well, some guy shot a bunch of people today with some guns. Didn’t you hear?

    Yep. You’re repeating this grade. Summer school just won’t cut it.

    Maybe you need Intensive Troll Boot Camp.?

  285. At the very least you could admit that the occasional mass murder is going to happen when a society is armed to the teeth,

    As we are seeing today, the occasional mass murder happens even when the society ISN’T aremed to the teeth.

    Afghanistan – there’s a society armed to the teeth.

    USA – not many people have a big stash of guns and ammo so, no, the USA is not armed to the teeth.

  286. Hooked on Innuendo | April 16, 2007, 5:12pm | #
    Why should law-abiding citizens be prohibited from carrying a sidearm if they so choose?

    Because they might shoot or threaten somebody with it.

    By this logic, I should have my arms amputated because I might bitch-slap incompetent morons such as yourself?

  287. Wow, smart ass is definitely the way we should decide laws in the country.

    Well, it’s obvious that the dumb ass way isn’t working out so well.

  288. This is why people have the freedom to post and hide their identity. The owner must have known that you might shoot me for disagreeing.

  289. Emmy,

    You say that someone would start (or finish) a fist fight if they had a gun on them. It sounds like you’re still in college and think the police would actually protect you personally, as opposed to acting as a deterrent by doing the paperwork and identifying suspects after the crime.

    There is no feeling of power you have when carrying a loaded firearm. It’s a burden and a total pain in the a**. It’s a responsibility. Just like driving a car, but a car does not add a 1 lb weight to your belt and jab you at inopportune times (unless you have a really large key chain I guess).

  290. Well, some guy shot a bunch of people today with some guns. Didn’t you hear?

    Yep. You’re repeating this grade. Summer school just won’t cut it.

    Maybe you need Intensive Troll Boot Camp.?

    Yes, I clearly have missed the week where they convinced people that the presense of more guns is the key to less gun use.

    That must have been something.

  291. Just to Update:

    On a live feed at Yahoo!, there is now apparently some reason to believe that first shooting may have had a different shooter than the big shooting which followed.

    I think it’s going to be at least a week before we really know what’s happened.

  292. Someday something like this (or bigger) is going to happen either in a place where guns are allowed or at a sporting event.

    Then things will probably change. Especially if the shooters are terrorists.

  293. It’s not about the police… why should I fear walking down the street that someone is going to have a bad day and take his pistol out and take me out. Let them vandalize when their angry… don’t hand them a gun and say we’ll I trust you’ll behave. I know college students. They are the worst group of people to encounter,e specially when they are drunk. They think that they are invincible and they don’t care about anyone but themselves. Knowing this I think it would be insane to have to worry that while I’m in class the guy siting next to be is carrying a gun because he thinks he’s cool. What happens if he pulls it out to show a friend and another gun carrier becomes fearful that he is planning to shoot. WHat if the gun accidentally goes off? Well I won’t be attending the University of Armed and Dangerous! When I get shot at my non-gun toting school i’ll let you know the percentage of who got shot in a year. Rather I can tell you the stats from last year if you must know! No one! I wonder if that’s because the laws said they couldn’t.

  294. I can’t wait for the admonishment that people should not be allowed guns on campus because tragedy would happen and people are wrong for pushing for it, and the subsequent statistics that say these people knew each other and therefore are part of that stat “You are more likely to shoot somebody you know.”

    Or that the crazy assertion that everybody should be given a gun is not made by anybody but is debunked/mocked by a shrill letter to the editor.

  295. Then things will probably change. Especially if the shooters are terrorists.

    The only thing that will change is the decibel level of the reactive hysteria.

  296. I pray that Emmy and Hooked never hook up and have babies…can you imagine the ignorance and stupidity that would run in those bloodlines?? Scary thought.

  297. why should I fear walking down the street that someone is going to have a bad day and take his pistol out and take me out.

    There is no such thing as a perfectly safe society. No amount of police state suppression of civil liberties will make you safe.

    You are relatively safe now because you live in a wealthy society.

  298. You mean we wouldn’t have a gun and shoot you for your thoughts because we’re not carrying weapons. Okay, YEAH! I think it’s scarier the way your immature words support my opinion that power driven assholes seek guns. You seek power by insults and weapons. I seek power by diversifying thought. open your mind not your mouth!

  299. EMMY,

    Of course there will be some dumb college students. I’d like to think (certainly in the area of firearms) that I was one of them too. And you think by that, you have the right to deprive me of my right to defend myself, or to defend you for that matter.

    Secondly, you need to be 21 years of age to get a concealed carry permit in most states, most certainly Virginia. At that time, the thrill of illegal drinking has worn off.

    76, you say that some people here advocate that
    everyone be given a gun. I can’t find this reference. Please quote it.

    What people were saying is that people are being denied the right of an effective option to defend themselves.

    Also, someone tell me the last time a premeditated murder was committed by someone who went through the training, FBI fingerprinting, and remaining process to get a concealed carry permit.

  300. Also, someone tell me the last time a premeditated murder was committed by someone who went through the training, FBI fingerprinting, and remaining process to get a concealed carry permit.

    What criminal wouldn’t want to avoid adding a few years to his life sentence?

  301. If Hooked and Emmy’s claims were true, we’d see many more incidents of violence in states with liberal concealed carry laws than we actually do.

    Statistically, you’re far more likely to be accidentally shot by a cop than by a citizen with a CCW.

  302. I know plenty of 25 year olds that drink harder then their 18 year old college friends. No doubt that they are losers, but they are legal and dangerous. It’s besides drinking. I don’t think I know one guy in NJ or NY that I would want carrying a gun. They aren’t mature enough. The ones that do carry guns are also dealing drugs. So i’m seeing a negative connection that would suffice to say not back your pov.

  303. “I seek power by diversifying thought”

    Claiming that guns should be outlawed because they make you feel uncomfortable is not “diversifying thought”.

  304. The only thing that will change is the decibel level of the reactive hysteria.

    I agree with that. It is joe’s car crash / plane crash fallacy. 9/11 was the biggest example. Nevertheless, I think the day is coming, and the impact on gun laws will be profound, even though it is irrational to draw sweeping conclusions from big event terrorism.

  305. Also, I have serious troubles listening to arguments by those who use “then” in lieu of “than”.

  306. The ones that do carry guns are also dealing drugs.

    Imagine that. In states with highly restrictive gun laws, it is primarily the criminals who carry guns. I’m shocked, shocked!

  307. I’m saying see my point as I see yours. Yet instead I hear ridicule over constructive thinking. Diversify thought and you will come up with a solution. Anyone who really knew how the law works would be quick to diversify their thoughts to create a method in which some legislature would pass and lean towards your own ideology. It’s very much a gray area answer and not, everyone should be able to own guns.

  308. Thoreau,

    Who in their right mind would bother complying with any laws at all when in their mind to commit murder?

    What does that say about people who go and get CCW permits?

    To me it’s clear that CCW holders don’t run around shooting people willy-nilly. Only psychos do that. Crooks want $4 or more to do that.

    Illegal firearm on the black market: $100.00

    Legal firearm: $500.00, background check for purchase, and FBI fingerprinting and other background checks for CCW. Lying on the applications is a felony of course.

    Never mind that a “life sentence” is an oxymoron anyways, and the perpetrator is free to repeat the crime.

  309. If all students were allowed to pack heat, not only could they defend themselves, but they’d probably also be getting higher grades. “Flunk this, asshole!”

  310. It’s very much a gray area answer and not, everyone should be able to own guns.

    I’d say just you and Hooked shouldn’t. If you did, it may look something like this.

  311. Jaydub-

    Thoreau was being ironical.

  312. Jaydub, you missed the irony in the comment about adding a few more years to a life sentence.

  313. It’s very much a gray area answer and not, everyone should be able to own guns.

    Not everyone should gamble, do drugs, drink, eat tacos, drive a car, play Nintendo (I can say that again without sounding dated!), or have sex with strangers.

    Diversify thought and you will come up with a solution.

    Really, and I thought we’d already come up with a solution? At least one solution, wasn’t it? Or 10? Or 20? Or 50? But as long as we’re doing something, and we keep trying, we’ll eventually figure it out, right? ’cause we’re oh so smart, and it’s just been eluding us so far.

    But the solution is out there.

  314. I know – it was for the benefit of people who try to “think constructively.”

  315. Or “diversify thought.”

  316. Or it would look like George W accidentally shooting another human. Oops. That must have sucked for the NRA during that hype.

  317. “I’m saying see my point as I see yours.”

    You’re obviously incapable of seeing my point, since you seem generally incapable of grasping the fact that those with concealed carry permits are far less likely to commit crime than even the general population.

    I’d spend time citing a source, but I doubt it’d make a difference.

  318. oNe

  319. There’s no way that emmy is a real person.

    Ok, who’s the regular trying to troll the board with this nonesense?

    Seriously, ‘fess up.

  320. Or it would look like George W accidentally shooting another human.

    Dick.

    Not George.

    Dick. C. As in: Cheney.

    You know. The Vice President.

    Keep at that book learnin’. It’ll take eventually.

  321. Bush shot someone?

  322. Police chief says they had a double homicide 911 call at 7:15. It appeared to be a “domestic situation” in a dorm room.
    First question: is the shooter the same at the second shooting in the engineering hall?
    Second question: If so, could the cops have done more in response to the first shooting to prevent the second?

    Third question: was the “domestic situation” just one result of a lack of abstinence? Nah. Couldnt be, as we know that consensual sex between adults hurts no one.

  323. Or too much abstinence.

  324. “How do more than 31? now people get killed in the cross fire?”

    That’s easy to understand.

    First shooting happens.

    Rumor races across campus that there’s a guy with a gun shooting people.

    Armed people take out their own guns.

    One armed person sees another armed person, sees he fits the description of the shooter (armed man), assumes that’s the murderer, and shoots him. It’s not like mass murderers carry signs that say “psychopath”. The only information about the spree killer is that he’s armed.

    Someone sees this shooting and says “aha, there’s the guys shooting people” and shoots the other guy.

    Repeat until sanity resumes or everyone is out of ammo.

    In the mean time the cops arrive and start disarming people. Original killer lays down his weapon just like the law abiding people, and walks away.

    I’m not taking a position on gun control. But this scenario is perfectly feasible.

  325. Before we run with Jennifer’s idea and arm all students, we should probably get the cops to tone down their behavior a bit:

    Another student, Tiffany Otey, said she and her classmates initially thought the gunshots were construction noise until they heard screaming and police officers with bulletproof vests and machine guns entered her classroom.

    “They were telling us to put our hands above our head and if we didn’t cooperate and put our hands above our heads they would shoot,” Otey said. “I guess they were afraid, like us, like the shooter was going to be among one of us.”

    Uh, yeah, good thing nobody in the room had a gun. It’s like a recipe for a firefight.

  326. Just in: Killer committed suicide with his own gun! I guess gun use does make sense!

  327. “Before we run with Jennifer’s idea and arm all students”

    I don’t recall that she advocated mandating that all students be armed.

    Only that it’s asinine to prohibit those with concealed carry licenses from carrying on campus.

  328. Brotherben,

    Question 1:

    The police and press seem to think this is likely. We probably won’t know until they do the forensics on the firearms to be sure or match fingerprints. This being said, a firearms match would prove it was the same firearms, and not necessarily the same person.

    Question 2:

    Sure, if there is any indication found that this is the beginning of a killing spree. It’s unlikely that there was, like the perp stating his intent to do so to the witnesses, so it’s a single crime. Then crime #2 happened.

    As far as abstinence goes, I don’t think so – a billion dollars spent on abstinence eduction has not helped the leading teen pregnancy rate for industrialized nations… go down that is.
    (http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/abstinencereport.asp)

  329. Anyone else wondering why they’re covering up the killer’s identity? It’s been twelve hours. Obviously, they know some things about the guy by now. But they’re not even providing a basic description.

  330. First shooting happens.

    Rumor races across campus that there’s a guy with a gun shooting people.

    Didn’t I see this in that spiffy 80’s movie “TAG”?

    Armed people take out their own guns.

    You don’t actually own a gun, do you?

  331. brotherben,

    from what I heard (this is unconfirmed), the crazy bastard got into a fight with his girlfriend and shot her, and some other guy in the dorm, then left. Several hours later, he went to Norris and started shooting again.

    As for whether the “response” could have been quicker…well, how many domestic violence/murder cases morph into killing melees? How could the police have known that he was going to go on shooting 30 more people? I’m sure they weren’t sitting on their hands, but the common response to a shooting like that (the initial double murder) isn’t to go into campuswide terrorism lockdown mode, which is ostensibly the only thing that could have saved the lives of the eventual victims @ Norris. Of course, the police are going to catch flak—they already are—because hindsight is always 20/20…but I listened to the press conf a little while ago, and it sounds like they took the proper precautions for a “simple” double homicide.

  332. Anyone else wondering why they’re covering up the killer’s identity? It’s been twelve hours. Obviously, they know some things about the guy by now. But they’re not even providing a basic description.

    I read he wasn’t carrying ID and no longer has a face. If he’s never been fingerprinted IDing him will not be trivial.

  333. You don’t actually own a gun, do you?

    I live in Maine, we pretty much all own long guns up here.

    There’s a reason cops handcuff everyone in a hostage situation.

  334. Like eriks’ comment shows, people are woefully ignorant on the requirements placed on people who wish to get a concealed carry permit. Not only that, but people seem to think of people who go through the trouble to legally carry as foaming-at-the-mouth rednecks and power seekers.

    Again – someone show statistics that people licensed to carry concealed arms have committed premeditated or opportunistic murders.

    Your scenario not realistic any way you look at it.

    #1: You can’t shoot someone who is not an immediate threat to someone. Drawing (that’s a “brandishing” felony if done at the wrong time) and issuing a verbal warning (what you’re taught to do) does not qualify.

    #2: You’re not allowed to exercise #1 unless you see no other option. Often there is. Like a verbal warning and being ready to draw.

    #3: You need to have your CCW with you when carrying. If the police were disarming people (not legal anyways) they’d take ID and CCW numbers. Get caught with out one, off to jail you go, felon.

  335. I live in Maine, we pretty much all own long guns up here.

    And when an implausible chain reaction such as you describe actually happens in Maine, the supposed land of everyone owning a gun, then we’ll have something to talk about.

  336. I don’t recall that she advocated mandating that all students be armed.

    Only that it’s asinine to prohibit those with concealed carry licenses from carrying on campus.

    True, true. I was being facetious there; my real point was a wtf? about the behavior of the police in that situation. I’m not sure jumping into every classroom in a paramilitary uniform and threatening to shoot all the innocent students inside is really the best way to deal with this situation.


  337. I live in Maine, we pretty much all own long guns up here.

    There’s a reason cops handcuff everyone in a hostage situation.

    I guess what you describe “could” happen in Vermont, since they don’t have a license requirement for concealed carry at all. I somehow doubt that even there the decision to carry a firearm is taken likely – liability laws are pretty much the same.

    And in all cases I have seen, where effective control has been established in cases where there are hostages, yes, everyone gets cuffed unless it’s obvious they’re not a suspect (as in frail 80 year old ladies, panicked female college students). Not just in Maine. Even in “gun-free” Great Britain.

  338. Look, it is late (and possibly moot)to comment on this, but could we have some civility here? Please.

    Take a stand and try to be polite.

    Regards to all who are affected by this tragedy.

    Charlie Mike…

  339. Brian24,

    But your wtf comment makes a mockery of the law-abiding people who own and carry a firearm responsibly, legally, and effectively.

    Assume we’ll follow the law while carrying lawfully concealed until history proves otherwise.

  340. I was presenting a hypothetical assuming that there were no concealed carry laws, that anyone could carry. I did that because someone posted that they couldn’t see how having more weapons in the mix could have ended in more deaths. That is all.

    But even so, trained police officers when faced with a threatening situation sometimes shoot inappropriately and they are FAR more trained than a citizen with a carry permit.

    Sean Bell mean anything to you? Amadou Diallo?

    Scared people do not always do what they are supposed to do. Scared people sometimes shoot first.

    Just for the record, I support the 2nd amendment. It allows The People to enforce the 1st amendment if the government gets problematic. But that does not mean that this situation would have been less tragic with more armed people.

  341. “But even so, trained police officers when faced with a threatening situation sometimes shoot inappropriately and they are FAR more trained than a citizen with a carry permit.”

    I’m just going to go ahead and beg to differ on that one.

    The only cops that I’ve seen who are more capable than civilians with a CCW are the ones who compete or practice regularly as a matter of course. That’s a tiny, tiny segment of cops.

    Most cops, hate to say it, are notorious for abysmally poor gun handling.

  342. I can only speak for the cops in my circle of friends, they train regularly. But my friends in law enforcement are in pretty elite units in the Feds and in NYPD.

    I defer to your knowledge of more mainstream cop training.

  343. Or too much abstinence.

    I used to date a girl with a lisp and a drinking problem who said absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

  344. I’ll agree with mediageek.

    I had stats about here about the number of shootings by CCW permit holders and police, and apparently it was more likely to be shot by a cop than a CCW permit holder. I saw these in passing, and don’t know how solidly the statistic is expressed. Call is anecdotal for now.

    I also had a personal experience at the range with that 😉

  345. From CNN:

    Another student, Tiffany Otey, said she and her classmates thought the gunshots were construction noise until they heard screaming and police officers with bulletproof vests and machine guns entered her classroom. “They were telling us to put our hands above our head and if we didn’t cooperate and put our hands above our heads they would shoot,” Otey said. “I guess they were afraid, like us — like the shooter was going to be among one of us.”

    Good to know the cops have the students utmost safety in mind. It’s a good thing someone didn’t faint from the stress, and get shot.


  346. I was presenting a hypothetical assuming that there were no concealed carry laws, that anyone could carry. I did that because someone posted that they couldn’t see how having more weapons in the mix could have ended in more deaths. That is all.

    And this spits in the face of everyone who bothers to jump through the legal hoops to have the privilege to carry, hoping that they never, ever, have to exercise that option. For shame.

    I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six.

  347. thoreau,

    “I guess I just channeled Cathy Young there.”

    I think you got it just right.

    Jennifer,

    “Which would imply that you did, in fact, disagree with me when I said that if the victims had had guns they might’ve had a chance of survival.”

    No, you’re talking about one particular event, and I’m not.

  348. Hooked on Innuendo,

    “On the other hand, Jen, I’m not the one making the argument that the key to stopping violence is for more people to carry tools of violence.”

    Jennifer isn’t talking about stopping violence. She’s talking about making herself safer, and coming out better than the guy attacking her. There’s nothing wrong with that, btw, just noting that you’re using different frames of reference.

  349. “I guess I just channeled Cathy Young there.”

    I think you got it just right.

    Yep.

  350. And this spits in the face of everyone who bothers to jump through the legal hoops to have the privilege to carry, hoping that they never, ever, have to exercise that option. For shame.

    It was a rhetorical argument.

    Just for the record, do you feel carrying is a right or a privilege?

  351. One effect may very well be bigger than the other, but nobody has come up with good evidence that the difference is particularly large, at least under the laws that have been tried in the US.

    Overall crime rates are not significantly different in states with concealed carry laws. But this isn’t “overall crime.” If you follow the history of U.S. multiple murders you’ll quickly discover that almost all of them occur in the relatively few venues where concealed handguns are not allowed. Schools are a prime example.

    And does she really not comprehend that nobody sane wants to live in a society were we all go around armed?

    As opposed to a society where everyone is helpless? Check and see which way crime rates, particularly gun crime rates, are going in Britain’s disarmed society. Personally, the safest place I work is on a rifle range. Second was in a gun store.

    Of course, it’s also correct that this shooting wouldn’t have happened in the first place if there were no guns in our society.

    See above, Ref: Britain. Or Chicago. Or Washington D.C.

    Jennifer, it seems that anti-gun laws make most college campuses very safe. Today’s shooting is not in any way a common occurrence.

    It’s a lot more common on school campuses than in locations where concealed handgun licensees can carry.

    On the other hand, Jen, I’m not the one making the argument that the key to stopping violence is for more people to carry tools of violence.

    Pulling a concealed handgun to keep from being illegally injured or killed is not “violence” but the use of force to prevent violence where:
    Violence = uncontrolled use of illegal force.
    Self-defense = controlled use of legal force.

    Based on court rulings, you can’t shoot someone unless you can prove that you were provoked and that is often hard to prove.

    Actually, at least in Texas, being “provoked” has nothing to do with it. Specifically under our law the use of force (much less deadly force) is not justified on verbal provocation alone.

    When defending yourself you should only use deadly force to protect yourself from the illegal use of deadly force. Which is usually pretty obvious when it happens.

    Understanding this case would be one of the exceptions, I think many people would act before they think and this is the very reason why everyone in the country shouldn’t be allowed to protect themselves with guns.

    The history of millions of concealed handgun licensees over the last quarter century completely contradicts this.

    When you come up with the perfect psychological test to separate the crazy people from the normal people, then and only then are you good to go.

    Lack of a criminal, psychiatric, or substance abuse record is about 99% accurate.

    But you’ve spent most of your energy here blaming yet another gun-related massacre on people who are against gun violence.

    Pot–>Kettle–>Black. I have taught a couple of thousand students in the Texas concealed handgun course. They were universally against “gun violence.” The two differences between them and the anti-gun folks is first that their solution works, and second that they were willing to personally do something to solve the problem.

    Because they might shoot or threaten somebody with it.

    Threatening and shooting are illegal. People who get concealed handgun licenses are far less likely to be arrested than the general, non-CHL population. Chart of Texas statistics.

    But even so, trained police officers when faced with a threatening situation sometimes shoot inappropriately and they are FAR more trained than a citizen with a carry permit.

    Law enforcement officer academies are indeed longer than most concealed handgun training. However most of what the LEO learns is irrelevant to self-defense with a handgun. My Texas concealed handgun course, for instance, teaches nothing about pulling over drunk drivers and administering field sobriety tests.

    The exemplary records of millions of concealed handgun licensees indicate that their training is sufficient.

  352. Just for the record, I support the 2nd amendment. It allows The People to enforce the 1st amendment if the government gets problematic.

    Well there’s an interesting interpretation. I guess I shouldn’t assume you meant that as an exhaustive list of its scope, but rather as a single, non-relevant, example.

    Does “problematic” include when a government strips it citizens of the fundamental human right of self-defense?

  353. ellipsis,

    Did you read the rest of that quote?

    “I thought I was in a war zone. Or in the middle of the city.”

    Sigh.

  354. Wow, no one even mentioned abortion in this thread and it’s up to 360 posts.

  355. Yeah, but I worked in urbanism.

  356. Well there’s an interesting interpretation.

    The founding fathers wanted to ensure we could do this:

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    If the people are not armed they couldn’t “throw off” a despotic government. The 2nd amendment ensures we can.

    The hunting and the personal defense, in my opinion are secondary.

  357. Just for the record, do you feel carrying is a right or a privilege?

    Might be easier for someone to answer if you explain how you distinguish between the two. Particularly, who is this that doles out privileges to us? I always thought privileges were something I grew out of when I became an adult and didn’t have to ask my parents’ permission anymore.

    We have the “right” to do anything which the government has not asserted its legitimate power to prohibit. I don’t see where the concept of “privilege” has anything to do with this or any other debate about the scope of government.

  358. You’re the one who used the word “privilege” in regards to carrying. I was suprised by that. I was just trying to clarify.

  359. joe, I like you, and I think you provide very insightful posts. But I’m trying to figure out what the hell you’re talking about. I pasted every last word I saw from that girl in the CNN article.

    I didn’t quote the full article, because I saw no need. My point was that cops sometimes have a warpath mindset, and don’t think about “helping” like the peace officer of yesteryear did.

    Wanna tell me what your point is?

  360. You can’t bust him for “right” and “privilege” not being defined, and ask him about who gets to define privileges, and then leave “legitimate power” sitting there.


  361. It was a rhetorical argument.

    Just for the record, do you feel carrying is a right or a privilege?

    Rhetoric feeds the ignorant, as they cannot distinguish it from the truth.

    Being a foreigner living here (yes, legally), my interpretation of your rights and beliefs may differ from the party line:

    You have the right to keep and bear arms.

    Nothing there says that you do or don’t have the right to conceal them on your person, outside of plain view. So that’s a matter for the states to decide, as long as either open or concealed carry be allowed by citizens somehow. Common sense, especially considering ignorant people being fed by the rhetoric, would indicate that concealed carry be more sensible.

    To me, concealed carry a privilege you should have the right to apply and qualify for.

    The right to defend oneself is paramount, as is reasonable leeway in the application of lethal force.

    This is effectively denied in many other English speaking countries, such as the UK and Canada; try proving self defense there. You hit an assailant there with a frying pan (because it’s the only thing close), the assailant dies for whatever reason, you go to jail because you cannot convince a judge that you were afraid for your life, as that does not count. The crux is that hindsight is applied in the case, and unless the police agree with you that you had reasonable cause to believe yourself “immediately subject to death or grievous bodily harm.”

    This is decidedly different in the USA. Your statement matters as much as the police’s opinion who show up to the paperwork in the aftermath. Witnesses obviously help too, but what if you’re attacked in your home when alone? Here, you’re fine. In Canada or the UK, you’re the criminal.

  362. ellipsis,

    Ah, there must have been an…ellipsis. I heard the young woman give the quote on the air.

    My point was summed up in my last line: “Sigh.”

  363. The founding fathers wanted to ensure we could do this:

    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    What does any of that have to do with my claim that your limiting the Second Amendment to protection of the First is a novel interpretation? What about the Fourth or the Fifth or the Ninth or the Tenth?

    Anyway, that’s why I said I assume your linking it to the First Amendment was not exhaustive but merely a non-relevant example.

  364. Jaydub:

    “76, you say that some people here advocate that
    everyone be given a gun. I can’t find this reference. Please quote it.”

    I’ll be able to once the idiotic letters to the editor are printed in tomorrows paper, but it still wouldn’t be quoting here. The fact that nobody here, even those supporting gun control, are saying this makes me glad to waste my time here.

    I’m really just complaining about other people.

  365. “Wow, no one even mentioned abortion in this thread and it’s up to 360 posts.”

    If fetuses had the freedom to defend themselves with handguns, abortion clinics would be the most polite places in the city!

    ; )

  366. You can’t bust him for “right” and “privilege” not being defined, and ask him about who gets to define privileges, and then leave “legitimate power” sitting there.

    Sure I can. In his comment that distinction seemed to be quite substantive yet I saw no reason to think we should know what that distinction was without some further justification.

    I did not need the same justification for using “legitimate power” because in all of our debates the fundamental question is always related to the legitimate powers of government, which we all know is the open question. I don’t think using that makes any substantive claim about what those powers are – simply acknowledges the obvious question.

    Implying that there is a substantive difference between what we have a right to do and what we are privileged to do, however, does in fact make a (rather large and important) claim about what those legitimate powers are – in essence begging the question.

    My comment was mainly to call attention to the fact that the question quietly assumed a power which many of us do not accept. I don’t think that requires that I should have to propound a fully developed theory of “legitimate power” in order to do so.

  367. “I guess what you describe “could” happen in Vermont, since they don’t have a license requirement for concealed carry at all. I somehow doubt that even there the decision to carry a firearm is taken likely – liability laws are pretty much the same.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States_by_state

    Interesting how Vermont has the second lowest rate of gun homicides per 100,000 people.

  368. DOn’t know if anyone heard yet, but on a talk radio program while driving home –

    A caller (who said he had inside info at the school) said what happened was the killer came to school to kill his girlfriend. When she was confronted about who her new boyfriend was – she wouldn’t answer.

    That’s when he lined up males and started shooting.

  369. Vermont Gun Owner:

    I used Vermont as an example since it does not require a CCW permit to carry concealed. Nobody cares there, except criminals probably, who on occasion choose their victims unwisely.

    I certainly did not mean to bash or in any way belittle Vermont or its responsible and law-abiding firearms owners.

    I made a response to an earlier post hypothesizing that too many folks carrying firearms could trigger a “chain reaction” of shooting each other when confronted with the rumor of a person carrying a firearm. The poster further hypothesized that nobody would need a license to carry in his hypothesis, when it was pointed out that the original hypothesis was in fact, nonsense.

    (Did I get that right? Someone correct me if not.)

  370. Here in Alabama, in the county where I live, the sheriff issues concealed carry permits. Method of carry is at his discretion. He requires that my revolver is carried “not in plain sight” as it makes folks nervous.
    It is my opinion that whack-jobs who just want to hunt criminals vigilante style dont get permits. I do know that there are hundreds carrying in this small town of a few thousand, and in 10 years I’ve lived here, none have had to fire their weapon defensively. All the folks that I know that carry are very very proficient with their weapons.

  371. I was using your example to show counter evidence to eriks’ original post on the ‘chain reaction’ theory.

  372. Jaydub,
    Here in AK, no open carry license is required and CCW is assumed. The only license you can get is a CCW permit for reciprocity in states that recognize it but a permit is not required for carry within the state. I am not saying that his hypothesis is correct, only that at least this state does not require licensing of a sidearm.

  373. “I hate to say it but cops are basically cowards.” – John

    According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 145 policemen were killed in the line of duty last year. Sounds like a real “coward’s” occupation. But I’m sure John would have stalked through that building with his hand cannon like Dirty Harry, with veins of ice. What a fucking asshole.

  374. a few years ago, I was asked what kind of terrorist attack on the USA I fear most. I said “suicide gunmen in an urban environment”

    know why we haven’t been hit by such an attack?

    because there are no terrorist

    there’s just a frightened government, and its batshit crazy citizenry

  375. A terrible tragedy. I know, I teach on college campus.

    Once he starts to act, the only thing that can stop a single, psychotic killer who is willing to die is the rapid delivery of counter fire by whoever is near. Cop, civilian, it doesn’t matter who or their job status. The more people who are nearby and capable of delivering return fire, the fewer and less serious the injuries (there’s criminological data on this).

    Virginia Tech. is a “gun free” zone guaranteeing that the psychotic killer had the only gun. He came prepared. He waited until there were no police in sight and then commenced his murderous acts certain that he would encounter no effective resistance. And , he didn’t.

    Twenty-one innocent dead because there was no one capable of fighting back. All they could do was cower or run.

    P. S. The Texas Tower murders were stopped when CIVILIANS got guns from their cars and began to shoot back. Three (3) men went up the Tower (TV movie has it purposely wrong). The third was a civilian with a rifle who covered the second doorway as the two police officers went out on the balcony through the other.

  376. Wow, 370+ (nearly 380) comments. Is that some sort of a record?

  377. Hey FuckJohn,
    If you are going use cops as martyrs, how’s about actually listing what they died of, eh?

    CAUSE OF DEATH 2006
    Aircraft Accidents 3
    Auto Accidents 45
    Beating 1
    Bicycle Accident 2
    Boating Accident 0
    Bomb-Related Incident 0
    Drowning 0
    Electrocuted 0
    Fall 0
    Horse-Related Accident 0
    Job-Related Illness 14
    Motorcycle Accident 11
    Poisoned 0
    Shot 52
    Stabbing 1
    Strangled 0
    Struck by Falling Object 0
    Struck by Train 0
    Struck by Vehicle 15
    Terrorist Attack 1
    Total 145

    Seems to me that more police officers died in Auto-accidents, motorcycle-accidents and illness than all other causes combined.

  378. Adam W. | April 16, 2007, 8:52pm | #
    Wow, 370+ (nearly 380) comments. Is that some sort of a record?

    Umm, no(625).

  379. Cops are cowards?

    I’d doubt that. They’re damned if they get into the building to challenge the psychopath, shoot him, and someone gets killed in the crossfire.

    Worse, if the cop get disabled, the gunman now has another weapon and a police radio.

    Waiting for enough LEO’s with the appropriate equipment is probably the right thing to do, and figure out the disposition of the shooter from witness is smart too. But then, people died, so everyone lost in the end.

  380. Ah, Kwix, Santorum losing. Happier days indeed.

  381. Virginia Tech. is a “gun free” zone guaranteeing that the psychotic killer had the only gun

    I haven’t read the whole thread here, but thank you for noting this. The NY Times omitted that fact in its reportage. About gun laws it said only:

    >Virginia imposes few restrictions on the purchase of handguns and no requirement for any kind of licensing or training. The state does limit handgun purchases to one per month to discourage bulk buying and resale, state officials said. Once a person had passed the required background check, state law requires that law enforcement officers issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who applies. However, no regulations and no background checks are required for purchase of weapons at a Virginia gun show.

  382. It would seem there was chink in our armor.

  383. M,

    The NY Times report is pretty weak. Virginia does require training for concealed carry permits. It also prevents anyone who is not a resident alien or citizen from purchasing a firearm, unless they have a hunting permit.

    Fair enough, a hunting permit, in spite of requiring training, is easy enough to get. So if you have the money, are crazy, want to get a hunting permit, and violate the law by carrying a firearm and again by shooting people, okay, you can.

    But then, it’s probably much easier to buy a gun from the black market. Just like the UK, which bans all things that go “bang”.

    Again, I think that if there had been more armed security, or CCW allowed on campus, the rampage may have been cut short. No guarantees, but it’s hard to imagine how it could have been made worse by someone accepting the responsibility of carrying a firearm.

  384. I pray that Emmy and Hooked never hook up and have babies…can you imagine the ignorance and stupidity that would run in those bloodlines?? Scary thought.

    Idiocracy

  385. So if gun rights is such a great deterrent to mass killings, then why do these shootings keep happening in pro-gun states[1] and not in places like California or DC?

    [1]
    Paducah KY
    Littleton CO
    Jonesboro AK
    Austin TX
    Bath, MI
    Luby’s massacre, TX
    Blacksburg VA

  386. Jennifer wrote:

    “I explained that, while he certainly had many fine qualities and ordinarily I’d be madly in love with him, he was absolutely the worst lover I’d ever had [not true]”

    I knew it!

  387. Emmy,

    Could you cite some of those “court rulings”? Because I think you’re way off, even in regard

    to far-off Lousiana with its non-common-law heritage.

    And I’d vote for bullets over wits, today at least: didn’t you read the part where he just

    went to the room across the hall and continued his slaughter there?

    Erics,

    Sorry, there’s nothing remotely plausible about your scenario. Looking at just one aspect,

    firearms are neither invisible nor silent. If I hear a rumor that shooting is happening

    somewhere, I can assure you that pulling out my own concealed weapon (why? to look at it?)

    is the last thing, not the first thing, I’d do. The great majority of my equally-trained

    fellow concealed permit holders would respond (err, actually, not respond) in similar

    fashion.

    Jaydub,

    Can you provide some cites for your claims about Canada? I’m well aware of the hostility

    toward open firearm ownership, along with the possible rollback of some of gun registry under

    the new government. But actually making a radical departure from the common-law

    understanding of self-defense? I thought that was only going on in Britain…

  388. Whoa! Sorry about the double-spacing; I have no idea how that happenned.

  389. So if gun rights is such a great deterrent to mass killings, then why do these shootings keep happening in pro-gun states[1] and not in places like California or DC?

    [1]
    Paducah KY
    Littleton CO
    Jonesboro AK
    Austin TX
    Bath, MI
    Luby’s massacre, TX
    Blacksburg VA

    Your answer is that the mass shootings tend to happen in gun-free zones within those states.

    Also, you might be aware that plenty of shootings happen in DC. But because the whole place is essentially a gun-free zone, there’s no need to concentrate your killings so much within one particular time or place, and you don’t have to be as crazy. You can be a lot more opportunistic about gunning down your defenseless victims, instead of doing it all at once.

  390. [Mega-Asshole | April 17, 2007, 2:20am | #

    Jennifer wrote:

    “I explained that, while he certainly had many fine qualities and ordinarily I’d be madly in love with him, he was absolutely the worst lover I’d ever had [not true]”

    I knew it!]

    Ha! Ha! That’s hilarious!!!

  391. Oh gee, Kwix, thanks. “Only” 52 were shot, and 45 died like pussies in auto accidents. I certainly see John’s point now. They ARE cowards. Jackass.

  392. Hey Kwix, did you know only 72 miners died last year? And not one was shot. What a bunch of fags!

  393. So the guy who wants to fuck John and Kwix shows no interest in the thread’s only female participant (and a redheaded one at that)? How gay.

  394. So if gun rights is such a great deterrent to mass killings, then why do these shootings keep happening in pro-gun states[1] and not in places like California or DC?

    Yeah, it’s weird how the Fullerton Library Massacre (Fullerton, CA), the Cleveland Elementary School shooting (San Diego, CA), the Stockton Massacre (Stockton, CA), and the Santana High School shooting (Santee, CA) somehow all managed to take place outside of California. It’s too bad they were omitted from your list.

    I’m glad, though, that you thought to include the Bath, MI disaster – for too long, this 1927 bombing has been ignored when compiling lists of school shootings. Damn Depression-era Michigan’s pro-dynamite culture!

  395. Jennifer,

    So… This is why you’ve not been posting on your own blog lately. Been over here at H&R cheatin’ on us again! What sort of flimsy excuse will you offer us loyal readers THIS time, huh? Dang redheaded bloggers…just can’t trust ’em out of your sight for one minute!

  396. I stand corrected on Bath MI.

  397. I just wanted to be #400.

  398. So the guy who wants to fuck John and Kwix shows no interest in the thread’s only female participant (and a redheaded one at that)? How gay.

    If it makes you feel better Jennifer, I have a serious weakness for sassy, gun-owing redheads.

    But alas, as I am married I am unable to do anything about it.

  399. Correction: Gun owning redheads. Those redheads who own their guns, as opposed to those who just borrow them.

  400. 400 comments. Woot!

  401. So if gun rights is such a great deterrent to mass killings, then why do these shootings keep happening in pro-gun states[1] and not in places like California or DC?

    The two Texas incidents you cite took place before January 1, 1996, which is the first day anyone in Texas could legally carry on a concealed handgun license. The Luby’s incident, and Susanna Hupp, who lost her parents because her handgun was outside in her pickup instead of with her, was the event cited when the Texas law was finally passed.

    The incidents in Paducah KY, Littleton CO, Jonesboro AK, and Blacksburg VA took place on school campuses, where concealed carry is prohibited.

  402. So… This is why you’ve not been posting on your own blog lately. Been over here at H&R cheatin’ on us again! What sort of flimsy excuse will you offer us loyal readers THIS time, huh? Dang redheaded bloggers…just can’t trust ’em out of your sight for one minute!

    Sincere comment, Smartass: I have been busy writing a butt-kicking article about what happens when an idealistic journalist interviews drug warriors, and talks about this paralyzed hippie who smokes pot to deal with his muscle spasms, and then lets her voice get all high-pitched and innocent when she asked the drug warriors how long said hippie needs to spend in jail. (DW’s really hate questions like that, it turns out.)

    The print version goes out tomorrow, and the online version tomorrow night. And I’m damned well blogging it myself.

  403. So the guy who wants to fuck John and Kwix shows no interest in the thread’s only female participant (and a redheaded one at that)? How gay.

    Oh boy, a redheaded female. ALWAYS a good thing.

  404. Kirk Parker,

    Yes, I have some links. The UK is well documented on this web site.


    SFU Study on the Self-defense rights and attitudes in Canada

    Granted, this does conflict somewhat, and I think that Canada as a matter of course obfuscates this information.

    Sentenced cases and outcomes for StatsCan (Statistics Canada) versus the number of
    reported victims of homicide does not seem to match up, with no explanation given. This low conviction rate is not what’s officially heard, (see stats
    breakdown for 2003
    ) and points to either investigator or crown counsel incompetence, smarter murderers, or the assertion emerging in court (and succeeding) that this was covered under a criminal code self defence statute.

  405. I hate to say this, but murders don’t choose gun-free locations to kill. They kill wherever there is a need within them to do so. Obviously there judgement, rather lack there of, isn’t concerning any law. They don’t look up gun zone maps and choose to take out defenseless victims. They choose locations based on whatever mental relation they have to that place. If the VA Tech shooter had shot just the first two people, they still would have been dead. Since mass hysteria would have set in at the college, more unnecessary accidental shootings might have occurred. Random asians being shot from stereotyping, etc. It would be a mess. Yes the amount of people that died were phenomenal, but if the officials had sent out an early notice and put the school on lock down, this supposed need for guns wouldn’t exist, less people would have been victimized. The fact that these mass murders happen in gun-free zones are coincidence. Also, if someone really wants to have a gun in a gun free zone, like the VA Tech shooter chose to, i’m sure the law wouldn’t deter them and they can take it up in the supreme court.

    They should take a survey of the VA Tech students and I think that should be the basis of information we use to make further judgment in relation to this issue.

    P.S. no i’m not reading all the comments, I have too many finals to work on.

  406. In the wake of a tragedy such as this, it may seem that diving so quickly into politics is crass, but alas, it is unavoidable. Furthermore, it is the perfect time to do so, while people’s eyes are open and their hearts just may be too. Most of the folks visiting this site feel that gun control is a ridiculous idea and that all the students at this university should have been carrying guns to protect themselves. This view is understandable, but the argument never evolves beyond this shortsightedness. There is in fact another possibility that would be safer and smarter. Let’s invest as a country into non-lethal self-defense technology. I can already hear you all laughing… but why? Why laugh? Why not let down your guard and consider this? I would have no problem with every single person above 18 being able to carry a non-lethal tranquilizer gun to be used in self-defense. This would no doubt be safer than everyone carrying guns, and would be safer than no one carrying guns. So, let’s get the petitions signed and make it happen. This should be seen as an intelligent compromise, rather than a wimpy cop-out to the liberals. Hunters with no criminal or mental illness backgrounds will still have their riffles. Crazy killers may still be able to get real guns, but people will be equipped with their non-lethal guns and will be able to protect themselves. This may be a naive argument. But inlstead of bombarding me with a bunch of angry bulshit, pointing out where I’ve gone wrong, why not take a minute to at least consider the seed of this argument as potentially good. WOuld anyone stoop so low as to acknowledge this idea? please?

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