Patterico's Pontifications

4/16/2007

At Least 32 Dead in Virginia Tech Massacre

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:15 am



Horrible news: a gunman at Virginia Tech has killed at least 32 people in one of the worst (if not the worst) mass shootings in the country’s history.

This is a time to put aside politics and come together as a country. Or it should be. My guess: DU, Daily Kos, and HuffPo are all crawling with threads accusing Karl Rove of being behind the shootings, to distract from the upcoming testimony of Alberto Gonzales. (Bonus points to the first commenter to post links bearing out my hypothesis.) [UPDATE: Commenters are beginning to post the all too predictable evidence of nonsense along these lines.]

Consider this an open thread on the massacre. I’m especially interested in hearing from those of you in Virginia, to get a sense of what things are like there.

UPDATE: Some commenters are blaming me for jumping to conclusions without evidence.

You want evidence?

Here’s an example from DU. It’s a deleted post, followed by a response that says: “You can’t seriously think this is a Cheney/Rove distraction, can you?”

At least they had the decency to delete it.

And at Daily Kos:

We will get to the bottom of this issue one way or another. If Gonzales has done what we think he has, someone will soon find out. Just like the votes finally got counted from 2000, somebody will eventually learn all the details.

And HuffPo:

Anybody account for Gonzales’s whereabouts today?

By: SouthpawSass on April 16, 2007 at 07:55pm

That’s three for three. As if there was any doubt it would happen.

UPDATE x2: Here is another charmer, from HuffPo (where else?):

A shooter like that should visit the white House and rid the world of the scums.
It’s Payback Time America….Your kids are being shot just like the innocents in Iraq.
How does it feel Now ?
What goes around…Comes around and that is just the beginning of your sufferings !
By: DICKSCARPETMUNCHERGIRL on April 16, 2007 at 03:14m

Correction….31 dead and 29 injured in VA.
Not bad for a world record !
A good shooter like that should visit the White House and Congress !
I guess it’s called PAYBACK TIME for Amerikkkans. What goes around…comes around !
How does it feel to have your kids murdered for nothing ?
By: DICKSCARPETMUNCHERGIRL on April 16, 2007 at 03:17pm

124 Responses to “At Least 32 Dead in Virginia Tech Massacre”

  1. Aw, geez.

    32 people.
    32 young minds.

    Tragic.

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  2. It is the worst campus shooting in U.S. history. I thought it was amazing how fast the camera phone videos made it to the internet.

    How would this have panned out if those students didn’t have to wait for security (or someone else) to save them but, instead, had the means to defend themselves?

    Did gunman kill himself or was he taken out? Not that it matters, but I cannot find a source that confirms it.

    Trickish Knave (eb59d4)

  3. And to think that in late January of ’06, a VTech spokeman said of a bill that failed to pass (that would have allowed students and faculty to carry handguns on campus) “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.”

    There’s a blog Michelle Malkin links to that is from a VTech Alumni.

    Link goes to MM’s post.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  4. DU’s got it. And this is now the worst mass shooting in US history.

    Here’s a roundup of VA blogs.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  5. Here’s what I’ve read in various places. Allegedly a guy found his g/f in bed with another man and then shot and killed them both. Two hours later he crossed the campus with a weapon and a vest full of magazines for reloading. He’d walk into a classroom and start shooting, going from class to class. No verification on the doors being chained shut. He is dead and probably killed himself.

    I’m betting he used a semi auto style rifle-an AK, SKS, or AR-15. Lousy bastard. He just couldn’t have killed himself, he had to take innocent people with him.

    Hard Right (7900e3)

  6. My guess: DU, Daily Kos, and HuffPo are all crawling with threads accusing Karl Rove of being behind the shootings, to distract from the upcoming testimony of Alberto Gonzales

    Karl Rove mentioned in such conspiracy context in the comments to the main post on the subject, on DailyKos == zero.
    The number of comments wondering if the shooter was a Muslim and if the fact that his name is not yet released positively proves that he _was_ a Muslim, on HotAir and LGF — too many to count.

    DU’s got it. And this is now the worst mass shooting in US history.

    Pablo, do you suggest that this link means that DUers think that Rove is behind this, or merely that it will, in fact, take attention from Gonzales?

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  7. My brother is a student there and the fact is no one knows any more than what’s on TV. All they know is that the guy was “Asian” and was using handguns. I grew up there and it’s hard to see pictures of places I’ve visited dozens of times.

    Rob Turner (b1f404)

  8. Shooting your girl friend and her lover — while perhaps a thing that was done centuries ago (and assuming that that’s what indeed set it off) — is just not a really good way of dealing with that situation. The subsequent shootings … revenge for slights?

    [shakes head] People.

    My prayers and condolences to the friends and families involved.

    htom (412a17)

  9. Was on Kos. Someone did suggest a Bushco conspiracy theory and the post was removed.

    As expected they brought Iraq into the situation. One asshat even compared the VT victims to the insurgents who were “defending their country”. That caused other asshats to post about “American evil” and how we are occupying Iraq etc. To the credit of a few they refused to engage in politics and gave their condolences.

    Hard Right (7900e3)

  10. Firedoglake From comments:

    onelast thought before I go out the door. This may seem callous, but I suggest pups watch and record FOX on this all day. I can promise they will give anyone watching more material to back our contention that they are NOT news and need to be saddled by the FCC. They will time and again make egregious, thoughtless and plain old made up statements all day about how this is all the fault of the left. IrishJim says: April 16th, 2007 at 12:00 pm Becauseof a high level of mistrust, I can’t help wondering if this will somehow play into ABU’s testimony tomorrow. Wasn’t one of the “Performance” indicators cited, Gun convictions? Okay, for those of you who doubt the “at least” coding… look at this: http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3045574 Headline: At least 29 people are dead in what may be the biggest mass shooting in modern American history — and the death toll may rise. I could go on and on… unfortunatately. This is staged. We need to ask questions. Freedom says: April 16th, 2007 at 11:03 am This story reaks of a staged event… the headlines are totally coded as a staged event… … Any time the phrase “at least” is preceeded before an injured or death count, it’s code (like graffitti is gang code) as a false flag/black op operation… Here’s the proof: http://frogsinhotwater.blogspot.com/ Yes, I’ll bet people died, but these shootings are always timed as distractions… and readers of Firedoglake know we’re about to have Gonzales in front of Congress shortly.

    Thanks to 186kpersecond.com

    Random Numbers (642128)

  11. OK…Why did it look better in preview. I’ll try again.

    Firedoglake
    From comments:

    onelast thought before I go out the door. This may seem callous, but I
    suggest pups watch and record FOX on this all day. I can promise they
    will give anyone watching more material to back our contention that
    they are NOT news and need to be saddled by the FCC. They will time and
    again make egregious, thoughtless and plain old made up statements all
    day about how this is all the fault of the left.

    IrishJim says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 12:00 pm

    Becauseof a high level of mistrust, I can’t help wondering if this will somehow play into ABU’s testimony tomorrow. Wasn’t one of the “Performance” indicators cited, Gun convictions?

    Okay, for those of you who doubt the “at least” coding… look at this:
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=3045574

    Headline: At least 29 people are dead in what may be the biggest mass shooting in modern American history — and the death toll may rise.

    I could go on and on… unfortunatately.

    This is staged. We need to ask questions.

    Freedom says:
    April 16th, 2007 at 11:03 am

    This story reaks of a staged event… the headlines are totally coded as a staged event…

    … Any time the phrase “at least” is preceeded before an injured or death count, it’s code (like graffitti is gang code) as a false flag/black op operation…

    Here’s the proof:
    http://frogsinhotwater.blogspot.com/

    Yes, I’ll bet people died, but these shootings are always timed as distractions… and readers of Firedoglake know we’re about to have Gonzales in front of Congress shortly.

    Thanks to 186kpersecond.com

    Random Numbers (642128)

  12. They will time and
    again make egregious, thoughtless and plain old made up statements all
    day about how this is all the fault of the left…

    How about we mourn the victims first then worry about placing blame? How about that you flaming mental patient?!

    Hard Right (7900e3)

  13. And you know, Patterico, this is really a nice logic of yours: “This is a time to put aside politics and come together as a country; BTW, kudos to the first guy who finds a good example of a nut-case on the leftwing site blaming this on Rove, so that we can all have good fun bashing liberals on this solemn day”.

    And so here comes Random Numbers, nutpicking mental cases from the open-registration Firedoglake.

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  14. The shooter’s id as ‘asian’ comes from a British news source (Sky). In Europe, Asian means East Indian or Pakistani.

    TimesDisliker (44ac85)

  15. The shooter’s id as ‘asian’ comes from a British news source (Sky). In Europe, Asian means East Indian or Pakistani.

    He was id’d as ‘Asian’ by the witness on MSNBC. Do you suggest he was European?
    What you say is seriously deranged anyway. No matter what to they mean by Asian in Europe, the shooting happened in US. How to you imagine the process of ‘translation to European’? Somebody reports that he was a Pakistani, this gets to Sky and they then decide to report it is Asian instead of more precise Pakistani? Out of PC fears? This is really crazy idea.

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  16. No it is not a crazy idea. My post has two facts, which are irrefutable. The lack of news, despite having the shooter’s identity, leads to speculation. The fact that this happened at an Engineering institution of higher learning also skews to a certain demographic.

    We are all left to speculate with the facts we know, until more is published. I did not know about the MSNBC id, so this is new to me. I would like to know the truth, as I hope you would, too. Thanks.

    TimesDisliker (44ac85)

  17. I heard an eyewitnwss report from a young man, on the scene and shot in his arm, that the man was Asian.

    RJN (e12f22)

  18. *UPDATE* Reported 33 Killed in Virginia Tech Shooting…

    Classes have been canceled today as a scary situation develops in Blacksburg:Shootings in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech left at least one person dead and seven or eight more wounded Monday before police arrested the suspected gunman, officials…

    The Sandbox (72c8fd)

  19. No it is not a crazy idea. My post has two facts, which are irrefutable.

    They irrefutable, but also totally irrelevant. Again, by what leaps of logic could the fact that the ‘Asian” nationality was reported by _European_ channels matter when you know for sure that all the primary sources for this story are in US and thus could only speak about ‘Asian’ in the ‘American’ meaning?

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  20. [Name deleted Rumors at the campus are he’s the shooter. I can’t say for certain… it’s just rumors.

    [Name deleted, link broken]

    Alex (4aa7a4)

  21. You guys are very sick trying to make a political spin on this, very sick indeed.

    Chris (a7514b)

  22. Pablo, do you suggest that this link means that DUers think that Rove is behind this, or merely that it will, in fact, take attention from Gonzales?

    Let’s just say I question the timing, Nikolay.

    And the “Asian” seems to be in the American meaning, not the British. One of the students who was shot called the shooter a 20-something Asian guy. This does not appear to be anything more than a sick puppy.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  23. I agree. Putting a political spin on this right now demonstrates lack of sensitivity, tact, and common decency. 33 people have been killed–let’s figure out what happened before regurgitating inane opinions and wild speculation, hm?

    James Mroz (e696b5)

  24. Malkin has linked to several people who are implying that if the liberals hadn’t made it so gosh darn hard to get a gun (or a concealed/carry permit), this would never have happened.

    The sane and non-brain damaged person within me says that that is ridiculous.

    I’m going out on a limb here, but… I think that if the shooter didn’t have easy access to guns, this would never have happened.

    But that’s just little old crazy me talking!

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  25. And you know, Patterico, this is really a nice logic of yours: “This is a time to put aside politics and come together as a country; BTW, kudos to the first guy who finds a good example of a nut-case on the leftwing site blaming this on Rove, so that we can all have good fun bashing liberals on this solemn day”

    I don’t think it’s making political hay out of this to simply seek out, note, and deride, the attempts of *others* to make political hay out of this.

    If I’m wrong about that, Nikolai, then you’re doing the same thing. Using your logic, I could ask you: why don’t you worry about the dead today, and save your cheap political points against me for later?

    Patterico (05bc90)

  26. LA:

    1) Are people capable of getting guns illegally?

    2) Do you think it’s easier to kill large numbers of people with a gun in a “gun-free zone” where your firepower is unlikely to be matched by another civilian’s? Put another way, would this have been tougher to pull off at, say, a police station or a firing range?

    They are rhetorical questions — but humor me and answer them anyway.

    Patterico (167524)

  27. Developing: Virginia Tech Shooting Incident – 31+…

    Since the reports indicate that there was a single assailant and police are conducting a search for a second assailant as a matter of routine, one has to wonder how if there was a single gunman that he managed to get across campus to continue his mur…..

    A Blog For All (59ce3a)

  28. We need to remind ourselves that we have created an environement that is dangerous to the health of students and staff. If I want to kill a large number of people, and I have two choices as to where to do it – a school or a cop-bar – where do I go???

    When Israel was undergoing a great many terrorist attacks on its’ schools in the 50’s (where the staff was unarmed), they changed the ground-rules by arming and training the staff at all schools. After the next few attacks when the attackers got their backsides blown off, the attacks ended – and have not resumed.

    If our children are our most precious commodity, why do we leave them unprotected for the most part? I would venture to say that with the battle over concealed carry that has just played out in Utah, we will not see a VT situation there.

    BTW, a lone gunman, and no-one in any of those classes challenged him. I guess they’ve already forgotten the lesson of Flt-93?

    This is not a Left – Right issue. It is an issue of common sense (but, then that pretty well disqualifies the Left)!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  29. Please stop reporting that [name deleted] had anything to do with this. James is a student at Virginia Tech, the suspect was not. James is Korean American. Reports are that the shooter was a student from mainland China, although even that is just a rumour

    anonymous (0d1d43)

  30. I think that student’s name shouldn’t be posted.

    MayBee (eb1824)

  31. Something to investigate/ask/demand: How many victims of the VA shootings were Concealed Carry holders who didn’t carry on campus and might now be alive if they had?

    Followup: How many people were shot AFTER a Concealed Carry holder was shot (who couldn’t defend himself and others) might also now be alive and unhurt?

    My take: No more polite conversation while the other side gets to be loud. They shout “evil guns?” I will physically intimidate them, screaming about evil bastards who left those kids unprotected. I have had more than enough of Rosie and her vile ilk using these cases to make people ever more vulnerable.

    Ranten N. Raven (1f5d50)

  32. More guns will solve all problems!

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  33. Liberal Avenger: No, guns in the hands of good guys solve many problems. Taking those guns away from good guys solves no problems.

    Ranten N. Raven (1f5d50)

  34. I don’t think it’s making political hay out of this to simply seek out, note, and deride, the attempts of *others* to make political hay out of this.

    Sure, attempts of _others_. Not, you know, of yours. One can never stop deride “others”, the vaguer they are defined the better.
    Anyway, to claim that this was a Rove conspiracy one must be mentally ill. To seek out, note and deride mentally ill people is never a right thing to do, especially in this context and with such generalizations (“are all crawling with threads”). My point against you is not political, but personal. And you’re right in applying that logic to me. I happen to live now in a country far from yours and where much worse things happened in schools, so this event doesn’t, in fact, strike home. I’m sure that all the world was shocked by Beslan, but that was a really otherworldly horrendous event (more shocking to us, perhaps, because of the recklessness of our special forces than of the hideousness of terrorists themselves), while the shooting sprees are seen, from the safe distance, as just a normal American cultural practice. You don’t get _shocked_ by the fact that somebody blew up 60 people in Baghdad, do you?

    1) Are people capable of getting guns illegally?

    The lonely shooters, being weirdos that they are, probably lack social skills needed to purchase illegal guns. And the question is not really about canceling Second Amendment, but about making access to guns harder for a sick person — would you argue with the fact that this is relevant?

    Put another way, would this have been tougher to pull off at, say, a police station or a firing range?

    Do you think that there’s a person that lived on a college campus and never did anything really insane during all the stay? Do you believe that people having a gun on the belt would not change the general safety on campus?

    Sure, there’s to lot to discuss here, but to frame it, without any reservations, the way Malkin and Reynolds do, “this tragedy happened because students didn’t have guns”, is totally unfair.

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  35. More guns will solve all problems!

    No, more idiotic slogans will! And hugs!

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  36. BTW, a lone gunman, and no-one in any of those classes challenged him. I guess they’ve already forgotten the lesson of Flt-93?

    That’s probably because they were pussy red-staters, not, you know, people from U-93 with their serious San Francisco values.

    Seriously, how do you know nobody challenged him?

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  37. Nikolay,

    I’m not so sure that speculating about whether the shooter was a Muslim is making political hay. It’s wondering about a fact of the type that the media has tried to hide before. Speculating that Bushco engineered this is quite different.

    To seek out, note and deride mentally ill people is never a right thing to do . . .

    That’s why I never make fun of stupid things said on the Internet — especially if they’re really, really crazy. Because that would just be wrong.

    Unfortunately, lotsa lefties say lotsa crazy stuff.

    I agree that the gun issue is complex. Not simple like LA makes it sound: guns always bad!

    There’s a reason he’s scared to answer my questions.

    Patterico (5b0b7f)

  38. Patterico, you are truly amazing. You say “This is a time to put aside politics and come together as a country,” and then – in the very next breath – you attack liberals and their blogs based on no evidence whatsoever. Rather than putting aside politics, your very first response was to use this tragedy to attack people whose political views are different from your own.

    Congratulations. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a blog post that mixed hypocrisy with stupidity in such generous proportions.

    [And you have chosen to mark the occasion by attacking a person whose political views are different from your own, namely, me. So huff and puff all you like — but for God’s sakes, don’t pretend you’re any better. — P]

    Oregonian (417236)

  39. I’m not so sure that speculating about whether the shooter was a Muslim is making political hay.

    You seriously don’t see problems with Debbie’s post? The “Pakis” word? The “even if it wasn’t a Muslim, now that Muslims know that you can kill people with guns they are much more dangerous” conclusion? The “it’s so suspicious they didn’t yet release his identity” claim? (like there’s no chance they would have problems with identifying the shooter?) The “shooter identified as a Chinese student on student visa. Lovely. One more reason to keep them students out of the country” logic?
    Seriously, I thought everybody agreed that Debbie is 100% vile and insane and could, at maximum, be relevant on some facts.

    I agree that the gun issue is complex. Not simple like LA makes it sound: guns always bad!

    Unlike Malkin and Reynolds, LA doesn’t sound axiomatic.

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  40. The shooter had two handguns only, a 9 mm and 22 caliber. According to latest reports.

    Was he a Muslim? If the Media suppresses all info on his identity and background, it’s a slam dunk. They did that before in the Utah Shootings, also DC sniper case, UNC, SF, Seattle “sudden jihad” syndromes.

    Liberal Avenger: trying to outlaw guns is like outlawing booze (gee that worked well didn’t it), drugs, or anything else. You can go down to various urban streetcorners and buy guns. You won’t outlaw guns any more than booze.

    Compare Columbine, the VT shooting where it took hours to clear all those rooms and students even with every police officer around called out, with Pearl MS and the Appalachian School of Law shootings.

    In Pearl MS the Principal ran out to his truck and got his gun, AT GUNPOINT subdued the shooter and stopped the killing.

    At Appalachian THREE men ran back to their vehicles and got their guns out of their vehicles (one was an off duty police officer and part-time student) and subdued the shooter AT GUNPOINT.

    At Utah an OFF DUTY Police officer IIRC shot the shooter.

    Help will NOT COME until it’s too late. Armed men will confront gunmen, everyone else runs away. [Reports are that the shooter shot a bunch of people in one classroom, came back but people pushed their bodies against the door to keep it shut, he shot through the door but only wounded not killed people.]

    Al Qaeda is no doubt watching this, preparing a Beslan style massacre. There is simply no way to have enough police on campuses which are too large, spread out, too many students to protect.

    Liberal Avenger: note how diversity increases violence. Japan has very little crime and violence because it’s racially homogeneous and has strict social controls. You want freedom and diversity then violence comes with that; permits to carefully vetted people are a sensible way to ameliorate.

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  41. Nikolay,

    Huh? Your link went to a comment that said:

    If it does turn out to be another Muslim immigrant attack, the Lieberal MSM and our cowardly political mis-leaders will try to bury the truth. They will never face the truth about the Muslim threat to our lives and freedom.

    Well, it’s happened before.

    Now that I see you meant to be linking a Debbie Schlussel post, I think I will ignore it. Why? Because you seem to impose upon me some obligation to denounce it as “mine” when I don’t think you have the slightest clue what I think of her.

    Didn’t you just waltz in here and assume that Debbie Schlussel is one of “mine”? Have I ever seen you commenting here before? I don’t think so. Do you know me? Do you read me regularly?

    Here’s a little challenge for you: go find any scrap of evidence you can that I am a fan of Debbie Schlussel. When you come up empty, be sure to come back and apologize for assuming that she is one of “mine.”

    Patterico (5b0b7f)

  42. The argument that if people were allowed to have had guns, there would have been armed students who would have stopped the shooter founders on one really point.
    Not only would they have to have those guns: they would have had to actually use them.
    There is a very big step between those.
    Michelle Malkin posted a student’s email describing what went on inside one classroom. It took them a minute or so to get motivated enough to barricade the door with a desk. And they did it just in time.
    They had to psych themselves up just to barricade the room.
    And you expect them to have the calmness needed to realize that they have to take out the weapon, then aim it properly and fire (at a real human being, not a target)?

    As it stands, the argument reads very much this way: If you want to keep nuts from using guns, then just let every nut have a gun!

    kishnevi (5c0e2a)

  43. Here’s a little challenge for you: go find any scrap of evidence you can that I am a fan of Debbie Schlussel. When you come up empty, be sure to come back and apologize for assuming that she is one of “mine.”

    I never said that you were a fan of Debbie Schlussel. By “yours” I meant the “general direction”, just like the “Rove was behind the shooting” is a “generally lefty” thing to say (although in fact it is just a mentally ill thing to say).
    I gave a link to Debbie Schlussel’s post, you seemed to be justifying it — _this_ is what puzzled me. I read quite a lot of your posts and you don’t seem to be a guy I would suspect of being Debbie’s fan — that’s why you justifying her post surprised me so much.

    Now, Patterico, you must agree you really said a stupid thing. If you would say “now every left-wing site would be filled with stupid anti-gun nonsense”, _that_ would make sense. But “they will all say that Rove was behind this”, while probably a hyperbole, is still way crazy. Most of the left-wing blogs ban any talk about “9/11 was as inside job”, and “Rove was behind Virginia Tech shooting” is even more weird thing to say.

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  44. i’m terriibly ashamed to be an asian today.

    will (bc13e5)

  45. and i can’t spell terribly either

    will (bc13e5)

  46. #41 – kishnevi: Yes, certainly I expect an armed student to have “the calmness needed” to take aim and fire accurately. That’s exactly what you learn in the firearms classes that are required for a concealed carry permit. I guess you don’t know about that gun stuff.

    Virginia has a concealed carry law, but they left a loophole that permits colleges and universities to ban them from campus, if they wish. Va. Tech. proudly advertised that they were a “gun free zone.” Well, we know that’s not true, don’t we?

    The State legislature had a bill presented this term that closed that loophole, but it never came up for a vote. That failure will haunt those delegates who buried the bill.

    Compare today with 5 years ago at Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va. On that January day a similar event started to take place. An expelled student came onto campus and started shooting at random victims. During his spree two students went to their cars, independently of each other, retrieved their personal handguns and stopped this bad guy….without firing a shot. They were trained, you see. And they were armed.

    Yes, kishnevi…armed students would have stopped this event today.

    Bill Schumm (33ab73)

  47. Will:

    Be not ashamed. They try to shame me for being a white guy, just like those slave owners 200 years ago. Why the hell should I be ashamed? Why the hell should you?! Plenty of Asian good guys around; as long as you’re one of them you can stand proud. Go read Bill Whittle’s TRIBES (http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000129.html).

    Nikolay:
    You assume that those with Concealed Carry permits (who’s backgrounds have been checked, who have been trained, and who were motivated to get a gun) would act like scared kids. Some students have come back from war. Some faculty or staff might carry, too. Your straw man cannot stand — how many kids died today because people refuse to think? Too Many!

    As for Debbie: So, she seems a bit overboard? I agree. I still like her, though, on many issues. Take on a disguise to attend a “radical pseudo-muslim” hate fest like she did, and then see how you feel. We all look radical to others on some points.

    Ranten N. Raven (1f5d50)

  48. During his spree two students went to their cars, independently of each other, retrieved their personal handguns and stopped this bad guy….without firing a shot. They were trained, you see. And they were armed.

    And they were both former police officers.

    Yes, kishnevi…armed students would have stopped this event today.

    They might have stopped this event, but you can’t say they would have stopped.

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  49. Va. Tech. and the ‘active shooter’…

    Let’s start here: the Chinese national, believed to be the gunman that killed 32 people at the Virginia Tech. campus today before killing himself, may have been here on a student visa. It seems he argued with his girlfriend over…

    Cop The Truth (72c8fd)

  50. The fact is that the gunman apparently locked the doors and created a kill zone.

    I’m not any sort of gun-nut, my dad was the only one in our neighborhood in Texas without a gun, but could it have been worse if at least one of the students was armed? Tech has a large ROTC and many of them are engineers. I would think that one of them might have helped.

    As long as we live in a country that doesn’t confiscate ALL guns (in a house by house search) restrictions on where you can carry are a poor idea.

    PS The bickering about who is the hypocrite can wait. Patterico, please hold off for now, and the rest off you go post on HuffPost where they are having a wonder of a flamewar.

    Dr. T

    Rob Turner (b1f404)

  51. You assume that those with Concealed Carry permits (who’s backgrounds have been checked, who have been trained, and who were motivated to get a gun) would act like scared kids.

    Where do I assume this? Don’t you mistake me for someone?
    The point is not that students with guns on campus would not be able to protect themselves this day, the point is that studends with guns on campus could cause a lot of harm other days.

    Your straw man cannot stand — how many kids died today because people refuse to think? Too Many!

    Now _this_ is a straw man. Kids died today because they were killed, and that “blame the victim” logic is just vile. “They died because they were stupid”? Really?

    Take on a disguise to attend a “radical pseudo-muslim” hate fest like she did, and then see how you feel.

    Sure, she’s been through a lot. She earned a couple of medals, really. Must be tough for a crazy-looking person to attend a public protest of assorted crazies.

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  52. GUN CONTROL, GUN CONTROL, GUN CONTROL

    enforcer (bfdd49)

  53. By the way, I have evidence of the sick conspiracy theories from DU, DKos, and HuffPo. Took me, like, five minutes to find. I’m sure there’s more.

    Patterico (5b0b7f)

  54. See the update.

    Patterico (5b0b7f)

  55. And I’ll leave it at that. It’s amazing to me that Democrats would make accusations like this, but after the 9/11 Truthers, nothing should shock me.

    Patterico (5b0b7f)

  56. Reports now indicate the shooter was a Chinese national, age 25, on a F-1 Student Visa.

    Patterico might enlighten us on the state of California gun laws, but my naive understanding of CALIFORNIA gun laws, you must be either a US citizen or Legal Resident to purchase firearms LEGALLY in the State of California.

    Assumption: that VA has similar requirements.

    Assumption 2: Street corners where drugs can be purchased have no such restrictions.

    Wretchard at Belmont Club has a good point: pushing responsibility for safety UPWARDS to State control and abdicating any responsibility for your own means things like this.

    Note that VT had a shooting nearby last year with several dead. Students are upset that the “school learned nothing.” Also note that bomb threats had been made several times over the last two weeks: it’s plausible that the shooter used them to discern security responses.

    You will NEVER keep: drugs, guns, booze out of ANY nation, except North Korea. Given that we ought to treat people like adults. People 18-19-20 years old can fight and die and make life and death decisions in an instant in Iraq, Aircraft Carriers, Helicopters, or places like Afghanistan, Horn of Africa, etc.

    We already have Columbin/VT against Pearl MS and Appalachian School of Law. Enough evidence to see what works (people able to defend themselves) and what doesn’t (only the cops can defend you).

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  57. I love the hypocrisy of some of the media and pols.
    Rosie despises idea of citizens having 2nd Amendment Rights, but her own bodyguards are armed with firearms. The new Senator from Va. doesn’t believe the laws against having guns in D.C. are applicable to him.
    Like someone just pointed out, attacks in Israeli schools went way down when teachers were trained to fight back with guns.
    I think it was Australia which had a new gun ban and the bad guys were taking great advantage of it to go nuts with crimes against people and property.
    I may not be the greatest shot, but an intruder in my home might rue my aiming my shotgun in his direction.

    leila butler (6273ad)

  58. What I hate is that the shooter is the big news…
    What about the victims? Or is it just far too painful for us to give them this attention.
    I found ONE sight that mentioned that one of the students killed had several majors and was a 4.0 student.
    I am an outsider to this blog.. just a lurker, but it is always the same.
    Maybe what we need in this country is less drama about the persons who commit the assaults and more remembrances to the victims.
    Maybe then being a mass murderer won’t be so glorified. It is almost like being a samurai used to be. The honor is just replaced with infamy and a tremendous anount of public coverage.

    Tiffany (d9ac64)

  59. P: what’s so amazing about it? There are crazies, and on both sides of the aisle, who lack the brains and basic human decency that keep normal people from going off the tracks. Yeah, some lefties are spouting off that Rove did it, or that it’s Bush’s fault, or that it was an inside job, or something like that. So what? They’re idiots, let’s not give them the pleasure of paying attention to them. Ignore them.

    And is it too much to ask for a little quiet time before you all start spouting off your pet theories about how this or that would have stopped this from happening? I’m imagining the heartache of getting a phone call from a school where my kid goes… and the last thing, the absolutely last thing I would want to hear right now is some self-proclaimed expert telling me that it wouldn’t have happened if only X or Y policy were in place. There will be plenty of time later for the policy arguments and finger pointing and the (unprovable) claims that X or Y would have kept today from happening. How about a little time to mourn the victims? How about showing a little respect?

    And yeah, I’m in Virginia, from an area that sends an awful lot of kids to Tech. And it sucks right now.

    stevesturm (d3e296)

  60. #51

    Ummmm…

    There’s already a great gun control law… It prohibits gun on campus at VTech. Worked like a charm, didn’t it…

    Laws will only stop those who CARE about the law. Criminals don’t give a fuck, and will do what they want. Banning guns just means that the good citizens are easy pickings for the bad ones…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  61. The point is not that students with guns on campus would not be able to protect themselves this day, the point is that studends with guns on campus could cause a lot of harm other days.

    And could be stopped with the other “studends” with guns.

    Don’t you mistake me for someone?

    Yes, someone with a brain.

    kl (867a4f)

  62. Patterico might enlighten us on the state of California gun laws, but my naive understanding of CALIFORNIA gun laws, you must be either a US citizen or Legal Resident to purchase firearms LEGALLY in the State of California.Assumption: that VA has similar requirements.

    The VA State Police have an elegibility test here that indicates ineligibility if you are a nonimmigrant alien. (Question 12)

    bonhomme (38c67e)

  63. Tiffany and Steve Sturm,

    I sympathize with your concerns. This is a tragic story that will be almost unbearable once the victims’ stories are told. Nevertheless, I hope the media tells every story. I want to read about and treasure every life that was so cruelly ended or maimed today.

    Nevertheless, there isn’t much I can do about this incident except participate in a discussion to see what we can learn and how we can try to prevent events like this from happening again. Maybe there is little we can learn and I know senseless acts will happen again – but I still think it’s worth discussing.

    DRJ (50237c)

  64. Please don’t bicker about gun control at a time like this. I came close to losing friends on Monday, and I am just glad they are still alive. Policy cannot stop hatred for your fellow man. I firmly believe that this man would have killed people no matter what. I wrote an opinion piece about it: The End of Innocence at VT

    freetolio (042cbf)

  65. Can you imagine what the parents of these students are going through? I wonder what they think ‘we can learn from this’ and ‘how to prevent this from happening again’? I wonder if they actually see the politics of this tragedy and if they actually believe that gun control laws have anything to do with this?
    Can you imagine have a son with the kind of academic record that I mentioned above, killed over what seems to have erupted from a “domestic issue”?
    How retarded this country is to think that a murder committed over something as classic as “domestic problems”, could be escalated to such porportions without the immense influence of ones immediate cultural environment.
    I believe that the cause is as basic as this… our focus on violence and those that commit it… the glorification of our villains through media and tv “drama”… our focus as citizens on the villain.
    I can admit to a sick sort of fascination with the mind of a serial killer or mass murderer. I am intrigued by “What in the world drives a person to kill total strangers?”. However, I believe that it is an unhealthy curiousity for our society. I believe that the level to which media and entertainment has escalated our interest in this subject has led to the strange notion that these kinds of crimes are almost a sort of lesson for us to learn.
    This was not a lesson. This shooter did not teach us “Thou shalt not steal my girlfriend.”
    This was the act of someone who became mentally unstable or already was mentally unstable. He chose the chicken sh1t way out and decided to take lots of innocents with him. He should have been turned in by those who knew him for being unstable.
    End of story. He was a nut when he committed these murders.
    He took the lives of people of our future. People who would have contributed to the good of society and made things better, more likely than not. These were students who were looking to make things better, or were at least going to do better for society than this useless, already diseased brained killer ever could have done.
    Mass murderers names shouldn’t even become public knowledge. Their records should be buried in a library somewhere and only released to medical and psychiatric students for study.
    What percentage of these stories talks about the people who died?
    Was your child number 1 or number 31 to die?
    How many were named Charles, or Abby?
    What were they studying?
    Were any of them inventors?
    I would like to know more about the boy with several majors and a 4.0 gpa! What a story that is! How in the world? And what was he going to do with all of that brain?
    Sorry I rambled. At least the blog members here seem intelligent enough to skim text!

    Tiffany (d9ac64)

  66. The college administrators and the police officers who failed to raise the alarm that someone who had killed two people at a college dorm was on the loose, nobody knew where, should be tried as his accomplices.

    nk (6415d7)

  67. Wow – Debbie Schlussel is crazy!

    The Liberal Avenger (b8c7e2)

  68. Gun control? By definition, criminals don’t obey the law. End of story.

    p.s. D.C. has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Nuff said?

    CraigC (5ffe7f)

  69. You are a good man, Patterico.

    MayBee (2f3071)

  70. And could be stopped with the other “studends” with guns.

    Sure, so every time a guy gets drunk and angry and shoots his girlfriend, there will be people to stop him. Might raise the average homicide rate on campuses some 500%, but would definitely save the day yesterday.
    Now, I _don’t_ say that it’s definitely right to have guns forbidden on campuses, merely that “guns should be allowed on campuses since they would save the day in Virginia Tech” logic is flawed.
    Allowing guns for general public flying on planes would probably save the day on 9/11, but you can’t seriously argue that it’s a right thing to do.

    Yes, someone with a brain.

    Man, there’s something seriously wrong with you. You accuse me of taking a position that I didn’t take (i.e. that more guns could not prevent the damage) and then, when called on this, spew this sh#t. To say that you can’t be sure that different policy would mean less deaths is merely to say obvious, i.e. that you can’t deal in certainties when speaking about hypothetical.

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  71. And I’ll leave it at that. It’s amazing to me that Democrats would make accusations like this, but after the 9/11 Truthers, nothing should shock me.

    Patterico, you’re really on the wild side here. Bringing in Debbie Schlussel is totally dishonest of me, but making those generalizations about Democrats the way you do is alright?

    Now, use some logic: conspiracy theories were always around and will always be around. After 9/11 for someone believing in the “inside job” to go Democratic is the only way to go, just like every “let’s kill all the Muslims” guy is very likely to be Malkin’s fan and very not likely to be a Democrat.

    Well, most of the “serious” truthers believe that Democrats are “just another side of the same medal”, are also “on the game” etc. Truthers are neither left not right, just crazy. But still, they are, for natural reasons, much more likely to troll left-wing sites. “9/11 truth” is the only thing 100% banned on DailyKos — which means both the fact that Kos recognizes the damage that it would likely do to the site and the total worthlessness of it.

    Now, you spent so much time arguing that death wishes to Cheney in the HuffPo comment section say something important about “Democrats”, but even if there was some truth to that, no sane person would be convinced that this nutpicking of yours makes any sense.

    BTW, here’s one of the “Democrats” you cite:

    A good shooter like that should visit the White House and Congress !
    I guess it’s called PAYBACK TIME for Amerikkkans. What goes around…comes around !

    That’s really a typical liberal speaking, isn’t it? I mean what Democrat doesn’t wish death to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  72. .”

    How retarded this country is to think that a murder committed over something as classic as “domestic problems”, could be escalated to such porportions without the immense influence of ones immediate cultural environment.

    I believe that the cause is as basic as this… our focus on violence and those that commit it… the glorification of our villains through media and tv “drama”… our focus as citizens on the villain.

    While the things you cite are certainly valid points in a minor way- all reports seem to indicate this guy is not an American, so how did our society influence him that much?

    Even a twisted environment doesn’t make it logical to go on a random shooting spree and then commit suicide. There are twisted incentives that might influence him to kill his GF, and her lover (if that’s even the case here), or to kill someone else for revenge or profit, but mass murder/suicide sprees are not consistent with any kind of rational thought, not even in an environment where values themselves are irrational.

    Thebastidge (5109f0)

  73. Thus says Nikolay :

    Sure, so every time a guy gets drunk and angry and shoots his girlfriend, there will be people to stop him. Might raise the average homicide rate on campuses some 500%, but would definitely save the day yesterday.

    Tell me another one…how about how allowing Concealed Carry in FL & TX will result in a flood of shootings over every traffic dispute? Hear that one in every debate, but wait — IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.

    Now, I _don’t_ say that it’s definitely right to have guns forbidden on campuses, merely that “guns should be allowed on campuses since they would save the day in Virginia Tech” logic is flawed.
    Allowing guns for general public flying on planes would probably save the day on 9/11, but you can’t seriously argue that it’s a right thing to do.

    Guns used to be allowed on planes. It was after the Commie fanatics and Moslem fanatics started their hijacking hijinks that they were banned. God’s curse upon Arafat!

    Guns in the hands of good guys are not the problem. I see guys with guns all the time. Feels good to see them walk in the store or cafe. We all feel safer. Why? Cops are good guys! Guns are not the problem. More guns in the hands of good guys is not a problem but it is part of the solution. That some refuse to admit that makes me very, very angry. Again — were any of those shot Concealed Carry permit holders who left their weapon at home because of the stupid “No guns at school!” laws? If so, then that is a crime!

    Ranten N. Raven (1f5d50)

  74. Patterico, you’re really on the wild side here. Bringing in Debbie Schlussel is totally dishonest of me, but making those generalizations about Democrats the way you do is alright?

    There’s nothing dishonest about mentioning DU, Daily Kos, HuffPo, Debbie Schlussel or anyone else. There is something dishonest about identifying any of these as “yours” while addressing someone who does not sympathize with them.

    Xrlq (3e8d4f)

  75. Xrlq,

    There is something dishonest about identifying any of these as “yours” while addressing someone who does not sympathize with them.

    Hey, Patterico just presented a guy that says that it’s a good idea to go shoot people in the [Democratic majority] Congress as an example of “Democratic thinking”. Can you be more dishonest than that?
    I did not say “yours” in a sense “Patterico is Debbie’s fan”, but in a sense “Debbie’s a good example of right-wing insanity”, just as “Rove was behind Virginia Tech shooting” is a left-wing fringe insanity, even more crazy than “9/11 truth” which is officially banned on most left-wing blogs.

    Ranten N. Raven,

    Guns in the hands of good guys are not the problem. I see guys with guns all the time. Feels good to see them walk in the store or cafe. We all feel safer. Why? Cops are good guys! Guns are not the problem. More guns in the hands of good guys is not a problem but it is part of the solution. That some refuse to admit that makes me very, very angry.

    Well, if, say, _every_ good guy had a gun and given the statistical probability of a good guy going bad, guns _everywhere_ could have some bad consequences. Also, any given procedure of identifying “a good guy” should be subject to discussion.
    It’s particularly tricky in the case of lonely shooters, since their profile is “a good guy” until going bonkers in 90% cases.
    Nobody would argue that every kind of weapons should be free for everyone to buy, so gun control is a thing that certainly should exist, the question is details.

    BTW, this should be a funny situation: say, a group of law-abiding Muslims buys enough weapons to slaughter a small town. What would be the reaction? “It’s their right, let them have it”? Or “it’s likely to be even more dangerous than the cell phones and praying in the airport, so no way”?

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  76. Nikolay,

    Well, if, say, _every_ good guy had a gun and given the statistical probability of a good guy going bad, guns _everywhere_ could have some bad consequences.

    Liberal CCW laws in Florida and Texas have already been mentioned. Vermont and New Hampshire are two other examples. What could happen does not happen, just as everyone with a pair of hands could strangle everyone they see, and yet they don’t.

    Why don’t you compare the murder rates in those places with that of Washington DC, with it’s near total gun ban, and get back to us with your findings? And while you’re at it, would you mind quantifying that statistical probability of good guys going bad? A statistical argument really needs some statistics.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  77. Hey, Patterico just presented a guy that says that it’s a good idea to go shoot people in the [Democratic majority] Congress as an example of “Democratic thinking”. Can you be more dishonest than that?

    Sure. For starters, you could always quote somebody as saying something they didn’t say. Or you could go one better by putting quotation marks around certain specific words that they also didn’t say. Oh wait….

    Well, if, say, _every_ good guy had a gun and given the statistical probability of a good guy going bad, guns _everywhere_ could have some bad consequences.

    Well, duh. If you ignore aggregate statistics and rely merely on the fact that someone, somewhere will do X, you can “prove” just about anything. By your logic, maybe we should hand out free guns to all convicted violent felons, on the theory that at least some bad guys will go good.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  78. Want to talk gun control then?
    Does anyone here not know of some part of town where things are shady? Where you can go buy cocaine, crack or marijuana? Where prostitutes hang out at night and other great stuff is sure to be available… including illegal handguns?
    Drugs are illegal, I doubt there is any urban area now in the states where they can’t be purchased and where anyone with a brain doesn’t know how to find them.
    So why then would laws making guns illegal be of any use? Criminals ARE just that, and money will always be a driving factor.

    Tiffany (d9ac64)

  79. Favorite “argument”: that “quiet loners” wouldn’t have the “social skills” to buy an illegal gun.

    Robert Crawford (aa888e)

  80. Liberal CCW laws in Florida and Texas have already been mentioned. Vermont and New Hampshire are two other examples. What could happen does not happen, just as everyone with a pair of hands could strangle everyone they see, and yet they don’t.

    Well, that would be the question about CCW on campuses, not in general. And no, I don’t have statistics on this particular subject. And no, I’m not sure that statistics would prove my point. I only say that this is a relevant question to consider and that there’s probably no easy answers. To say “this would not happen in Virginia if they had guns, case closed”, the way Malkin, Reynolds and the whole crowd do is dishonest, just as bringing up former police officers in the Law School as “typical students” is dishonest.

    Why don’t you compare the murder rates in those places with that of Washington DC, with it’s near total gun ban, and get back to us with your findings?

    The particular question is about guns on campuses, not about gun control in general. Having lived (as an exchange student) on campus in US for a year, and having seen a lifestyle there, it’s kind of scary for me to imagine the same thing, but with guns around. This is not scientific, of course. The crime rate in Washington DC is quite irrelevant. There is ‘criminal’ gun violence and there is ‘domestic’ gun violence. On campus it would mostly be ‘domestic’, and given the typical stress level there, it could very well be ugly.

    As far as I understand, most of the Democrats are quite moderate on guns now, some of them are even gun nuts, so nobody is really talking about rescinding the Second Amendment.

    BTW, would you vote for Giuliani, who thought that gun control is the key element of crime-fighting in NY?

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  81. Sure. For starters, you could always quote somebody as saying something they didn’t say. Or you could go one better by putting quotation marks around certain specific words that they also didn’t say. Oh wait….

    Here’s what Patterico wrote:

    It’s amazing to me that Democrats would make accusations like this, but after the 9/11 Truthers, nothing should shock me.

    This in relation to, among others, the quote about how cool it would be to go on rampage in the Congress.

    In what way is not fair to say that, according to Patterico, “lets kill Barney Frank and Nacy Pelosi” is what Democrats think? What other purpose do these quotes serve?

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  82. Nikolay,

    I didn’t mean to imply that all, or even a significant number, of Dems were saying these things — though I can see how you’d get that from the language I used. Any such suggestion was unintentional.

    Patterico (a57dc1)

  83. Well, that would be the question about CCW on campuses, not in general.

    No, no. In general. Campuses are merely a subset of society. Feel free to address the point in general society, or provide some explanation for why the campus, full of adults, would be a markedly different dynamic.

    To say “this would not happen in Virginia if they had guns, case closed”, the way Malkin, Reynolds and the whole crowd do is dishonest, just as bringing up former police officers in the Law School as “typical students” is dishonest.

    No, it’s dishonest to claim that that is their argument. What they’re saying is that a responsibly armed person could have mitigated the damage the nutjob was able to do. And there’s nothing dishonest about referencing former police officers who have mitigated a similar situation. I am a former police officer, and it isn’t my police training that would have helped me here. It’s my firearms training. I wouldn’t have given a damn about the shooter’s rights, or what the law is. I simply would have given him a brief opportunity to drop his weapons and then I would have shot him. You don’t need to be a cop to figure that one out. And if a non-cop didn’t bother with a warning? Oh, well.

    There is ‘criminal’ gun violence and there is ‘domestic’ gun violence. On campus it would mostly be ‘domestic’, and given the typical stress level there, it could very well be ugly.

    No, there isn’t. There is justifiable gun violence and there is criminal gun violence. There is no “domestic” option.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  84. I am a former police officer

    I thought I smelled bacon… :)

    Nothing but love for the ossifers out there…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  85. Point 1. This was a gun free zone. That did not save anyone. It made it very easy for the shooter to kill as much as he pleased knowing that there would be no opposition to him.

    Point 2. There are more guns in the US than Illegal Aliens. The same people calling for gun control/Confiscations are the same people saying that you can’t deport the all the illegal aliens. If you can’t round up the illegals, what makes you geniuses think you’ll get all the guns?

    Point 3. while most Americans were offering condolences and sympathy, the left was acting out their various mental illnesses. If we need to ban anything, how about banning liberalism? It’d be about as effective as “gun control”.

    PCD (a094f0)

  86. Definition of gun control: ten in the ten ring @ 15 yards.

    Armed civilians is necessary but not sufficient to the argument that this could have been stopped. Armed civilians need to be psychologically prepared to kill another human being as well.

    Not all armed civilians will meet the sufficient test.

    dubya (753723)

  87. Shoot a classmate while I have an iron on me… Lets see how willing I’d be…

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  88. It’s entirely possible that there are more guns in the USA than there are people.

    htom (412a17)

  89. Well, I guess you did manage to find some tasteless liberal comments (although my reading of the DKos quote on Gonzales is just that we’ll find out what he did at DoJ, just a little later, which seems like a reasonable thing to say).

    Now, for the conservative nutcase versions→

    Here’s John Derbyshire, definitely not a guy I’d want to have my back in a bar brawl.

    [W]hy didn’t anyone rush the guy? It’s not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for goodness’ sake—one of them reportedly a .22.

    At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him.

    No sign of military experience in his c.v., or any other reason to think he’s been under fire. Talk is cheap… But that may not even be the stupidest NRO remark. Another contender:

    And, sorry again, but thoughts also arise on the killer’s being an English major and on the spiritual emptiness of much education nowadays.

    And I thought blaming the victims was a liberal sin. Heh!

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  90. I’d have rushed him, and tried to get others ready to do the same… Better to rush in a group and get killed than die sitting…

    And it’s hard to agrue that education today isn’t lacking some level of moral/ethical teaching.

    Scott Jacobs (feb2f7)

  91. Yeah and already liberal wussietards are calling for more stupid gun control laws when the truth is GUN CONTROL IS WHAT LEAD TO THIS INCEDENT but liberals are too darn stupid to listen

    krazy kagu (6a69d6)

  92. And the conservatives continue suggesting that they’d do better if it every happened to them.

    College classrooms have scads of young men who are at their physical peak, and none of them seems to have done anything beyond ducking, running, and holding doors shut. [snip] Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage.

    I’d like to hear about when Scott rushed a gunman. If it hasn’t happened yet, well, speaking only for myself, that’s on the list of things I’m not at all sure I am brave enough to do when the time may come, and I’m certainly not brave enough to claim I would unless I had. You Courage May Vary.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  93. Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    …But that may not even be the stupidest NRO remark. Another contender:

    And, sorry again, but thoughts also arise on the killer’s being an English major and on the spiritual emptiness of much education nowadays

    .

    And I thought blaming the victims was a liberal sin. Heh!

    And who is the victim being ‘blamed’ in your scenario? The English-major shooter? You are kidding, right?

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  94. excuse incompetent blockquotes…was referring to post #88 for clarity.

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  95. krazy kagu: “the truth is GUN CONTROL IS WHAT LEAD TO THIS INCEDENT”

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure Cho went on his rampage in support of his strongly held belief in gun control. Putz.

    Bob Loblaw (aaedb4)

  96. Bob Loblaw,

    Gun control contributes to this type of incident by creating inviting targets like gun-free campuses.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  97. Fodder for the Islamic fascists — “…hmmm open soceity, open campuses, lots of young infidels. Let’s get some guns and C4! Alah has sanctioned it!…”

    There’s plenty in good ol USA with that attitude! Defend yourselves because the gov’t is incompetent at protecting you.

    dubya (c16726)

  98. 55-Jim Rockford
    As an FFL, I think I can speak as to the citizenship eligibility for gun buying.
    Federal requirments are that a buyer must be a U.S. citizen, or Resident Alien (Green Card holder). No non-resident alien is permitted to buy, no illegal alien is permitted to buy; but there are a few exceptions, for tourists on a legitimate hunting trip (must have valid hunting license) and diplomatic personnel with the appropriate paperwork.

    For me, the rule is: No Citizenship – No Gun.
    I do not sell to anyone who is not a citizen of the U.S. – Period!

    Reports are that the shooter was a Resident Alien, who had purchased both pistols legally in VA over the past several months. IIRC, VA (like CA) has a “one-gun-a-month” law for the purchase of handguns. The 9mm was purchased in Feb, and the 22 in March of this year. This would indicate advance planning, along with his use of locks and chains to bar the doors. This was not (I would suspect) a spur-of-the-moment event.

    Another Drew (a28ef4)

  99. I apologize for being unable to say how I truly feel about those who refuse to see that stupid gun laws helped make this worse than it had to be. Note this relevant post from 2006.

    I will refrain from truly speaking my mind in deference to our kind host.

    But if the name “Bradford B. Wiles” shows up on the list of those shot…Patterico may decide to ban me.

    Ranten N. Raven (1f5d50)

  100. re: “why didn’t someone rush the guy?” or sentiments to that effect.

    There are several problems with this “logic”.

    First, none of us knows what we will do in a situation like this. This arguably even applies to those who have reacted appropriately in life-threatening situations before. I’ve been shot at in combat but that was a long time ago and I was also armed at the time. I honestly have have no idea how I’d react now, particularly since I’m fatter, slower and much older than almost 40 years ago when I was last shot at. The “failure to act” criticism was leveled at the passengers of the 9/11 airliners by none other than Michael Moore and it rings no truer in this instance. We simply have no right to judge the actions or lack of actions by others in these situations.

    Second, the element of surprise almost always results in at the very least, short term mental paralysis of even the most otherwise brave people. Surprise does this because you first have to cut through your perception that “this can’t be happening”, collect your thoughts, then decide to take action and decide on the best and appropriate type of action to take. In this case you might very well have been shot in the intervening seconds. There is also quite a bit of construction going on at Tech so it took most people some time to come to the conclusion that the noise they heard was actually from gunshots rather than construction.

    Third, and closely related to the second, when you see what a gunshot wound does to a fellow human being, it often causes one to enter the same “short term mental paralysis” as did the initial element of surprise. In at least a few instances it appears that the professor and the students in the first row of the class were essentially executed. Would anyone rationally suggest that observers, who had never been exposed to similar violence in their lives, would instantly set that aside and jump into defensive action. I would submit that without police or military training (and even with same) it is difficult to the extreme to react with sufficient force and organization to disable the attacker.

    Though each of us would like to think themselves different, I would argue that only the most unusual person can summon the mental energy to respond effectively in such a violent confrontation. I’m not at all sure I could, though obviously I’d like to think so. This is what makes the reaction of Professor Librescu all the more heroic and amazing.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  101. I had a friend killed by a National Guardsman shortly after Hurricane Andrew in Miami, FL.
    The National Guardsman just went off of his rocker and maniacally stabbed four teens near a college campus as they gave him a lift somewhere.
    He even sodomized them as they lay bleeding from multiple wounds.
    I am sure he was trained to use guns. He just went nuts and used a knife.
    I don’t think gun control has got a flippin’ thing to do with people who lose their mind and decide to kill a number of others.
    I think if they decide to do it, they can build pipe bombs, build a homemade glock, create lethal gas bombs, shower people with toxic chemicals, walk down Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras and stab people to death, or run for office.
    There are maniacs everywhere.
    I live in Texas btw. And I am a firm believer that if someone breaks into my home and wants to have their way with me against my will, I should have every right to cut their pecker off and stick it down their throat. After I get done with it, that is.

    Tiffany (d9ac64)

  102. “Why didn’t someone ….”

    People react differently to stressors, depending on their trainings and understandings. Here we have someone whose reaction was to start killing people, and a bunch of other people whose response, for the most part, was to run away. We have trained them to expect others to defend them, and the blame for that failure is something we have to bear, we cannot push it off onto them.

    Not all of them did that, to their eternal credit.

    Few of us know what we’ll do in those situations, and training can swamp reasoning. I remember … Well, there is what I remember, and what I can reconstruct. I remember standing in a mostly dark theatre shop, talking to Bob, over a large drafting table and the clicK clicK as the hammers of a shotgun were pulled back, behind me. The next thing I remember was kneeling across someone, the shotgun action open, me holding the barrels across the former wielder’s neck, and Bob kneeling by my foot, gently shaking it, so very slowly saying “We’re safe. Don’t kill him. Save him, htom, we need him. Don’t kill him, htom. Damn, what’s a jarhead safe word!” By then his voice was up to normal speed and I was wondering what I’d done.

    I do not remember the disarm and takedown. I know I did it, I know how I must have done it, from the pattern of his injuries, Bob’s description, and my training, but I have no memory of it. None. There is a visual flash of the shotgun flying around in front of me, but that’s all.

    One of the students had thought it would be a good practical joke to take a double barrel shotgun from the propshop and sneek up on me, to scare me, as revenge for the lecture I’d given him about firearms safety. He’d had a couple of buddies far back in the distance, to watch. I don’t think that anyone thought it was funny.

    (Wasn’t arrested; I’d been out of the Corps less than a year, which Bob offered as an explanation for me. After a couple of weeks in the hospital, the joker left town.)

    Many, many years ago.

    Gandhi:
    have been repeating over and over again that he who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honour by non-violently facing death may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden. He has no business to be the head of a family. He must either hide himself, or must rest content to live for ever in helplessness and be prepared to crawl like a worm at the bidding of a bully.

    The strength to kill is not essential for self-defence; one ought to have the strength to die. When a man is fully ready to die, he will not even desire to offer violence. Indeed, I may put it down as a self-evident proposition that the desire to kill is in inverse proportion to the desire to die. And history is replete with instances of men who, by dying with courage and compassion on their lips, converted the hearts of their violent opponents.

    Nonviolence cannot be taught to a person who fears to die and has no power of resistance. A helpless mouse is not nonviolent because he is always eaten by pussy. He would gladly eat the murderess if he could, but he ever tries to flee from her. We do not call him a coward, because he is made by nature to behave no better than he does.

    But a man who, when faced by danger, behaves like a mouse, is rightly called a coward. He harbors violence and hatred in his heart and would kill his enemy if he could without hurting himself. He is a stranger to nonviolence. All sermonizing on it will be lost on him. Bravery is foreign to his nature. Before he can understand nonviolence, he has to be taught to stand his ground and even suffer death, in the attempt to defend himself against the aggressor who bids fair to overwhelm him. To do otherwise would be to confirm his cowardice and take him further away from nonviolence.

    Whilst I may not actually help anyone to retaliate, I must not let a coward seek shelter behind nonviolence so-called. Not knowing the stuff of which nonviolence is made, many have honestly believed that running away from danger every time was a virtue compared to offering resistance, especially when it was fraught with danger to one’s life. As a teacher of nonviolence I must, so far as it is possible for me, guard against such an unmanly belief.

    Self-defence….is the only honourable course where there is unreadiness for self-immolation.

    Though violence is not lawful, when it is offered in self-defence or for the defence of the defenceless, it is an act of bravery far better than cowardly submission. The latter befits neither man nor woman. Under violence, there are many stages and varieties of bravery. Every man must judge this for himself. No other person can or has the right.

    htom (412a17)

  103. Shorter version of post that didn’t show up.

    I don’t know if I’m brave enough to rush a gunman, but I do know I am not brave enough to claim I would, until I actually have.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (4e7e11)

  104. Patterico,

    I didn’t mean to imply that all, or even a significant number, of Dems were saying these things — though I can see how you’d get that from the language I used. Any such suggestion was unintentional

    Ok, if you say so.

    Pablo,

    Feel free to address the point in general society, or provide some explanation for why the campus, full of adults, would be a markedly different dynamic.

    Campuses: no real privacy; an average level of stress unmatched with almost any other environment; illegal alcohol consumption; a huge potential traumatic social experiences. Even to ask “what is different about campuses” shows you to be an unserious dogmatist.

    I am a former police officer, and it isn’t my police training that would have helped me here. It’s my firearms training. I wouldn’t have given a damn about the shooter’s rights, or what the law is.

    I imagine, when you’re dealing with such situation, it’s not only about hitting the aim, but also about general reaction to stress, not being shot yourself, knowing when to cover and when to shoot — all things that police training helps a lot.

    No, there isn’t. There is justifiable gun violence and there is criminal gun violence. There is no “domestic” option.

    There are people for whom guns is a part of their criminal way of life. These are “outlaws that would get guns despite any gun laws”. There are other people who have a gun and who, at some moment, commit a crime with a gun. The difference is, there’s almost no way of tracking the second group of people, since other than their actual crime they were not criminals any other day of their life, and they would not likely commit a crime of illegally purchasing a gun.

    Anyway, look at the guy at VTech: he was on medication, genuinely insane, everybody around him knew that, he scared people so much that they wouldn’t show up to the classes with him. He goes to the store and purchases a legal gun with no question asked — a nice college kid, what would be the problem.
    A chance that this particular freak would be able to purchase an illegal weapon? I’d say about 1%.

    But to ask _any_ questions about gun control in this context is bloody opportunism and trampling on the constitutional rights in your world.
    And there are, like, illegal immigrants that are coming to get you, they are the real mortal danger, not the guns sold with no questions asked to total maniacs.

    Nikolay (939eb6)

  105. Without clear knowledge of the details, it is hard even to speculate meaningfully. Early reports I heard said that “many were shot execution style”. To me “execution style” means shot in the back of the head while kneeling, which would not make sense for more than 1 or 2 if people were together, not tied up, and not totally “frozen” or passive. Further reports sound like “execution style” meant “at close range to the head” as the shooter would go into a classroom with 10-20 students, shoot several in the front rows before people could comprehend what was happening, leaving anyone alive “to rush him” probably in a chair and at least 8-10 feet away, and not able to coordinate an attack. Rushing someone who knows how to shoot from 10 feet away, alone, sounds pretty low chance of success even if one was prepared and thinking to do so. And few were prepared to do so. Even one of the students who was shot and survived who did act to barricade a door (from the side), stated as they heard what sounded like gun shots in the hall they had no comprehension what was happening. He “still thought it was a joke of some kind” even after the shooter was in his room, “until I saw the blood rushing out of the head of the guy sitting in the chair in front of me”.

    The passengers in Flight 93 were able to act against the terrorists in large part because they were aware of what had happened to the other flights. They had time to assimilate information and think asbout a plan.

    htom’s story above is an illustration of how to “assimilate information and think about a plan” when one is already trained. The click of a gun hammer pulled back close behind him was rapidly translated into “threat of immediate death, take action to self defend” faster than I can type one keystroke.

    I’ve known several people who are pleasant, kind, sociable fellows in typical conversation who can react violently given provocation, due to experiences either in street fights or military. One fellow spent 7 years in Levenworth for beating up his base CO. During a “chewing out” the CO banged his fist stood up in a (what was perceived as) threatening way. The next thing he remembered was other soldiers pulling him off the bloodied CO. Another fellow had the street name “Ripper” (as in “Jack the …) He had been into drug abuse and prostitution, and if felt threatened would go into “Tasmanian Devil” mode, attacking anybody within reach.

    I heard earlier this am that the shooter’s parents have both attempted suicide, out of grief and apparently the sense of shame/family honor that is part of Asian cultures. But that preliminary report may too be wrong.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  106. Reportedly the serial numbers on the guns had been filed off, suggesting they were obtained illegally. (Per evening TV news last night).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  107. MD in Philly,

    No. The guns were purchased legally from a gun store 30 miles from VT. The shooter (probably) filed off the serial numbers himself, so they couldn’t be used to identify him.

    Leviticus (3c2c59)

  108. #106, Levi, correct. Additionally, the background check of this legal permanent resident was more extensive than for that of a US citizen. Although it’s now clear that he had pretty severe, longstanding personality “issues”, none of these resulted in police reports or convictions that would have come up on a background check.

    Nor, as a loner, was he someone who would probably have shared his plan with anyone. There seems to be no evidence of having any friends. This guy was apparently a pressure cooker for some number of years. It is also apparent from the time line regarding the gun purchases and the use of chains and locks on the doors that this act was a planned, calculated attack.

    So, do we now pay additional attention to problem students? I don’t know. He seems also to have been creative at some level, not unlike a developing Quentin Tarantino or Steven King? Who knows? How do we differentiate?

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  109. Leviticus,

    Thanks for the clarification. (That’s what I get for reasoning with partial info from MSM. Even when I “don’t trust ’em” I end up believing what they said.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  110. We do pay attention to problem students, and there was attention paid to this fellow, reportedly, by:
    1) Police and campus police in response to allegations of “stalking” or similar unwanted attention. The woman complaining did not press charges. (Probably, “Get this guy to stop bugging me”, they did, he did, no more to that story).
    2) After above incident one person who knew him reported to Univ. staff there was concern if he was suicidal. Some degree of mental health intervention was done (I am not sure if a short term hospitalization was done, don’t remember the details).
    3) Head of English department discussed him with univ. counselling services because of content of much of his writing, lots of graphic violence. (Let’s assume the professor was taking into account the Stephen King/Tom Clancy affect and still thought the guy was outside the norm).

    Totally unclear at this point if he was provided adequate services but he refused treatment (and no legal justification for mandating treatment)*, received treatment but hid his plans of violence, received treatment and somebody missed an opportunity to intervene, or lost to treatment along the way, “fell through the cracks”.

    *To legally order a person into treatment it has to be shown that the person is an ACUTE/ACTIVE threat to themselves and/or others. The standard is pretty much the same everywhere (I think), but implimentation/interpretation can vary- usually based on available MH resources in my (scant) experience. Years ago I had a patient who was homicidal and suicidal that was released to home after emergency room evaluation, because they had convinced her to give them the gun she was planning to use. “No gun, no way to impliment plan, not a valid threat.” I told her to immediately go to another crisis center in the next district (big cities ahve many centers, just like many hospitals) where she was promptly admitted.

    Do I assume that background checks for firearms do not include psychiatric records, as they are protected medical records??? Not sure how to balance privacy issues and public safety issues on that one. It shouldn’t be easy to get someone’s psych records if not a treating medical provider, but I sure don’t want somebody with a known history of hospitalizations for paranoid schizophrenia who thinks he is a junior partner of Will Smith in “Men in Black III” buying guns to “kill the aliens”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  111. Sadly, most places consider psyc records untouchable for the criminal background check.

    A situation I don’t believe should be allowed to stand…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  112. Nikolay,

    Campuses: no real privacy; an average level of stress unmatched with almost any other environment; illegal alcohol consumption; a huge potential traumatic social experiences. Even to ask “what is different about campuses” shows you to be an unserious dogmatist.

    You’re kidding, right? You think college is the most stressful environment going? You think illegal alcohol consumption is somehow markedly different that legal alcohol consumption in this context? You think college is life’s hotbed of social trauma? And you’re going to call me an unserious dogmatist?
    Color me unimpressed with your argument.

    But to ask _any_ questions about gun control in this context is bloody opportunism and trampling on the constitutional rights in your world.

    No, there are some important questions about gun control to be asked here. The first one is, if someone other than the lunatic had been armed in Norris Hall, could they have prevented the loss of some of those lives?

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  113. I thought college was quite stressful … at the time … until I had a job, a wife, and children.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  114. Scott #110 –
    The only way IIRC that this guy’s mental state is going to get him disqualified for gun ownership is if his Doc reported him to the authorities, and they subsuquently got a court order declaring him to be a threat to himself or others. In other words: Committed. Those records are SUPPOSED to be available for the NICS (National Instant Check System) background check that is used in VA. If you’re not in the system, how is anyone supposed to know?

    Here in CA, we have a 10-day wait that allows the state (theoretically) to do a comprehensive check; but, really is just a delaying mechanism. Everything they need to know, they know in the first 24-hours.

    Most states just don’t want the responsibility of handing a gun to someone who should be denied. They have been (in some cases) pulled into the 21st century kicking and screaming about the costs to update their data-banks. You will find large amounts of money in the Fed DoJ budget to compensate them for their updating costs.

    Of course, if they can get away with it politically, they can always institute extended waiting periods (such as CA’s) or other methods of delaying gun acquisition by buyers (see: IL, MA & NY).

    But, we’re talking about legal gun ownership. For those who don’t want to observe the niceties, all they have to do is hook-up with a local gang-banger. The joke here in L.A. is that it takes about 30 minutes to complete an ILLEGAL gun purchase at your neighborhood high-school parking lot. Just brings lots of cash.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  115. You’re right Drew… This guy was commited, but since it was voluntary, a report wasn’t required (or even indicated, apparently).

    The rational being – I suppose – is that you might be crazy enough to need commiting, but at least you have enough of a grip to KNOW it…

    I stand by my question of “Are we sure we can’t bring this guy back from the dead so we can kill him again? Once doesn’t seem enough”

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  116. Looking at a copy of the “commitment” document, he really “wasn’t”, from my reading of it.
    It appears he was admitted as an involuntary commitment from judgement of the police and a psych intake technician which was appropriate. However, when he was evaluated by the psychiatrist he was judged stable to be released and referred to outpatient follow-up.

    Our society honors a “right” to be crazy and destroy your life.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  117. there is a beautiful poem for the virginia Massacre victims, see it at Beautiful Poem Tribute

    Ronald (854878)

  118. Did anyone read what Ted Nugent had to say on the subject?
    Check out cnn.com
    Makes perfect sense.

    Tiffany (d9ac64)

  119. Tiffany, honey, you know I don’t like to get any of that stuff on me… Can’t you just cut and paste it?

    I don’t want “that site” in my history… My computer would feel dirty. :)

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  120. You have corrupted your computer?
    Did you get a Packard Bell or something?

    Tiffany (d9ac64)

  121. close enough… An HP…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  122. Question Marks
    ——————-

    “This didn’t have to happen”, Cho Seung-Hui said, after murdering thirty-two people at Virginia Tech University.

    And this terrible tragedy of sons, daughters, mothers and fathers didn’t have to happen, if we’d only listened.

    But we never listen.

    We never listen to those that are different from us- the outcasts, the lonely, the homeless, the ones that are unspoken for. We don’t try to understand. We shun them and put them out of our minds because of our fear that we will become like them.

    And these people become more and more lonely and alienated in their isolation.

    Words like “creep”, “deranged misfit” and “psycho” devalue this killer’s humanity so we don’t have to face how similar he is to us. Cries of “how could he have been stopped” are uttered by media quick to sensationalize and gain market share, when the words “how could he have been listened to” are never considered.

    Because we don’t want to listen.

    We don’t want to hear about loneliness and alienation when we’re all so busy with our lives, making money and making friends. And the unpopular, the ones that don’t fit in, the lonely ones are ignored or made fun of because we don’t care to understand anything about them.

    This man who clearly needed help, Cho Seung-Hui, devalued himself so much that he called himself “Question Mark”.

    There are more “Question Marks” out there. There are millions of them. And if we don’t listen to them, they will follow the same path again and again, because people are not connecting. We are becoming more and more disconnected from each other, creating more and more “Question Marks” every day.

    Most “Question Marks” don’t become murderers. Some just kill themselves. Most harm no one and live just as we do, needing antidepressants to appear what we call “normal”. They may be someone you know, someone you love.

    This “Question Mark” was once a little boy, who cried, and smiled and loved, He wanted to fit in just like you and I. But that desire to fit in transformed itself into anger towards a society that shunned and ignored him.

    How many more times will we shun and ignore the one that doesn’t fit in, the one in the corner, the one that’s different? When all we have to do is listen, before it’s too late.

    But we won’t.

    Thirty-two human beings who did not know Cho Seung-Hui were murdered.
    They were sons, daughters, fathers and mothers, with dreams of futures that will never come and children that will never be born. The thirty-two leave behind people that love them. People that are now scarred for life by this horrible day of death.

    To most of us that have not been directly involved, this tragedy will become a memory and fade like all the others that came before.

    And the “Question Marks” will appear with more frequency, again and again, because we don’t listen.

    We never do.

    —————

    http://www.x-thc.com

    X: THC (2650d7)

  123. You know what, moron? I was shunned is school, and not ONCE did I even THINK of shooting ANYONE.

    Being ignored or mocked or anything is no reason to do what this fucking loon did. There is a line, and this ‘tard crossed it, and YOU are making excuses.

    Kids these days need to toughen the fuck up…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  124. I’ve been shunned so many times in school and at work because I love the company of myself. People bullied me but it never bothered me.
    I am an introvert and more productive this way.
    There are many famous introverts who contributed a lot to society. But are not freaking killers.
    Cho, on the other hand, is just a plain lunatic who wandered on campus one fine day with guns on hand and made history!
    Gun control, please…

    >sigh! (8ba3b4)


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