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Dave Mitsky
2007-Apr-16, 05:25 PM
One of the largest mass murders in years took place today at Virginia Tech.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/16/vtech.shooting/index.html

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

Dave MItsky

Fazor
2007-Apr-16, 05:38 PM
Yeah, I just got back from class and saw the article on MSN. I'm honestly not a very emotional guy but things like this get to me. To say it's sad is an understatment. My heart goes out to the families of the dead and the wounded.

Doodler
2007-Apr-16, 06:57 PM
Body count at 31 now... What the heck was he using? The story puts the total he shot somewhere in the low 40s, which is at least three reloads of your average pistol, even more for a typical rifle...

Ilya
2007-Apr-16, 07:00 PM
According to MSNBC, a 9 mm pistol and a .22 (!) rifle: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18134671/?GT1=9246

To get this kind of body count with these weapons takes someone very serious and very well trained. This is not a "random nutcase".

EvilEye
2007-Apr-16, 07:03 PM
It's not gun violence. It's people violence.

Largest massacre in U.S. history now.

The worst part is, the gunman is dead too, so no one will ever get closure.

All this will do is bring up thousands of questions with no real answers.

Frantic Freddie
2007-Apr-16, 07:06 PM
Law enforcement officials said the gunman carried two weapons, a 9-mm handgun and a 22-caliber gun, Williams reported.


Nothing about a rifle.


To get this kind of body count with these weapons takes someone very serious and very well trained. This is not a "random nutcase".


No,it'd doesn't take a lot of training,just some familiarity with the weapon & a willingness to use it.

Doodler
2007-Apr-16, 07:07 PM
I wonder if they'll ban the tag "Lone Gunman" at VT because it might hurt someone's feelings and bring back bad memories.:rolleyes:

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-16, 07:10 PM
To get this kind of body count with these weapons takes someone very serious and very well trained. This is not a "random nutcase".

Well, not to be offensive, but you are wrong. First, he had two guns and multiple magazines for each. Second, his victims were all unarmed. Third, it is being reported that he chained the doors closed to the building so that escape was impossible. Forth, he is said to have lined up a whole classroom as "hostages", then sprayed them with gunfire.

Now, YOU are in such a situation - what are you gonna do, other than die?

One Skunk Todd
2007-Apr-16, 07:15 PM
I have seen early news reports in other cases like this where a .223 rifle was mistakenly reported as .22.

Doodler
2007-Apr-16, 07:22 PM
Well, not to be offensive, but you are wrong. First, he had two guns and multiple magazines for each. Second, his victims were all unarmed. Third, it is being reported that he chained the doors closed to the building so that escape was impossible. Forth, he is said to have lined up a whole classroom as "hostages", then sprayed them with gunfire.

Now, YOU are in such a situation - what are you gonna do, other than die?

Charge. Might get me, might not, better dead fighting, though.

Captain Kidd
2007-Apr-16, 07:22 PM
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Virginia_Tech_shooting) is a good gathering point for information, although nothing on the guns used right now, I had heard earlier that it was two 9mm, nothing about any other calibres.

Currently it looks like the death toll is:
Fatalities:
32 reported by Fox and Collegiate Times
31 reported by AP, MSNBC, CNN, CBS and BBC
29 reported by ABC
22 reported by Reuters and Virginia Tech
Injuries:
29 reported by CNN
21 reported by FOX
10 reported by BBC

As for mass murder, looks like the Bath School Disaster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster) holds that unfortunate title.

Frantic Freddie
2007-Apr-16, 07:27 PM
Something doesn't add up,the 1st shootings were at 7:15 am,then the attacks started 2 hours later

Why wasn't the campus shut down & students warned?

Larry Jacks
2007-Apr-16, 07:27 PM
Now, YOU are in such a situation - what are you gonna do, other than die?

Charge. Might get me, might not, better dead fighting, though.

My thoughts exactly.

According to what I've read, Virginia Tech was a declared "gun free zone." Too bad that only applies to people who obey the law.

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-16, 07:27 PM
Charge. Might get me, might not, better dead fighting, though.

Right-o! What do you have to loose? (I guess I'd have to be there to know all the particulars - but then, I'd be armed! I carry on campus, even tho guns are banned at my school. I think the risk is worth it, for a first offense, they'd just take my CCW permit, which still means I can carry in my car and home.)

cbacba
2007-Apr-16, 07:28 PM
It's not gun violence. It's people violence.

Largest massacre in U.S. history now.

The worst part is, the gunman is dead too, so no one will ever get closure.

All this will do is bring up thousands of questions with no real answers.

NOt quite.

THe largest is a nightclub arson quite a few years ago now. Death toll was in the vacinity of or over 50 people. Some sort of bar argument and I guess the guy couldn't find a pistol, so he opted for a gas can and a match.

Short distances and unarmed victims incapable of defending themselves make up for any apparent lack of expertise on the part of the murderer. It'll be interesting to note if it comes out that the culprit was on ritilin and the like. It'll also undoubtedly get reported as some nutjob upset over a domestic dispute (or girlfriend rejection), probably even if the guy's name was mohamed and he just came to the school from the nearest mosque. The fact that it occurred in two radically different locations (across the campus) makes one wonder if there wasn't more than one involved. Clearly, there was some sort of specificity, otherwise there would only be one crime scene, perhaps a long one.

Also the latest is 32 dead and that the gunman had 2x 9mm pistols - but the one thing we do know is the media reports that which they do not know in situations like this so it could have easily been 2x 9 year olds with shotguns.

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-16, 07:29 PM
Something doesn't add up,the 1st shootings were at 7:15 am,then the attacks started 2 hours later

Why wasn't the campus shut down & students warned?

Look up incompetence in the dictionary. You may be able to develop a theory ...

Doodler
2007-Apr-16, 07:44 PM
Look up incompetence in the dictionary. You may be able to develop a theory ...

Unless the initial analysis was that the dorm attacks were an isolated incident unlikely to be immediately repeated.

99% of the time, you get a shooter like that who hits, then runs like hell.

A rampage like this is something pretty extraordinary, despite the media's ad nauseum coverage of them.

Demigrog
2007-Apr-16, 07:52 PM
I don't even know where to begin describing how I feel right now; I'm a VT alumni and still have many family and friends there. This reminds me so much of 9/11, worse even because it is so much closer to home. It was eerily similar, actually; everyone in the office starts getting rumors and a few cell phone calls here and there, totally underestimating the scope of the tragedy. Then, watching my co-workers with kids down there go from minor concern to total panic when the press conference announced a "ball park" 20 dead, I don't think I'll feel ok for a long time. Everyone thought it was a simple homicide up until then.

Fortunately I've gotten hold of all my own family, but I’m dreading the next few days because with so many dead, in an engineering building no less, there is just bound to be somebody I know.

This is going to change Tech for a long time. I cannot imagine having classis in Norris or living in AJ after this.

mugaliens
2007-Apr-16, 07:54 PM
This is absolutely horrific. This is my alma mater.

I visited Virginia Tech in May of last year with a friend who'd gone to a nearby school.

It was always such a sleepy little town back in the 1980s, so much so that many people would never lock their doors.

My heart goes out to the people, their friends, and the family of those who've suffered at the hands of the madman who did this.

The only consolation is that we won't have to endure a lengthy trial, as the madman apparently shot himself.

As for addressing the other comments, I'll wait a few days for the dust to settle, out of respect for those who're suffering.

tofu
2007-Apr-16, 07:55 PM
Class buildings are pretty bad places in terms of vulnerability to this kind of attack. You have to go into the hall (where the gunman is) to exit normally, and the windows are often too small to get through.

That probably has something to do with the high number of victims.

korjik
2007-Apr-16, 07:55 PM
Well, not to be offensive, but you are wrong. First, he had two guns and multiple magazines for each. Second, his victims were all unarmed. Third, it is being reported that he chained the doors closed to the building so that escape was impossible. Forth, he is said to have lined up a whole classroom as "hostages", then sprayed them with gunfire.

Now, YOU are in such a situation - what are you gonna do, other than die?

I agree with Doodler. Even if I die I know that the dozen or so he puts into me wont be going into someone else. If he dosent stop me, my 280lbs will put a bit of a crimp in his plans.

Doodler
2007-Apr-16, 08:01 PM
I agree with Doodler. Even if I die I know that the dozen or so he puts into me wont be going into someone else. If he dosent stop me, my 280lbs will put a bit of a crimp in his plans.

275 here. Hard to miss, plenty of momentum.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15111438/

MSNBC gets the gold star for #10.

Delvo
2007-Apr-16, 08:04 PM
I'm used to people saying violence in general, or school violence in particular, has gotten worse than "when we were kids", when it "never happened at all". And I'm used to responding that the stats show it's really no different and we just hear about it more now because stories that would have been local before are national now.

But now it seems that I've heard of things like this happening more in the last few years than when even I was a kid, and news reporting hasn't changed that much that quickly. So now I'm starting to wonder if there's a real statistical phenomenon, an actual growing trend, here.

jamini
2007-Apr-16, 08:13 PM
Yet another of constant reminders that the evolutionary process is painfully slow.

My deepest regrets to the victims and their families; at least the monster responsible is dead.

Doodler
2007-Apr-16, 08:16 PM
I'm used to people saying violence in general, or school violence in particular, has gotten worse than "when we were kids", when it "never happened at all". And I'm used to responding that the stats show it's really no different and we just hear about it more now because stories that would have been local before are national now.

But now it seems that I've heard of things like this happening more in the last few years than when even I was a kid, and news reporting hasn't changed that much that quickly. So now I'm starting to wonder if there's a real statistical phenomenon, an actual growing trend, here.

The link I posted in the spot before your post here, #10 spelled out exactly how rare school violence is at the fatal level.

Melusine
2007-Apr-16, 08:16 PM
This is absolutely horrific. This is my alma mater.

...

My heart goes out to the people, their friends, and the family of those who've suffered at the hands of the madman who did this.

The only consolation is that we won't have to endure a lengthy trial, as the madman apparently shot himself.

As for addressing the other comments, I'll wait a few days for the dust to settle, out of respect for those who're suffering.

I just found out about this - how utterly awful and scary. I second your above comments, Mugaliens, and it's rather useless to go on about related matters - this stuff is not new. Remember the UT sniper back in the early '70s? It's just someone who went nuts and has now made other people's lives miserable. A very, very sad day.

Tog
2007-Apr-16, 08:18 PM
As one of the mill;ions of gun owners who have never even thought about going on a rampage, I'd like to say this sucks and my thoughts go out to all those affected. Hopefully they will be able to peice together some sort of reason for it.

To address a point above, here is a 9mm pistol (http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg57-e.htm) with a 50 round magazine. They also make a .22 with a 100 round capacity. I'm not saying this is what was used. I have no idea. I'm just putting this out as an example of how a person could carry that many rounds and get that many shots off.

Also, count me in the crowd that would be charging the guy, probably throwing stuff as well. I'm not as fit as I used to be, but I think I've gotten a bit meaner to compensate for it.

Fazor
2007-Apr-16, 08:22 PM
I don't even know where to begin describing how I feel right now; I'm a VT alumni and still have many family and friends there. This reminds me so much of 9/11, worse even because it is so much closer to home. It was eerily similar, actually; everyone in the office starts getting rumors and a few cell phone calls here and there, totally underestimating the scope of the tragedy. Then, watching my co-workers with kids down there go from minor concern to total panic when the press conference announced a "ball park" 20 dead, I don't think I'll feel ok for a long time. Everyone thought it was a simple homicide up until then.


I hope all your friends co-worker's families are safe. Like I said in my initial post, I'm generally a very un-emotional person. But similarly, reading this story gave me the feeling of 9-11 all over again. Okay so there's a huge difference between that and this. But still. ~30 deaths? (assuming the wounded all live). Ugh. It's just incomprehensable. And the coward didnt even have the guts to stick around and take responsability for his actions. Makes me sick. If you're going to kill yourself, well then do it. Don't take 30 innocent people with you.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-16, 08:34 PM
Now, YOU are in such a situation - what are you gonna do, other than die?
Short distance, handgun?
Immediately start throwing everything you can grab at his head, especially liquids or hard edgy objects. Every time he has to blink or move his head is another second of two that you'll live, if it inspires a few others to do so as well a rush has a reasonable chance at taking him down or you'll ave time to aim at the gun hand with a chair.

Would probably still die, but the others have a better chance.

Fazor
2007-Apr-16, 08:46 PM
Well it's stupid to discuss what you would do in that situation, because in less you've been in it you don't honestly know what you would do.

But those are all good suggestions of what you SHOULD do. Problem is, in the beginning you don't know what the gunman/men intend to do. Most often if they take hostages, they're not going to actually kill you. But personally, I feel it's better to treat every one like that's what they're going to do. Once that have you lined up or worse, bound and subdued, you can't act if you suddenly find out they are going to kill you.

I always tell my g/f that if someone tries to hold her at gunpoint, do NOT do what they ask you to do. Run. Scream. Fight. But don't obey. Even in the much more common situation [of a single abduction/robbery], once they have you bound they'll probably put you through hell before they finally kill you. Don't let them. If you're going to die anyway, die fighting.

Besides, unless you're a skilled, trained shooter, a moving target at anything over 10-15 feet isn't as easy to hit with a handgun as you'd think. And the further you get the harder it is to hit you.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-16, 08:51 PM
The only consolation is that we won't have to endure a lengthy trial, as the madman apparently shot himself.

That was Jack Ruby's reasoning, too. The thing is, not having a trial doesn't mean that things are better. In fact, it eliminates a lot of the possible sense of closure; there's a decent-ish chance that, had Oswald lived, we wouldn't have so many conspiracy theories about Kennedy.

As to the gun, aren't clips that hold that many rounds illegal? I thought they were. Am I wrong?

And remember--this is horrible. This is tragic. This is awfully depressing. However, youth violence is decreasing. And the majority of violence to young people is by adults. Kids are not more violent than they used to be; it is just the media.

Captain Kidd
2007-Apr-16, 08:56 PM
Press conference at 1630 EDT: 31 dead in Norris Hall, 2 dead in the dorm.
Gunman ID unknown as he was not carrying ID.
Still uncertain that the two events were connected.

Doodler
2007-Apr-16, 08:59 PM
The last time I was a witness to a shooting, I got lucky. A) Wasn't the target, B) escape path was clear. My heart skipped a beat at the bang, but at 12 years old, that's to be expected. Give me no escape, and give me time to realize I'm going down anyway, and I'll shake off the shock.

Fazor
2007-Apr-16, 09:01 PM
And remember--this is horrible. This is tragic. This is awfully depressing. However, youth violence is decreasing. And the majority of violence to young people is by adults. Kids are not more violent than they used to be; it is just the media.

Exactly. News reports are for the most part void of any kind of statistics. And when they include statistics, they're either irrelevant, inadequate, or just plain wrong.

Someone pointed out early in this thread that violence, by the numbers, hasn't really increased that much per capita in the US since "the good 'ol days of Mayburry".

Of course, these incidents are still unnerving, and very disheartening. It's hard to put faith in the human race when there's people like this guy out there. What I would give to be able to just pummel this guy for 5 minutes! Ugh.

Captain Kidd
2007-Apr-16, 09:01 PM
As to the gun, aren't clips that hold that many rounds illegal? I thought they were. Am I wrong?Donno, but then just becase they illegal doesn't mean they can't be obtained.

Well prepared with two guns of the same type and a fanny pack or cargo pants loaded with clips, I can see him maintaining a fairly high rate of fire with standard clips, especially if he had training, official or by himself.

Doodler
2007-Apr-16, 09:02 PM
http://kotaku.com/gaming/virginia-tech/breaking-idiot-thompson-blames-va-shooting-on-games-252702.php

Incoming swill alert...

SeanF
2007-Apr-16, 09:07 PM
What a terrible, terrible event. I wonder if they'll find a diary or journal or something that may shed some light on his thought processes?


http://kotaku.com/gaming/virginia-tech/breaking-idiot-thompson-blames-va-shooting-on-games-252702.php

Incoming swill alert...
Plus something for Gillianren in the penultimate paragraph. :)

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-16, 09:13 PM
If you're going to die anyway, die fighting.
If for no other reason, get the adrenalin running in a fight response and it'll hurt less as you go.

Captain Kidd
2007-Apr-16, 09:17 PM
Hmm, what would I do? Well, sitting here in an armchair, it's easy to come up with all sorts of plans. But in the uncertainty and panic of the actual event, I donno ... I'll be the first to admit I'm not the split-second decisive type. Were I in the first room the guy entered, I'd probably sit there like an idiot staring in disbelief. (I've got to be sadly honest.) Given some time, just a few minutes, I'd probably be able to assess the situation and come up with a decent plan of action.

At my university all the classroom doors are locked and use keycards to unlock and most of the professors close the doors during class, so the shooter would be a bit out of luck there. Being on the 3rd floor, it'd be a bit of a drop out the windows, so I'd probably try to avoid being in the way of any shots coming through wood door and set up some sort of ambush on the door if he got a keycard.

The computer lab would be a bit more worrisome. It's usually crowded and there's only one main way in and out although there is at least one other door that isn't locked, just alarmed if opened. Rather than getting stuck in the mob trying to get out, I'd probably be ripped keyboards and mice from the computers and chucking it at the guy. The rows of desks and the server room also provide pretty good visual coverage too. Hmm, that is one disadvantage of LCD monitors, dodging or getting wholluped by a big 22" CRT would definitely buy time to dogpile the guy.

Both of those are close confines and thus advantageous to defense plus you're kind of cornered (fight). In an open area, like the commons or the student center, I'd probably try to bug out or find cover (flight).

Fazor
2007-Apr-16, 09:24 PM
http://kotaku.com/gaming/virginia-tech/breaking-idiot-thompson-blames-va-shooting-on-games-252702.php

Incoming swill alert...

LoL! You know what, I think Jack was in my WoW guild. A fellow gulid member yesterday started ranting about how he was going to "Own Blizzard" when he got through with them. When asked why, he opened with "Lets just say I'm a lawyer". (As if *I* would take that to mean anything.)

"Okay," I said, "lets say you are a lawyer. why are you going to sue?"

Him/Her:"Someone called me a *** and a ***, and the GM [moderator] refused to do anything about it"
Me: "So?"
Him/her: "That's slander!"
Me: "No it's not, it's opinion. Slander is spreading false trueths that are damaging to you personally or professionally. Besides, Blizzard has censorship controls which by default are on, and you turned them off. Additionally, in the legal disclaimer which you agreed to when you purchased your account, it explicitly states that while the game is rated [whatever] on-line experience may vary, and Blizzard is not responsable for the language of users in-game. I suggest you spend a few more years in law school."

at this point he got upset and left the guild. Seems about the same level of legal skill and maturity. It must have been him. :D

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-16, 09:24 PM
As to the gun, aren't clips that hold that many rounds illegal? I thought they were. Am I wrong?


How many rounds? What do you mean, "that many rounds"?

You don't even know what capacity the magazines he used had! Fact is, he had several "clips", all loaded and ready to go.

It amazes me that people think that the number of rounds in a clip means a DAMN THING. You can buy and carry as many as your psychotic needs require!
Changing clips can be done in under 3 seconds with very little practice. ANd since he was the only armed person - he had time, didn't he?

ToSeek
2007-Apr-16, 09:31 PM
How many rounds? What do you mean, "that many rounds"?


Presuambly the number of rounds mentioned in this post (http://www.bautforum.com/showpost.php?p=969379&postcount=27) as an example of what's possible.

Amber Robot
2007-Apr-16, 09:41 PM
To address a point above, here is a 9mm pistol (http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg57-e.htm) with a 50 round magazine.

I'm not against personal gun ownership, but I can't imagine a single reason why anyone outside of the military would need to own one of these.

SeanF
2007-Apr-16, 09:47 PM
I'm not against personal gun ownership, but I can't imagine a single reason why anyone outside of the military would need to own one of these.
The pistol or the magazine? Either way, there are lots of things people don't need to own. Doesn't mean anything.

Amber Robot
2007-Apr-16, 09:55 PM
The pistol or the magazine? Either way, there are lots of things people don't need to own. Doesn't mean anything.

My point being that it shouldn't be legal to own a submachine gun for personal/non-military use.

Occam
2007-Apr-16, 10:07 PM
It's not gun violence. It's people violence.

Largest massacre in U.S. history now.

The worst part is, the gunman is dead too, so no one will ever get closure.

All this will do is bring up thousands of questions with no real answers.

No offense, but as long as this attitude is perpetuated it will keep on happening. The idea that "guns don't don't kill people, people kill people" is just crap. Now if you care to say "guns don't don't kill people, people with guns kill people" I might say you have a point. The guns are the problem. People cannot be fixed and there will always be those with no respect for life. You CAN take away their guns. The idea that Americans have the constitutional right to bear arms just doesn't wash anymore. A while back Americans had the right to burn the flag in protest, too. Rules can be changed. The argument that you need guns to protect yourself from criminals doesn't wash either, since the criminals are also armed and, unlike you, don't give a damn about following rules. All it needs is a government that has the guts to stand up and say "enough is enough" - but while groups like the NRA are allowed to ride roughshod over ordinary, decent citizens and dictate the rules to everyone else, this will keep on happening with tragic regularity.

Len Moran
2007-Apr-16, 10:21 PM
Well I have just heard about this on our BBC news, and it is tragic, nothing else can be added to that. But given prominence in the BBC (and ITV)coverage was the complete lack of talk (yet again) regarding gun control by (amongst many others) President Bush. In this thread there seems to be just one or two posts that have mentioned gun control. Pretty much sums it up I think.

Jim
2007-Apr-16, 10:23 PM
... Remember the UT sniper back in the early '70s? ...

August 1, 1966 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman).

I started classes there six weeks later.

Whitman's spree lasted longer and claimed fewer victims. We seem to be getting more efficient at the wrong things.

jamini
2007-Apr-16, 10:27 PM
No offense, but as long as this attitude is perpetuated it will keep on happening. The idea that "guns don't don't kill people, people kill people" is just crap. Now if you care to say "guns don't don't kill people, people with guns kill people" I might say you have a point. The guns are the problem. People cannot be fixed and there will always be those with no respect for life. You CAN take away their guns. The idea that Americans have the constitutional right to bear arms just doesn't wash anymore. A while back Americans had the right to burn the flag in protest, too. Rules can be changed. The argument that you need guns to protect yourself from criminals doesn't wash either, since the criminals are also armed and, unlike you, don't give a damn about following rules. All it needs is a government that has the guts to stand up and say "enough is enough" - but while groups like the NRA are allowed to ride roughshod over ordinary, decent citizens and dictate the rules to everyone else, this will keep on happening with tragic regularity.
I doubt that gun control is an appropriate topic for debate on a scientific forum so I will simply state that I disagree entirely with the statements above. There is no statistical analysis to support these kinds of rash generalizations and they certainly do not reflect the views of most Americans; if they did, the second amendment to our constitution would reflect that.

I will now withdraw from this topic and avoid the temptation to comment further at the risk of violating any rules.

mike alexander
2007-Apr-16, 10:28 PM
I was wondering how long it would be before things swung over to gun control.


Occam wrote:
A while back Americans had the right to burn the flag in protest, too

I believe we still do.

cbacba
2007-Apr-16, 10:33 PM
My point being that it shouldn't be legal to own a submachine gun for personal/non-military use.

The simplistic answer is - it hasn't been for decades. It is irrelevent to this topic as there was no submachine gun involved. Also, it's not legal for someone to own or buy a bulletproof vest if they aren't law enforcement - something that is relevent to this case.

The more complex answer is - that it's required a federal license to own a submachine gun for about 70 years now and there are quite a few out in private hands - legally. As in the ultravast majority of cases of all other weapons, apparently none of the submachine guns legally owned have ever been used in the commision of crimes. It's also been illegal in the same way for 70 yrs for one to own a silencer or a sawed off shotgun. Note that the 2 liter coke bottle can be attached to a gunbarrel and make an excellent silencer for at least one shot. The metal attachment that can permit a screwon 2 liter bottle carries the same felony as possession of a full silencer - that is unless one has paid the appropriate fees for the federal license.

As for sawed off shotguns, they are oftimes made by taking a hacksaw to a shotgun, sometimes very nice and rather expensive shotguns - usually stolen. However, I once saw a chrome plated one - complete with silver engraved pistolgrip cap being carried around by a uniformed officer whose ID badge was the same as the name engraved on the pistol grip of the shotgun.

One of the problems with 'not being able to see why there might be a need for someone to have ...' is that it is more an admission of self short sightedness and ignorance than that of an informed opinion. Such sentiments turned into law usually have no effects on the situations envisioned and can have the effects of unintended consequences. Such notions also tend to violate the intent and the letter of a realistically legally based interpretation of the 2nd amendment.

My favorite 'ban' weapon example is the 105 mm recoilless rifle - an approximately 4" diameter cannon of late 20th century design. Definitely not what one would use for hunting anything and not very suitable for target shooting either considering that target shooting generally requires having a backstop of dirt - which would not survive too many rounds of such a device. However, anyone who says they cannot see any reason that an individual (not military) should ever possibly have such a weapon is extolling the virtues of their ignorance. Anyone who lives in virtually unpopulated snowcovered mountain areas that are subject to avalanches has a legitimate reason to have and use one. That's without having to resort to some more esoteric argument such as persuit of happiness is blowing up trees or rock cliffs or shooting 5 gallon cans with a machine gun - note that soup cans are pretty well out as being able to hit something that small is a skill that must be developed.

It's now evident that the killer was out to kill a bunch of people and was planned. Carrying 2 firearms and a bulletproof vest and carrying extra ammunition requires planning and preparation. He wasn't out to do in someone he was ticked off with in some spur of the moment emotional decision.

It's definitely a tradgedy and will probably have ramifications around the country in many ways for quite some time. The actions taken or not taken by the school will doubtlessly have a future financial impact on them with lawsuits as well so there will be lesser victims gallore.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Apr-16, 10:37 PM
I agree with those that say you fight back, but not in haste. Could make things worse. But as soon as it appears they are intent on shooting, start looking for an opportunity. If things look desperate (such as lining people up against the wall) then it's time to act. Against a single gunman, chances are some wil survive.

I have been there, but with a knife and not a gun. I was 16 and he was a an adult, although at least slightly drunk. As soon as I realized he was going to stab me no matter what I said, I decided what the heck, might as well try SOMETHING. My something was going to be to try to break his arm against a railing he was leaning on. Figured a quick blow would catch him before he could thrust.

Here's the really lucky part. Someone had noticed what was happening and had called security. While I was stealing time and plotting my move 2 guards got to him. I always wondered how bad they beat him; they wouldn't tell us the outcome.

ToSeek
2007-Apr-16, 10:42 PM
I doubt that gun control is an appropriate topic for debate on a scientific forum so I will simply state that I disagree entirely with the statements above. There is no statistical analysis to support these kinds of rash generalizations and they certainly do not reflect the views of most Americans; if they did, the second amendment to our constitution would reflect that.

I will now withdraw from this topic and avoid the temptation to comment further at the risk of violating any rules.

Jamini is right - this is not an appropriate topic for this forum. I understand how easy it is to bring up the subject of guns and their standing in society in a thread like this, but that's not the sort of thing we discuss here at BAUT.

ToSeek
BAUT Forum Moderator

Frantic Freddie
2007-Apr-16, 10:42 PM
As one of the mill;ions of gun owners who have never even thought about going on a rampage, I'd like to say this sucks and my thoughts go out to all those affected. Hopefully they will be able to peice together some sort of reason for it.

To address a point above, here is a 9mm pistol (http://world.guns.ru/smg/smg57-e.htm) with a 50 round magazine. They also make a .22 with a 100 round capacity. I'm not saying this is what was used. I have no idea. I'm just putting this out as an example of how a person could carry that many rounds and get that many shots off.

Also, count me in the crowd that would be charging the guy, probably throwing stuff as well. I'm not as fit as I used to be, but I think I've gotten a bit meaner to compensate for it.

Calico went out of business in '95 & the guns are extremely rare & very expensive.

As far as the legality of high-capacity magazines (I think it was Gillianren that asked} they're perfectly legal since the expiration of the so-called "Assault Weapons Ban".

It seems he had 2 9mm handguns,which typically have up to 15 round magazines.So at some point he had to reload,typically a 3-5 second operation that requires both hands,so he had to put one of the guns down.
That's when he could've been taken down,but I'm not going to second-guess a bunch of terrified students.

Occam
2007-Apr-16, 10:43 PM
I doubt that gun control is an appropriate topic for debate on a scientific forum...
In a forum called "Off-Topic Babbling", in response to a post about another mass murder?

Re my flag burning comment, I am clearly mistaken. I thought that the proposed amendment had been ratified. It was a badly made point that even popular rules can be changed

mike alexander
2007-Apr-16, 10:46 PM
S'okay. Occam. Your essential point is correct. And I'm not all that up on the finer points of Kiwi law, myself.

The Bad Astronomer
2007-Apr-16, 10:48 PM
Occam-- precisely. Gun control is a political issue, and those are very strongly frowned upon on this board. Discussion of the massacre today is within the rules, but be wary of letting it stray into a political topic.

Serenitude
2007-Apr-16, 10:48 PM
In a forum called "Off-Topic Babbling", in response to a post about another mass murder?

Edit: BA beat me to it ;)

Doodler
2007-Apr-16, 10:57 PM
Official count of the deceased is at 32+1 (pardon I keep lone psycho out of the main count). Not hearing much on injuries at this point, so I don't know if they're finding more bodies or that people taken to the hospital alive are dying.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-16, 10:59 PM
Re my flag burning comment, I am clearly mistaken. I thought that the proposed amendment had been ratified. It was a badly made point that even popular rules can be changed

Very few Constitutional amendments ever get ratified, and I doubt that one had the support.

Occam
2007-Apr-16, 11:10 PM
No worries. FYI, I wasn't trying to make any political point but simply commenting that, from the standpoint of a foreigner who sees horrific events like this one take place with alarming regularity, it's hard to understand the aversion to gun control.
No more comments from me on this subject

Van Rijn
2007-Apr-16, 11:14 PM
If you're interested, you can check around the web and you can see the various arguments based on different positions. They're all over the map.

EvilEye
2007-Apr-16, 11:43 PM
I have heard a ton of arguments today.

I just want to say this to people that want to blame Campus security for something like this.

There is nothing you can do.

Limiting weapons won't help, strengthing security won't help, and god forbid it does... the "Minority Report" tactic won't ever work.

1. Laws and regulations only apply to lawful and abiding citizens. People that don't obey the law always find a way.

2. Maximizing security won't work.
a) It is not feasible, monetarily, or practically. 900 students coming and going 24/7 into and out of a building with several entrances cannot be checked individually without creating a roadblock of epic proportions.

b) Who are going pay the extra security/police officers in the hundreds of buildings on any campus?

Imagine that you were in a 1200 student class. You would have to set aside an entired day to attnd a 90 minute session if every one of your classmates had to be sufficiently checked.

Also... with that number of students in one class (or building) it is too easy to "blend" in amongst the sea of faces.

3. Trying to blame someone for "not seeing it" before it happens leads us in a dangerous direction. That is why I mentioned Minority Report.
Simply being very angry for a long time is not a good enough reason to stop someone. You are allowed to have thoughts and even say most things. That is the way this country works. You can suspect someone might do something, but until they do it, you have no legal power unless they provide evidence that they are going to do it.

This hits hard on many fronts.

I went to pick up my son from school just last week, and the security on the surface looked GREAT.

I drove into the parking lot, and walked into the office where I was asked, "May I help you?"

I said "I'm here for my son Brandon (last name withheld)".

They called down the hall, and then after a reply, I was told to go down there to the Principal's office.

In the Principal's office I signed him out on a sheet by the door. (I could have written any 2 names on it... no one even looked at it at this time.)

Since the principal was expecting me (who am I to him?) because they called him... he trusted me, and called for my son.

Then he told me to return to the main office and wait for my son.

Now that I had been with the principal, the office workers felt comfortable, and let me take this 13 year old boy with me, no questions asked.

The only thing that could have ever proven who or what I was was when my son came through the front door (I could have waited outside for him) and said "Hi Dad".

My point is that everyone there assumed that someone ELSE had done their job, and just let a kid go with someone they had no real idea who it was except that I told them I was someone, and they were expecting someone.

But as unsafe as that story seems... it could have been like Fort Knox, and it can still be broken into. There is no such thing as SAFE. There is only safER.

Amber Robot
2007-Apr-17, 01:07 AM
The simplistic answer is - it hasn't been for decades. It is irrelevent to this topic as there was no submachine gun involved.

I wasn't commenting on today's shooting, just the link that Tog posted.

foreignkid
2007-Apr-17, 02:52 AM
The policemen were also afraid of being sued, with all the protection laws that exist now. In a way, I can't really blame them for not wanting to act quicker if all they want to do is get through the day without being mortally injured.

Delvo
2007-Apr-17, 03:02 AM
The link I posted in the spot before your post here, #10 spelled out exactly how rare school violence is at the fatal level.Ya, but it doesn't mention whether or not there's been an increase or decrease overall, or especially of this kind of large-scale events. (And I was also thinking outside the school with my comment.)

Jens
2007-Apr-17, 03:22 AM
1. Laws and regulations only apply to lawful and abiding citizens. People that don't obey the law always find a way.


I don't really want to respond very forcefully, because I think the quote above sort of fits into the political side that we're trying to avoid. But I just wanted to say that I don't know if that is really true. I'll admit, there are differences in the situation, but I've been living in Japan for more than 15 years, and the only place I've ever seen guns is in police officers' holsters. I've never seen one drawn, and certainly not used. People just don't have them. The yakuza do, yes, but they keep them under tight control themselves, and only use them in inter-gang warfare. When people rob a store (even crazy ones), they just don't use guns (they use knives, which are not nice either, of course!). But crazy people in Japan don't have guns. They're just too difficult to get. Even police offices have to leave their weapons in the police station when off duty.

This doesn't really apply very easily to the US, however, because people can travel freel from one place to another. In Japan, people have to enter the country through airports or ports, so it's fairly easy to control the entry of firearms to some extent.

EvilEye
2007-Apr-17, 03:45 AM
I don't really want to respond very forcefully, because I think the quote above sort of fits into the political side that we're trying to avoid. But I just wanted to say that I don't know if that is really true. I'll admit, there are differences in the situation, but I've been living in Japan for more than 15 years, and the only place I've ever seen guns is in police officers' holsters. I've never seen one drawn, and certainly not used. People just don't have them. The yakuza do, yes, but they keep them under tight control themselves, and only use them in inter-gang warfare. When people rob a store (even crazy ones), they just don't use guns (they use knives, which are not nice either, of course!). But crazy people in Japan don't have guns. They're just too difficult to get. Even police offices have to leave their weapons in the police station when off duty.

This doesn't really apply very easily to the US, however, because people can travel freel from one place to another. In Japan, people have to enter the country through airports or ports, so it's fairly easy to control the entry of firearms to some extent.



Don't feel bad.

My statement only applies in the U.S. for the purposes of what I am talking about. (maybe other places, but I am not from anywhere but here. - United States)

If it had always been against the law to own a firearm, then it would have been more difficult for this to happen. But even then, not really.

Just because the guy used guns to do his deed doesn't mean the lack of one would have stopped him. He could have bombed the hall just as easily... probably more easily. You can make bombs out of so many things that can be bought anywhere, and in their situation, there wouldn't have been any suspicion. You bring in one innocuous ingredient a day, and over time, you have the ingredients inside, and then you assemble them and BOOM!!!!

Like I said... if a person wants to do it.. they will. There is no safety. Just being safer.

We never ask the questions before the fact... only after.

I'm just glad that things like this only happen every few decades, and not every day.

I don't believe that firearms are the problem. I believe that being too comfortable with our "Americanism" is.

Oh... and our most violent video games come from where?

Serenitude
2007-Apr-17, 03:48 AM
Japan ;)

Jens
2007-Apr-17, 03:54 AM
Oh... and our most violent video games come from where?

Very true. But don't blame me. I just live here. :)

What you say about the explosions is also true. Even in Japan, which is supposed to be very safe, a group of crazies made nerve gas and managed to kill 11 people on subway cars. So there is no "magic bullet" (not meant intentionally as a pun...) And actually, there was an incident about five years ago where a crazy guy went into a classroom with a knife and stabbed 10 children to death, but these were 6-year-olds, so it was somewhat easier than with a room of college kids who would likely pick up chairs.

The only thing is, many people going on a rampage of some sort will use what's easily available. And if a kitchen knife is around, that's good enough, but there are limits to what you can do. Nerve gas is powerful, but it's not something that's easy to make. But in general, we don't have lots of classroom shootings probably because there is no easy access to firearms.

But of course, you're right that there is only "safer", never "safe".

hhEb09'1
2007-Apr-17, 04:09 AM
But in general, we don't have lots of classroom shootings probably because there is no easy access to firearms. And maybe more young classroom stabbings because there is no easy access to firearms? I dunno

Maksutov
2007-Apr-17, 04:25 AM
This is so sad.

All those lives and their potential are now gone.

I was at Columbia back in 1968 when the mobs on both sides started pushing each other. Eventually it took a handkerchief over one's mouth and nose to get to math class in Dodge Hall through all the tear gas.

But no one was killed. It wasn't until two years later that the inevitable took place at Kent State.

This brings back many shudders of memory. I hope it's an isolated incident.

My thoughts and feelings go out to the families of those who lost their youthful lives for no good reason.

OK, that's enough.

EvilEye
2007-Apr-17, 04:46 AM
Jens, I wasn't blaming you. It was meant more of an ironic joke.

I am so very saddened by what has happened, that I am actually fuming mad at those who try to analyze it after the fact.

It happened. It will happen again. It sucks. It's awful.

But in this world, whether you are free or not, no matter how strict the regulations, this can and will happen from time to time.

Look at how careful they are with the Space Shuttle.

There've been only a relatively few launches since 1981, yet 2 of them have had tragedies. They were simple mistakes that could have been avoided, but they were not.

Why? Because you trust it when they go right too many times.

I was just speaking with my wife about when I was a security guard and I was hated by employees of a certain pharmaceutical company, because I made them show me their ID every time they came back in the building.

Their argument was always... "But I was just outside for a smoke! I've been here for 10 years!"

My response was always "I don't know what happened before you walked out the door." (meaning... they may have just been fired, and I don't know if they are trying to get back in to kill the boss)

You NEVER know what is happening.

You can only do what you can.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-17, 04:50 AM
Ya, but it doesn't mention whether or not there's been an increase or decrease overall, or especially of this kind of large-scale events. (And I was also thinking outside the school with my comment.)

Try reading Killing Monsters, by Gerard Jones. He references quite a lot of studies that indicate, as I said earlier, that violence by young people is on the way down, and that the majority of violence against children is done by adults.

Tog
2007-Apr-17, 06:31 AM
Backing up a bit, because I sleep odd hours...

It is legal for a private citizen in the US to own a submachine gun. It's really hard to get the permits for it, but there are many in private hands. This was true even during the assault weapon ban.

As a kid, I knew many people who had them. I actually fired more fully automatic weapons before age 12 than I did in Army basic training; one in a competition at a range run by an ex police officer and attended by an active FBI field agent. If you hang around gun ranges enough you can meet people that have them. Maybe not in every state, but in many,

As for a reason to have them. No, there isn't one. Just like there is no reason to have one of every model year of Corvette, a working Spitfire, or a first edition Spiderman comic that you will never read. Some people collect things that interest them. Those with money can collect things that are outside the norm.

The assault weapons ban, was simply a law that mad it illegal to manufacture or import firearms and magazines that met certain criteria. In many cases, it was very difficult for the average person to tell the difference between one that was legal and one that was not. It was still legal to sell the pre-ban gun and accessories, so those that were in the market already were still available (at much higher prices).

Some places made magazines for certain common types of pistol that had as many as 50 rounds. One such magazine was made for the .45 auto. It was a drum that stuck out quite a ways under the grip. From what I've heard, they didn't work all that well, but they still exist.

There is a standard event in combat pistol shooting call "El Presidente". It involves 3 targets at ranges of 3, 5, and 7 yards. The shooter draws and fired 2 rounds at each target, reloads and repeats. A good time is between 6 and 8 seconds for shooter familiar with the guns they use. I know that my draw time is about 1.5 seconds, so that leaves me 5.5 to get off 12 rounds and a reload. A skilled shooter can reload in the time it takes to fire one round at a faster pace than that. I watched a competition shooter one time fire 12 rounds and from the pacing of the shots, there was no way to tell when the reload happened.

This guy may have been a nut, but there is no reason to think it was the first time he'd ever fired a gun. Not with what we know so far, at any rate.

Tog
2007-Apr-17, 06:39 AM
I also thought about this on the drive in to work tonight. We all realy want reasons when something like this happens. It's not new. Maybe it's time to look back at "Running Amok (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runs_amok)".

BigDon
2007-Apr-17, 08:09 AM
Tog, I was raised on a different spin on the "amok" than what the wiki article states. That after a bit folks began to realize that most of the victims of the rampages where ethnic chinese. And that it decreased when the policy of impaling those who ran amok in the town square of their own home village was implemented. Takes the machismo completely out of it when you have to die wailing on a stick in front of your friends and family.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Apr-17, 12:19 PM
The local radio show had a student on this morning that provided a very candid and calm summation of what happened in her classroom. Don't know how widespread that type of interview is yet, so here is what she said.

She was in her classroom when they heard shots. She and the teacher walked out into the hall and came face to face with the gunman as he had just left the room next to them. He fired at them and missed. They ducked back in the room, and a couple guys quickly threw a large table in front of the door and laid on the floor holding it's legs. The gunman fired 2 shots thru the door, then tried the handle, getting the door open an inch or two. The guys (I think she said big guys) bracing the table slammed it back shut and the gunman gave up and went to the other rooms. They could hear him going rooom to room and shooting.

She was amazingly calm.

Celestial Mechanic
2007-Apr-17, 01:02 PM
[Snip!] And that it decreased when the policy of impaling those who ran amok in the town square of their own home village was implemented. Takes the machismo completely out of it when you have to die wailing on a stick in front of your friends and family.
At least, those of your friends and family that are left ... ;)

Jakenorrish
2007-Apr-17, 01:09 PM
A very sad day for the families and friends affected by this terrible tragedy. I find some of the speculation in this thread about what may have happened quite tasteless. Wouldn't it be more humane to suggest that until we know the facts that it'd be far more respectful to just send messages of condolence?

Doodler
2007-Apr-17, 01:13 PM
A very sad day for the families and friends affected by this terrible tragedy. I find some of the speculation in this thread about what may have happened quite tasteless. Wouldn't it be more humane to suggest that until we know the facts that it'd be far more respectful to just send messages of condolence?


Respectful? Maybe. Likely? Not.

Damien Evans
2007-Apr-17, 01:45 PM
My heart goes out to the surviviours and the families of these victims, every time I hear about something like this it always makes me think of the Port Arthur massacre

Jim
2007-Apr-17, 02:06 PM
The VT campus paper, Collegiate Times, started covering the story online just before 10am local time. As the events unfolded and more people sought news, their server was overwhelmed with traffic. They are now on their parent company's server at http://collegemedia.com/.

This is not how college journalism students are supposed to gain experience. They should be reporting on grade escalation and frat parties and the black market in essays, not how their classmates were murdered.

College is supposed to be about the joy of learning, and running around with friends, and hoping the folks don't find out what you're up to; reality shouldn't come along until after graduation, and never like this.

Jakenorrish
2007-Apr-17, 02:13 PM
Respectful? Maybe. Likely? Not.

I hold out hope. After all, the authorities job is to ascertain what happened. It isn't the job of the Bautforum.

Doodler
2007-Apr-17, 02:21 PM
This is not how college journalism students are supposed to gain experience. They should be reporting on grade escalation and frat parties and the black market in essays, not how their classmates were murdered. A little reality every now and again makes for nice practical experience. The smarter ones see the nitty gritty when they do internships, now they get it up close and personal. How to approach emotionally traumatic events with the necessary objectivity to be effective gatherers and transmitters of information on current events. With luck, this might make for at least one graduating class of journalists with enough perspective not to sensationalize incidents like this.

A necessary, if tragic, evil in my opinion.


College is supposed to be about the joy of learning, and running around with friends, and hoping the folks don't find out what you're up to; reality shouldn't come along until after graduation, and never like this.

Oh please, kids are sheltered enough in their teens. By the time they're in their 20's, they should be emotionally developed enough to cope with tragedy. Attitudes like that I believe are responsible for some of the more spineless, wimpering mushballs that make it into the real world and think it should be a place where everyone frollicks in the frelling wildflowers together...

People hate, people kill, get used to it. The hardest and most necessary lesson in life.

Doodler
2007-Apr-17, 02:24 PM
I hold out hope. After all, the authorities job is to ascertain what happened. It isn't the job of the Bautforum.

Granted, but you're talking about a group of people who's interests in life tend towards the "indentify it, analyze it, discuss it, understand it" variety.

Sitting idly by waiting for the world to tell us what we want to know goes against the grain of your average BAUTer...

Jakenorrish
2007-Apr-17, 03:13 PM
Granted, but you're talking about a group of people who's interests in life tend towards the "indentify it, analyze it, discuss it, understand it" variety.

Sitting idly by waiting for the world to tell us what we want to know goes against the grain of your average BAUTer...

I agree, though in certain cases, there are reasons for us Bautforum types to hold back for a while, at least until the dust has settled. Out of respect for the deceased if nothing else.

Doodler
2007-Apr-17, 03:20 PM
I agree, though in certain cases, there are reasons for us Bautforum types to hold back for a while, at least until the dust has settled. Out of respect for the deceased if nothing else.

In 32 out of 33 cases, I'll agree. In one particular instance, dignity, respect, and privacy are waived, and in his case, I'll speculate until they stick him in a hole, then I'll use it as a latrine.

Jakenorrish
2007-Apr-17, 03:57 PM
Well, we agree to disagree then. I'll leave you to it.

kashi
2007-Apr-17, 04:06 PM
As has already been mentioned, this is not the time or place for political discussions over gun control policy. Please use this thread to express your condolences, and use other mediums to voice your opinions about politics.

Like all of you, I am still in shock about this terrible news. There was a similar event at my university (thankfully before I attended). 2 or 3 people were killed and the entire university went into lock down within minutes. A former lecturer of mine was the one who managed to overpower the gunman and retrieve the weapon. He was shot in the process and later received a bravery medal. It will be a long time before the Virginia Tech campus returns to normal. I express my sincere condolences to all of the families and friends of the victims.

publius
2007-Apr-17, 04:31 PM
Yes, just "settle down". Right now, we're in the middle of class A, number 1 "Media Feeding Frenzy". People are shooting their mouths off on the basis of no information. Don't be a part of it. :)

-Richard

EvilEye
2007-Apr-17, 06:24 PM
We are all a part of it. It could have been any of us.

IMHO it should be the time to have a discussion before it happens again.

We all have our own ways of dealing with it. Clamming up to offer respect seems counterproductive.

Of course I offer my condolences.

publius
2007-Apr-17, 07:37 PM
We are all a part of it. It could have been any of us.

IMHO it should be the time to have a discussion before it happens again.



EvilEye,

Now, don't take me wrong, this is not an attack on you, but an observation of the kind of thinking that we all will do in situations like this if we're not careful.

We are NOT all a part of it. There are a relatively few people who are directly part of it, a somewhat larger ground (the school) that is closer to it, but that's about it.

And, well, technically, it *could* happen to any of us, the probability for that is extremely low. For example, roughly 40K people per year are killed in auto accidents. That's about 110 per day. The odds of dying at the hands of a lunatic on a mass murder spree are vanishingly small, less than that of being struck by lightning, and probably on the order of being struck and killed by a meteorite.

We have here a fluke, an anomaly, and the entire nation, spurred on by the news media is going to go through an orgy of navel gazing, rampant speculation and rumor mongering, leading to the promulgation of half-baked theories along with just about every logical fallacy in the book.

My advice, worth exactly what it cost you, is to turn the TV and radio off and wait until the dust has settled and the facts are known before "commentating". That's exactly what I do, just ignore the feeding frenzy.

The media has proved itself to be utterly irresponsible, and they're going to tell you a dozen things that are flat wrong before breakfast every day.

-Richard

farmerjumperdon
2007-Apr-17, 07:43 PM
In 32 out of 33 cases, I'll agree. In one particular instance, dignity, respect, and privacy are waived, and in his case, I'll speculate until they stick him in a hole, then I'll use it as a latrine.

Strong words, but I agree. Too bad the perpetrator is not around to find out just how much he could REALLY be hated. His fantasy world of being a persecuted soul isn't anything compared to the level of disgust people will now hold for him.

BTW, aren't we now at the stage where we now find out how troubled he was?

korjik
2007-Apr-17, 07:50 PM
Not till tomorrow or the day after.

I agree with Doodler also. As far as I am concerned, anyone who would do this sort of thing deserves nothing but scorn and hatred. His memory should be expunged from society to the point where all that is known of him is 'The scumbag who shot up....'

Hard feelings? Yes, but there is no excuse to inflict this kind of harm on others.

SeanF
2007-Apr-17, 08:03 PM
My advice, worth exactly what it cost you, is to turn the TV and radio off and wait until the dust has settled and the facts are known before "commentating". That's exactly what I do, just ignore the feeding frenzy.
What have you got against us?

;)

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-17, 08:57 PM
Gun Control?

Well, Japan has some pretty tough controls on guns, but the mayor of Nagasaki was killed earlier today by a mafia-type crime boss --- with a gun!

http://www-cgi.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/04/17/japan.mayor.ap/index.html

ToSeek
2007-Apr-17, 08:58 PM
Strong words, but I agree. Too bad the perpetrator is not around to find out just how much he could REALLY be hated. His fantasy world of being a persecuted soul isn't anything compared to the level of disgust people will now hold for him.

BTW, aren't we now at the stage where we now find out how troubled he was?

Yes. (http://www.fredericksburg.com/News/apmethods/apstory?urlfeed=D8OIHN4G2.xml)

(If you want to be really appalled, pay a visit to GodlikeProductions, where people are claiming that it was all a plot to get rid of Liviu Librescu, who has somehow morphed from being an aeronautical engineer to being one of the leading authorities on the 9/11 WTC collapse.)

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-17, 08:59 PM
BTW, aren't we now at the stage where we now find out how troubled he was?
That story is just now surfacing. He left a note about hating America and it's "rich kids".

Also, at least one professor at the school was concerned about him, his writing was a bit disturbing.

There were warning signs - but we must not "judge", so what was anyone gonna do?

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-17, 09:00 PM
EvilEye,

Now, don't take me wrong, this is not an attack on you, but an observation of the kind of thinking that we all will do in situations like this if we're not careful.

We are NOT all a part of it. There are a relatively few people who are directly part of it, a somewhat larger ground (the school) that is closer to it, but that's about it.

And, well, technically, it *could* happen to any of us, the probability for that is extremely low. For example, roughly 40K people per year are killed in auto accidents. That's about 110 per day. The odds of dying at the hands of a lunatic on a mass murder spree are vanishingly small, less than that of being struck by lightning, and probably on the order of being struck and killed by a meteorite.

We have here a fluke, an anomaly, and the entire nation, spurred on by the news media is going to go through an orgy of navel gazing, rampant speculation and rumor mongering, leading to the promulgation of half-baked theories along with just about every logical fallacy in the book.

My advice, worth exactly what it cost you, is to turn the TV and radio off and wait until the dust has settled and the facts are known before "commentating". That's exactly what I do, just ignore the feeding frenzy.

The media has proved itself to be utterly irresponsible, and they're going to tell you a dozen things that are flat wrong before breakfast every day.

-Richard

For so many reasons, I say we now have it: THE POST OF THE DAY!

Doodler
2007-Apr-17, 09:01 PM
That story is just now surfacing. He left a note about hating America and it's "rich kids".

Also, at least one professor at the school was concerned about him, his writing was a bit disturbing.

There were warning signs - but we must not "judge", so what was anyone gonna do?

Judge the bugger and ship him home so he doesn't have to deal with us rich kids.

Perhaps we should do that with his remains? Hunter Thompson style, sans cremation. ;)

Gillianren
2007-Apr-17, 09:13 PM
Oh please, kids are sheltered enough in their teens. By the time they're in their 20's, they should be emotionally developed enough to cope with tragedy. Attitudes like that I believe are responsible for some of the more spineless, wimpering mushballs that make it into the real world and think it should be a place where everyone frollicks in the frelling wildflowers together...

People hate, people kill, get used to it. The hardest and most necessary lesson in life.

You know, I really don't think "they should have to write about a massacre on their school grounds" is a reasonable expectation for anyone. Granted, we don't know that any of the people on the paper knew any of the people who died, but it's still a horrible thing to have to experience.

And, you know, I don't want to get used to murder. I want to believe that it's not something that happens all the time. And, statistically, this sort of thing isn't. A crime of passion, a one-time thing. But have you ever known the victim of a massacre like this? Or a serial killer? It's not something that everyone should have to get used to; it's something we should retain our horror about.

We should also allow people time to grieve if they need it, and that includes the students on that school paper.

Maksutov
2007-Apr-17, 10:05 PM
Just one quick comment.

As a single father I was confronted with many situations where my son wanted to know "Why, Dad?"

Unlike some folks who are in the "everything happens for a reason" camp, I would swallow hard and tell him the truth.

The truth, as related to American Airlines Flight 191, KAL 007, Challenger, and other similar messes, was that sometimes things happen and there's no reason for them. They just happen. We regret the event and feel really bad for those who were affected by it, but many times there's no explaining why. Horrible things just happen.

All we can do is hope that they don't happen too often and do our best, where we are able, to make sure they don't happen again.

Doodler
2007-Apr-17, 10:07 PM
And, you know, I don't want to get used to murder. I want to believe that it's not something that happens all the time. And, statistically, this sort of thing isn't. A crime of passion, a one-time thing. But have you ever known the victim of a massacre like this? Or a serial killer? It's not something that everyone should have to get used to; it's something we should retain our horror about.


And every time it happens, we'll see the same ridiculous mass boohoo sessions in their wake. The inability to cope in the face of these actions allows them to become as horrible as they do.

If a handful of people had the capacity to cope with high stress situations like this, the body count could have been mitigated. But no, courage and bravery means you have to do mean things to someone, even as they're killing you, and that's not nice. So people die, people cry, and it never ends.

publius
2007-Apr-17, 11:06 PM
Contributing to the "feeding frenzy", The Smoking Gun has put a copy of some of the "disturbing writings" of our lone gunman:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0417071vtech1.html

Our lone gunman was apparently an English major (again this early, and with the media in full frenzy of sharks in bloody water, take nothing as fact), and this is a play he wrote.

The is supposedly evidence, by the 20/20 hindsight crowd that everyone should've known he was going to snap and done something about it.

Now, I ask you, is this any different from the horror movie fare you see (not quality, but basic content). And I wonder what would they would do to Stephen King if "disturbing writing" is to be used as some standard to lock someone up and shoot 'em up with the happy juice.

-Richard

Gillianren
2007-Apr-17, 11:52 PM
Funnily enough, Stephen King has a big thing about Charles Whitman, and he says that it would've been him on that clock tower if he hadn't had writing; the writing gave him a release.

Doodler
2007-Apr-18, 12:14 AM
Bleh, they've closed the building down for the rest of the semester.

Weak...pathetic even...shall we go for spineless?

So disappointed in the world.

publius
2007-Apr-18, 12:17 AM
Whitman is worth of review -- an autopsy found a brain tumor, and while *it cannot be proven*, it is very possible this was what drove him insance.

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

There are excerpts for his suicide note, sort of a journal, "It appears I have violently killed my loved ones..........." that is chilling.

-Richard

The Backroad Astronomer
2007-Apr-18, 02:53 AM
Funnily enough, Stephen King has a big thing about Charles Whitman, and he says that it would've been him on that clock tower if he hadn't had writing; the writing gave him a release.
I can see the headline if Stephen King went on a shooting spree in certain town in Maine.
Blood Bath in Bath.

Back the OP, I just can not figure out what goes on in someones
head to do this.

EvilEye
2007-Apr-18, 03:06 AM
Seems to me that it has gotten MORE political and sensitive since we were asked not to be so political.

I was only trying to say that this was not only a time for grieving, but also for a dialogue.

There is no "why". The why is dead.

The How is almost pointless too at this point.

The method of how you deal with it now is what is important.... and telling other how they SHOULD deal with it is innappropriate in my opinion.

hhEb09'1
2007-Apr-18, 03:25 AM
The is supposedly evidence, by the 20/20 hindsight crowd that everyone should've known he was going to snap and done something about it.

Now, I ask you, is this any different from the horror movie fare you see (not quality, but basic content). And I wonder what would they would do to Stephen King if "disturbing writing" is to be used as some standard to lock someone up and shoot 'em up with the happy juice.We have to be careful here. I heard an interview with one of his teachers, and it seems more than one were concerned enough about his writing and behavior to report it.

No one reported me when I wrote down my imagined thought processes of St*nley B*ker (http://www.skcentral.com/readarticle.php?article_id=320), because he was an acquaintence of someone and I knew a little bit about it. But I'm pretty sure I scored low on the SK scale in other categories.

publius
2007-Apr-18, 03:38 AM
hh,

Yes, you're right there (again if reports can be believed -- give it a while before we can be sure of all the facts here), and there was something about setting a fire in a dorm room. If someone turned in a paper like that for some creative writing assignment, my eyebrow would certainly be raised.

But the big picture I'm looking at it is the horror of the state locking up and medicating someone against his will based on something like this. You'll see stuff about "early detection" and all that that raises alarms with me about getting on a slipperly slope to this. I could probably write a pretty disturbing little short story about some future world along those things.

In a world I ran, a school could throw a student out because he was well, "disturbing", but I don't want one where the state starts locking them up because they write or speak in some way the majority thinks is weird.

ETA: Here is a story that pretty much illustrates my fears about this:

http://www.ajc.com/health/content/health/stories/2007/03/31/0401meshmental.html

-Richard

Jens
2007-Apr-18, 04:11 AM
Gun Control?

Well, Japan has some pretty tough controls on guns, but the mayor of Nagasaki was killed earlier today by a mafia-type crime boss --- with a gun!

http://www-cgi.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/asiapcf/04/17/japan.mayor.ap/index.html

Yes, it's true. Pretty bad timing, too, right after I said things were safe here! But actually, if you look at gun deaths per 100,000 population, they are about 14 in the US (meaning 14 people out of 100,000 die ever year from gunshot wounds), and in Japan, 0.05. So it's more than two orders of magnitude lower. But I'll grant you, 0.05 is not zero. In any case, I've never heard of a classroom shooting (though now that I've mentioned it, I fear to read the newspaper tomorrow). :confused:

Jens
2007-Apr-18, 04:16 AM
Also, at least one professor at the school was concerned about him, his writing was a bit disturbing.

There were warning signs - but we must not "judge", so what was anyone gonna do?

This is the same issue as the problem with the administration's response. To some extent, it seems like a case of "20/20 hindsight." I mean, I've met people before who wrote really twisted things, and they've never gone on shooting sprees. How are you supposed to figure out, beforehand, which one is the "real thing"?

publius
2007-Apr-18, 04:19 AM
And Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, too. It's over twice the US rate, and obviously not by gunshot.

In the orgy of navel gazing that is going to follow this, you will indeed see all sorts of statistics quoted by people on all sides of this (basically, it's not just guns, everybody with a "society has a problem because of X" beef will cite this as evidence of his cause). And it's important to appreciate the picture is far wider and more complex than all these simple statistics that will be quoted.

-Richard

Jens
2007-Apr-18, 04:27 AM
And Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, too. It's over twice the US rate, and obviously not by gunshot.

Could you give me a reference for that? It's true that Japan's is higher than the US, but is it really one of the highest?

Maksutov
2007-Apr-18, 04:34 AM
[edit](basically, it's not just guns, everybody with a "society has a problem because of X" beef...The vegans will probably back you on that.

I kid you not.

There are groups out there who think that violence is directly related to consumption of meat (http://www.animaldefense.com/Education/Violence.html).

publius
2007-Apr-18, 04:34 AM
Jens,

Here you go:

http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1856917

It's about 24 per 100K on average, peak was 2003 where the number was about 27. The former Soviet Union countries have the highest.

And if you to look homicide rates, here's another one:

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvinco.html

You will note for instance, that the US has a higher *non-gun* homicide rate than Britain's total homicide rate. And you'll see some countries, Taiwan in particular has non-gun rates that blow away the US's total rate.

Compare that to suicide. Japan is low homicide, but high suicide......why, well that's something well beyond my paygrade. :)

ETA: And while I'll have to search around for this, and I'm not sure, I do remember some statistics that all this stuff has a large cultural and ethnic component. For example, based on the above, we can say Japanese culture is low homicide/high suicide, and if you look at the number for Japanese-Americans living here in the US, you find their numbers are closer to Japan. And likewise, look at the numbers for German-Americans, or French-Americans, and you find they correlate with their home countries.

America has its own culture, and I'm sure that after enough generations, they loose influence of their original, but that component is there.

-Richard

Gillianren
2007-Apr-18, 05:09 AM
But the big picture I'm looking at it is the horror of the state locking up and medicating someone against his will based on something like this. You'll see stuff about "early detection" and all that that raises alarms with me about getting on a slipperly slope to this. I could probably write a pretty disturbing little short story about some future world along those things.

The requirements for having someone committed right now are pretty precise, or at least they're supposed to be. A big part of them is summed up in the phrase "a danger to yourself or others." It's why, for example, I have to be very, very careful when talking to a health care professional about suicidal/homicidal impulses.

publius
2007-Apr-18, 05:17 AM
Here's a breakdown of total sucide + homicide. There are 1994 numbers.

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html

You'll note that here, Japan was right under the US, and it was suicides that did it. Today, with the increase in suicide rates in Japan, it will probably exceed the US in that table. And, wow, look at little Estonia.

-Richard

Damien Evans
2007-Apr-18, 05:50 AM
Here's a breakdown of total sucide + homicide. There are 1994 numbers.

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html

You'll note that here, Japan was right under the US, and it was suicides that did it. Today, with the increase in suicide rates in Japan, it will probably exceed the US in that table. And, wow, look at little Estonia.

-Richard

The numbers are now totally different in Australia due to the reforms that came out of the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre, the gun owning percentage would now be well under ten, though i doubt the other figures have changed much

jrkeller
2007-Apr-18, 06:21 AM
Here's a breakdown of total sucide + homicide. There are 1994 numbers.

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html

You'll note that here, Japan was right under the US, and it was suicides that did it. Today, with the increase in suicide rates in Japan, it will probably exceed the US in that table. And, wow, look at little Estonia.

-Richard

I'd be cautious using the numbers cited by the above website. They use mumbers from 1994, which is a year with some of the highest number of crimes. Crime has dropped, especially for murder, since that time. Link (http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm). As you can see by the latest statistics (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/weapons.htm) that 1994 was the peak year for gun deaths.

publius
2007-Apr-18, 06:35 AM
JR,

Oh, I agree -- these are old numbers. But my point is not really the individual numbers, but the big picture. There's going to be an onslaught of media fueled naval gazing, "we are all responsible", "we are a violent nation", yada yada yada. Usual suspects will take their usual positions, and in all that various statistics will be cited as evidence for those positions.


My point here is those statistics are not the whole picture, and these numbers better illustrate that picture. Some countries have low homicide but high suicide, some both, some neither, etc.


-Richard

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-18, 01:28 PM
Bleh, they've closed the building down for the rest of the semester.
Weak...pathetic even...shall we go for spineless?
So disappointed in the world.

America always responds from a position of weakness, it seems. I found the candle-vigil last night to be understandable, but pathetic.

A guy comes in and kills 31 people, all the people can do is, well, die. What do others do? They light candles and make speeches - again, all very understandable; but really, what kind of a response is this?

"We will heal, we will recover".... fine. But if that's all you do, then you have done nothing to stop this from happening again. It looked like a crowd of VERY powerless, scared, spineless people.

A few professors or students with a gun in their pantsleg or bookbag could have stopped this guy. As it was, all anyone could do was die.

I live in Georgia, just about the most heavily armed state in the USA, and you almost NEVER hear of a legal gun owner using a gun for anything other than self defense. I don't share the fear of guns that many have, and I don't believe that people would go around killing just because they have a gun in their pants leg or purse.

But then, kooks should not be armed, and this guy was a kook - there are a lot of people who are saying that there WERE warning signs. But today, you can't "label" or "judge" anyone...

-----

My sister takes an odd view of all of this .... she doesnt' believe in arming everyone (even tho she lives here in Georgia - a very heavily armed state where gun violence among legal gun owners is very rare, and, being in a wheelchair, is thinking of getting a gun for herself.) Her attitude is that, "there is no practical way to defend against a suicidal nutjob, you just take comfort that, in a country of 300,000,000 people, one guy killed 32. Big deal."

Being someone who has been mugged twice since 2001, I cannot share her 'comfort'. I remain armed.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Apr-18, 02:12 PM
That story is just now surfacing. He left a note about hating America and it's "rich kids".

Also, at least one professor at the school was concerned about him, his writing was a bit disturbing.

There were warning signs - but we must not "judge", so what was anyone gonna do?

I think this is one of the obstacles to prevention. There is nothing wrong with using judgement. If it feels bad, it probably is bad. It has become politically incorrect to judge, to use our judgement, or to look for causes (especially if they might point to factors that contain elements of race, gender, ethnicity, social class, nationality - even elements like cultural characteristics and parenting methodology). Everyone (well, maybe not everyone) is so afraid of offending that they refuse to objectively examine and criticize. It is like looking for truth, but having voluntary filters in place to block out certain evidence.

This guy was an explosion waiting to happen. Just because some bombs do not go off doesn't mean you stop paying attention to things that tick constantly. His behavior was over the top ticking. He rarely responded to people with more than one word, usually not speaking at all. Obviously people noticed, and some did ask questions and try to help, but it appears most (including those with the authority to force the issue) fell into that group that did not want to judge or risk offending.

If I had a college roommate that behaved as he did, I'd be moving out in a New York second. I quit a job in a pizza joint in college because of an incredibly crumudgenly boss and a bizzarely nuerotic coworker. It was just bad vibes all around. Guess who hung himself a few months later? I call them toxic people. If you can not or will not do something about them, then do whatever it takes to avoid them. My daughters get variations on this speech regularly. People that act bizarre are bizarre. At the very least report them, then avoid them.

I'm just disgusted that every time something of this nature happens, we go thru the same old same old. Wake up and smell the coffee. A kid that causes a counselor to have a keyword for the assistant to call security should not be encouraged to seek counseling, it should be forced. And I don't give a rats patooti how offended they are by being compulsed to get their head straightened out.

JohnD
2007-Apr-18, 03:57 PM
All in America,
I made my views, and my evidence, about the effectiveness of gun control as clear as I could in another thread. I'm not here to crow - this is horrible.

I'm here to point you to a short article published today in the UK Guardian newspaper, "We mistrust our government - Why Americans will never give up their guns." Written by an American, it gave me a new insight into the firearms situation. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2059433,00.html

John

pizzaguy
2007-Apr-18, 04:12 PM
"We mistrust our government - Why Americans will never give up their guns."

I gotta tell you, I'm armed all the time - and it's my fear of crime, not republicans and democrats that I arm myself.

While I don't TRUST this government, I don't FEAR it and I don't plan on fighting to stay free. But I HAVE been mugged twice (pulled my gun both times and suddenly saw them RUNNING away), and I will remain armed.

Musashi
2007-Apr-18, 04:17 PM
The bald truth is that the majority of Americans will never give up their right to own weapons, however many awful massacres take place. The reasons are complex, historical, and probably not wholly rational.

:rolleyes:

Frantic Freddie
2007-Apr-18, 04:17 PM
Added to that, most Americans don't believe that if some criminal comes to attack them, the police will definitely be there to help them.


There is no Constitutional guarantee of police protection,it was ruled that the cops do not have an obligation to protect individual citizens,only the public at large.

I always have a gun with me.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Apr-18, 06:00 PM
I agree that to give up guns entirely is a totally unrealistic goal. Culturally, the right to own weapons is so engrained that it will take several more generations before it can even be significantly changed. Not that we shouldn't keep trrying.

My personal advocacy would be to see what could be done to keep guns in responsible hands as much as possible. I see nothing wrong with administerng extensive personality testing to anyone that wants to own a gun. I think it would catch a lot. I don't know what existing restrictions are in place, but they should be pretty darn tight. Anything over a petty misdemeanor, and you never get a gun, ever. Any violence in your past, ever beat the wife or kids or for that matter any other human being - - NO GUN FOR YOU! DUI, drug or alcohol treatment, road rage, and so on and so forth.

To me you should be squeaky clean if you are going to own weapons. And for C&C, squeaky clean (and then some) established over some period of time of owning a gun.

One thing I heard that seemed plausible was that we would be a very difficult country to occupy if for no other reason than the number of weapons in the hands of the public. Must be at least 100,000,000 guns out there. Now that would be an interesting factoid. The estimated number of gun owners times the average number of guns each owner owns. Anybody got that?

Doodler
2007-Apr-18, 06:08 PM
There is no Constitutional guarantee of police protection,it was ruled that the cops do not have an obligation to protect individual citizens,only the public at large.

I always have a gun with me.

There wasn't when the Second Amendment was ratified either. The Bill of Rights was written at a time when personal defense meant carrying a weapon for yourself, and duelling over matters of honor was considered acceptable.

Criminalizing duelling and the establishment of regular police forces started the ball rolling towards limiting and modifying the right to own weapons, but the truth is, while duels are definitely out, police forces are VERY largely reactionary forces. With the explosive increase in the ratio of patrolled population to patrolling officers, and the increase in population density, it is simply impossible for them to be anywhere in a reasonable amount of time on a "busy" night. Their presence is mildly deterrent, but it is far from proactive. In fact, in most cases they are NOT proactive, and their response times, from the perspective of potential victims, are horrible.


Add to this the retarded mentality that assumes people are not supposed to be out to get you, and the violence escalates unchecked. I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but people are out there who want to hurt you. They are not rational, they are never going to be rational, and the only thing you really can do about it is be ready to defend yourself aggressively. If you can't handle that, you don't deserve to survive the inevitable.

Frantic Freddie
2007-Apr-18, 06:24 PM
One thing I heard that seemed plausible was that we would be a very difficult country to occupy if for no other reason than the number of weapons in the hands of the public. Must be at least 100,000,000 guns out there. Now that would be an interesting factoid. The estimated number of gun owners times the average number of guns each owner owns. Anybody got that?

"We did indeed know much about your preparedness. We knew that probably every second home in your country contained firearms. We knew that your country actually had state championships for private citizens shooting military rifles. We were not fools to set foot in such quicksand."

-A Japanese Admiral explains why Japan didn't invade the US mainland in WWII.

The generally accepted numbers are anywhere from 100 to 200 million guns in private hands,it's impossible to get an accurate count.

mugaliens
2007-Apr-18, 06:42 PM
JR,

Oh, I agree -- these are old numbers. But my point is not really the individual numbers, but the big picture. There's going to be an onslaught of media fueled naval gazing, "we are all responsible", "we are a violent nation", yada yada yada. Usual suspects will take their usual positions, and in all that various statistics will be cited as evidence for those positions.


My point here is those statistics are not the whole picture, and these numbers better illustrate that picture. Some countries have low homicide but high suicide, some both, some neither, etc.


-Richard

The stats on gun ownership vs murder vs suicide vary wildly from country to country. Take Iraq in 1999 vs today. In 1999, households owned far more guns than they do now (much higher than the US), yet violence was much lower than it is now. Yet the number of guns per household has dropped dramatically, so what's really happening? Does this prove that a heavily armed society is well-behaved?

Of course not, as other heavily-armed societies clearly demonstrate through horrendous murder/suicide rates.

Two factors which are far more important involve what's currently going on with that country (civil war? unrest?) and the underlying philosophical and moral nature of that country. The actual gun ownership rates really have very little to do with it.

SeanF
2007-Apr-18, 06:45 PM
I agree that to give up guns entirely is a totally unrealistic goal. Culturally, the right to own weapons is so engrained that it will take several more generations before it can even be significantly changed. Not that we shouldn't keep trrying.
Actually, there are many reasons we shouldn't be trying, but this isn't the board on which to discuss them. :)

Amber Robot
2007-Apr-18, 06:50 PM
My personal advocacy would be to see what could be done to keep guns in responsible hands as much as possible. I see nothing wrong with administerng extensive personality testing to anyone that wants to own a gun.

Or at least a licensing process that requires mandatory education and testing, not unlike with motor vehicles. Right now it seems that you only need to not have a criminal record to buy a gun. Two minutes after checking and you're armed.

mugaliens
2007-Apr-18, 07:24 PM
Famerjumperdon, I'm all for allowing certain psychiatric services, such as the one into which the VT perp checked, to temporarily flag the system, say, for 15 dyas, provided the impetus would be on them to find something more permanent, but also with the patient's right to obtain a totally separate, second opinion paid for by the public within those two weeks. If the two diagnoses don't match, it's thrown out, without recourse for a covered period of time (90 days?) unless there's something considerably more substantial on which to re-flag the system.

I don't agree with about the many offenses you would lump in there, as some are axially indicative of a violent streak, but many are not, and lumping them in there would unnecessarily deprive the individual of his rights, and would have no effect on the public at large. Most DUIs, for example, are committed by non-violent people who would never flip like this kid. Rather, they're merely the result of poor choices or lapses in judgement. If either choices or judgement could be codified, it would probably flag 98% of the population for one thing or another many times over our lives.

Jerry
2007-Apr-18, 07:41 PM
The link I posted in the spot before your post here, #10 spelled out exactly how rare school violence is at the fatal level.
I don't care how rare it is - it has now occurred twice in schools my family has or is attending.

There is a correlation between the percentage of the population living in poverty and the violent crime rate. What is scary, is when poverty escalates rapidly in a population with easy access to firearms and explosives - like say, Iraq.

If anyone can buy a gun, any nut can beg/borrow/steal enough cash to do it. It is a probablity thing, and those who live with the false notion that the more people who are carrying, the more rare this type of event, are not looking at the real numbers: The more that carry, the more accidents, successful suicides, and the more nuts; who will usually pick the most vulnerable targets. If not Schools, Library's, churches then swimming pools, theaters and day-care centers.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-18, 07:43 PM
-A Japanese Admiral explains why Japan didn't invade the US mainland in WWII.

You know, I doubt that's really the reason. I bet it has much more to do with the sheer size and scope of that invasion. I mean, China was big, but it was big and close, and it was in the middle of its own social problems. Whereas, while the US was having problems, it was relatively stable. Yeah, we were still in the aftermath of the Depression, but our government was still working.

Look, mandatory gun ownership is a bad idea. As I've said elsewhere, I should not be abllowed to have a gun. I have one of those psychiatric conditions that should rule that out. I'm not usually a danger to anybody, but you don't want me to be able to just randomly start shooting people if I become so.

I think a lot of the problem is a lack of compassion. We don't care about crazy people unless we know 'em personally. Yeah, okay, we're not all armed and shooting anyone we deem a threat. Oh, darn. But we're not helping people, either.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Apr-18, 08:01 PM
Actually, there are many reasons we shouldn't be trying, but this isn't the board on which to discuss them. :)

I hope you are not saying we shouldn't make efforts to keep guns only in the hands of responsible people. That is the jest of my post, gun ownership for those that can demonstrate they are worthy.

Are you advocating the opposite? That there be no restrictions on gun ownership? I'm guessing not, and that we may be in the same ballpark on the issue. If I'm wrong, I'd be curious on the rationale for unlimited access to guns.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Apr-18, 08:16 PM
Famerjumperdon, I'm all for allowing certain psychiatric services, such as the one into which the VT perp checked, to temporarily flag the system, say, for 15 dyas, provided the impetus would be on them to find something more permanent, but also with the patient's right to obtain a totally separate, second opinion paid for by the public within those two weeks. If the two diagnoses don't match, it's thrown out, without recourse for a covered period of time (90 days?) unless there's something considerably more substantial on which to re-flag the system.

I don't agree with about the many offenses you would lump in there, as some are axially indicative of a violent streak, but many are not, and lumping them in there would unnecessarily deprive the individual of his rights, and would have no effect on the public at large. Most DUIs, for example, are committed by non-violent people who would never flip like this kid. Rather, they're merely the result of poor choices or lapses in judgement. If either choices or judgement could be codified, it would probably flag 98% of the population for one thing or another many times over our lives.

Yeah, I might be a little over the top with my list of bannable offenses; but I'm like that. I consider character attributes like integrity, judgement, honesty, etc to usually express themselves universally throughout a person's behavioral spectrum. A person either has integrity of they don't. Can't be a part time thing, or at least it is not worth anything if it is part time because then I have to guess whether or not they have chosen to act with integrity in any given moment. Exercizing good judgement, honesty, etc are all in the same category to me.

I suppose I could concede some, but my restrictions would be tighter than the average gun owner would probably agree with. I do like some of the ideas you had, allowing for confirmation, rebuttal, etc. No doubt a program unafraid at offending people could easily be developed that would stop a good portion of the gun violence.

One other thing - because of the fact that deviants would of course try to game or get around the system, a key component would be very stiff penalties for illegally owning a weapon, even if a crime were not commited. I don't think even many criminals would try getting one if they knew just having it was a serious crime. Sure, they are willing to do serious time for getting caught stealing or killing. But would they be willing to go to jail for 10 years just for having an illegal weapon?

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-18, 08:41 PM
I have a question.

Do we know that there is more gun violence not than maybe 100 or 150 years ago. Today all of these stories are on CNN within minutes and we see them in great detail. I'm not trying to minimize the recent tradegy, I am just asking if we have become more aware of them rather than seeing a rise in the rate at which they occur.

I was struck in my history research to realize that the number of soldiers killed in battle during the Civil War was greater than the sum total of soldiers killed in all the other wars America has been involved in from the Revolution up to and including Desert Storm.

This was shocking to me, but then there were no "satellite feeds" or "24 hour news channels" then to carry the news instantly into everyone's living room. Casualties were often no more than names posted on sheets outside newspaper offices or telegraph offices days or even weeks after the battles.

Mister Earl
2007-Apr-18, 08:50 PM
I just want to make the point that you need a license to own a gun, to go fishing, and to own a dog. It doesn't take a license to have as many children as you want, to mistreat them and addict them to various drugs, to twist thier worldview, and then turn them loose on the world en masse.

We don't need more gun control. What we do need is a parenting license. Prove you're capable of being one first. I understand the "undeniable human right to family", but is that really valid in this day and age?

dhd40
2007-Apr-18, 08:51 PM
Here's a breakdown of total sucide + homicide. There are 1994 numbers.

http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvintl.html

You'll note that here, Japan was right under the US, and it was suicides that did it. Today, with the increase in suicide rates in Japan, it will probably exceed the US in that table. And, wow, look at little Estonia.

-Richard

Although this is fairly old data (approx. 1994) it´s extremely irritating to me that total and firearm homicide figures are by far the highest for the United States, if you look only at the ´wealthy, civilized´ nations (suicide statistics are nor relevant in this thread´s discussions).
I beg you, not to misunderstand me. I´m absolutely sure that these horrible events can´t be reduced to zero by any legislation or any other measure.
From my point of view, it´s mainly, though not exclusively, an issue of family culture.
But I may be wrong

publius
2007-Apr-18, 08:57 PM
Yes, mass, high-speed communication makes a big difference. I've read arguments that the Civil War would've stopped due to public outrage at the casuality levels had we had modern TV and communications. We would've ahd the United States and the Confederate States. One can only speculate wildly how different history would've been along this "alternate timeline". What would've happened in WWII? The result might've been that Germany won..................

And as far as horrific violent crimes, I remember this little ditty, "Lizzie Borden took and ax and gave her mother 40 wacks....."

And, while not the same thing really, we are a bunch of absolute *wimps* compared to our Revolutionary War ancestors and early 18th century. You hear people lament about how uncivil political discourse is. Well, heck, we're nothing compared to the "discourse" back then. Dueling was legal, as has been mentioned, and considered an acceptable way to handle things when one's honor was besmirched.

Andrew Jackson was quite a hothead, and his opponents actually tried to provoke him into violence by, well, "besmirching his honor". :lol: And there was something back then in the 18th century that happened in the House. One trick one party did (which I forget) after they lost an election was to refuse to answer the roll call during a session. The idea was to prevent a quorum from being officially achieved, preventing any business from done.

Well, the other party got enough off that, and simply began marking "present" any members who were there but refused to answer the roll call. When the Speaker first tried that, it caused an uproar.

One representative from Texas pulled a Bowie knife out of his boot and charged toward the front. Just keep stuff like this in mind when you hear the "civility bunch" going on.

-Richard

SeanF
2007-Apr-18, 09:09 PM
Or at least a licensing process that requires mandatory education and testing, not unlike with motor vehicles.
I've said this before on other boards (and maybe before here, too), but it bears repeating. Generally, you don't need a driver's license to buy a car, own a car, or drive a car on private property. You only need a license to drive on public roads.

So, I'm afraid, what you're suggesting would be "unlike with motor vehicles."


I hope you are not saying we shouldn't make efforts to keep guns only in the hands of responsible people. That is the jest of my post, gun ownership for those that can demonstrate they are worthy.
Based on your wording, I presumed your "keep trying" was in reference to "give up guns entirely." I'll take your word that's not what you meant, but that's what it looked like. :)

Van Rijn
2007-Apr-18, 09:14 PM
Yes, mass, high-speed communication makes a big difference. I've read arguments that the Civil War would've stopped due to public outrage at the casuality levels had we had modern TV and communications. We would've ahd the United States and the Confederate States. One can only speculate wildly how different history would've been along this "alternate timeline". What would've happened in WWII? The result might've been that Germany won..................


It also depends on what we choose to ignore. In the U.S., this many people die per day due to drunk driving, and just as here, many innocent lives are brutally cut short, but that subject is largely ignored. If you want to kill a few people, and just get a bit of time in jail (maybe), get drunk and run somebody over. There won't be big debates on why nobody caught you sooner, even when you've been arrested before.

Horrific things like this shouldn't be ignored, obviously, but there are other horrific things that aren't getting anywhere near the amount of attention they should. And in each case, culture plays a big part. It isn't simply an issue of law, but behavior.

Pinemarten
2007-Apr-18, 09:24 PM
Isn't there a county in Texas where it is mandatory for every household to have a gun? And the crime rate is zero?

Crazy people aren't usually stupid. They would definitely think twice about a shooting spree in that county. They would probably be put down and buried without anyone even calling CNN.

Vermonter
2007-Apr-18, 09:35 PM
I agree that what happened was a tragedy that could have likely been avoided. However, I will say this. Individuals determined to carry out their plans will find a means of carrying it out. For this tragic man, it was by stealing firearms. Criminals do not obey the law, which means determined criminals wouldn't really care too much if firearms were restricted.

publius
2007-Apr-18, 09:37 PM
Although this is fairly old data (approx. 1994) it´s extremely irritating to me that total and firearm homicide figures are by far the highest for the United States, if you look only at the ´wealthy, civilized´ nations (suicide statistics are nor relevant in this thread´s discussions).
I beg you, not to misunderstand me. I´m absolutely sure that these horrible events can´t be reduced to zero by any legislation or any other measure.
From my point of view, it´s mainly, though not exclusively, an issue of family culture.
But I may be wrong

Dhd,

This type of thing can quickly get beyond what is allowed on this forum, and it requires one to sort of try to unplug one's emotions. One needs to be Mr. Spock and not let your emotions get away with you to discuss this thing rationally.

The truth is the US is a violent culture. It's in our blood (now many of you reading this will take that personally, *Mr. Spock*, remember) Now, if you break down the above statistic along ethnic and cultural lines, you see they they are different and actually correlate with the levels in the home countries to some extent. For example, Japan is high suicide, low homicide, and if you look at Japanse Americans, you see the that as well.

And look at Mexico (and this hold for most Latin American countries, too). They are high homicide, low suicide. They are a pretty macho culture, but have cultural (probably religious) tenets against suicide. Look at that subset in the US, and you'll see those numbers correlate as well. And understand, this is not the main reason or the whole story by far, it's just this cultural "signal" is there, and I'm sure a similiar signal will be found in other countries with more diverse populations from different parts of the world.

Part of the big picture is in what can be called American culture as well. Who founded us? A bunch of wild-eyed religious fanatics (that would've been the judgement of the larger culture) who had "issues" with authority, and had an explore and conquer, risk taking mentality. We have a strong individualist, anti-authority streak in us. We'll do our own thing, and you do yours, but don't put it our face.

"Don't Tread on Me". That little flag has very deep meaning, and that is deep in the American bloodline, going way back in time. And we've got a bit of well, rude, crude and lewd in us to.

Those traits can be used for good, great good and achievement, but they also have their dark side. IOW, sort of the "to know happiness, you must know sadness", to know pleasure you must know pain.

I'm just calling the above as I see it, trying to be as Mr. Spock as possible. Me, I'm in with the wild-eyed boys, really, as far as my emotion. I'm with the individualists, and "Don't Tread on Me". Give me liberty or give me death. :)

I will rationally, and consciously choose freedom over safety. Others may disagree. But that's where it comes from, in this one opinion, which, again, is worth what you paid for it.

-Richard

Frantic Freddie
2007-Apr-18, 09:51 PM
I'd like to point out that the worst mass murderers in American history,going on body count,didn't use guns to commit their crimes.

John Wayne Gacy,Ted Bundy,Timothy McVeigh,The Green River Killer,The Zodiac Killer,The Hillside Stranglers,Juan Corona,Charles Cullen,the list goes on.

Doodler
2007-Apr-18, 10:05 PM
I'd like to point out that the worst mass murderers in American history,going on body count,didn't use guns to commit their crimes.

John Wayne Gacy,Ted Bundy,Timothy McVeigh,The Green River Killer,The Zodiac Killer,The Hillside Stranglers,Juan Corona,Charles Cullen,the list goes on.

I don't recall hearing mention of guns with Dahmer, either.

SeanF
2007-Apr-18, 10:05 PM
I'd like to point out that the worst mass murderers in American history,going on body count,didn't use guns to commit their crimes.

John Wayne Gacy,Ted Bundy,Timothy McVeigh,The Green River Killer,The Zodiac Killer,The Hillside Stranglers,Juan Corona,Charles Cullen,the list goes on.
With the exception of Tim McVeigh, those were all serial killers, not mass murderers (serial killer = one victim at a time; mass murderer = multiple victims at once).

Doesn't take away from your main point, I know, I just wanted to make the clarification. :)

Frantic Freddie
2007-Apr-18, 10:21 PM
Oops,forgot Dahmer & you're right SeanF.

The greatest mass murder in US history didn't involve guns either,just boxcutters.

Amber Robot
2007-Apr-18, 10:25 PM
So, I'm afraid, what you're suggesting would be "unlike with motor vehicles."

Ok. Fine. But that still doesn't necessarily negate the idea that demanding more stringent gun licensing isn't a bad idea.

I'm not sure how a law-abiding citizen who wants to own a gun could really complain if he needs to take a gun safety course, get a license, have a waiting period, or whatever would be associated with reasonable gun control.

publius
2007-Apr-18, 10:32 PM
It also depends on what we choose to ignore. In the U.S., this many people die per day due to drunk driving, and just as here, many innocent lives are brutally cut short, but that subject is largely ignored. If you want to kill a few people, and just get a bit of time in jail (maybe), get drunk and run somebody over. There won't be big debates on why nobody caught you sooner, even when you've been arrested before.

Horrific things like this shouldn't be ignored, obviously, but there are other horrific things that aren't getting anywhere near the amount of attention they should. And in each case, culture plays a big part. It isn't simply an issue of law, but behavior.

Well, MADD (Mothers against drunk driving) is pretty active, and they are the ones resposible for tougher laws and tightening up the legal intoxication levels. But it is far from this kind of circus.

Part of the reason is it doesn't happen all in one place. About 40K per year die in auto accidents, which is about 110 per day. If 110 people died in one place, it would be big news, no matter what the cause.

And, if I could gain control of the media, I'd make you a substantial bet that I could gin up a majority in favor of banning automobiles or at least reducing the speed limit to 10MPH, and enforcing that with governors. I'd do it by harping on the "carnage on our highways" day in and day out.

The reason that is not done is everyone is makes the rational decision that the benefits of automobiles are worth that 110 dead per day. However, no one is going to say it. They know it deep down and act accordingly.

But I'd still bet you I could gin up enough emotion to do it.

-Richard

Frantic Freddie
2007-Apr-18, 10:35 PM
Ok. Fine. But that still doesn't necessarily negate the idea that demanding more stringent gun licensing isn't a bad idea.

I'm not sure how a law-abiding citizen who wants to own a gun could really complain if he needs to take a gun safety course, get a license, have a waiting period, or whatever would be associated with reasonable gun control.

I can't really respond to this without going against board rules,but I will point out that in almost all of the 40 states that allow concealed carry of a handgun the applicant is required to submit to a background check & take a course that combines gun safety & the applicable laws on the use of deadly force.

publius
2007-Apr-18, 10:46 PM
Well, well, it seems our lone gunman sent a little "media package" to NBC news sometime during that spree, they think between the time he killed the first two and the later rampage.

That package contained pictures of himself posing with his weapons (shades of Columbine) and looking menacing, along with more of his creative writing.

Yeah, he wanted to be a media star bad guy. While, the contents will certainly be interesting as to just what was up with the lunatic, I hope none of them actually air it. Let none of his media wishes be carried out, which will at least be helpful for any copycats who get similiar ideas in their deranged heads.

-Richard

Jim
2007-Apr-18, 10:47 PM
One representative from Texas pulled a Bowie knife out of his boot and charged toward the front.

I think that's a near-weekly occurence. Oh, wait, you said US lege, not Texas lege.

Last year, then, right?


Isn't there a county in Texas where it is mandatory for every household to have a gun? And the crime rate is zero?

Not Texas, surprise, surprise! Towns in Utah and Georgia have passed such ordinances, but they can't really enforce them. And they still have crime (although the Georgia town reported a reduction just after... I'm not sure where it stands now).


I'd like to point out that the worst mass murderers in American history,going on body count,didn't use guns to commit their crimes.

As pointed out, most of these were serial killers, one or two victims at a time, which doesn't require any rapid or mass killing methods. Also, serial killers usually enjoy the deaths of their victims and will drag them out to prolong the pleasure. Mass killers just want people dead... lots of people and fast.

mugaliens
2007-Apr-18, 10:50 PM
Ok. Fine. But that still doesn't necessarily negate the idea that demanding more stringent gun licensing isn't a bad idea.

I'm not sure how a law-abiding citizen who wants to own a gun could really complain if he needs to take a gun safety course, get a license, have a waiting period, or whatever would be associated with reasonable gun control.

Perhaps because said law-abiding citizen has owned and used guns (legally) for 40+ years, as did said citizen's dad (for 70+ years), said citizen's grandfather for 85+ years (now deceased), all without licensing, state-mandated training, etc.

The only incidents I've ever had are misfires, and my grandpop showed me how to properly deal with those when I was nine.

It's like the answer a lot of people had mid-last century when told they had to get a driver's license. "What for? So that I can be allowed to do something I've been doing, safely, for the last thirty years?"

As for guns being the weapon, forget it. A pen is a more effective weapon than a gun, if one knows how to use it. Look how many people Saddam killed with nothing more than a few well-aimed strokes of a pen.

Or did we forget that the pen is mightier than the sword? (or gun?)

Alexander the Great didn't have guns, either, and look how many people expired as a result of his aspirations.

Let's keep this in perspective, people. It's a societal issue, not a gun-control issue.

Gillianren
2007-Apr-18, 10:55 PM
I was struck in my history research to realize that the number of soldiers killed in battle during the Civil War was greater than the sum total of soldiers killed in all the other wars America has been involved in from the Revolution up to and including Desert Storm.

There are several reasons for this, the most obvious being that, well, both sides of the war involved US casualties.

However, the other side of things, which I think does relate somewhat to our discussion here, is that the generals were fighting a war with old-military tactics and using new-military weapons. Sending a few thousand guys charging in a straight line is great if they're going against a bunch of guys with swords and muzzle loaders, but if they've got repeating rifles, it's a different story. The tactics most of the generals were using were unchanged from the days of . . . well, a lot of them had studied Napoleon, but the tactics go back beyond that.

I don't think bringing Ted Bundy into the discussion really is worth anything. Ted Bundy was desperate to kill people--women with long, brown hair parted in the middle, to be specific. (Actually, I fit his victim profile to a certain extent, and he took at least one victim from my alma mater, too.) In Florida, he used a log and killed two and wounded at least two others. But as mentioned, it was more about getting up close to his victims, and a gun didn't suit his purposes.

The Manson family primarily (though not exclusively) used knives, but that was because they thought it scared people more. Also, you don't need to buy bullets, and they were notoriously short of cash.

However, for mass murder and not serial murder, you're generally looking at either guns or explosives.

HenrikOlsen
2007-Apr-18, 11:18 PM
I was struck in my history research to realize that the number of soldiers killed in battle during the Civil War was greater than the sum total of soldiers killed in all the other wars America has been involved in from the Revolution up to and including Desert Storm.
American Civil war:
203,000 killed in action, 618,000 total dead, 412,000+ wounded

World War I:
Military dead: 9,906,000 Military wounded: 21,219,000

World War II:
Military dead: 31,000,000 Civilian dead: 40,000,000

Where did you get your numbers from?
Or do you think only American lives count?

Musashi
2007-Apr-18, 11:21 PM
AstralSpirt meant American dead. That does not mean that he or she thinks that only American lives count. Relax.

publius
2007-Apr-18, 11:49 PM
Here are the figures:

http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/other/stats/warcost.htm

Note what is striking about the Civil War is the casualty *rates* compared to others (save for the Mexican War). There were huge non-combat death rates due to disease, privation, etc. That is what is so striking about the Civil War.

-Richard

mike alexander
2007-Apr-18, 11:53 PM
mugaliens wrote:
Let's keep this in perspective, people. It's a societal issue, not a gun-control issue.

I don't understand. How is the control of gun avaliablity in a society not a societal issue?

OK, I'm kidding. Dividing things up that way allows one to pretend that gun control is not a societal issue, but exists on its own astral plane somewhere.

However you view personal posession of firearms, it seems to me to be sutnningly relevant in any debate about how a society balances safety, freedom, individualism and common good.

publius
2007-Apr-19, 12:25 AM
"Imminent danger to himself and others". Apparently, a Virginia court made that determination, officially, one year ago. That would legally prevent him from buying a gun. The question is why this was not "put in the system", why it didn't show up.

Don't get me wrong, and go too far in the blame game. Crap happens. But the above needs to be looked at closely. What happened and why did that determination by a court not "propagate".

About the "disturbing writings". Well, it's clear now that was just one part of a stark pattern of total behavior. Apparently, one of his instructors had a code word worked out with an assistant to signal the assistant to call the cops.........

Again, don't get in the mode of demanding heads on a platter (unless it is really warranted in some cases, which only investigation can tell), but, a review of various laws about what can and can't be done and which part of the system knows about other parts needs to be reviewed.

-Richard

EvilEye
2007-Apr-19, 12:33 AM
Gun laws don't protect people. They put them at a disadvantage. Laws only apply to law abiding citizens.

Gun safety works. Defensive Tactics work. But the best thing anyone can do is be aware of their surroundings.

In the case of this story, there was nothing anyone could have done. And it shouldn't be suggested that there was after the fact. Not even a soldier knows how he will react during his first REAL firefight, even though he was trained.

It is insulting to anyone on that campus for people to suggest ways they could have should have or would have.

The real answer is that they could not.

You don't know you're going to break a tooth until you bite into your food and something is in there to break it, and it snaps.

You can know that there is a bone in it, and you are careful not to chomp on the bone, but unless you are paranoid, you have no reason to look for a piece of steel from the proccessing plant.

You can buy a box of Cheerios, and you may come across a burnt one.

But you will never get around to eating the Cheerios if you spend all your time looking for one that may be in the box or not before you take the first bite.

We have to chalk this tragedy up to ONE in a few hundred million that lost it.

Maybe we should be thankful that this doesn't happen EVERY day.

Selenite
2007-Apr-19, 01:16 AM
Having just watched this guys deranged and incoherent video manifesto air, I fear we have just given a narcissistic sociopath all the lasting infamy he could have ever hoped for. Yuk. :(

publius
2007-Apr-19, 01:26 AM
Having just watched this guys deranged and incoherent video manifesto air, I fear we have just given a narcissistic sociopath all the lasting infamy he could have ever hoped for. Yuk. :(

Part of the feeding frenzy sensationalism. I would not have aired it, not now. Something like that is useful in a forensic sense, and in the future, airing it might be fine, but not this early.

It gives him what he wants, and there's a chance, in the heat of the passion about this, that it will set off copycats. Note he idolized the Columbine murderers.

-Richard

Selenite
2007-Apr-19, 01:33 AM
Part of the feeding frenzy sensationalism. I would not have aired it, not now. Something like that is useful in a forensic sense, and in the future, airing it might be fine, but not this early.

It gives him what he wants, and there's a chance, in the heat of the passion about this, that it will set off copycats. Note he idolized the Columbine murderers.

-Richard

Well...I do realize that he has achieved a certain sick immortality by just what he did on Monday alone. But the digital taunting (or whatever it is) from beyond the grave just makes it all that creepier and more depressing. Like you I hope that material can be put to some good use at a future date.

AstralSpirit
2007-Apr-19, 03:27 AM
American Civil war:
203,000 killed in action, 618,000 total dead, 412,000+ wounded

World War I:
Military dead: 9,906,000 Military wounded: 21,219,000

World War II:
Military dead: 31,000,000 Civilian dead: 40,000,000

Where did you get your numbers from?
Or do you think only American lives count?


I was specifically refered to American military dead. My numbers correct. How foolish to think that a fact comes with some sort of taint.

I resent your implication that I think only in terms of Americans simply because of I post a fact. I was told that this board had more than its share of arrogant posters and I concur.

That is not an insult, it is an observation. If my facts are in error you have not shown them so. I am a woman and I have a pretty touch hide, but I prefer to be judged on the correctness of the facts I present. Not on someone elses attemot to read my mind.

Serenitude
2007-Apr-19, 03:31 AM
Despite even the BA's warnings to avoid gun-control and related issues, there may be no way to. And, as predicted, it's starting to get heated.

I'm locking this for now. It may or may not be opened in the future. The one warning I will give is to not open a duplicate thread for any other reason than to offer condolences at this point.