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Education

Many Dead In Virginia Tech Shooting 2661

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the funny-not-appropriate dept.
nexuspal writes "Over 20 confirmed dead at Virginia Tech. Shooter killed some at residence hall then two hours later killed others in classrooms. Worst school shooting in US history. "
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Many Dead In Virginia Tech Shooting

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  • 31 dead, 20 wounded. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:22PM (#18755113) Journal
    See headline. Check favorite news outlets, or see the developing story, including people monitoring scanners, several students posting live in the thread, and people grappling with the various sources of information in this [fark.com] Fark thread.
  • by photomonkey (987563) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:22PM (#18755117)

    I was at the University of Arizona Nursing School shootings in 2001, and know what the folks over at VTech are going through.

    My thoughts are with you, your loved ones and for this world, which every day seems to spin more out of control.

  • by treeves (963993) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:22PM (#18755123) Homepage Journal
    Worst shooting spree of *any* kind. 31 dead, latest count. How he got away with it again, two hours later, is a question many will be asking.
  • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:23PM (#18755139) Journal
    In case anyone has missed it, Jack Thompson has already gone on the major news networks predicting that the shooter's computer will have Counterstrike installed.

    How the hell does Jacko correlate the skill of properly aiming and discharging a firearm with moving a thumbstick and pressing a button on a control-pad? There is no link there!

    Listen Jack, just because your addled mind cannot disassociate video games from reality doesn't mean that the rest of us can't either. For fuck sake, the bodies aren't even COLD yet, we have no idea who the shooter is, and already you're exploiting this situation to try to push your illogical and ultimatly incorrect agenda?

    You are a sick, sick man Jacko. Human filth. The only person worse than you in this situation is the shooter, but at least he had the decency to get killed.

    My heart goes out to the victims of this tragedy, but right now I can't help but feel only rage at the baseless lies and unabashed opportunism displayed by this man.
  • by Badgerman (19207) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:24PM (#18755157)
    Have some friends in the area, so our usual gang was trying to figure out what was up.

    From what I heard they put all schools in the county into lockdown when the attack was detected - not just college campuses. The gunman is apparently dead, but obviously everyone is extremely nervous.

    Apparently the campus had had bomb threats in the last two weeks. No idea if they're connected:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18134671/ [msn.com]

    My thoughts are with the lost and their loved ones.

  • by TomatoMan (93630) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:33PM (#18755371) Homepage Journal
    As horrifying as this sickening act of violence is, it's sobering to recognize that this kind of random death toll is practically a daily event in Baghdad. We should be equally shocked and horrified by that.

    Thoughts and prayers for all victims of violence.
  • by codepunk (167897) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:40PM (#18755541)
    I see a lot of gun control comments already...I am interested, what is your solution?

    As I recall it only took a couple of guys with some simple box cutters to kill 3000+ people, so what would
    a gun ban do?
  • by pario (675744) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:40PM (#18755561)
    Every time a news of shooting breaks out, I always wonder why the possession of firearms is not banned entirely in this country. I am native of Japan, and where I grew up nobody but cops were allowed to carry guns. I live in New Jersey now, and I really miss a sense of security I used to have back home. Back there I never worried about getting killed and such, whereas I feel physically threatened where I live now since there have been a number of incidents of armed robberies on campus at Rutgers and in my neighborhood. (My own apartment was robbed several years ago, too.) Seriously, it makes a huge difference when I have to take into consideration the possibility of the possession of firearms when some strangers attacked me. I am aware that there are gun lobbies working against the ban of firearms, but it never made any sense to me. Could anybody enlighten me as to why people want to carry guns at all?
    • Every time a news of shooting breaks out, I always wonder why the possession of firearms is not banned entirely in this country. I am native of Japan, and where I grew up nobody but cops were allowed to carry guns. I live in New Jersey now, and I really miss a sense of security I used to have back home. Back there I never worried about getting killed and such, whereas I feel physically threatened where I live now since there have been a number of incidents of armed robberies on campus at Rutgers and in my neighborhood. (My own apartment was robbed several years ago, too.) Seriously, it makes a huge difference when I have to take into consideration the possibility of the possession of firearms when some strangers attacked me. I am aware that there are gun lobbies working against the ban of firearms, but it never made any sense to me.

      Because in this country we - historically - believe in certain inalienable rights of all men; and that includes - in addition to the phrase "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness" - the idea that individuals (or groups of individuals joined together for a common good) can defend those rights, using violence if necessary. Now no sane person *wants* violence or war, or bloodshed, but our Founding Fathers acknowledged that sometimes you have to choose to utilized armed forced in order to defend your "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Case in point, the US Revolutionary War.

      And to this day, US citizens generally understand that if the government ever becomes tyrannical and repressive, "we the people" have the right (and must have the means) to overthrow it.

      Could anybody enlighten me as to why people want to carry guns at all?

      Because there is no way to prevent crazy nuts like this guy from VT from getting guns. And some people want to be able to defend themselves when these nuts show up and start shooting.
    • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:03PM (#18756161) Journal
      Michael Moore's 'Bowling for Columbine' documentary looked into this and didn't actually blame the ready availability of guns in the US for the high level of gun crime. He showed examples of other countries where lots of people carry guns, such as Canada and Switzerland, countries that don't have such a culture of violence. He claims that a culture of fear is what drives Americans to arm themselves to the teeth in such big numbers, and you end up with the ludicrous situation where you can go into a shop on just about any high street and buy an automatic assault weapon, something that is not needed for self defence or hunting or any of the other uses that gun advocates frequently come up with.

      There seems to be a cultivation of fear, where violent crime seems to get a disproportionate amount of coverage on the news that's way beyond the actual importance of it. So there was an armed robbery at the gas station earlier this morning. Do we really need a live outside broadcast from the scene of the crime at 7pm where all the activity has long finished?

      On the radio this morning someone made a very good point about people in their neighbourhood driving their children the short distance to school for fear of abduction, even though the number of abductions in that area in the last ten years is zero. TV shows talk about an 'epidemic' of road rage, an epidemic being five reported incidents in the country in the last year. Remember the SARS outbreak? About five people in Asia died from it and it was reported as a 'worldwide pandemic.'

      I don't know if gun control is the complete solution to the problem, it runs much deeper than that, but it has to be part of it. There's no way any random person should be able to walk in off the street and buy an AK47.
      • by Dobeln (853794) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:34PM (#18758393)
        Short on time, so short comment:

        Michael Moore goes wrong in a number of areas with his "culture of fear" model of US gun crime. Highlights follow:

        - First, while many nations (including my own, i.e. Sweden) have plenty of legal guns (hunting is a huge movement here and tens of thousands of reservists have FN-FAL assault rifles at home), those are usually of models not well suited to crime, are registered, and required to be stored in a safe fashion. The same goes for, say, Canada (his chosen comparison).

        - General US gun deaths are extremely concentrated to certain demographic groups (Read: black & latino bangers in inner-cities.). For instance, a little more than half of all US killers are black, despite making up a bit more than a tenth of the population. (I.e see the bureau of justice statistics: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/crimoff.htm [usdoj.gov]) The gross murder rate for US lily-white suburbia is much closer to Europe than stats would let on, despite spillover from the inner city wars.

        - In short, the main general problem with regards to guns in the US are not trigger happy rednecks in Arkansas or scared soccer moms killing people by mistake. The "culture of fear" theory just comes up short when confronted by reality.

        - Gun accessibility, however, is probably important. The banger wars are hardly helped by the plentiful and easy access to guns. It is unrealistic at this point, however, to see how even a total gun ban could yield short-term results in this department. Bangers would hang on to their illegal guns no matter what laws are passed, and only a long battle of attrition could bring major crime-drop windfalls. In the meantime, the law-abiding population would be stripped of percieved and real protection, and political pressures to ease gun access would mount.

        - Making things even more complicated, the main benificiaries of a gun ban would in the end be white city liberals, while the hunting 'n guns culture of the rednecks would pay a big chunk of the price. The political problems are obvious.

        - Finally (lots more to be said, but I have to go to bed... ;) ) - while gun control can probably not help US gun crime stats in a major way in anything approaching the short-ish run, gun access is incredibly important to events such as the Virginia Tech massacre. Kids snap all over the world over lots of silly (and not-so-silly) things - but those that have access to semi-automatic weapons when they snap are many, many times more dangerous. In the larger scheme of things, however, massacres make up a tiny proportion of murders, although they are much more spectacular (and hence garner more media attention, feeding future massacres, etc.) than the average drug hit.

        That it for today. Goodnight!
    • Well, for one thing it is cultural to some degree. I grew up in the south east (north central FL) and was around guns fairly regularly. I'm comfortable with them. Shoot, going out to a range with a friend and a box of 22 rounds can be a nice way to pass an afternoon. They do make it easier for one person to kill another, and especially for something like this to happen, but banning them doesn't mean the crazies won't find another way. No reason this couldn't have been a suicide bomber because you can't ban all the combinations of chemicals that can be made into such devices.

      Another thing to remember is that guns have a great equalizing effect. Sure, the thug could pull a gun and kill you, but you have the ability to do the same. In this country even someones grandmother could be carrying a handgun in the big purse. She might even know how to use it. Firearms do put power in the hands of weaker people that they wouldn't have otherwise. Take a big guy who discovers he can get what he wants through force, now give the victim a firearm, big dude is less dangerous.

      And let's go to the last/best argument. The cat is out of the bag. Guns are scattered through our country now. If you banned them it would have little if any effect in the short or medium term. Well, the black market value would probably go up, and law abiding citizens would be more unarmed, but neither of those is good. They've been such a part of our culture for so long that removing them now just isn't a viable option. Shoot, I know a number of law abiding citizens that just wouldn't give them up, let alone criminals.

      Personally, I have very little problem with concealed carry laws. One day I may carry a gun myself. Unlikely, but I don't have a feeling of disgust about it. That said, I think people should have some very good training, regular re-examinations, psychological testing, etc. before they are allowed to carry.
  • Why Did He Do It? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blueZhift (652272) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:42PM (#18755609) Homepage Journal
    I suppose the usual gun control debates will ensue, along with the bashing of video games. But none of that really matters. The real question is why did this guy shoot all of these people? What made him so angry/hopeless that he felt the need to commit this mass murder? And the more chilling question in my mind is, why doesn't this sort of thing happen more often? There's a lot of pain and ugliness in the world, more than enough to produce thousands, if not millions of shooters. And perhaps therein lies the hope. As bad as things can be, they haven't reached the point where these mass shootings happen every day. Will we be wise enough to do the things we really need to do to prevent this from happening again?
  • At VT Duing Shooting (Score:5, Informative)

    by thoolie (442789) on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:43PM (#18755643) Homepage
    During the shootings, a conference was being held at the VT Inn for the Center of Power Electronic Systems for RPI, NC A&T, VT, and the UW - Madison. We had a mandatory lecture at the main conference hall in at the Inn at 8:00am. Right as we were finishing the lecture, we were told that there had been a "security breach" and that the Inn was now in lock-down and that we should stay away from the doors and windows. As it turns out, as we were exiting the conference room, the final shots were being fired not more than 200 yards away (oddly, in the same complex that we were to give presentations in tomorrow - the engineering complex).

    Many of the VT CPES students and faculty could have been in the vicinity of the shootings had it not been for this conference today (as it was an engineering hall that the main shootings took place). We were also asked to evacuate from the main conference room so that the university could hold its press conference.

    This is quite a surreal experience as I'm watching the news and they are showing picture of what's going on outside my hotel room. The CPES students, faculty, and staff are all safe.

    Words can not express the atmosphere here. It is the most surreal experience of my life.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @03:44PM (#18755677)
    When what is believed to be a single, isolated shooting in a dorm happens on a 2600 acre public, open campus with hundreds of buildings, you can't assume that you're about to have the worst shooting incident (of any type) in US history.

    Yet, people are already blaming Virginia Tech.

    Would we close or "lock down" a city of 40000 people if there was a shooting? Because that's exactly what a campus of this size and type is (including students and faculty/staff).

    No, but people are already calling for siren/PA systems in EVERY of HUNDREDS of buildings, of varying ages and constructions, centralized door locking/control and camera systems for not just outer building doors, but ALL doors.

    The University reacted in a reasonable way. Yes, a shooter was "on the loose". Someone who had shot a person in a dorm, and the University immediately sent out notifications that such an event occurred; to be cautious and aware, and to report any suspicious activity to campus police. The area was "locked down", but after over two hours elapsed, there was no reason to believe that a madman was about to go on a random killing spree across campus.

    This is not an elementary school. This is not a high school. This is a massive, open research campus with tens of thousands of people spreading over 2600 acres, with private, residential, and other buildings intermixed.

    The only person to be blamed here is the shooter. And yes, he's dead. But Virginia Tech is not at fault.
    • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:20PM (#18756687)
      This is the unedited transcript of the VT afternoon press conference at about 4:45 PM ET. Next press conference will be at 7:30 PM ET:

      - I am vice president for university relations. We will begin this with a short statement by the president. All of the individuals will be available for comment. The president will identify him in his opening comments. We will stay here as long as you need us to. Afterwards, i will be available for comment. Obviously, there are an awful lot of you and there is one of me. I would recommend that we try to get as much as we can accomplish in this press briefing today.

      - Thank you. Just a few minutes ago , i spoke with president bush and he conveyed his concern and condolences for everyone in washington and offered all of the help that they could possibly provide. I' ve also spoken with the governor who was coming back from tokyo. He has declared a state of emergency which allows us to access significant oth er assets at that will be required to do with this tragedy. With me today is the secretary for public service for the commonwealth of virginia, john marshall, and the superintendent for the virginia state police. Also is the mayor of b lacksburg, the chief of the blacksburg police department and the chief of the virginia tech police. I want to repeat my horror and disbelief and profound sorrow at the events of today. People from around the world have expressed their shock and their sorrow. I am really at a loss for words to explain or understand the carnage that has visited our campus. I know no other way to speak about this than to tell you what we now. It is now confirmed that we have at 31 deaths from the norris hall , including the gunman. 15 Other victims are being treated at hospitals. There are two confirmed deaths from the shooting in the dormitory, in addition to those at norris hall. We' ve not confirmed the activity of the gun man because he carried no at the dedication. We are in the process of attempting a dedication identification. We are in the proces s of notifying next of kin. This will take some time. We will not release any names unti l we are positive of this edification. We anticipate being able to release a list sometime tomorrow. We' re asking our students to contact their parents and let them know their status. Our investigation continues into whether there is a connection between the first and second incidents. That has not been decided. We know that the parents will want to embrace their children. We are not suggesting that you come to campus, however, if pa rents feel that it must come to campus, we are locating counselors at the end of virginia tech to be available. As you can imagine, security, investigation, operational, and counseling resources are very taxed at this moment. However, we are getting assistance from the state police, the fbi, the atf, local jurisdictions, and the red cross. We understand the desire and the compelling need to get information on the part of families, stu dents, and loved ones. Unfortunately, this is all of the information that we can verify at this point in time. We are posting information o n our web site as we learned it. I communication systems are taxed . We are posting information on the web site for the state police. I think we are ready to take questions.

      - Why not shut down campus after the first shooting rather g -- shooting?

      - The information that we have less to make the decision that it was an isolated event to that building and the decision was not made to cancel class' s at that time.

      - Can you say why the students were not notified for tw o hours?

      - They were notified that there was a shooting. You have to remember that of the 26,000 is that we have, only about 9000 are on campus. When the class start at 9:00 A.M., Thou sands of people are in transit. The question is, where do you keep them when it is most safe? We concluded that the incident at the dormitory was domestic in question. This other events occurred two hours later.

      - The first e-mail did not arrive
  • by sshore (50665) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:11PM (#18756451)
    Sounds like somebody has a case of the Mondays!
    • by duffel (779835) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:34PM (#18760283)
      I find it amazing that even in the face of such horrible events, human nature is such that it can find humor.
      Because this is the thing: Life isn't terrible. Yes, very bad things happen. People do horrible things. Always have, always will. This one is worse than many. But we cope, and continue, and manage to find beauty and companionship and humor despite it all, and that's amazing.

      So, thank you for your humor. I think that it is a necessity in tragedy, a good grounding to prevent us from getting wrapped up in our mourning, or at least to prevent us from being swept away in wave after wave of media-induced panic - they tend to not report the good things, you have to use your own eyes for that.
  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brkello (642429) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:46PM (#18757383)
    Jack Thompson uses this to promote his anti-video game agenda and we are all disgusted (and rightly so). Yet we find it acceptable for people on here to push their Second Ammendment agenda. Not making any judgement on whether they are right or wrong (if someone was carrying a weapon they might have been able to stop this guy vs. if everyone was carrying weapons would gun crimes in the classroom go up thus increasing the total number of gun deaths on campus). Can't we just give our agenda pushing a break for day and just feel bad for these kids and their families? Can't we just worry how the politicians (all of them) are going to over react to this and try to push stupid laws just so they feel like they are doing something? This is another sad day we have to live through. Wake up, pull your head out of your asses, and see if there is someone around you that is showing signs that they are mentally distraught. Who knows, if one person would have helped this guy out we might still be complaining about the Imus thing.
  • by J05H (5625) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:25PM (#18760181) Homepage
    Train to act when needed, to have the peace of mind to destroy your aggressor and the medicine to help others around you. wu, ch'an, yi. War, Meditation, Medicine. Five and half years after 9/11 and Americans still line up to die? Our ancestors must be ashamed, we have become sheep.

    These students today, I don't want to be harsh on the injured, but they should have been READY. Everybody should be ready for anything. If this means carrying a .357 under your arm, go for it. Carry a knife or Leatherman. Take CPR and trauma classes. Practice Kung Fu. Call your Representative. Everyone should know how to "safe" a hot gun. Do whatever it takes. Be Ready. It's your duty as Americans.

    Fight back!

    Josh

"Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." -- Alexander Graham Bell

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