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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. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Many Dead In Virginia Tech Shooting

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  • by WarwickRyan (780794) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:21PM (#18755093)
    ..of those killed/injured :(
  • Beyond words... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Colonel Angus (752172) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:21PM (#18755095)
    What fucked up animals we are. I wish well to all affected by this.
  • by photomonkey (987563) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:22PM (#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 @04:22PM (#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 @04:23PM (#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 nexuspal (720736) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:23PM (#18755145)
    link [reuters.com]. My question/concern is why did the police not lock down the campus after the shooting in the residence hall. 2 hours later, the SAME shooter went into classrooms and started killing students. If this is indeed the case, I believe it was gross negligence on the part of the police and I would be very disturbed if I was a family member of one of the students killed in the second shooting.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:24PM (#18755149) Homepage Journal
    This is why it is wrong for your second amendment rights to end at the boundary of a school. Nothing is preventing from people illegally bringing guns on to campus. The same argument applies, well, anywhere.
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:25PM (#18755175) Journal
    then how about leaving out the clever tagline altogether?
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoctorVic (716683) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:25PM (#18755189)
    I heard something on the news about this when the details were unfolding this morning. I thought to myslef "Not again.. What the fuck is wrong with people." I mean, really, what the hell would cause someone to do something of this nature? I can understand being mad, even mad enough to kill - but that is rage targeted at an individual for perceived crmes against myself. To do something of this magnitude to what basically amounts to a group of innocents is just mind numbingly awful. Fucktard. Also, my best to those affected by one persons retardation.
  • by Badgerman (19207) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:26PM (#18755209)
    I'm seeing a lot of people making political hay out of this already. Really, can't we let the bodies get cold?

    Though this is what we can expect in a mass media age. Here we are, on Slashdot, already discussing it when they're still counting the dead.

    But I'm glad there is a place to discuss it. I have friends in the area, I know people who went to the colleges there. It's really freaky.
  • by zulater (635326) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:29PM (#18755273)
    Yes, because criminals respect the law! [/sarcasm]
  • by ivan256 (17499) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:29PM (#18755285)
    Right, because there's no way this guy could have killed 30 people without a gun (say, with a bomb, or something)... No way he could have gotten a gun if they were against the law... etc.

    How many fewer people in that classroom would have died if one of the students in the room was carrying?

    Best to respond to tragedy with a knee-jerk revocation of civil liberties.

    The "firearms" cat is out of the bag. You can't undo technology with laws. Readers of this site should know that better than most people.
  • Re:slashdot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gregmark (750089) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:31PM (#18755325)
    Er.. aren't there some stories that transcend the typical boundaries of the Slashdot? What did we do on 9/11? The fallout of this event will affect student civil liberties all over America. Once the "we gotta do *something*" people take over, it's going to get spectacularly ugly. After they find his My Space page, this might even become a YRO issue. This is *very* relevant.
  • by eclectro (227083) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:31PM (#18755345)
    He probably trained on Doom. Someone check to see if he was able to aim up and down.

    Bad joke, but one has to wonder. Especially with hollywood seemingingly taking an increasingly cavalier attitude about putting hardcore violence in films. A lot of what is passing for R these days would have gotten NC-17 ten years ago. I bet the movie grindhouse [imdb.com] tanks this weekend.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RexRhino (769423) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:32PM (#18755357)
    What is wrong is that the guy is insane. You can't understand what he did because (presumably) you are not insane. The brain is a machine, and in some people the machine goes haywire.


  • And still you fight for your right to bear arms
    (Score:2, Offtopic)
    Take this as (another) wake up call. Vote for the candidate that promise to reform your gun control laws in '08.


    Yeah, existing laws - making it illegal to walk on campus with a gun and shoot 30+ people - really did a lot of good, no? What makes you think passing more laws is going to help?

    Something like this actually makes me MORE determined than ever to fight for my 2nd Amendment rights. You can do whatever the fuck you want if some nut with a gun shows up and starts trying to kill you, but I want to be able to defend myself. I may not succeed, but at least I won't go out cowering under a desk, praying to a god that does not exist, that the killer won't find me.
  • by TomatoMan (93630) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:33PM (#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 mattt79 (1005999) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:34PM (#18755403)
    IMO you're right. But that's not the point.
    It's too soon, and the wounds are too fresh.

    Right now, my heart goes out to the families of those killed, and prayers that the injured all recover.

    Let the political arguments, the gun control and video game fights, and even the Jon Katz stories just wait until later.

    -Matt
  • by Dunbal (464142) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:35PM (#18755443)
    I bet a lot of people feel safe in a country where you can be Tasered with impunity if you forget your library card, make a fuss in your library and refuse to leave, however this "security" that is supposed to prevent this kind of crap has no effect whatsoever. Or could it be that this security that is shoved down our throats isn't really designed to prevent this stuff at all?

          Yet another example of how most security is MAKE BELIEVE, and apart from keeping the sheep in line and obedient, it does absolutely nothing to prevent the REAL crime. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the security guards were hiding - probably behind the students.
  • Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lt.Hawkins (17467) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:35PM (#18755455) Homepage
    Wish I still had points.

    I am also very surprised, and glad, to read that most comments have focused on "what a sick fuck" vs. "guns r bad mmmkay?"
  • by Hijacked Public (999535) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:35PM (#18755457)
    Every talking head with an agenda will use this.


    Jack Thompson will blame video games, Jerry Falwell will blame gay marriage, Rosie O'Donnel will say it is the proliferation of guns, Rush Limbaugh will tell us that this is the inevitable result of a a Democrat majority. This is how these people get their faces on TV.

    I don't even think it is seen as grotesque by most people any more.

  • Re:slashdot? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by double-oh three (688874) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:37PM (#18755489)
    Quote the head: Stuff That Matters. 31 killed on a College campus, a majority in a EE/CS building, well, it just damn Matters.
  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:39PM (#18755515)

    He got away with it *both* times because the law emasculates the citizen from carrying a weapon at all times. If there were no restrictions on concealed carry, more people would carry. If V. Tech (like may schools) didn't ban firearms on its grounds, it's probable that some people in either group would have been armed and could have defended themselves.

    Christ, can't you shut up with this shit for a day? If morons carried guns everywhere, we'd have many more than 31 killed in spontaneous acts of stupidity every day. There are people who I would generally trust to be around while they carry weapons, but I would not extend that trust of judgement to more than about 5% of the general population. Most of the rest are too damned stupid or impulsive.

    In the absence of meaningful regulation of who gets guns - which people like you have fought vehemently against - sane people like me simply don't trust being around any number of idiots with guns. If you want more of society to accept the wisdom of having armed citizens around, you'll have to convince us that there's some method of keeping them in the right hands - which clearly did NOT happen today.

  • by BristolCream (102658) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:39PM (#18755527)

    Well look at the UK. We've had one such incident in history, commited by a man lisenced to carry arms. He killed 17 [wikipedia.org]. In England this has never happened.

    While it's true that some people are insane and will go to silly lengths to cause destruction (think 9/11), most crimes of this kind are carried by "ordinary guys". That are very few criminal masterminds. Thousands that have a bad day, get dumped by their girlfriend or loose everything on red. Arm them when they're sane of mind and watch the destruction when they're not.

    That's the American way.

  • by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:39PM (#18755535)
    I think that this would certainly be the most appropriate purpose of this: a place to give our condolences to the families and would like to add my own to this thread. God be with them all.
  • by codepunk (167897) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:40PM (#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 eln (21727) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:41PM (#18755579) Homepage
    It's interesting that a couple of threads above this comment, people rail on Jack Thompson for using this tragedy to push his own personal agenda, and then you come in and do exactly the same thing and get applauded for it.

    Would guns on campus have prevented more people from getting shot? Who the hell knows? Maybe it would have meant several people trying to play hero and causing even more casualties by shooting wildly in the direction of the gunman. It's just idle speculation. The real question here is how a 911 call about shots fired gets to police at 7:15am and the same gunman (apparently) is allowed to come in and shoot up another building on the same campus TWO HOURS LATER with no police presence.
  • by psykocrime (61037) <[mindcrime] [at] [cpphacker.co.uk]> on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:42PM (#18755601) Homepage Journal
    In the absence of meaningful regulation of who gets guns - which people like you have fought vehemently against - sane people like me simply don't trust being around any number of idiots with guns. If you want more of society to accept the wisdom of having armed citizens around, you'll have to convince us that there's some method of keeping them in the right hands - which clearly did NOT happen today.

    Your argument is based on a specious assumption: that most people aren't competent to own guns. I personally think that's a load of bollocks. But even if you're right, the underlying point is still this: there is NO way to guarantee that you keep guns out of the *wrong* hands. And since the "bad guys" will always have guns, it's wrong to deprive the good guys of the means to defend themselves.

  • Why Did He Do It? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blueZhift (652272) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:42PM (#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?
  • by jchenx (267053) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:44PM (#18755661) Journal
    Being a tech school, I'm sure there are a lot of Slashdot readers that are fellow VT alumni (like myself).

    There is, unfortunately, a lot that might ultimately be connected to topics that are normally associated with Slashdot:
    - Might this be a disgrunted engineering (including comp sci) student? (Pressure thanks to exams, weed-out classes, etc.)
    - As a possible engineering student, it's extremely likely he/she plays video games, so unfortunately that gives opportunity for anti-gaming advocates to thump their chests
    - Possible that gun-control (or lack thereof) may have affected this?

    For now though, I think it's too early to start the speculation. I hate how people are already using this awful tragedy to promote their own opinions/ideas. There will eventually be a time for this. Today, is not such a time.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:44PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:45PM (#18755695)
    > Thoughts go the the families.

    And to karma-whores, for the sort of pointless statement you get on local TV coverage of this sort of thing.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:47PM (#18755753) Homepage Journal
    "Or maybe its just the ease with which the socially unfit and mentally unstable can get serious weapons."

    Well, if someone 'sane' in the bldg had been packing a weapon, they might have ended this asshole's rampage a bit earlier....

  • by razorh (853659) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:48PM (#18755783)
    right, because if we had the right to chicken arms, nobody would ever shoot anyone else...

    and though it has been mentioned in 100 places in this thread already, if someone really wants to go on a shooting spree, no LAW is going to stop them.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MeanderingMind (884641) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:50PM (#18755807) Homepage Journal
    There are any number of reasons, and they are all very real.

    For example, imagine that suddenly your dear and loving parents split apart violently. Your once placid and happy life is sundered apart. Instead of caring, your friends (if you're lucky enough have any) shrug it off. They might have gone through divorce and think it's much ado about nothing or perhaps they simply don't understand.

    Meanwhile life only gets worse. It isn't just that no one understands, no one wants to. No one makes the effort to connect and communicate, or not enough people do. You only get to watch as everyone around them appears happy and complacent. They're having fun, playing games, living normal lives and crying about silly things like how their boyfriend dumped them. Boohoo, your soul is only tearing itself apart and no one notices.

    The wound festers, and before long you hate everyone and everything. They're is so happy like sheep, ignorant and uncaring about the injustices that go on around them. They don't fucking care, so long as they get to have their stupid, superficial relationships and screw each other while others suffer. They're more than willing to spend $15 a month on some remote child in africa but to actually lift a finger themselves, too hard for the bastards.

    Demons all of them. They're talking about you behind your back. They're pointing you out, you're the weirdo. The anti-social ass who chased away all those fuckers who were your "friends". No one wants anything to do with you, or doesn't know you're unclean. You practically don't even exist in the feeble minds of these bitches. Some socially disfigured leper.

    Damn those fuckers to hell. You play nice, you're a "primadonna" because you had a nervous breakdown when your parents split. You play rough, and you're a lowlife scumfuck without the sophistication to breed. Fuck'em all and their social games. They'll see. You'll wake them up and they'll see. They'll see themselves for the compassionless, stupid fucks they are. Yeah, it'll be sweet.

    Is that how this happened? Probably not. However, it's suprising how quickly good people can go bad when there's no one willing or able to support them.
  • by Tom (822) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:50PM (#18755809) Homepage Journal
    He is prime asshole material. But then again, that's how you get headlines. It's sad but true, very few news agencies and even less TV stations are interested in a careful, balanced POV.

    Blame the stations that air him as much as the sicko himself. Write them a letter (not an email!) telling them how disgusted you are that they put a man like that on air instead of someone to bring calm and reason to those affected, and that it did cause you to switch away from their channel and you don't know if or when you'll have the stomach to turn them on again.

    I would, but I'm not in the US so I don't think they'd care. I do regularily write letters like that, though. I think they help. In PR classes people learn that for every letter you get there are at least 10 people out there thinking the same thing who didn't write a letter.

    Be the one who did.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sancho (17056) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:50PM (#18755819) Homepage
    I'm against the war, and I consider shootings like this abhorrent. I cannot, however, figure out how a person could link these situations without referring to either karma (which I don't believe is generally thought to be linked to nations), the deity of your choice (e.g. the people who thought that Katrina was God's judgement over homosexuality), or a direct quote from the killer explaining that his actions are trying to make this point.

    Use logic to make your arguments. Don't try to claim that these two awful situations are linked in some way to sway people to your side.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:51PM (#18755835)
    JT's immediate bandwagon jumping, shows him for the c**t that he really is. There is no other explanation. The guy is a scumbag, a slimey, bottom feeding piece of trash ready to exploit any tragedy for his own personal agenda.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thegnu (557446) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `ungeht'> on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:51PM (#18755861) Journal
    What fucked up animals we are.

    Chances are, if you put an elephant in an systemically humiliating situation [wikipedia.org], it'd go crazy and fuck some people up, too.

    DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying these people are victims. I'm saying we live in a sick society. And I quote:

    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
    --Jiddu Krishnamurti

    Shooting people is no measure, either, though.
  • by Coryoth (254751) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:52PM (#18755875) Homepage Journal

    He got away with it *both* times because the law emasculates the citizen from carrying a weapon at all times. If there were no restrictions on concealed carry, more people would carry. If V. Tech (like may schools) didn't ban firearms on its grounds, it's probable that some people in either group would have been armed and could have defended themselves.
    You're playing with hypotheticals here. It is certainly conceivable that, if a large number of VT students were all carrying concealed weapons that, when the shooting broke out, someone would have shot the nutcase. On the other hand it is conceivable that, if a large number of VT students were all carrying concealed weapons, there may have been a number of accidental or mistaken shootings at the same time.

    Consider: you are carrying a concealed weapon and you hear gunfire coming from the room down the hall (or maybe from the floor below). You draw your weapon, and the next thing you know someone carrying a gun walks into the room. Is it another student from elsewhere in the building responding to the gunfire, or the nutcase? Do you shoot them before they can shoot you? Now add plenty of screaming and panic, and multiply this scenario by the number of different panicked scared students all carrying firearms.

    To my mind each case (the nutcase getting shot, and a anumber of innocent students getting shot) seems equally reasonable, so given that the whole thing is purely hypothetical can you really claim, with any certainty, that lots of students carrying guns would have saved lives? I don't see that that is clear at all.
  • by Quila (201335) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:52PM (#18755889)

    Would guns on campus have prevented more people from getting shot? Who the hell knows?
    Very likely. Not long after Charles Whitman started shooting people at the University of Texas in 1966 a lot of locals showed up to help provide suppressive fire with their rifles. That forced Whitman to keep his head down, and he could no longer shoot freely as he had done earlier. This was kept up until two people (one an armed civilian) managed to get to the top of the tower and shoot Whitman.
  • by Johnny Mnemonic (176043) <mdinsmore@gmail . c om> on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:53PM (#18755895) Homepage Journal
    You're right. Although I'm drunk 1/3 of the time, if only I'd been armed so I could defend myself against guys like this. Or shoot wildly, anyways.

    Here's my point: if guys like you didn't oppose reasonable measures to ensure that only responsible citizens could bear arms, a lot more folks would be entrusted to carry weapons. Yes, there is a value judgement in there that has to be made by the government. We do the same thing for the right to drive, too.

    However, since you want to extend the right to every slinging dick that has $150 for a Sat Night Special, we prefer to ban everything.

    I don't know at all if 25% of the folks were armed that there would be an organized resistance to the lone crazed individual. More than likely it'd be a free for all firefight, with lots of friendly fire casualties. Even professional soldiers can't keep from killing friendlies, and they train for such situations.
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:53PM (#18755897)
    One nutter starts shooting then half the dorm draws guns and start blazing away unsure as to who the original shooter is and start shooting each other. Cop snipers arrive and see a whole bunch of people running around with their guns blazing. Who should they shoot at?

    Civilian firefights are not going to solve the problem unless you get people to wear good guy/bad guy armbands or something.

    Sure, there are a few times, like perhaps this one, where a few lives might have been saved if someone had been armed, but there would likely have been more single event shootings (fight over a girl getting out of hand etc). When you work the averages, gun toting adds up to more deaths.

  • Re:Get ready... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OverlordQ (264228) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:54PM (#18755919) Journal
    Does anybody know if Virginia Tech has a policy against firearms on campus? If so, I hope people stop and ask: could one student, armed with a handgun, have prevented the death toll from climbing as high as it did?

    Last year the VA legislature tried to amend the laws to allow licensed students and faculty to carry concealed on campus. Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:54PM (#18755933)
    Do you still call people Mongoloids too? It's the 21st century gramps, try call an Asian that to his face and don't be surprised if he busts out the chop-suey and puts your old white ass in the hospital.
  • by gotgenes (785704) <chris DOT lasher AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:54PM (#18755941) Homepage

    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.

    It's interesting you say this because I had the same thought today as the events unraveled. I'll be back on campus, walking across Drillfield, without having to worry about this tomorrow, and hopefully ever again. I feel sick to my stomach right now but in a few months, it will be a dark memory. How do people survive being a possible victim to this level of violence every day of their lives?

  • by Tom (822) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:55PM (#18755947) Homepage Journal
    Maybe, maybe not. Self-defense of people not well trained is as likely to cause more (accidental) deaths than it is to stop the shooter, especially in a crowded environment. People in panic do not fire well-aimed, carefully placed shots.
  • Ever been in a firefight? Because if you haven't, I can assure you that having a gun doesn't make you grow a big, brass pair all of a sudden.
  • by Nos. (179609) <andrew@thekerrs.FREEBSDca minus bsd> on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:56PM (#18755971) Homepage

    it's wrong to deprive the good guys of the means to defend themselves

    Hate to use your own argument against you but, "Your argument is based on a specious assumption". That is to say that you can only speculate that it would be better (or at least no worse) if some|many|all of the students at staff at Virginia Tech were carrying weapons.

    Think for a minute about the chaos that a few shots fired in a school would cause. Now, imagine that a bunch of people suddenly pull out handguns and start looking for the original shooter. I see a lot of problems with this situation.

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:56PM (#18755977) Homepage
    So true, but apparently, an American life is worth more than an Iraqi life.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:56PM (#18755981)

    If morons carried guns everywhere, we'd have many more than 31 killed in spontaneous acts of stupidity every day.

    I don't recall their previous poster advocating encouraging morons to carry guns. I believe he said the college rules shouldn't stop the students from carrying guns (likely assuming they have a permit which requires training and certification). If you want to argue that the students at VA tech are all morons, go ahead and present some evidence. If you are not prepared to present said evidence, however, maybe you should, "shut up with this shit" as you so eloquently put it, or at least expect to be modded as flamebait.

    ...I would not extend that trust of judgement to more than about 5% of the general population.

    What the hell does this have to do with anything? Why do we care who you trust, unless you're the one certifying people to carry? That's why reasonable laws have impartial criteria, so arrogant jerks like you can't dictate who they think should carry and instead it is determined by the law in combination with expert trainers.

    In the absence of meaningful regulation of who gets guns - which people like you have fought vehemently against

    This is the logical fallacy, argument by association. The previous person argued that there should not be a ban on VA Tech's campus, not that everyone should be able to carry guns whenever they want. Claiming that the previous person must believe that because "people like you" have argued it is absurd and illogical.

    If you want more of society to accept the wisdom of having armed citizens around, you'll have to convince us that there's some method of keeping them in the right hands - which clearly did NOT happen today.

    Today we saw the folly of restricting the natural freedoms of citizens. In my mind, you need justification to take away freedom from the people, not allow them to keep it. Laws and rules don't stop shootings like this. Right to carry laws statistically do not increase shootings. What then is the justification for these kinds of bans in light of the potential for citizens to avert this kind of madness by having the tools to defend themselves?

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:56PM (#18755983) Homepage Journal

    Drinkypoo, I guess you got the Right Wing Talking points memo from instanpundit

    Look at the fucking timestamps. When I started my comment there were 0 comments in this story.

    I have my own mind and can make it up on my own. Welcome to my foes list.

    The Libertarians' website thingy tells me that I am an upper left centrist. Make of that what you will.

    Accusing people who don't agree with you of following someone else's agenda is a sorry excuse for an actual debate. Mudslinging is easy, but it still makes you look like an ass.

    before he even had any of the links to the facts.

    Fact: Some guy shot a bunch of people.

    Fact: You are not permitted to carry guns on campus.

    Fact: Someone with a gun would have been in a better position to shoot the shooter than someone without a gun. In fact, once the event was confirmed, they called some men with guns and those men came and shot the man shooting people.

    Fact: You are making stupid assumptions. One of them is that he had no facts before you did.

    Good for you. Will you be on Rush Limbaugh tonight?

    Ah yes, compare me to Rush in order to discredit me. That will work fine on the idiot sheeple who respond predictably to such stimulus. But it will not work on rational individuals who are not afraid to make up their own minds.

    Also, if Rush takes the same stance on carrying firearms, then I am not afraid to stand up and be counted as someone who agrees with him on the individual point, because issues and people are different things. Congratulations on being a sheep who does not understand this, and who even attempts to use that confusion to paint me as intolerant.

    Never mind that denying someone their constitutional rights is what's genuinely intolerant here.

  • More Guns? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FrostedWheat (172733) on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:56PM (#18756007)

    I'm shocked by the number of people on here calling for more guns in schools. That's horrible!

    If you feel it necessary to carry a lethal weapon in order to feel safe, something is very very wrong.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by psykocrime (61037) <[mindcrime] [at] [cpphacker.co.uk]> on Monday April 16, 2007 @04:59PM (#18756077) Homepage Journal
    Well, the gun-nuts here quickly seized the issue and even before the bodies are warm, are screaming "GUNS R GOOD MMMKAY?" all over this thread.

    Conditioned response. We learned after Columbine that the gun-control nuts would quickly sieze the issue and - even before the bodies are warm, start screaming "GUNS R BADMMKAY?" all over the place. So instead of waiting for the knee-jerk reaction and all the wailing for more useless gun-control laws to begin; all of which might influence an otherwise rational person to adopt a anti-gun attitude, might as well make the point right out of the gate that gun-control is NOT the answer to issues like this.

    Disgraceful.

    Yes, we've lowered ourselves to the level of the anti-gun nuts, in that regard. I guess that is sad, but it would be sadder to say nothing, do nothing, and watch more innocent people die in Defenseless Victim Zones like Virginia Tech.
  • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:00PM (#18756089)

    Clearly you missed the point that criminals, by definition, do not obey the laws. There is some logic to that whole "when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" motto. It's a truism. Gun laws shift the balance of power in favor of those who don't give a shit about the law.

    That relies on 2 things: 1) that there is a distinction between good guys and bad guys, and 2) that good guys are good shots. For the first, many (to that point) honest citizens commit "heat of the moment" crimes, which would certainly be made worse with the presence of guns. The second creates problems when well meaning laypeople start playing hero and injure bystanders.

    What you're trying to convince people is that a device, whose sole purpose is to maim and kill, should be allowed to be carried in public by anyone, without demonstrating 1) basic competency or 2) psychological dependability. Forget that.

    I'm not one of the crazies on either side, but if we have to have licenses for cars, we need licenses for guns. And I'm not interested in the BS slippery slope rhetoric. I'm OK with highly trained civillians carrying guns in public. I'm OK with idiot yokels having guns locked up at home that they use for hunting or target practice. I'm not OK with idiot yokels carrying guns in public. It's not safe.

    If you're in favor of licensing, background investigations, testing, and registration, then I'm OK with concealed permit licensing. Until then, no thanks.

  • Re:Gaming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harrkev (623093) <kfmsd@harreTIGERlsonfamily.org minus cat> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:00PM (#18756091) Homepage

    I really hope they don't find any way to blame this on video games, like most school shootings.
    Don't worry. There will be a whole host of people who will blame this on just about everything you can imagine. Some of the likely targets will be:
    • Computer games
    • Music of some sort
    • Lack of gun control
    • Religion
    • Lack of religion
    • Educational system
    • Lack of mental-health counseling
    • If the person turns out to be an engineering student, expect blame to fall on H1B visas for providing too much competition for local engineers
    • If the person turns out to be foreign, I can imagine a whole slew of others to blame
    In short, blame everything/everybody except the person who did the deed. Personal responsibility is not even a concept in America any more.
  • Re:Get ready... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by database_plumber (734219) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:01PM (#18756107) Journal
    Yeah, great. Let's visit this alternative reality for a minute. Word goes out that a 'young guy with a handgun' is wandering around campus killing people. In response, all these students break out their handguns and start popping off at anyone matching that description. Hilarity ensues.
  • by heinousjay (683506) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:01PM (#18756127) Journal
    Sorry, I'm not willing to give up my freedom for the illusion of safety. We have enough of that going on over here already, thanks.

  • Re:Mod parent up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RexRhino (769423) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:02PM (#18756151)

    Well, the gun-nuts here quickly seized the issue and even before the bodies are warm, are screaming "GUNS R GOOD MMMKAY?" all over this thread. Disgraceful.
    Not quicker than the politicians you vote for to be on CNN calling for a complete gun ban. It is only disgraceful because they disagree with you.
  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:3, Insightful)

    by psykocrime (61037) <[mindcrime] [at] [cpphacker.co.uk]> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:03PM (#18756159) Homepage Journal
    Are they looking any better to you guys in the US yet? Seriously, this needn't have happened.

    If by "gun laws" you mean the laws, regulations and statutes that create Defenseless Victim Zones like
    Virginia Tech, then no, they're not looking any better.
  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:03PM (#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.
  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:1, Insightful)

    by BeansBaxter (918704) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:03PM (#18756193)
    Your are so right. I wish the students and teachers had been packing. The shooter might not have gotten so many. It is time to remove gun restrictions and gain back our constitutional rights. Funny that free speech is given more weight than the right to bare arms despite being equal rights.
  • by steveha (103154) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:04PM (#18756219) Homepage
    Would guns on campus have prevented more people from getting shot? Who the hell knows? Maybe it would have meant several people trying to play hero and causing even more casualties by shooting wildly in the direction of the gunman. It's just idle speculation.

    Actually, if you check the statistics, armed citizens have a better record than the police do of only shooting the actual bad guy. This is mostly because the police come on the scene late and need to figure out who the bad guy is; a citizen on the scene who witnesses the bad guy in action knows who the bad guy is. And responsible adults don't lightly pull out guns, especially if they have had good training.

    I believe that if armed citizens trying to play hero caused even more casualties, that would be big news, carried by all the mainstream media. (If someone shoots a bunch of students, that's big news; if a citizen shoots someone by mistake, that's big news; and if a citizen stops a bad guy before he can shoot a bunch of people, that's local-interest news only. You never see a headline like "local man heroically stops gunman at school"; it's more like "local man shoots teen", and it goes downhill from there if the local man is white and the gunman isn't.) Anyway, I cannot recall seeing any news stories like this.

    The real question here is how a 911 call about shots fired gets to police at 7:15am and the same gunman (apparently) is allowed to come in and shoot up another building on the same campus TWO HOURS LATER with no police presence.

    That's just horrible. But it is an example that you can't count on the police to protect you. In general, the police do their best, and lapses like the above are rare; but it remains true that you can't count on the police to protect you.

    steveha
  • YEAH MAN (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rantingkitten (938138) <kitten@nOSpAM.mirrorshades.org> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:05PM (#18756233) Homepage
    Guns make people safer! That's why America, with the highest guns per capita [csmonitor.com] of any first-world nation, is the safest nation on Earth [nationmaster.com], right alongside such sterling examples of crime-free zones like Costa Rica and Colombia.

    Get a goddamned grip. The US has more guns -- and more gun deaths -- than any other developed nation [medicinenet.com].

    Clearly the solution to today's situation would have been for everyone to have guns, then people could have started firing recklessly into the fray and that would have been really fucking great!
  • equalization (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:07PM (#18756301) Homepage
    Because anything can be a weapon. Surely someone from Japan would understanding that a ban on guns just causes other weapons to become more important. Why do you think the Samurai class continued to have power into the 20th century? Because they were behind the ban on guns. Their choice of weapon required their level of training, so it was not available to the general public. A gun makes everyone equally powerful, so you can't have Samurai pushing people around. (of course, the Samurai ethics, just like the knight's code of honor, served to prevent the worst abuses.)
  • by eln (21727) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:07PM (#18756305) Homepage
    At Texas, there was a gunman sitting way up in a tower all by himself. It was easy to identify what to shoot at. In this case, if someone saw the gunman and started shooting, you could have ended up with someone else coming in later and shooting at the wrong person. In this case, no one knew what the gunman looked like or where he was, and the gunman was moving. There would be a much higher risk of "friendly fire" casualties in this case. It's not like the bad guys have devil horns and the civilians carrying weapons have halos so you know what to shoot at.

    So I stand by my original statement that trying to push a gun rights agenda on this discussion is pointless and disgusting, as there is no way to tell how having more guns around would have affected (for better or worse) this particular situation. Not to mention it's despicable to push any sort of political agenda on a tragedy like this, particularly so soon after the fact.
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:07PM (#18756313) Homepage
    And you think this guy "randomly" went to the university and started shooting? I'm sure he had a plan in his mind when he started out. That doesn't make the violence any more senseless, or the GP's point any more salient.

    The fact is, in both cases, innocent civilians are being killed, but here in the west, if something like this happens, the event is met with horror and outrage. Why? Because it's close. Because it's not supposed to happen here. But it's different in Baghdad because, as we all know, Iraq is a third-world hell hole populated by murderous, religious fanatics that we don't care to understand.
  • by YGingras (605709) <ygingras@ygingras.net> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:08PM (#18756347) Homepage
    But, if everyone is free to jump in with his own gun, how does the improvised sniper tell the improvised tactical ops from the real mad gunman? Real tactical ops have a really tight communication channel to minimize the probability of errors. I sure would not feel safe if my life was protected by a trigger happy random snipper. The world is much better without vigilantes. Didn't we learn since the lynchings?
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:10PM (#18756391) Journal
    p> "Is that how this happened? Probably not. However, it's suprising how quickly good people can go bad when there's no one willing or able to support them."

    ... and yet, for every one that goes squirrelly, there are hundreds, thousands, who go through worse, and don't go around shooting up the place.

    No, its not "their fault" - they're nuts. Still, how do we deal with it? Lock up everyone who might be a threat? That will just alienate the already alienated, or make them hide more diligently until that fatal day when they seek revenge for imagined slights.

    One thing they all seem to have in common is and power narcisism - they think they are "more deserving" of attention than what they've gotten to date, and they're "darned well going to get attention, even if it means killing a bunch of people." Unfortunately, we don't have a preventative test to discriminate between someone going through a "stage" and "terminal looser".

    Until then, tighter gun control laws, smaller, more dispersed campuses, and a health-care system that would give marginalized people without HMOs access to someone to talk to can't hurt, but they're not a cure. There is no cure for someone who thinks they're better than everyone else, and as a result thinks he has the right to kill others.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:10PM (#18756393)
    Gee, I don't know. Maybe the fact that the US population is 40 times the size of the Swiss population?
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:11PM (#18756419) Homepage
    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.

    Oh, I agree. I mean, it's not like the US has seen far far more of these sorts of killings than any other nation. And you know why? Because of the high level of gun ownership, of course. It is these very weapons that have prevented these sorts of things from happening time and again.

    Right?
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:11PM (#18756449) Homepage Journal

    What fucked up animals we are.
    No. What fucked-up animals a teeny minority of us are. Most of us are better than that. You are. I am.
    Let's give ourselves credit where it is deserved. There's probably not a person on this list who hasn't wanted to do multiple homicides now and then. But we don't. We learn to control our anger, to seek non-violent solutions.
    Let's treat this incident as a baseline, and praise ourselves for having advanced well beyond it. This guy was an exception, not the norm.

  • by Falladir (1026636) <kingfalladir@yahoo.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:12PM (#18756463)
    When Asians object to "oriental," it's usually on the grounds that "I'm not a rug." This gripe is as obtuse as it is inane. As the literate among you know, the term means nothing but "Eastern." You don't here them objecting to phrases like "Eastern culture" and "Eastern philosophy," so there's nothing objectionable about the direction alone.

    Sure, "oriental" collocates strongly with "rug" (this means that the words appear together frequently), but that shouldn't kill the word.
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:13PM (#18756485)
    There are roughly 10000 people killed with guns in the USA yearly.

    That's 27 deaths a day.

    Curious that people get all worked up when those deaths happen at the same place, and the perpetrator is the same person. Human nature I guess.
  • by inviolet (797804) <slashdot@ERDOSid ... g minus math_god> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:14PM (#18756517) Journal

    Consider: you are carrying a concealed weapon and you hear gunfire coming from the room down the hall (or maybe from the floor below). You draw your weapon, and the next thing you know someone carrying a gun walks into the room. Is it another student from elsewhere in the building responding to the gunfire, or the nutcase? Do you shoot them before they can shoot you? Now add plenty of screaming and panic, and multiply this scenario by the number of different panicked scared students all carrying firearms.

    One factor you left out is the reduction in all nutcasery. A moderately crazy person may enter a school today in order to shoot the place up, but you'd have to be totally crazy to attempt such when you know that one out of ten students will be shooting back. The knowledge that the target is hardened, will surely dissuade some large chunk of would-be berzerkers.

  • by Lurker2288 (995635) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:14PM (#18756531)
    I agree with you on the whole, but you should still consider the deterrent effect of a well-armed populace. If I was a nutter looking to exact some vengeance for a lifetime of abuse, I'd be much less likely to do so with an armed assault if I knew that the classroom I was walking into was armed and capable of shooting back. But then again, crazy is crazy, so who knows?
  • by ksattic (803397) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:14PM (#18756535)

    The term is Asian, not Oriental.
    Only in the USA.
  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cpt_Kirks (37296) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:16PM (#18756589)
    Last year, a bill that would have allowed concealed carry on the Virginia Tech Campus was killed off in committee.

    If that bill had passed, there is a chance this could have been curtailed.

    Strangely enough, the killer did not seem to mind breaking the law in this regard.

    If guns were banned in America tomorrow, do you HONESTLY think guns will just "go away"? Tens of thousands of illegal aliens cross the border monthly. Tons of illegal drugs enter the country regularly. Laws are in place banning both of those. All restrictive gun laws do is create a safe environment for violent criminals.

    But, why do I bother? You can look up both sides of the issue and make your own mind up. But, please do look at BOTH sides of the issue. Contrary to what you might hear otherwise, there really are two sides.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:16PM (#18756599)

    Students have enough problems with getting to class on time and making terrible decisions with the largest deadliest weapons at their disposal: motor vehicles.

    It doesn't take too much imagination to envision the mayhem with them carrying firearms and making decisions about shooting them.
  • by psykocrime (61037) <[mindcrime] [at] [cpphacker.co.uk]> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:17PM (#18756609) Homepage Journal
    That is to say that you can only speculate that it would be better (or at least no worse) if some|many|all of the students at staff at Virginia Tech were carrying weapons.

    True, but irrelevant. The *outcome* - in this case - might actually have been worse if everybody had guns (although I seriously doubt it). But regardless of that, it's still wrong to deprive people of the means to defend themselves; it's a principle issue. You are, of course, free to
    disagree, but I for one simply do not acknowledge that anybody has any intrinsic authority to disarm me, whatever the supposed justification. My
    right to defense is inalienable (as it is with everyone else).

    Of course, as the old saw goes, "we have exactly as much freedom as we are willing to demand and capable of defending." :-(
  • by antv (1425) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:17PM (#18756619)

    He got away with it *both* times because the law emasculates the citizen from carrying a weapon at all times. If there were no restrictions on concealed carry, more people would carry. If V. Tech (like may schools) didn't ban firearms on its grounds, it's probable that some people in either group would have been armed and could have defended themselves.


    Precisely, the way it works in Baghdad. Once a bad Iraqi shows up, a group of good Iraqis shoot him and violence stops right there. Works like a charm in practice, which is why Baghdad is one of the safest places on Earth, as opposed tho those crazy gun-control places like Sweden.

  • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:18PM (#18756647) Journal
    I don't disagree with the idea. I just suspect that the implementation would lead to a greater number of overall deaths, because I suspect that if more people have guns, they'll be used more often -- in anger, drunkenness, or under mistaken circumstances (shooting the wrong person in just such a situation as we're reading about here.) So, which is the greater good?

    The concept of sane/insane is really tricky, here. The two kids at Columbine knew that there was a trained, armed policeman at the school that day, and that there wouldn't be the next day, but that didn't deter them. Does that automatically mean they were insane? Or does it mean that the symbolic nature of the date was more important? Or that the idea of a gunfight was more interesting than deterring? I suggest that a person who is even considering shooting a bunch of other people is unlikely to be strongly deterred by the idea of armed opponents, so then it becomes a matter of whether having more armed people will more quickly remove a gunman than it will lead to additional deaths from those same guns.
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:19PM (#18756665) Homepage
    Illusion of safety? You mean, like the illusion that owning a handgun will somehow protect you from violence? Or the illusion that, in a truly violent situation, you will have the wherewithal to use your gun safely and effectively?
  • by tthomas48 (180798) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:23PM (#18756743) Homepage
    How do you know that no one was armed? That's the big lie of the pro-gun lobby. There's an assumption that if students were allowed to bear arms that they would have been able to apprehend the suspect before he killed too many people. But what if they themselves were shot first?

    Please, please, please remember before you try to bring guns onto our campuses that schools are still statistically one of the safest places on earth to be. They are safe without guns. I don't know how kids with guns could ever be a good idea. Would you be comfortable with a frat house full of concealed handgun owners? Knowing that the crazy pothead next door was packing? If you think college students and guns are a good idea, I think you don't remember college very well.

    This site has information on guns and schools. Schools are very safe without guns. Let's consider keeping them that way:

    http://www.neahin.org/programs/schoolsafety/gunsaf ety/statistics.htm#school [neahin.org]
  • by ciggieposeur (715798) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:23PM (#18756747)
    Well, if someone 'sane' in the bldg had been packing a weapon, they might have ended this asshole's rampage a bit earlier....

    Or found their weapon stolen and had been used to kill even more people. Or been outgunned in a hall shootout in the same manner as the armed guard at Columbine.

    This is breaking news, can we please all put down our politics until the story becomes more coherent?

  • Exactly right. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lattyware (934246) <gareth@lattyware.co.uk> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:23PM (#18756749) Homepage Journal
    Because all other countries in the world without the right to have guns have terrible gun crime.
  • by hc5duke (930493) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:23PM (#18756753)

    As the literate among you know, the term means nothing but "Eastern."
    and the word "nigger" comes from the Latin word meaning "black", but people don't like to be called by that. What's your point?
  • by MCTFB (863774) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:23PM (#18756763)
    This reminds me of a shooting at a rock and roll venue in my hometown a few years ago and reading on one of the forums about a guy who allegedly was there and remarked that if you could conceal and carry (this is Ohio) in a liquor establishment, then the shooter would of been lucky to kill only one person because this person (the poster on the forum), could of drawn his weapon and taken out the madman.

    Having armed guards or police at every entrance to a college campus is pointless, but if some of the professors or other faculty (perhaps even some of the students within reasonable parameters) were at least allowed to have weapons on campus, then crazy gun toting madmen will be put down before they can do too much harm.

    Of course the gun control fanatics will say we need to ban all guns, but then what do you do against someone who walks into an undefended campus and starts throwing homemade pipe bombs everywhere?

    The reason the United States doesn't live in fear 24/7, like in some places of the world is that we have good guys with guns protecting us from the bad guys with guns who want to harm us for any number of reasons (not to start any flame wars on U.S. foreign policy, but by good, I mean the people who protect this country from invasion).

    Nobody yet knows what the motive of the shooter happened to be, but realistically, terrorist cells could kill a whole lot of people by just going to a highly populated area with strict gun control laws and only a handful of armed law enforcement officers and kill a hell of a lot of people before the authorities could respond.

    I mean, who needs bombs to kill people when the only people fighting you don't even have knives to protect themselves.
  • by fishbowl (7759) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:24PM (#18756801)
    >This gunman was sneaking around campus.

    It's starting to look like school officials had gotten together to decide how they were going to cover their asses on what they thought was a single crime-of-passion type of incident. While they were deciding what to say to the press, they got the news all at once, all together, that *dozens* had been killed. They must have collectively realized that they had played down the incident, their only warning being an *email* urging "caution", rather than locking down the perimeter of the campus (should have locked down the state all the way to Roanoke!), and getting the helicopters up. They sat on their hands, and the "audible gasp" is their realization that their careers have all just ended, that they are responsible for the deaths of at least 30 people, and the largest incident of this kind in the history of the country has just occurred on their watch when they could have done more to prevent it, and chose not to.

    There is a lot that needs to be explained. First, they need to explain why at 7:45 everyone was allowed to leave classrooms to go to 8:00 classes. Second, they need to explain when email became the sole medium for emergency alerts. Bullhorns from police cars, motorcycles, and helicopters, and activation of volunteer militia is how this is supposed to go -- where the hell are the famous Va Corps for fuck's sake? All in Iraq I presume.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:24PM (#18756803)
    "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus"

    I don't see the problem. It's the same as the fight against terrorism. The government screwed up that one too. What's important? Safety? No. Read the comment above closely. Safety is irrelevant. "Feeling safe" is what's important. The US people don't care if they are safe, they care whether they feel safe. They aren't smart enough and logical enough to do a risk analysis and address the actual safety issues. They want the issues that cause them stress to be eliminated, like the guy next to them carrying a gun or people with beards on planes.
  • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:25PM (#18756825)
    That's why reasonable laws have impartial criteria, so arrogant jerks like you can't dictate who they think should carry and instead it is determined by the law in combination with expert trainers.

    If only that were the case. There's too many firearm advocates arguing that ANY attempt to regulate gun ownership or require certification for gun owners is unacceptable -- that if you can't anonymously walk into a Wal-Mart with a wad of cash and walk out with a handgun and a box of ammo, that means the government's eventually going to use gun registration records to round up the gun owners and take their weapons away. Gun nuts seem to enjoy contemplating the "firefight with an oppressive overlord" fantasy.

    I'm all for allowing a well-regulated militia to bear arms. But it HAS to be well-regulated.
  • by Coryoth (254751) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:26PM (#18756847) Homepage Journal

    One factor you left out is the reduction in all nutcasery. A moderately crazy person may enter a school today in order to shoot the place up, but you'd have to be totally crazy to attempt such when you know that one out of ten students will be shooting back.
    I wouldn't presume to know what goes through the minds of the sort of people who go on such shooting sprees, but I'm not certain there is particularly good reason to presume there is significant deterence. Almost all such shooters kill themselves, so I don't think death is particularly troubling to them. The effectiveness of an armed populace as a deterrent to such behaviour is, again, purely hypothetical, with arguments to be made either way (perhaps an only slightly crazy individual would just fire his gun a couple of times then hide "cowering" in a corner and let the resulting chaos of frightened armed students do his work for him -- he could even walk away from that with a decent chance of never getting convicted of anything). I don't think it makes for a very convincing argument.
  • by C0rinthian (770164) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:27PM (#18756877)
    Agreed. Unfortunately, people like this shooter ignore the rules, and innocent people die.

    To stop a guy with a gun, you need a gun. You can't just say "Hey, that's not a good thing to do!" and hope for the best.
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:29PM (#18756947)
    That is shockingly true, even if a bit contrasted. Why are people talking about the few thousand professional soldiers, that agreed to be in the army and willingly risked their lives and died, and not about the 650000 iraqi civilians that are dead?
  • by einer (459199) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:29PM (#18756953) Journal
    Your scenario is not even remotely realistic. In any population where a choice is conferred you will have people who choose "not to." So not EVERYONE will carry a gun if it's legal. If it were legal for students to carry weapons on campus (not "if a large number of VT students were all carrying concealed weapons") it is more likely that someone able to fight back would have been close enouogh to the offender to... well... fight back... than if it were not legal. The straw man is that "lots of students carrying guns would have saved lives." No one thinks that. "lots of students freely able to excercise their 2nd ammendment rights would have saved lives" is the contention.

    Consider: You are carrying a concealed weapon and you hear gunfire coming from the room down the hall. You do not draw your weapon because you have had a mandatory GUN SAFETY CLASS. Instead you do the correct and responsible thing and phone the cops. Then you find a defensible position and hole up.

    Additionally, as a previous poster has already pointed out, the right to bare arms certainly played a roll in how the Texas shooting wound up. Go ahead and read an account of that story and tell me that fewer people would've died if arms were restricted.

    I hate what happened. I don't think that gun control is the answer unless you can control all guns. And you can't.

    Whatever. It's clear that this guy wasn't following the rule about not carrying guns. Good thing his victims were too. It clearly did them a lot of good. Remember, once guns are illegal, no one will have them, not even criminals, so don't worry about it.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:31PM (#18757007) Homepage Journal

    Think for a minute about the chaos that a few shots fired in a school would cause. Now, imagine that a bunch of people suddenly pull out handguns and start looking for the original shooter. I see a lot of problems with this situation.

    Me too. The primary problem I see with this situation is that it is fucking imaginary.

    See, most of us aren't saying that every mongoloid out there should be issued a firearm. Some are, and that's one particular camp, but I think that you will find that they are a vocal minority. Personally, I'd argue that you should have to pass a fairly serious course before being licensed to carry a firearm in public (aside from transporting) whether it is concealed or not.

    In many places, including California, it's actually quite difficult to get a concealed carry permit. The permit applies to a fixed range of weapons - it doesn't just apply to carrying any gun you like. And not only do you have to have taken the bullshit safety course necessary to purchase a handgun in the first place, but they generally give you an additional examination. You may even have to go to a particular range and take an entire safety course. I am entirely in favor of having a process like driver safety for all gun ownership, only a real test and not the bullshit level of nothingness in a driving exam :P

    The point is that people who have taken these courses know that brandishing a firearm is illegal. That's right, it's illegal to walk around with a gun in your hand, loaded or not.

    Wandering around looking for the shooter is not the issue. Being able to immediately take cover (if you're not already perforated) and draw your own weapon and return fire is the useful action here. If many people (say, 1 in 10) were carrying a weapon, which would not necessarily be all that unlikely if our government hadn't been trying for years to convince us that they will protect us in spite of the fact that the only government employees actually paid to protect us are the national guard and the EPA, then it's highly likely that one of the people who were shot would have shot him instead.

    I would love it if all guns could be eliminated from the world forever. That would be wonderful. It is also impossible and will only get harder. With a little skill, a lathe, some saws and some files, you can make a gun. As time goes by, we are seeing continuing advances in CAD/CAM and rapid prototyping that will enable anyone who can make a simple CAD drawing to make as many guns as they want to feed in stock for. It's only going to get more difficult to stop people from making guns. Hell, these days the information and technology needed to utilize primerless ammunition (electronic ignition) is available, so if you find electronics more accessible than mechanics, that reduces the mechanical portion of the gun to a loading mechanism.

    Given that it is impossible to prevent people from owning guns, wouldn't it make more sense to educate and regulate than to try to ban, which doesn't work?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:33PM (#18757069)
    You're right, it IS the 21st century and new era in which everyone and anyone doesn't actually get offended but goes out of their way to be offended. What makes the word Asian so much better than Oriental anyway? Because it is generic? Well you can go ahead of feel offended about what IS and ISN't 21st century while the only denomination that will continue to matter is the green in the banks of all those who laugh at you for going out of your way to feel offended (or if you're a neo-hippie...being offended on everyone else's behalf).
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RevDobbs (313888) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:33PM (#18757073) Homepage

    Tighter gun control?

    Virginia is a "Shall Issue" state... meaning that if you ask for a concealed carry permit, and aren't disqualified from owning a gun, you'll get one. Unfortunatly, federal law makes schools -- including colleges -- "gun free zones".

    Read: "Unarmed Victim Zones".

    Try pulling that psycho bullshit in a Virginia mall, and that shooter's life would have ended a lot quicker, with a whole lot less innocent people injured.

    The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.

    Colonel Jeff Cooper, United States Marine Corps (deceased)
  • by RingDev (879105) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:34PM (#18757083) Homepage Journal
    I've seen trained officers put holes in the the chests of unarmed teenagers. I've seen highly trained Marines blow their own toes off. I've seen a skilled pistol range shooter damn near blow a man's head off because hot brass flew down her shirt.

    Skilled people make mistakes every day. Unskilled people make many mistakes every day. Would more guns have helped in this situation? maybe. It's possible that the gun man could have walked into the first place, started shooting and promptly get shot himself. But it's much more likely that he would have walked in, started shooting, and in the chaos that ensued multiple people would have fired back, most of whom wouldn't even know who their target was. They would resort to shooting who ever had a gun, including each other. Sure, the guy would have been stopped in the first incident, but the cross fire would have killed 30 people anyways.

    Once you look at the number of heat of the moment crimes that would escalate to guns instead of fists and knives, and the number of accidental discharges, it doesn't take long to see that while a very, VERY small number of isolated incidents may be avoided, significantly MORE incidents would occur overall.

    I'm all for the 2nd amendment. But the purpose of that law was not to protect ourselves from each other, so much as it was to protect ourselves from the government. Soap, Ballot, Jury, Ammo; Use your boxes wisely.

    -Rick
  • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:34PM (#18757085) Journal

    "Check the murder rate since the year 1200 in the world. The fact that this is huge news means we do a lot right."

    You have murder stats going back over 800 years?

    I'll assume you meant 2001. The United States has much higher murder rates than Canada and European Union countries. It also has both the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world, and, in absolute numbers, the most people in jail.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0818/p02s01-usju.htm l [csmonitor.com]

    More than 5.6 million Americans are in prison or have served time there, according to a new report by the Justice Department released Sunday. That's 1 in 37 adults living in the United States, the highest incarceration level in the world.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/uk/06/prison s/html/nn2page1.stm [bbc.co.uk] The US has more people in jail than Russia or China.

    More prisons, tougher jail sentences ... they don't work. There's something about American culture that makes people think a gun is a solution instead of an accident waiting to happen, and we're seeing this attitude bleed over into other countries ...

  • by Sancho (17056) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:36PM (#18757121) Homepage
    I am pro-guns, but your argument doesn't work.

    There are hot-headed people who obey the law. These people do not go to the black market to get guns because that's illegal. It's only when they get really riled up that they are likely to break the law by not thinking rationally or letting their emotions control them. It's a 'heat-of-the-moment' thing, and that is the type of person that gun control laws protect against.

    It's probably pretty likely that disallowing guns saves more lives than would be saved if people were allowed to carry guns--primarily because this sort of shooting is rare, and situationally, it would require that someone near this shooter had a gun, could safely fire at the attacker, and managed to stop him. Compare that to aggravated disputes on the highway after someone gets cut off, wrecked, etc. There are hundreds of these incidents every day.

    As I said, I'm pro-guns, but I would like meaningful restrictions. Perpetrators of violent crime shouldn't legally be allowed to carry guns. If they are found carrying guns, they get sent away, period. Using a gun in the commission of a crime should carry a life-sentence, period. Give us our guns, but make damned sure that if they are used irrationally, that they are not used by that person ever again.
  • by Monkeyman334 (205694) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:36PM (#18757133)
    That's nice subjective reasoning. It still doesn't change the fact that this guy's spree would have ended if one guy had a gun (and had been trained) for self defense.

    And to give you an answer, when the cops show up, they take control of the situation and detain *everybody*. The ones that don't follow instructions can be shot.
  • by yakumo.unr (833476) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:36PM (#18757135) Homepage
    "Like, I was over in England. You ever been to England, anyone, been to England? No one has handguns in England, not even the cops. True or false? True. Now-in England last year, they had fourteen deaths from handguns. FFFFFourteen. Now-the United States, and I think you know how we feel about handguns-woooo, I'm getting a warm tingly feeling just saying the fucking word, to be honest with you. I swear to you, I am hard. Twenty-three thousand deaths from handguns. Now let's go through those numbers again, because they're a little baffling at first glance. England, where no one has guns, fffffffourteen deaths. United States, and I think you know how we feel about guns-woooo, I'm getting a stiffy-twenty-three thousand deaths from handguns. But there's no connection, and you'd be a fool and a Communist to make one. There's no connection between having a gun and shooting someone with it, and not having a gun and not shooting someone. There have been studies made and there is no connection at all there. Yes. That's absolute proof. You know, fourteen deaths from handguns. Probably American tourists, too.
    (Angry tourist voice) You call this a sandwich? BANG! BANG! You don't boil pizza! BANG! BANG!
    (Scared English voice) That's the way we eat here, that's the way we eat here! BANG!
    (Tourist voice) This food sucks! BANG!" Bill Hicks

    It's a terrible thing to happen, it really is, I'm very sorry for the victims and their families and friends.

    But don't go claiming more guns = safer.
    Guns are banned in the UK and many other countries, and of course plenty of illegal guns are still present all over the place were they are banned, but if anyone would care to dig out the real, current statistics for gun deaths, I think they'll speak for themselves still.

    How do most of the illegal held guns in the US come to be anyway? stolen from originally legal owners?
  • by mutube (981006) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:38PM (#18757185) Homepage

    Don't worry. There will be a whole host of people who will blame this on just about everything you can imagine. Some of the likely targets will be: * Computer games * Music of some sort * Lack of gun control * Religion * Lack of religion * Educational system * Lack of mental-health counseling * If the person turns out to be an engineering student, expect blame to fall on H1B visas for providing too much competition for local engineers * If the person turns out to be foreign, I can imagine a whole slew of others to blame In short, blame everything/everybody except the person who did the deed. Personal responsibility is not even a concept in America any more.
    Quite. Except the lack of gun control makes it far easier to cause a large amount of damage. A computer-gaming Marilyn Manson obsessed repressed Islamic fundamentalist, inconsistently educated mentalist engineer with an Arabic look about him, does a lot less damage when armed with a toothpick.
  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the_mad_postar (990721) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:38PM (#18757191) Homepage Journal
    You can't conceal a shotgun or Rifle which I'm sure is what he was using.

    False, the shooter was using 2 hand guns.

    Banning a concealed weapon wouldn't have changed the outcome of this in any way.

    False, ANY law abiding citizen with a CCL shoots this motherfucker before he kills 31.

    Go look at the crime rates for any state with a Concealed Carry Law - the crime rate plummets for all violent crimes except rape - which just means that more women need to carry guns.
  • by fooDfighter (916234) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:38PM (#18757193)
    Cars also kill "infinitely" more Americans every year than terrorists and WMDs, yet your country is still in Iraq for some reason.

    The car comparison is flawed at best.
  • by CKW (409971) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:39PM (#18757199) Journal
    The *only* reason making guns illegal would not work is because there's already so many in circulation.

    Forcing everyone to carry a big 5 lb lump of steel throughout their lives to "ensure their safety" from what's probably a 1 in 20,000 lifetime event is utterly idiotic - especially considering that in places like Canada and Europe the likelyhood of being shot dead is already LESS THAN your rate of gun-crime.

    It's so interesting to see everyone all year long decrying the "1984" orwell state appearing in the UK, but as soon as something like this happens you have dozens of people in the forums calling for everyone in the country to be armed and for a hundred HD cameras to be placed throughout every single campus and 100 people to watch all these HD cameras - just to catch that one guy every 30 years who kills 30 people.

    All this while drinking while driving is a minor first offence and 40% of everyone doesn't fasten their seatbelts.

    God damned morons, all of you.
  • by jchenx (267053) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:39PM (#18757221) Journal

    I do not, however, hold VA Tech entirely blameless because they are the ones who instituted a ban on students possessing firearms on campus, thereby ensuring that the only person with a firearm was the person planning on breaking the rules anyway. I think their policy is moronic and is one of the reasons why this shooting claimed so many lives compared to incidences elsewhere where a few random students were able to fire back and mitigate the situation.
    Can the pro-gun lobbyists PLEASE SHUT UP?

    There will be a time and a place to discuss the theoreticals of "would doing X have helped?" scenarios. Every anti-something lobbyist is going to try to find something to hinge this on, from video games to guns (or lack thereof).

    Good god, this incident only happened a few hours ago. People (like myself) are still shocked, grieving, mourning for the loss of our fellow classmates, faculty, etc. To hear people, like yourself, using this incident to lobby their particular beliefs, is just sickening.

  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cpt_Kirks (37296) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:43PM (#18757293)
    I agree.

    I think everyone should take a course on safe gun handling and basic shooting.

    It takes a lot of fear of the unknown out of the equation.

    A lot of anti-gun types may come to realise they are just tools. Nothing scary or magical, just tools.

  • by Falladir (1026636) <kingfalladir@yahoo.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:44PM (#18757339)
    It would be a hell of a stretch to claim that Chinese, Japanese and Korean Americans need the level of protection that we extend to African Americans. There's a whole lot less racial hatred directed at immigrants from Asia than from Africa or even Mexico.

    "Oriental" doesn't remotely compare with "nigger." Try to imagine a government employee being let go for saying "oriental."

    I find your comment to be disingenuous grandstanding.
  • by Anomolous Cowturd (190524) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:46PM (#18757377)
    Move to Iraq. Everyone has a gun in Iraq. Safest place in the world.
  • Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brkello (642429) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:46PM (#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 segedunum (883035) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:47PM (#18757395)

    The *outcome* - in this case - might actually have been worse if everybody had guns (although I seriously doubt it).
    Imagine everyone opening fire in self-defence and no one knowing who the gunman actually was (sounds like the US Army in Iraq today!). Where you've got a lot of people carrying guns, it's been known to happen.

    But regardless of that, it's still wrong to deprive people of the means to defend themselves; it's a principle issue.
    There's a difference between defending yourself and carrying around a lethal weapon that has no other purpose than to kill.

    You are, of course, free to disagree, but I for one simply do not acknowledge that anybody has any intrinsic authority to disarm me, whatever the supposed justification.
    I'm sure that if you carried around Anthrax, or had some fertiliser packed into your car then some serious questions would be asked as to what on Earth you were doing. However, you've got a far greater chance of killing with a lethal weapon like a gun.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:48PM (#18757419)
    VT has a no gun rule. And

    Virginia Tech also has the backing of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police. In a policy position paper dated April 1, association executive director Dana Schrad wrote that the presence of guns on college campuses "adds a dangerous element to an environment in which alcohol is a compounding factor." Students should not have to be concerned about guns on campus, Schrad wrote.

    She helped the victims a lot. Like sitting ducks they were.
  • by dlevitan (132062) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:48PM (#18757449)
    Perhaps universities should implement mandatory counseling for high pressure students. At the university I graduated from (top engineering Ivy), the engineers have some of the hardest majors on campus. Although I majored in physics, I was exposed to a lot of this as well. At one point I remember waiting to talk to a professor while he was talking to a student who did nothing but play video games and code. The student had no friends or interests. And this isn't uncommon from what I've seen. I was on the edge of this sort of behavior myself. It's not surprising that these kinds of people, who are completely removed from society, could easily crack. I've seen enough problems like that.

    I once joked with one person I know that maybe everyone should be assigned a counselor when they first start at a university such as this. Normally I'd say the professors/teachers should notice this, and while that may work in a high school, I know how little most professors care about their students. I know it wouldn't go over well, but maybe mandatory counseling is something that's necessary. Granted, it won't catch everything, but maybe requiring a 15 minute long meeting with a counselor every few months could stop people from going over the edge and either killing themselves or going on a rampage like this. Especially for the people in stressful majors. Even though counselors at universities often aren't the best, I'm sure its not too hard to figure out someone needs extra help. Who knows, maybe it won't do anything. But on the other hand, maybe doing this will save 30 people, and that's worth it.
  • by boligmic (188232) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:49PM (#18757453)
    Bullshit, typical commie response with no facts to back it up. Had a few students been carrying firearms, the body count could have been reduced or completely eliminated. Carrying a firearm greatly reduces the chances of something like this happening!
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:49PM (#18757463)
    I agree, and I don't think any police agency is typically prepared for something of this scale at once, given this is the worst single shooting incident in US history.

    In an open and free society, if someone really wants to go on a rampage, there's not a lot that can stop them.
  • by Darlantan (130471) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:50PM (#18757475)
    The short answer here is yes, armed civilians do indeed stop these sort of things. Many, MANY crimes are stopped by simply showing that the person is armed. Of course, those are more of the average street crimes perpetrated by people who actually want to continue living.

    This sort of event also gets stopped, though I'll be the first to say that they're not always bloodless. Regular, sane people don't want to kill someone else, so fairly often the CCW-holder fires in response to somebody who has already been shot, and they have seen it, and they are at risk, or are one of a group of people at risk.

    The reason you don't see it on the news is because you end up with headlines like this: "Two killed at..." or "3 dead after..." or "Shooter critically wounded after assault..."

    It's not quite the same as headlines reading "30 dead at XXX school after enraged gunman..." Also, bear in mind that these school shooting stories happen in _gun free_ zones. They're supposed to feel safe. Not only are there high body counts, but these are people being killed in a place that is _supposed_ to be safe for them to be at. It's a double-whammy, and it's the kind of thing that gets headlines and stays in the news.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vertinox (846076) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:50PM (#18757481)
    No, its not "their fault" - they're nuts. Still, how do we deal with it? Lock up everyone who might be a threat? That will just alienate the already alienated, or make them hide more diligently until that fatal day when they seek revenge for imagined slights.

    No. It means being nicer to people.

    To friends, family and complete strangers.

    Yes... I said complete strangers. We don't say please and thank you anymore. We don't hold doors for each other. We cut each other off in traffic and give each other the bird. We lie and cheat to get ahead at the work place. We gossip and ruin people's lives. We cut in line in grocery store and we try to rip off our waiter at the restaurant. We focus our lives our possessions and money and we don't give a damn to a man on the street or a kid who has had his world shattered. We say they are "crazy". We say they are "evil" and that it isn't our fault.

    But it is our fault. Every single one of us have forgotten about all the other humans out there and we always trump "personal responsibility" on others without even thinking that we haven't even bothered ourselves.

    I'm surprised more people don't go crazy in our society on a daily basis with the way we behave.

    Everyone is about "ME! ME! ME!" without ever stopping to think about the fact they are hurting everyone else.

    And I'm guilty as everyone else... But sometimes I think to myself "Maybe I shouldn't cut off that guy in traffic like that, he might go and snap."
  • by Eccles (932) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:50PM (#18757483) Journal
    It's strange that a lot of people here have arguments like "well if people had guns then they'd be killing each other every day" but nobody can actually cite cases where this has happened.

    Huh? Pretty much every time a husband shoots a wife or vice-versa would fall into this category. A few are murders for hire, and others are cold, calculating bastards, but pretty much any gun murder described as a "crime of passion" wouldn't have happened if the murderer hadn't had ready, legal access to a gun.

    It's not that "most" people are like this, but enough are that it's likely more die due to widespread availability of guns than are protected by it.

    Note that I agree with the NRA's interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. (After all, Madison and co. were dealing with single-shot muzzle loaders at the time, which wouldn't have allowed for this sort of horror.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:52PM (#18757535)
    Of course they kill more civilians than terrorists. How can you even conceive that the number of 'terrorists' killed by US troops in the Iraq war comes anywhere near to the civilian death toll??

    Look, when you use massive bombing campaigns, helicopters, tanks and artillery, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, depleted uranium munitions, missiles and land mines in urban areas, you get dead civilians, and thousands of them.

    The very idea that the US is in Iraq fighting 'terrorists' is a joke. They are attempting to pacify a poorly understood civil war between various Iraqi factions, which they started when the US illegally invaded Iraq to effect 'regime change', in order to control Iraqi oil and follow some retarded 'Project for the New American Century' plan cooked up by a bunch of cowardly draft-dodgers in your white house.

    Basically, the only reason there is any long term violence in Iraq is because of US action, and US forces have certainly been responsible for the bulk of civilian deaths. They're the only ones with weapons of mass destruction in the country.

    It has nothing to do with terrorism, or 9/11, or 'Good vs Evil'. The War on Terror is a myth, a lie. Its just a pithy catch-phrase spouted by your idiot president's handlers to justify war without end in the middle east so they can siphon off as much taxpayer money to military/industrial corporate entities as they can before Bush's term ends. Loss of civilian lives has absolutely no bearing on these matters.

    Really, after the death your country has inflicted on a massive scale recently in Iraq and elsewhere, hearing about 30 dead Americans doesn't evoke any sympathy from me at all. Is it only white people you're genuinely upset/horrified/outraged about dying? Or just rich people? Or just people in America, because it's certainly not people in general.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:53PM (#18757543) Homepage
    there is NO way to guarantee that you keep guns out of the *wrong* hands.

    Premeditated killers and organized crime, no. Your average infuriated and/or mentally unstable guy? Yes. Why? Because they can't just whip out the gun or drop by home for it and go crazy. Most likely they don't have one, or know where to get one easily. Sure with a little time and paperwork or searching the shadier parts of town they could probably get one in a day or two, but not in that rage of fury they're in right there and then. Instead they use knives, which are slow, possible to defend against and a decent counterweapon is found in every kitchen. There's no way you'd get even close to killing 32 people with a knife.

    Of course, at this point someone is going to point out the freak case where a 100 pound woman had time to unlock the gun locker, find the ammunition, load the gun, disable the safety and be ready as the furiously mad 300 pound ex-boyfriend manages to break in. Sure, great. The truth of the matter is that in almost any one on one conflict, whoever pulls the gun first is the winner, and the one pulling the gun is normally the agressor. Particularly when it comes to premeditated murder, which are the ones you probably won't stop from getting guns. So that pissed off ex-employee who you had to fire is standing there, gun in hand, what do you do? Do you think you're John Wayne or something?

    Whoever is pulling these arguments that if everyone had guns, they'd just drop this guy after the first two-three people completely ignores that there'd be thousands of cases where one guy with a gun would get the drop on another guy (with a gun or not) with noone around to carry out any retaliation. Who'd the hell want to get involved for a complete stranger anyway, unless they were in immidiate danger themselves? If I saw a shootout start I'd duck for the nearest cover I could find, and damned if I'd draw any fire to me unless I had to.
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:54PM (#18757567)
    I used to live in a gun carrying society. I carried a gun on occasions and even once shot a person in a civilian environment. Maybe, just maybe, I know a little bit more about it than rabid pro-gunners.

    In some of the towns I lived in at least 30% of males on the street were carrying. Luckily almost all of those had been through military training and knew a few things about guns, target assesment, risk mitigation etc. Go into the kmart equivalent and the guy helping folk select a tie had a 357 on his hip. Quite a few people got shot by mistake.

    In USA there's the problem that so few people with firearms have real firearm training. I am not that opposed to *very* well trained people carrying weapons, but am suggesting that the idea that it should be a citizen's right is broken.

  • by gknoy (899301) <gknoy.anasazisystems@com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:55PM (#18757591)

    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.


    Predators go after WEAK PREY. Most criminals who might threaten others with violence tend to prefer targets that offer less risk to them. This is why people rob banks and not police stations, and mug old ladies more than bodybuilders, etc.

    Anyone that has seen "Reservoir Dogs" will understand that even an unskilled person with a weapon can be a serious threat to a criminal's welfare. If people know that they have a 1 in 5 chance that the person they're accosting will be armed, and can either wound or kill them, rational criminals will either ratchet up the level of force (kill first, then steal), or will be more careful about their targets. Irrational criminals (such as anyone IMO nuts enough to go on a killing spree) will likely be undeterred by this (though they may take different precautions).

    The thing is, an armed populace ensures that people KNOW that others can hold them responsible for actions (in an ultimate sense). As a potential victim, whether you're armed makes little difference in the attacker's actions (since they don't know you are armed), whereas YOUR personal chances are greatly improved by being armed (and competent w/ the weapon).

    From an informal game theory perspective, the attacker will face the least risk by assuming all victims will be armed. Victims will face less risk by BEING armed, in that they have a chance to neutralize or deter an attacker (whether solely or by numbers).

    You might have the occasional cluster-bomb of death when a room full of panicked people pull guns and no one knows who to shoot ... but I am optimistic that this would be rare, as most humans seem able to quickly assess who is a potential co-victim with them.
  • by Evil W1zard (832703) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:55PM (#18757599) Journal
    Japan has very strict gun-laws, but does that stop Japanese gangs in the major and smaller cities from using guns? Also an interesting side note is that while gun related deaths in Japan are notably less than the US its suicide rate is double that of the US...

    Fact is that crime in general (not just gun crime) is pretty rampant throughout America and I for one would feel a lot less secure if you took away the ability for me to protect my home if someone were to break in or carry a weapon if I had all the pre-requisite training to do so. (I am 100% for mandatory training for people who want to carry a weapon and I also don't believe fully automatic weapons are a necessity for the general populace.) But I do believe handguns, rifles, shotguns and the like are not overboard.

    All that being said this is pretty much sidebar back and forth to what is a very unfortunate event that was caused by a very, very sick individual.
  • by jchenx (267053) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:56PM (#18757617) Journal

    In an open and free society, if someone really wants to go on a rampage, there's not a lot that can stop them.
    Exactly. Sure, if there were metal detectors situated in every dorm and class building, as well as security cameras everywhere, and mandatory check-in locations, that might have prevented the situation. But that's not a place I want to live nor study in.
  • by pg--az (650777) on Monday April 16, 2007 @05:59PM (#18757687) Journal
    I actually own a copy of the solution to this problem. The Thompson/Center Contender makes a distinctive "Clack" when the action is closed, thus it is easy to imagine a professor or indeed a few students in a classroom carrying these in belt-holsters fashioned such that the open breech faces forward, similar to the friendly way in which break-open shotguns are carried around at a trap/skeet range. Your neighbors would be at least alerted when you lock the action. The downside is making the boyfriend-kills-girlfriend type of thing easier, say from 95 to 99 percent probable, once the guy makes his mind up. The upside of course is that the single-shot design allows open deterrence of mass-killings, without facilitating them. Suicide-bombing - in Southern Arizona at least the answer is easily feasible since there is no need for bulky winter clothes. Merely, a dress-code of skin-tight clothing such as Danskins. The Arab clothing style, beneath which one can conceal a large explosive belt, probably leaving room for an assault rifle, has no future, at least not once you come in out of the sun. Leaving only the design of the locker-area for depositing such clothing, when entering a public building.
  • by raehl (609729) <raehl311@ y a h oo.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:03PM (#18757755) Homepage
    ...Asians are people, and Orientals are rugs.
  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:04PM (#18757757) Homepage Journal
    How... Occidentalist

    Look, whatever. The issue at hand isn't terminology. It's the murders.

    If the students were armed, as provided for by the 2nd amendment, someone could have dropped that guy early on and saved 30 or more people. Chalk up another bunch of deaths to the pussification of American citizens by the mommy government. There will be no correction, though; instead of people going "well duh, I should be armed in case some crazy bastard shows up in my face somewhere", they'll just take a bunch more of your civil rights away at the schools - restrict your movements, require papers, stick RFID tags to you earlobes, x-ray your colons... and a year or so from now, some crazy will do the same thing again, perhaps slightly more cleverly.

    Ah, it's so frustrating to hear news like this. All those people did not have to die. Learn to defend yourselves, and be willing to. Seriously. The government cannot protect you from crazies; you have to do it yourself. The government always arrives after these events - only you can stop them as they happen. Get licensed. Practice. Carry. Be a protector instead of a victim. When the government says you can't carry here or there, fight like wildcats to reject this weakening of your ability to defend yourself and those you care about. The government is not your friend.

  • by drgonzo59 (747139) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:05PM (#18757791)
    The standard question is "Why do bad things happen to good people"?. Well, usually those "bad things" are caused by other people who did something "bad" to other people. (This of course excludes natural calamities). However, as one of the grandparent posts pointed it, "good people" and "bad people" are not that different. The same "hero" who saves a little child from a burning building might not be that different than thief who robs a bank. That would certainly be very hard for us to digest and we just take the mental shortcut and apply the stereotypical labels of "hero" and "vilain".


    In reality there is no clear and permanent classification of people into "good" and "bad". The "good" person from yesterday might be a "bad" person today because of the circumstances they were put in. The "good cop, doing his job at work, might go home and beat his wife", and so on. Our society, our legal system though wants to make that binary classification because it is less painful for us to admit that we could also do "bad" thing once in a while and we surely like to think of ourselves as "good people".


      A lot of the criminals when asked why they commited the crime would answer "I don't know why I did it." Notice I am not advocating that we should not punish the offenders or that individuals should not be responsible for their actions (those damn genes made me do it!), but rather that we shouldn't hastily judge and categorize people with permanent overgeneralized labels such as "he is evil" and "I am good". In case of a habitual offender or were a clear pattern of bad behavior occurs perhaps such labels are valid, however there are moments and circumstances were even the sanest and "best" of us can do pretty bad things.


  • Re:Again... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:07PM (#18757849) Homepage Journal

    The government already ignores a bunch of other parts of the constitution, what's to stop it from ignoring that one?

    Guns.

  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Staplerh (806722) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:09PM (#18757879) Homepage
    Or, more likely, you'd have more numerous single-casaulty shooting incidents as more weapons would result in possibly more ivolent flareups.
  • by raehl (609729) <raehl311@ y a h oo.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:09PM (#18757891) Homepage
    You shouldn't fear people with guns, you should fear not having a gun when crazy people want to kill you.

    Actually, I fear crazy people who can just walk into K-Mart and arm themselves.

    You can look at this situation and say that the problem is that none of the other students had guns.

    But you can just as easily look at this situation and conclude that the problem is that the nutjob DID have a gun.

    So your solution is 'Give everyone a gun!'. My solution is 'Don't give crazy people guns.'

    Your way the crazy guy only manages to kill 3 or 4 people before someone else shoots him. My way, nobody gets shot.
  • by Xerotope (777662) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:10PM (#18757905)
    Except you're wrong.

    Here's a list of school shootings from the past ten years, Europe and the States included :http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/1953425.s tm

    In most states you do need a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GeffDE (712146) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:13PM (#18757973)
    If the gunman had pulled his psycho bullshit in a crowded Virginia mall, the shooter's life may have ended a lot quicker, but that does not mean that fewer people would be dead. If someone started shooting back, there would have been more bullets flying around, and with more bullets flying around, there's a lot higher chance that people will get hit, especially if this is taking place in a mall with a lot of people.

    The problem with Col. Cooper's statement is that killing people is seen as a bad thing, and is something that should be avoided. That is why soldiers and/or cops have to be authorized to use lethal force. A rifle is a tool, but it's purpose is, basically, to kill. So, while a rifle may have no moral stature, it is a tool whose purpose it is to effect a morally wrong action. Because, even if evil men can be "corrected" by men with rifles, those men with rifles have done something that we as a society frown upon.

    As for your assertion that gun-free zones are in effect "unarmed victim zones," think about the fact that in our legal system there is a difference between manslaughter and murder; in order for murder to be committed, malice and forethought must be proved. If you piss someone with a gun off, they could very easily kill you, even if they weren't justified in their action. Without guns, it is a whole lot harder, involved, and personal to kill someone, and that means that fewer people will die. It is very true that people kill people, and as long as that is the case, people will continue to kill people, no matter what weapons we outlaw. However, removing weapons from the market makes it much harder, and that means that fewer people die; hence, why some people place their personal safety in front of their right to bear arms, and call for tighter gun control.
  • by CargoCultCoder (228910) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:13PM (#18757979) Homepage

    ... It's still wrong to deprive people of the means to defend themselves ...

    Last I checked, in the US no one is depriving people of the means to defend themselves (a.k.a. "guns"). People _are_ being asked to demonstrate that they can handle a deadly weapon responsibly. Because (drum-roll please) with rights come responsibilities and when it comes to the right to carry a deadly weapon, it is reasonable to be held to a certain level of responsibility as well. Like taking precautions to make sure your eight-year old can't blow his little friend's head off accidentally, even if means it takes you 500ms longer to release the safety. Or making sure you have acknowledged accountability if you're going to be free to walk around my neighborhood with a concealed weapon.

    What is so threatening about this?

  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sexyrexy (793497) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:14PM (#18757997)
    Yes, because the presence of a gun is what causes violence. Logically, if more people have guns, there will be more flare-ups.
  • by LEgregius (550408) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:15PM (#18758029) Homepage
    I would mod the parent up if I had points. Note that VA Tech does not allow students or faculty to carry guns on school property, even if they have a concealed weapon permit. One armed student could have ended this right at the beginning.
  • Re:More Guns? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gmcraff (61718) <gmcraff@NOsPaM.yahoo.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:18PM (#18758075)

    We're calling for school campuses to stop being one of the last places in the country where someone determined to cause mayhem is guaranteed to find a completely defenseless population of targets.

    If administrators, teachers and students over 21, provided they are not federally prohibited persons (refer to section 12 of the link) [atf.gov], could have guns for the defense of themselves and those under their authority, the mayhem-seekers would go where the target population is easier, like a federal building. The possibility that one out of twenty students could be legally packing, and he can't tell which one, is what will deter him/her.

    I don't need a lethal weapon to feel safe. I need the lethal weapon for that one in a ten thousand situation when nothing but a lethal weapon is suitable. I know CPR is case someone has a heart attack and the EMTs are ten minutes away. I know first aid in case someone cuts themselves badly and the EMTs are still ten minutes away. I know how to use a fire extinguisher because the firemen are STILL ten minutes away. Why in the name off all that is reasonable must I wait fifteen to thirty minutes for armed men (i.e. police) to show up, assuming that they're not too busy, to deal with the maniac that is interested in causing me potentially lethal harm? Why should your daughter have to wait even five minutes for the cops while a 220-lb rapist does what his superior strength will allow? Everyone is their own first responder. If you can't comprehend that, please make sure that you only have a heart attack, catch on fire, or get beaten with a stick in the presence of a government servant of the correct type.

  • Re:Exactly right. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:23PM (#18758173)
    While gun crime is on the rise in the UK. It is mostly found within the major city's and nothing compared to what the USA has or has had in the past.

    What strict gun laws tend to do is stop major shootings like what we are reading about now.

    A nut will find it harder to get hold of a gun, legally or illegally. while in a country where most house holds have 1 or more guns a nut may be able to get hold of one legally or illegally much easier.

    In the UK it's normally a sub culture of criminals involved in using guns(hand guns mainly) and it appears to be isolated in London and Manchester.

    Northern Ireland also has/had its problems with guns but that has mainly been 'organized chaos'

    If guns was a normal thing in the UK I think we would see a lot more gun related violence then what we are seeing now.
  • by Xybot (707278) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:24PM (#18758191)
    Lets attempt to apply some logic here. The only place in the world where this type of crime occurs with any frequncy is USA. The developed country with the least restrictive gun laws? USA. Can this be any clearer?
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:24PM (#18758193)

    Are there any cases that have really put this to the test? I mean, it sounds good... the idea that some armed citizen/vigilante would engage in a gunfight with a crazed shooter, but I wonder if it really happens. You'd almost have to be specially trained (military, for example) to engage people like that. Just having some target shooting under your belt just doesn't seem like enough.


    I really don't understand why you think this... You don't have to be "specially trained" to pull a pistol and shoot a psycho, unless perhaps the psycho has had special training. Occasional target shooting is enough. Considering that the psycho in these cases doesn't really try to avoid death, you probably wouldn't even need that.

    I wonder same thing with armed self defense in general. Sure, It is nice to know that you own a gun and you know how to use it if you had to. But do people really get the opportunity? Do personal firearms really get used in self defense? Seems to me that unless you are walk around with your gun in a holster at your side (and under your pillow) 24/7, chances are that your gun just isn't going to be in the right place at the right time. Don't most people keep their guns locked up for safety? What good is it there?


    Firearms are used in personal self-defense all the time. National news doesn't usually report it, though; you're more likely to see stories about it in local papers.

    I don't keep my gun locked up all the time with ammunition in a separate place; you're quite right that it wouldn't do me much good in that case. Just keep it, with ammo, in a place that's sensibly secure and allows you to get to it quickly, so you'll have it if you need it.
  • Don't. Do. That. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z0mb1eman (629653) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:26PM (#18758225) Homepage
    There are many things that make me sick about this story, and others like it (the fact that there are "others like it" is one of the things that make me sick).

    Please, DO NOT add to it with talks of "worst" or not worst, of "top three", and of "body counts". This ISN'T a game. There is no high score. There's no achievement or rank involved.

    This kind of talk always bothers me. I guess it's natural to try to categorize and make sense of it - but it even bothers me for natural events like earthquakes or floods. The difference is, natural events don't care one way or another.

    I guess we'll never know the shooter's motivation. But is it that far-fetched to assume that the immense amount of attention previous shootings got played at least SOME role in his mind? That the temptation of immortal infamy made him choose THIS way to go, rather than another?

    And now we put him in a "top 3"?
  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:4, Insightful)

    by larkost (79011) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:30PM (#18758307)
    No, but having a gun on you if you happen to "flare up" strongly increases the chance that you will use it. If you don't have a weapon you can hurt someone by punching and kicking, but the chances are that you will not kill them. When you bring a gun into the situation, the chances that someone is going to get killed greatly increase.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:31PM (#18758341)
    Do you really think if everybody was armed this couldn't have happened? Just think about it for a minute: You are somewhere and you hear shots. You pull out your gun and see 15 other people with guns. Who do you shoot?

    I don't know what the solution to mass killings is, but arming everybody is not it.
  • by feed_me_cereal (452042) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:34PM (#18758385)
    ...do people at your school seriously bring guns to class? OSU didn't have a gun policy and was in a state with a conceal/carry law without requiring a permit. Pretty much as lax as possible. Yet, no one I nor any of my friends knew *ever* brought a gun to class, and this is in an urban campus in a relatively shitty part of a relatively big city. So, basically, it doesn't matter what law virginia tech had. Frankly, I'd be frightened of anyone so worried about a random massacre happening to them that they feel they need to carry a gun around in the middle of the morning to every class they go to in a school in some backwoods town that almost never sees a murder and has 1/4 of the countries per-capita level of violent crime.
  • by Dobeln (853794) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:34PM (#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!
  • by endianx (1006895) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:34PM (#18758399)

    What do we do as a society to prevent or stop a crime at its outset?
    Less gun control, not more. (And in this case, I am referring to university policy, not government law.) I know many people will disagree with this, but evidence supports the claim that areas with armed citizens experience less crime.
  • are you serious? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rucs_hack (784150) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:39PM (#18758461)
    The solution to school shootings is *more* guns in the classrooms?

    That kind of escalation strategy is what kept the cold war going for so many decades, have you learned nothing?

    Holy crap! I was thinking of sending my son to the states to uni, but if that's the kind of response you come up with for this tragedy then I'll be rethinking that.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:40PM (#18758475)
    Colleges and universities do have the same kinds of procedures.

    But a hospital is typically one building. Virginia Tech is hundreds of buildings - I believe close to 700 - of varying types, purposes, and ages. There is no central PA system or door locking system. Most of the buildings are wide open. They're intermixed with non-university lands and buildings, and span 2600 acres. Some of the buildings are over 50 and 100 years old. Do we retrofit literally tens of thousands of doors with centralized locking and cameras and install central warning/PA systems in all buildings, just because you might be the site of a madman's rampage?

    There's security and prudence, and there's waste and ridiculousness.

    And the area in the vicinity of the shooting was locked down and blanketed with police. It was determined to be a domestic-type, targeted incident. And by the time VT had a handle on the situation, thousands of students were already on their way to campus. Nothing happened for over two hours. Then what do you do when you have no means of directly communicating with everyone? Should the university have had a knee jerk to a shooting in one dorm, and before they even knew nearly anything about the situation, have canceled classes within the first 15 minutes? Even if they decided that, how do you contact everyone? Email? Facebook? The web? There would have been no practical way to notify everyone, meaning literally thousands of students would have made it t campus anyway, and then what do you do with them once there?

    Lockdown is simple in a controlled setting or a high school or elementary school. But at a 40000-person public land-grant university with hundreds of buildings? I'm sorry, but Virginia Tech simply has no culpability here. This is going to result in a lot of additional security measures that are either artificial and useless, or not representative of a free and open society, or both. I'm sure it will result in several multimillion dollar lawsuits by families against VT, too. After all, you can't be angry at a dead killer.

    This tragedy has exactly one culprit: the killer. The alternative is locking down something that is essentially the equivalent of a city when something bad happens, because there is a chance that something else bad might happen. And even if we wanted to do that, it's barely possible or practical on this scale. Even assuming it is or should be represents a failure to understand the scope and logistics here. It's not just "oh, it's just a little bit of money" or "how about mass SMS messaging?" It's nowhere near that simple and there simply would have been no way to reach anything but a fraction of the students even if they had wanted to immediately after the first shooting. Even the "delay" in notifying students of the first shooting, which is now being bandied about, is meaningless, because it would have told them nothing different: there was a shooting today in the dorms. It is being investigated. Be cautious and aware, and remember to always report anything suspicious to the police.

    When you have a shooter in a hospital or elementary school, you lock it down.

    When you have a shooter in one of several hundred buildings on a sprawling city-like campus with 40000 adults, you don't lock anything down unless you want to live in a vastly different society than I.
  • by sinclair44 (728189) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:41PM (#18758489) Homepage
    First and most importantly, how do you stop him from illegally obtaining a gun? As another poster pointed out, we still have large amounts of drugs in the country, which is just as illegal as you want to make this guy having a gun. (Did he even legally obtain the ones he used in this case anyways?)

    Secondly, how do you determine who a "crazy person" is, and how to you stop that definition from becoming politically "malleable"? Are you crazy because you are justifiably upset at your child getting killed by a drunk driver, even if you don't (currently) intend to kill anyone? Are you crazy because you hate George Bush, even if you don't (currently) intend to kill him? Are you crazy because you exercise your right to free speech regarding guns, as you just did in your post?
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by goldspider (445116) <ardrake79 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:47PM (#18758581) Homepage
    The difference is that the vast majority of us resist those impulses. It's a giant leap to go from thinking of committing violence to actually doing it.

    If you want to wallow in self-loathing over the actions of others, be my guest. Don't tell me I should share in your misplaced guilt.
  • by Shihar (153932) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:47PM (#18758593)
    Quite. Except the lack of gun control makes it far easier to cause a large amount of damage. A computer-gaming Marilyn Manson obsessed repressed Islamic fundamentalist, inconsistently educated mentalist engineer with an Arabic look about him, does a lot less damage when armed with a toothpick.

    He also does a lot less damage when a red neck armed with a pistol is sitting next to him.

    Gun control isn't the issue. There are other nations in this world far more armed to the teeth then Americans (Canadians and Swedes come to mind) that have much reduced levels of gun death. We should be able to be both armed to the teeth and able avoid blood baths. The problem is deeper then guns, and it sure as hell won't be solved by attempting the utterly futile (and certainly likely to be lethal) act of trying to take away the guns from Americans.
  • by h4ter (717700) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:51PM (#18758671) Homepage
    But you don't hear anyone wanting to ban cars.

    That's a ridiculous comparison. Cars have beneficial uses. Many, many uses which make the world a better place. Guns? Even close to automobiles in positive results from usage? Hardly.

    Also, the CDC reports about 30,000 gun-related deaths per year. Also, more people drive or are passengers in a car than fire a gun. Also, the time spent by people around cars as drivers, passengers, or pedestrians nearby far far far far outweighs the time spent by people wielding or around other people wielding guns.

    Don't try to confuse the facts with poor analogies. That's the road to truthiness.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Firethorn (177587) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:55PM (#18758743) Homepage Journal
    In my case the gun is either on me or in a special safe with an electronic lock that takes about three seconds to open; loaded w/round in chamber. It's against the rules of safety many nanny-types want (locked up with ammunition seperate), but it's secure enough for me. Too many wrong codes and the safe locks up for a half hour, as well as alerting me when I go to open it that bad codes have been entered.

    This really has me ticked off. My main thought is 'couldn't somebody have stopped him?
  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Feanturi (99866) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:57PM (#18758777)
    Defenseless Victim Zones

    Nice. So when all of my fellow students are packing guns, who defends me exactly? All the stressed-out/teen-angst-ridden/misfit/jock/random- psycho students around me? Yeah sign me up for classes... in some other country. Fortunately I'm already there.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:58PM (#18758799) Homepage Journal

    I think the original poster is correct. We all have it in us to do something horrid--believing that you are better than this shooter is a fundamental misunderstanding of the human condition.
    Number of people the Virginia tech guy has killed today: 32+.
    Number of people that I have killed today ( despite knowing a deserving few ): 0.
    Number of people that you have killed today ( despite your handle ): probably 0.

    When I look at the numbers, I believe that I am better. So are you. To believe otherwise implies a fundamental misunderstanding of simple math.

    How is saying "I'm better than this shooter" different from some fundi saying "I'm better than all you non-believers..." Both have a belief system that says that others who behave or function differently are inherently worse
    Uhhh... yes. Isn't that the point of a belief system - that following it makes you a better person? Whether it is 'love thy neighbor' or 'death to non-believers' or 'do not go out and shoot 32 people just because your girlfriend dumped you', the whole point is to be a better person.

    We are not all the same. Some of us are better than others. And since our respective body counts are relatively low today, I'll count you and me among them.
  • by catbutt (469582) on Monday April 16, 2007 @06:59PM (#18758817)
    That is a silly comparison. Nobody wants to ban cars (well, most people don't) because to do so would radically change our lifestyle and cripple our economy. And while I don't necessarily advocate gun control, I don't think banning guns (excepting law enforcement etc) would make a huge change in everyday life.
  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:00PM (#18758825) Homepage Journal
    You pull out your gun and see 15 other people with guns. Who do you shoot?

    I don't shoot anyone for holding a gun. I only shoot if I see someone shooting unarmed students.

    If someone runs into your car in a parking lot, who do you blame? Everyone with a car? Of course not. Only the person you know hit your car. Stop trying to caricature armed citizens as twitching bundles of indiscriminate reflexes. We can think as well as you can, and about the same things.

  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:2, Insightful)

    by knivesx11 (1085179) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:01PM (#18758837)
    I would bet money that this person was not liscensed to carry a concealed weapon.
  • Re:Exactly right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bertie (87778) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:02PM (#18758879)
    What's happening in London and Manchester is no different in essence to what was happening in Northern Ireland. You've got people with illegally-held weapons using them against "their own". By which I don't mean a colour of skin, or a religion, or anything like that, just other people operating in the same circles as they are. Generally speaking, with a few very unfortunate exceptions, if you're not involved, it doesn't affect you (directly - the knock-on effects of having people running around killing each other are plain to see). And just like Northern Ireland, it's nowhere near as big as the problem as the media make it seem to people who are isolated from it (I grew up in a pretty rough part of Belfast, by the way, and am still on nodding terms with some seriously nasty people even now, so I know what I'm talking about)

    Now, the American pro-gun lobby often use the argument that if guns are criminalised, only criminals will have them. Which is probably true. But as I just said, they'll mostly only use them against people like themselves. I don't think there's a significantly higher number of potential mass murderers in the US than there are in the UK, yet incidents like this one today are far more common in America. The only reason I can see for this is that when somebody comes completely unhinged, it's easier to reach for a gun and commit an atrocity there. Here in the UK, I couldn't do it if I wanted to. Getting access to a gun would be an absolute pain in the backside, and I speak as someone who has a friend who sells rifles for a living.

    It's the ease of access to guns, and the ease with which you can pile up dead bodies once you have one, that makes incidents like this more common. I don't see how anybody could argue otherwise. On the other hand, I don't see what you can do about it now, either. The genie's out of the bottle. You're never going to take those guns back off people. It's part of the culture. We, on the other hand, never had them in the first place, and I think that even if we suddenly had gun laws like America's tomorrow, we wouldn't be going out and buying them either.

    All this is a long-winded way of saying "I agree">
  • by Mad-cat (134809) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:04PM (#18758909) Homepage
    I think it would be better to say that no person should *want* to be able to walk in off the street and buy an AK47.

    Assault rifles are not self-defense or hunting weapons. They are assault weapons. They have a very specific purpose: killing and wounding large numbers of people at a very fast rate.

    This doesn't mean they should be banned. Why should I, a police officer, be allowed to have weapons like that while you can't? America is supposed to be a government by, of and for the people: if the people's words aren't enough to effect change, they have to be able to back it up. Trust me, you do not want people like me dictating your lives.
    What happens if the government stops taking no for an answer?

    We need to eliminate the causes of violent behavior, not the tools for doing it. If the citizens are only allowed to have small arms, then the army and the police should be banned from using them too.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phyruxus (72649) <jumpandlink@yah o o . com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:05PM (#18758911) Homepage Journal
    MeanderingMind and Vertinox have eloquently made two points that I would like to see brought to focus in the mainstream.

    When kids pick on each other, some people seem to think that it's a positive thing - "real world lessons" and such. While children do need to, at some point, come to grips with the sometimes inharmonious nature of the world, *abuse* is neither healthy nor helpful, to anyone.

    I take it as a truism that no one is born evil. Some people take a lot of shit, and win through it. Some take shit and end up written off for whatever reason. Some people take a lot of shit, and then decide that the only way they can cope with existence is to unload some shit on someone else.

    If you kick a dog enough times, that dog will either crumble, or it will bite back.

    We owe it to future generations to make the world a better place, as did each generation before us. Why do people hurt each other? What can we do? It's not easy, but it is worth thinking about.

    My good will goes out to all affected by this incident.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:06PM (#18758929)
    If the gunman had pulled his psycho bullshit in a crowded Virginia mall, the shooter's life may have ended a lot quicker, but that does not mean that fewer people would be dead. If someone started shooting back, there would have been more bullets flying around, and with more bullets flying around, there's a lot higher chance that people will get hit, especially if this is taking place in a mall with a lot of people.

    This isn't a video game. In real life, bullets do not mean instant death. Random bullets may hit some people but I'll bet the chances of living from a stray round in that environment are a lot better than being lined up against a wall and shot point blank in the head.

    Furthermore, for those that go get hit in an exchange like that, they have a lot higher chance of survival because paramedics can reach them sooner, if people in the middle of the situation know the shooter is down they can flag in the police in and tell them it is safe so the paramedics can come in right away without having to take the time to do a full sweep first.

    Not to mention that it's a ridiculous assertion that "bullets would be flying everywhere", at most a handful of people at any time would have a weapon on them and also be trained in the proper use thereof. You forget that people who carry firearms legally are generally not batshit insane and therefore less likley to just spray lead everywhere.

    I actually have a relative attending the school as a grad student. She is OK as it turns out but it makes me mad to think the school was just an open playground for a shooter like this with only law enforcement able to stop him.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thrillseeker (518224) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:07PM (#18758945)
    My main thought is 'couldn't somebody have stopped him?

    with what?
  • by raehl (609729) <raehl311@ y a h oo.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:08PM (#18758959) Homepage
    If the students were armed...

    But what if the assailant WASN'T armed?

    Maybe you shouldn't say anything until you know where he got his gun. If he bought it at K-Mart at 7AM and was shooting people at 7:30 AM, that might be a pretty strong indication that the problem here wasn't the availability of guns to the other students, the problem was the availability of guns to the assailant.

    Also, it's premature to blame the law for the lack of guns in the possession of the students. Not only would the law have to be different, we would also need to know if there were any students present who would have been carrying a firearm themselves if it was legal to do so.

    But, the reality of the situation is we're screwed either way:

    Not all gun crime is the same. Some gun crime is impulsive - people who are impulsively violent are more destructive when they have ready access to a firearm. In these kinds of gun crimes, eliminating ready access to firearms would reduce the effects of gun crime. And some gun crime is premeditated - the criminal is going to get the gun they need to commit the crime. In that kind of crime, reducing ready access to firearms creates an opportunity for the criminal.

    So you can't solve the gun problem, you can just favor one kind of gun violence over another.
  • by angrymilkman (957626) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:11PM (#18758997) Homepage
    NO GUNS - NO DEATHS its as simple as that, how many people can you kill with just sticks and stones?, in the same amount of time you can take out 30 people with a semi automatic? US society is based on fear and buying a gun only adds to it, until someone flips and kills 30 innocent.
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:13PM (#18759027)
    So, if there's a shooting in a city of, say, 35000 people, what would you do with, say 700 or so buildings across over 2000 acres in the city center?

    How would you communicate with those people? (Email is really the only practical different option for the university.)

    Would you go into a temporary state of quasi martial-law because a "killer is on the loose"?

    I can see locking down a high school. I can't see anything different Virginia Tech could have done, especially since thousands of students would already have been on their way to campus or class by the time the university even figured out what the response to the first situation was.

    And no, the appropriate response isn't to immediately close and evacuate what is essentially a good-sized city at the first sign there might be a shooting (which would have been the only thing they could have even tried at 7:15am, which would have been ridiculous).

    Any claims that Virginia Tech could or should have done something to prevent this represents a massive misunderstanding of the scope and logistics of the situation - and I mean massive - and represents the worst in 20/20 hindsight armchair quarterbacking. Not to mention a worrying tilt toward apparently wanting the kind of police state infrastructure we'd need to even THINK of "locking down" a 2600 acre campus with hundreds and hundreds of buildings.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Firethorn (177587) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:13PM (#18759031) Homepage Journal
    If the gunman had pulled his psycho bullshit in a crowded Virginia mall, the shooter's life may have ended a lot quicker, but that does not mean that fewer people would be dead. If someone started shooting back, there would have been more bullets flying around, and with more bullets flying around, there's a lot higher chance that people will get hit, especially if this is taking place in a mall with a lot of people.

    32 Dead and 15 wounded generally means at least 37 rounds fired, assuming that every round hit. The generaly capacity of a handgun is 6-16 rounds without reloading. The average criminal shooting is 3 rounds, still this isn't average.

    In such a gunfight, we'd generally see a maximum of 32 rounds fired. That puts us at the same amount of dead as happened here, if every bullet killed somebody, which the odds are drastically against. Even in a crowded mall, there's generally more than 50% open area vs area with people. If nothing else, accidental hits are generally going to be less lethal than aimed fire at a head or chest. Think of it as the difference between a target gallery and a firefight; In the target gallery you can calmly aim each shot; resulting in a far higher hit ratio. In the other you fire faster hoping for a lucky hit before the other guy can shoot you.

    Besides, that's a worst case scenario. Best case? The crooks a bad shot and doesn't manage to get any lethal shots before a CCW holder or police officer kills or disables him with one shot.

    Possible scenarios:
    Bad guy goes in shooting; no CCW or police present; Result: massive casualties(see today, columbine)
    Bad guy goes in shooting; kills CCW holder before he can draw his weapon; Result: Same difference.
    Bad guy goes in shooting; neglected CCW holder draws and fires; capping BG from behind; Result: Body count drastically lower
    Bad guy goes in shooting; sees CCW holder draw; gunfight ensues; Worst case: Some people hit in crossfire; CCW holder goes down filled with holes. Moderate case: CCW holder delays gunman, forces him to expend entire magazine on him* in rapid fire, allowing more civilians to flee and time for the police to show up. Good Case: CCW holder fills gunman full of holes from his magazine; gunman drops, unable to continue slaughter.

    *happened in texas.

    The problem with Col. Cooper's statement is that killing people is seen as a bad thing, and is something that should be avoided. That is why soldiers and/or cops have to be authorized to use lethal force. A rifle is a tool, but it's purpose is, basically, to kill. So, while a rifle may have no moral stature, it is a tool whose purpose it is to effect a morally wrong action. Because, even if evil men can be "corrected" by men with rifles, those men with rifles have done something that we as a society frown upon.

    That's were you don't get Cooper's belief system. He was a military man. Killing, as seen by him, is not necessarily an evil thing. There are even circumstances where it is the right thing to do. In the case of men with rifles conducting corrections; it's seen as a good thing, because the evil ones are otherwise uncorrectable.

    As for your assertion that gun-free zones are in effect "unarmed victim zones," think about the fact that in our legal system there is a difference between manslaughter and murder; in order for murder to be committed, malice and forethought must be proved. If you piss someone with a gun off, they could very easily kill you, even if they weren't justified in their action. Without guns, it is a whole lot harder, involved, and personal to kill someone, and that means that fewer people will die.

    CCW permit holders beat even police officers for violent crime rates. The gun is unique in that it allows an 80 year old grandmother the same chance to beat her attacker as a 300 pound professional linebacker.

    Our point is that once somebody passes the line where they're willing to kill; no other laws will stop them. And despite what you say; people with CCW permits don't just generally go off killing people who piss them off. We're well aware of the consequences. To the point that a CCW holder getting into trouble is state/national news.
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:15PM (#18759069)
    Imagine everyone opening fire in self-defence and no one knowing who the gunman actually was (sounds like the US Army in Iraq today!). Where you've got a lot of people carrying guns, it's been known to happen.

    Why not link us to a story where thirty people died because of this.

    Someone shooting is, (a) shooting at someone they saw shoot someone else and now coming towards them menacingly with a gun, and (b) aiming for non-vital areas as the intent is more to stop than to kill. That is the difference, the killer is in fact aiming to kill while those with legal handguns will generally be aiming to wound and therefore mistakes may not be fatal. I'd rather have someone shoot me in the side or leg because they thought I was the shooter, than to have the shooter make sure I was dead because that was pretty much his whole plan.

    A crowd of people with guns being attacked by one man is a self limiting problem and means far fewer fatalities than a crowd full of unarmed people lined up against a wall by one man.

    People against guns act like every single person with a gun is exactly the same, crazy killer or well-trained mother of four.

    I don't even own a gun myself, I just grew up around a lot of gun culture and know what responsible gun use is like.
  • by edward2020 (985450) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:16PM (#18759083)
    The question, I think, is if you are more frightened of someone that goes through the process to carry a concealed weapon (and infact does so) than you are of some fuckin' nut who goes around shooting people? I for one can gladly say that I'd rather have the former.
    Also, to date, no legislation has been very effective at keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals (you might note that historically no prohibition has been effective). Most legislation is more of a burden to an honest person owning a gun than to a criminal (who often will just steal a gun). And at most, such legislation only cuts down on the number of accidents involving firearms. Note, drowning kills more people and no where in the Constitution does it mention a "right to swim."
  • by Dzimas (547818) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:16PM (#18759085)
    The Second Amendment was drafted in 1789 and much has changed in the world since then. To hold a section of the Bill of Rights above your head and declare that it should bestow a particular right upon a group of humans forever just because they happen to have been born in the middle third of North America is utterly illogical. There were no automatic or semi-automatic weapons in the 18th Century, and it was conceivable that a group of a few thousand armed and motivated farmers could sack the White House should the need arise. Those days are long gone, unless you're willing to ensure that private citizens also have the right to drive battle tanks and possess tactical nuclear weapons.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Metathran0 (1052636) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:21PM (#18759163)
    I think this misses the point entirely. By simply saying "no, they're nuts", we make the mistake of dehumanizing the shooter and by extension, distancing ourselves from them. Despite their horrific actions, the shooter(s) (has any media outlet nailed down the number of shooters yet?) are still people too.

    Most people don't realize how capable they are of committing an atrocity, but look at one of the most famous studies in psychology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment [wikipedia.org]. Obviously, the situations are not the same, as there was no element of authority that we know of in this situation, but nonetheless, we can see that even normal, well adjusted people can commit inhuman acts under the right circumstances.

    IMO, we should not be so quick to distance ourselves from the blame. While the shooter was the one who pulled the trigger, we also have to consider numerous other factors: how he got the gun, how he got the gun onto campus, etc., and most importantly, how nobody noticed that he was in need of help. Obviously, this was not solely the shooters' fault.

    I'm not suggesting there's some perfect solution where everybody can keep an eye out for everybody else, thereby preventing any further instances. I'm simply suggesting that we need to be wary of setting down a solid dividing line between "us" and "them", because if we do, then we make it even more of a taboo for people to receive psychological help.

    That said, my heart goes out to all the victims, and to all the others who are going to get thoroughly scapegoated (i.e. the entertainment industry).
  • by theonetruekeebler (60888) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:26PM (#18759241) Homepage Journal

    A computer-gaming Marilyn Manson obsessed repressed Islamic fundamentalist, inconsistently educated mentalist engineer with an Arabic look about him, does a lot less damage when armed with a toothpick.
    ...but slightly more when armed with a lorry full of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel.

    It's too late to install working gun control in the United States. The genie is well and truly out of the bottle. There are over a quarter of a billion private firearms in the U.S., and sending out a polite letter saying "Please hand in your guns by the close of business on Thursday" simply won't work -- it certainly won't work on the sorts who have dishonest reasons for owning them.

    It was already a crime to carry a weapon onto the VaTech campus. That did not keep a baddie from bringing guns on campus -- though doubtless it deterred many honest people from doing so.

    For an interesting story, look to 1991 in Killeen, Texas [wikipedia.org]. A survivor of that massacre tells the story of deciding to leave her handgun locked in her car's glove box instead of taking it into the restaurant, because of laws against guns in public places. Someone who chose not to obey that law drove his truck through the window and killed 23 people, wounded 20 more, then killed himself.

    Nobody decides to shoot up a school then suddenly says to himself, "Curses! It's against the law to have a firearm on that campus! All my plans, ruined! I was willing to break forty-eight laws, but that forty-ninth, man, that really did the trick." An extra law, particularly one as delusional as after-the-fact gun control, did not change the minds of the shooter in Killeen, Texas, or the one in Blacksburg, Virginia, or the ones in Littleton, Colorado, or the one in Conyers, Georgia. It won't stop the next one, either.

    Still and all, we're talking about a mere thirty three people out of the nine thousand who will be murdered by guns in the United States this year. Nobody would care except they all happened at once.

  • Asian/Oriental (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EccentricAnomaly (451326) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:31PM (#18759335) Homepage

    Do you still call people Mongoloids too? It's the 21st century gramps, try call an Asian that to his face and don't be surprised if he busts out the chop-suey and puts your old white ass in the hospital.
    Ok.. so there are lots of different races from Asia. Indians, Mongolians, Siberians, Turks, Arabs, etc. The use to the term 'Asian' to refer to people frm the far east is irksome/offensive to some Indians. To my mind it would be like calling whites, 'Americans'.

    It's like the mis-use of the term African-American. African-American is a cultural distinction. Not all blacks are African-American some are from the Caribean, some are Pacific Islanders, some are African. The term 'black' is offensive very few people... and very useful in describing race and society.

    But what do you do about Asian/Oriental? You could try to be specific on country of origin... but Chinese isn't very good as there are many different races/ethnicities from China. If you're going to distinguish between Han Chinese and Korean, you might as well distinguish Tibetan too.

    My vote is to simplify skin color just like eye/hair color: Whites, Blacks, Browns, Yellows, and Reds.

    oh... and for those of you on this thread who think 'oriental' is as bad as the n-word... you have not seen/experienced real full-force dehumanising racism if you can honestly claim that. There are racist terms equavalent to the n-word, but 'oriental' isn't one of them.
  • by Trailwalker (648636) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:32PM (#18759353)

    Worst school shooting in US history


    Until the next time
  • by NIckGorton (974753) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:36PM (#18759415)
    Absolutely correct and shown by numerous real world (Abu Ghraib) and even a couple of experimental situations like the Stanford Prison Experiment. Some of the 'animals' who perpetrated crimes against the other prisoners in the SPE were exactly the same kind of college kids who died today.

    It is precisely what was described by Hannah Arendt in Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil

    Its people who think they could never ever do that who are the most dangerous.
  • by Millenniumman (924859) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:37PM (#18759421)
    If New York City and Kennesaw, Georgia had the same population, New York would have hundreds of times the number of shooting homicides

    Guns are tightly controlled in New York. In Kennesaw, every household is legally obligated to keep a gun. So explain to me again how gun control saves peoples' lives?

    Or maybe, just maybe, you can't compare two very different places and assume that gun control is the difference!

    I'm not arguing for or against gun control, but as someone once said, "your argument is trash".
  • by 644bd346996 (1012333) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:37PM (#18759431)
    This cat has been let out of the bag, and the second amendment prevents the government from putting it back in the bag. As things stand now, even in redneck areas of Virginia owning and carrying a gun is frequently looked upon as somewhat barbaric. While I don't want to live in a world with guns waving all over and bullets flying every week, I do think that fewer gun restrictions are the way to go. We certainly can't go much further towards restricting weapons.

    To look at things from the large scale, if most people own guns, then those who are liable to murder with them will probably be identified sooner, rather than waiting until they snap and go on a rampage. If somebody unstable owns a handgun and carries it, odds are that they will use it in a threatening and arrogant manner before they use it to kill a person. That will leave us with the opportunity to arrest or commit them before they can do harm on the scale of what happened today.

    Also, don't make educational decisions for your son on the basis of this kind of issue. If he is ready for college, than American society will not have too much of a negative influence on him. Odds are very good that he won't be involved in a school shooting. You should be basing your/his decision on how good the education will be, and how good the academic community of a university is at open-minded critical thinking.
  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:38PM (#18759457)
    *snicker* Heh, yeah, guns for everyone would have solved *this* particular problem. And yet, it would have created a million other problems. Such as, every minor quarrel could turn into a block wide shoot-out. Look, your approach has been tried. It was tried right here, in this country, and not even that long ago. It was called the Wild West. Where "law and order" was enforced by which group had the biggest/most guns. Where heroes were made out of people for such things as bringing federal order to remote towns.

    People like you have no idea what it means to live in a society where everyone has a gun. All you have is your little pornographic power fantasies. Yeah, completely banning guns is no recipe for global peace. But neither is giving everyone a gun.
  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:42PM (#18759515) Homepage

    Maybe you shouldn't say anything until you know where he got his gun. If he bought it at K-Mart at 7AM and was shooting people at 7:30 AM, that might be a pretty strong indication that the problem here wasn't the availability of guns to the other students, the problem was the availability of guns to the assailant.
    Doubtful that this guy bought the guns for the massacre. His effectiveness with them indicates he probably had them for quite a while, and practiced shooting fairly frequently.

    Seriously though, people bring up this bizarre "man gets angry, buys a gun, shoots people, all in the same day" scenario quite frequently, but I have yet to hear of a single incident where anyone has actually done that. Most shootings are committed by people who already have guns, and have usually had them for quite a while. Face it, the time it takes to go buy a gun is usually long enough to cool off any normal "hothead". If the law considers a couple hours ample time to "cool off" when making the distinction between 1st and 2nd degree murder, then why do some people think it should take 3-14 DAYS (varies from state to state) to "cool off" when trying to buy a firearm? It's absurd.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by binford2k (142561) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:43PM (#18759525) Homepage Journal
    And I'm guilty as everyone else... But sometimes I think to myself "Maybe I shouldn't cut off that guy in traffic like that, he might go and snap."

    That in itself is part of the problem. You aren't really giving a shit about him, you're showing courtesy for your own benefit. How shallow is that?

    How about you start giving a shit about someone else?
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Caiwyn (120510) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:43PM (#18759533)
    "Both have a belief system that says that others who behave or function differently are inherently worse."

    Uh, yes. You're telling me a man should not be judged by his behavior? That's horseshit. The choices we make determine who we are, capability be damned -- I am better than this shooter, because I've never killed 32 people. If you refuse to judge a man by his actions, then you implicitly condone them. I reserve the right to be discerning about a man's behavior. For example:

    You are a total asshole for minimizing a horrific act of violence with your relativist fallacies.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:44PM (#18759561)
    The illusion that the availability of firearms or the lack thereof will have anything to do with the desire of one person to kill another. The desire to murder is a far greater problem in an individual or a society than the capability to follow through on that desire, and so long as we insist on ignoring this sociocultural problem and instead focus on reactive, stopgap measures that seek to prevent access to lethal tools, those desires will always be able to find a new outlet.

    As an analogy, which is worse: someone using drugs, or someone's life being so miserable that they turn to drugs?
  • Check your stats (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:45PM (#18759581) Journal
    I was reading some info about crime stats and one interestign thing: Victims of crimes who possessed guns/weapons during the incident had a good chance ... of having their own weapon used against them.

    Check your stats - and your sources.

    Victims of crimes almost never have their own guns used against them.

    The primary people who DO have their own guns used against them are police who carry their guns in a belt holster. Typically this happens when they're focussed on one crook and have to close with him (or on some other distraction) and a different crook grabs their gun from behind. (There is training on avoiding this, but most departments don't pay for it.) This is why uniformed officers (who open-carry) must disarm in courtrooms (to avoid hostage situations when a crook tries to get away) but plainclothesmen (who carry concealed) are encouraged to carry (so they can assist the bailiff if such a situation develops.

    Such training is available to civilians, too. (In fact, I have taken it.) It's called "gun retention". It includes training in attempting to disarm your opponent - mainly to show how hard it is to actually do so, partly to teach you to identify the very few situations where it's even remotely possible AND improves your chances over hanging around and hoping you don't get killed, and what to do then. (Main one is when the bad guy has the gun poked into your spine from behind.)

    According to FBI statistics, resisting an attempted crime with a gun is the ONLY way to reduce your probability of death or injury below quiet cooperation - and it cuts it by a bunch. Anything else (including trying to reason with the crook) raises the probability of injury to the victim. (Knives are particularly bad.)
  • by Sj0 (472011) on Monday April 16, 2007 @07:57PM (#18759765) Journal
    I'd like to send my thoughts to the shooter, as well as the victims.

    College is a time of unthinkable often unheard sacrifice for many people. People give up everything to go, working terrible jobs for years to save enough to get started, leave everyone and everything they know to live in an isolated world, and find their isolation enforced by bitter poverty and relentless work. For a lot of people, this is their only chance at a future; If they fail, they'll be trapped with a minimum wage job and tens of thousands of dollars of debt they have no way to pay back and nothing tangible to show for it. For a lot of people, this time is an amplifier, sending all their insecurities, all their fears, all their self-hatreds into overdrive, changing it from something indistinguishable from the background noise of life to a roar, deafening and all-encompassing.

    If this is the truth for the shooter, I'm sorry you couldn't be saved. You have ended your future and stolen others. I'll shed a tear fall for you and your fallen life, and your senseless, useless, meaningless death.

    For anyone reading this, facing the same path, please know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that there are people who know what you're going through. It's the hardest thing you'll ever have to do, but persevere, and don't become like this wasted life, because those who fight for the future they want are the ones who carry the heaviest burden, and the ones who shine the brightest.
  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@c o x . net> on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:12PM (#18760011)
    Given the extremely rare circumstances when one would be shot at by a random stranger on a college campus?

    For someone who was out to shoot people, armed students would've been obvious targets, not a guaranteed end to the situation.
  • by gregmac (629064) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:18PM (#18760079) Homepage

    You pull out your gun and see 15 other people with guns. Who do you shoot?
    I don't shoot anyone for holding a gun. I only shoot if I see someone shooting unarmed students.
    Do you trust that everyone else has that same mentality?

    What happens if you see someone with a gun shoot someone else with a gun, then turn and point their gun at another guy with a gun? Is that person the original shooter, or did they just kill the original shooter? Should you shoot that person to protect everyone else in case they are the original shooter? What happens if you're the person they point their gun at next, do you shoot them because they just shot someone else and now they're about to shoot you? Or do you lay down your gun because they're just confused because you still have your gun out after they shot the original shooter?

    Oh yes, and did I mention, you have approximately 1/2 a second to evaluate and answer the above questions.
  • by J05H (5625) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:25PM (#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
  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:30PM (#18760227) Homepage Journal
    In turkey, only licensed people can BUY guns for having them in their homes, and to acquire a license for this is hard.

    Acquiring a license for CARRYING a gun, is HELL.

    as a result, gun ownership is at very low levels compared to usa.

    but, as in all countries, criminals have no problems about acquiring any type of small arms. they cant acquire semi automatics, automatics only, as there is terrorism threat in turkey and state pays much attention to this. but, small arms and rifles can be acquired quite easily.

    and EVEN if you have a gun to defend yourself, as once a police officer had put it, when he was investigating a burglary at my house "If you have a gun, and see a burglar, shoot it towards the ceiling, shoot it towards the ground, shoot it away from him. if he EVER gets harmed, injured, or heck, even dead, you will serve at least 2 years, while he will get out in 2 months. Its no use having a gun, only maybe if you can scare him by showing it to him, and then they are not scared these days".

    so, in turkey, even if you can acquire a gun, you better shove it up in your arse than use it in your own defense.

    and, as the exact opposite is being valid for criminals, criminals are getting much more bolder in turkey, there are even burglary cases when burglars sense that the owners of the house are actually awake in their beds, but just imitating to be asleep not to be harmed, they say "paps, ma, we know you are awake. but just lie there as you were asleep, so noone will get harmed". and they get away with this.

    final word : never ever ban guns, or bar it from being used in self defense. criminals WILL be acquiring guns as they always did, the difference is that when you ban guns, you wont.
  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:33PM (#18760271) Homepage Journal
    Given the extremely rare circumstances when one would be shot at by a random stranger on a college campus?

    Well, I'll tell you what. Why don't you go tell these kid's parents and friends that it was ok, because it was rare. Go ahead. I'll wait here for you. With a first aid kit. Hopefully, that'll be sufficient.

    For someone who was out to shoot people, armed students would've been obvious targets, not a guaranteed end to the situation.

    Agreed. No guarantees. However, at least they would have had a chance, one that improved in direct proportion to the number of armed and trained people in the group. As it was, however, they had none, because the rules required them to be defenseless. Now they're dead, and we're not talking about "chance", are we? No. because we're certain they're dead, and we're certain they had no way to defend themselves.

  • by duffel (779835) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:34PM (#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.
  • by DanielMarkham (765899) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:41PM (#18760385) Homepage
    I know this post is old, so there's little chance of people reading this, but somebody needs to recap the gun argument. It's gotten short-changed. First, for those who say "It's too early to use this tragedy for political purposes" I call bullshit. For any other political purpose -- violence in games, the Iraq war, boxers or briefs -- yes, you are correct. But all of us (and I speak as someone who lives close to VT) can put ourselves in those student's shoes. We can imagine being hunted down and killed while we wept, shaking against a wall. This emotional feeling, this empathy, is _exactly_ what is required to understand the gun argument. If we wait 'till later it will be too late. I don't own a gun. To me, they're a good way to hurt people accidentally. But I undertsand that the purpose of gun ownership is to empower the citizen. It's not crime control, it's not to prevent the evil overlord from conquering the world. Guns are about freedom and personal power, and they represent everything that is right with the United States. In this country we proudly give people the power to hurt themselves and others. We drive cars, we fly our own airplanes, we skydive, we smoke, we own guns, and we eat cheeseburgers. We give these freedoms freely, understanding that, yes, people are stupid and citizens will misuse them and some harm will occur. We do NOT weigh the deaths that would occur one way or another in some sort of better-than-you morality equation to take our freedoms away. The greater good is served by the productive chaos of people having greater personal powers. That's the theory of our government. Yes. If we had a prison society there would be less crime. But if we had a prison society our society would be about as useless as some of those old European countries that we left to begin with. We left them because -- they took away too many freedoms. How quickly people forget. The reason that today is exactly the right time to have this discussion is that just like you, I would want a gun if I were one of those kids. I might hurt somebody innocent. I might run like a frightened child (most likely). All sorts of bad things _might_ happen. But I know that if I were going to die, I would want the personal power to stop that from happening. Looking at our constitution and our wars for freedom, we should be absolutely ashamed that we would sit idly by with our thumbs stuck in our mouths while we take that power from folks and then say something to the effect of, "well, people are stupid, so we know we can't give them dangerous things. They'll just hurt each other." Such paternalistic balderdash! It's a load of tripe that can't pass the real test -- how the commenter would _really_ feel if they were in those kidss' shoes. That's why the gun argument, of all arguments, is the one that is most appropriate for today.
  • by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:44PM (#18760445) Homepage
    "The simple fact is that our well trained army of about 1 million men could easily and without breaking a sweat, subdue all 299 million of the rest of the United States population, even if each one had a bolt-action rifle, given technology, resources, tactics and general training, if it came to that."

    You're a soldier. You're ordered to turn your weapons on your friends, cousins, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers. Chances are that a good 90% of the military would refuse those orders, and a good percentage of that 90% would use their training to help the 299.9 million stand up against the 100,000.
  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:45PM (#18760465) Homepage Journal
    Do you trust that everyone else has that same mentality?

    I work under the assumption that people who are properly trained, as I advocated, will act correctly due to that training. Generally, that's a good assumption. That's why everyone in the army and the police force doesn't go shooting each other left and right. Just the way my martial arts students don't go firing off kicks and punches at other people in public. So yes, I can extend that level of trust without thinking about it. No problem. Could I be wrong? Yes. But the odds favor my being correct. The existing armed and trained groups make my point very well.

    What happens if you see someone with a gun shoot someone else with a gun, then turn and point their gun at another guy with a gun?

    As I said, you shoot the fellow you know started the show, or who is shooting at you. If you don't know who that is, you don't shoot. End of evaluation. That's what training is for. I do not advocate arming people without training them. So stop trying to validate situations that involve untrained, armed people. If you can't understand what competent weapons use is, you're not competent to argue weapons use at all.

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@c o x . net> on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:48PM (#18760517)
    I'm not saying it was OK because it was incredibly goddamn rare. What I'm saying is that to allow students to arm themselves for the 1 in 1 million chance of a school shooting, or attack on campus is insane.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:48PM (#18760537)
    A few are murders for hire, and others are cold, calculating bastards, but pretty much any gun murder described as a "crime of passion" wouldn't have happened if the murderer hadn't had ready, legal access to a gun.

    ...or access to a weapon of any kind. Of course guns are more dangerous than knives and forks, which is why domestic violence never results [parthenia.com] in murder outside the U.S.

    (After all, Madison and co. were dealing with single-shot muzzle loaders at the time, which wouldn't have allowed for this sort of horror.)

    That's right! Most people don't know that the Constitution only applies to the 18th century and its technology.
  • by peektwice (726616) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:51PM (#18760579)
    I was waiting for this kind of non-thinking attitude to surface, and I didn't have to wait long.

    Sigh....

    The firearms industry, throughout the world, is already one of the most highly regulated industries. The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right, not a privilege, and it comes with grave responsibilities. It is a right born unto every American citizen, save for those that have forsaken their right due to felony conviction, domestic abuse, drug use, or mental incapacity. Gun control laws have repeatedly shown themselves to be ineffective, and even worse, they allow oppression to go unchecked. If you think that the current political climate is oppressive, what with the Patriot act allowing for warrantless searches, the suspension of Habeas Corpus, "National Security Letters", etc., just wait until you've given up your right to fight back. Time and time again, states have passed concealed carry laws, and the lies from the anti-gun crowd have been shown to be just that... lies. At worst, there is no increase or decrease in crime (by people who don't care about gun laws), and at best, people have been freed to protect themselves when necessary, without having to fear prosecution.
    Just this weekend, the NRA annual meetings occurred in St. Louis. Do you know how many people were shot?

    That's right... zero. Anyone want to guess why? Because potentially everyone there was armed. Perhaps no one was armed, but at least criminals were kept guessing.

    I'm quite sure that my retort to your ill-thought-out post will be met with visceral reactions from people who believe that the government knows best and is most capable of protecting me, but I'm not buying any of it. I have respectfully refrained from cursing at you and calling you names, because I believe that to be unproductive. My best allies in this argument are truth and history. History shows, that the best way to control a populace is first to disarm it. The only way the anti-gunners will be successful in disarming this populace will be to lie and spread FUD.

    If you wish to waive your freedom in the interest of a little perceived security, you deserve neither. I, on the other hand, will protect my freedom and security by practicing ALL of my rights under the constitution, and would fight to the death to protect yours as well.
  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:55PM (#18760627)
    Iraq isn't a place where there's good guys and bad guys; it's a place where a full-out civil war is being waged. When a population turns on itself, great bloodshed is usually the result. What do you expect from a country where the population is divided into three ethnic groups that all hate each other intensely? Take away the strongman who's keeping the peace (at the expense of the ethnic groups he doesn't like) and they all turn on each other. The idea of a united Iraq is ridiculous, and this should have been known before the invasion; the only way those people will live in peace is to be separated into separate countries. To keep them like this is like forcing the Jews at the end of WWII to live among the Germans.

    Your comparison is completely useless.
  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Monday April 16, 2007 @08:56PM (#18760671) Homepage

    NO GUNS - NO DEATHS its as simple as that
    True as far as it goes. There are, however, 200 million plus guns out there in private hands in the US. Nothing short of a magic wand will make your "NO GUNS" fantasy a reality.
  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:5, Insightful)

    by catwh0re (540371) on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:03PM (#18760773)
    There is a lot of pettish resistance in the USA to gun laws(which were really introduced to protect Americans in the times where civil war was abundant.) We can understand why USA citizens are against gun laws, humans as a whole are against change (it's a scary thing to us mortals.) There is this wide belief that removing guns will somehow make the community more susceptible to external gun attacks. (This is FUD, and extensively disproven in other countries.)


    However the USA has fallen behind with the rest of the world with it's attitude to gun ownership. It's definitely behind with it's "fear" of tougher gun regulation.


    Numerous other countries have introduced tougher gun laws(England, Australia, Canada, etc) and introduced programs that allow certain types of weaponry but not extreme items such as semi automatics, which aren't required to hunt deer for example.


    The trend that has been observed in these countries is this:
    Increasing gun related crimes leads criminals to seek more aggressive weapons to stay ahead of the curve.
    The gun restrictions are introduced with programs to cash in guns for money or desirable items (such as the Guns for Guitars program.)
    Criminals begin to brandish lesser weapons such as knives, because they are cheaper, easier to obtain, and the criminal realises that their target won't be packing a semi-automatic.
    The strongest upside to this is that you can't massacre a crowd with a knife in the same way that you can a semi-automatic weapon.

    What is observed here is instead of one-upmanship: where individuals are trying to get more sophisticated weapons so they stay on top of the arsenal game. There is an erosion of the basic level of arsenal held by the community, defense is still possible with simpler items, but the ability to do massive damage such as rampage shootings is reduced. The easy access to wilful weaponry is removed, making it difficult for a regular person to carry out large scale massacres. Yes, a massacre can still be co-ordinated, but it requires a great deal more work, often with elaborate criminal connections to obtain the weapons, this gives policing organisations time to prevent the act from happening(and a psychologically enraged person is not likely to complete these steps before calming down). This contrasts to a situation where excessive weaponry is freely commerced, where an enraged person has easy access to a high-end weapon, which allows them to quickly carry out a massacre.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:10PM (#18760903)
    Regardless of where you stand on gun control, it's at least worth asking why high school kids are taught about condoms and STDs -- and at my school there is even a swimming requirement -- and yet they are somehow allowed to graduate without ever knowing so much as how to turn the safety on and off on a gun. Even if students don't plan to be gun-owners themselves, if they should ever come across a gun, I think it would be a pertinent thing for them to know how to handle one safely, if only so far as to ensure that the safety is on.

    Why are people so goddam paranoid about guns? I mean, conservative parents are so often chastised for not teaching their kids about sex, and they're accused of being unrealistic. And at the same time the liberal parents get away with pretending that guns don't exist. Gun training should be part of public education, as much as driver's ed. People say things like, we have licenses to drive, but what about guns? Ok, well, we have classes for driving, so let's get licenses and classes for guns. Deal?

    The other stereotype you see about guns is that "some yokel" is going to accidentally shoot people by carrying guns. Here is a fact: most gun deaths occur in densely populated urban areas. That means "city folk". In other words, YOU are the ignorant bumpkins in this case, because you're the ones who haven't spent more than 5 minutes in learning how to handle a firearm. The "yokels" have been learning how to handle them since they were kids. I trust a redneck to handle a firearm a lot more than I trust, say, an IT manager. But again, that has to do with the lack of general education that is offered on guns. If schools made gun training required curriculum, these accidental shootings would be less of an issue.

    What gun control has done is it's taken away both guns and education about guns away from the public. Yes, guns are dangerous when you aren't educated about them. And since people generally aren't educated about them, they are dangerous. So what's the root of the problem here?

    Look at the circumstances surrounding this incident. The university banned guns on campus in the name of safety. The police claim that they had a "sufficient" presence on campus to protect students... so how did 33 of them die on their watch? Watch the cell phone videos that were taken as the incident was occurring. How much time passed between the first shots and the last shots fired by the gunman? What was the police response?

    Their response was to wait for the gunman to shoot as many people as he wanted and then voluntarily kill himself. You would do well to remember one thing: police wear guns to protect themselves, NOT to protect you. Anybody who is willing to surrender their rights to defend themselves in the name of "public safety" are no better than the Bush admin convincing you that loss of civil liberty is necessary to guard against terrorists.
  • by Xybot (707278) on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:26PM (#18761109)
    ..and by the same token, when a Japanese student gets stressed and goes postal, he can't simply go get his gun and shoot a bunch of innocent people.
  • by The Fourth (846163) on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:29PM (#18761161)
    As an Australian where gun control is in effect a gun -being fired- makes the state, possibly national news. THAT is what happens when you have gun control its not exactly mysterious guys.

    "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."

    I seriously doubt that mate. A random armed rabble will not overthrow your government by force. You have invented the most powerful Military on the planet. Each time I see something like this happen over there it just reinforces the fact that we have made the correct decision. I don't in the slightest fear my government to the point that I'm willing to support the decay of my community in order to support what someone a few hundred years ago called 'inalienable rights'. It probably sounded like a good idea at the time given recent events that had occurred, but today it's a burden that costs you. You and your families safety.

    The argument that 'bad guys have gun' is fairly ineffective too, because from what I observe over here, if they have them, they don't use them as anything but a threat. In fact, right here in Sydney I have ONLY ever seen guns holstered on the belts of police and security guards. In fact, the though that someone might be carrying a gun doesn't even occur to me any more.

    Its unfortunate, but I suspect that the only way Americans will ever view the preservation of their society as more important that the ineffectual feeling of safety that arises from owning a weapon is when they start becoming too afraid to travel their own streets. Even then I doubt it. Before you shoot me down in flames, ask yourself why this always happens in the US. Why is this even news over there? From memory it seems to have every single year, or at least seems that way. Without gun control you will just have to get used to it.

    Personally I loved playing soldiers when I was a kid. I lived on a military base and got to use the ranges all the time. I grew out of it though and am glad that our government listen to the people and not the lobbyists. Now we have a homicide by gun rate of 0.3073 per 100,000 vs. the US with 3.6000 according to <URL:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence>.

    Apple to Apples you Americans die more than 10 times more often than us from guns. We however lack your 'inalienable rights' to bear arms.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ninja Programmer (145252) on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:41PM (#18761323) Homepage

    No. What fucked-up animals a teeny minority of us are. Most of us are better than that. You are. I am.
    These people don't live in isolation. People choose their behaviors as much as society does.

    Let's give ourselves credit where it is deserved. There's probably not a person on this list who hasn't wanted to do multiple homicides now and then. But we don't. We learn to control our anger, to seek non-violent solutions.
    Yes ok, and how many of us on this list has helped someone else who was having emotional difficulties? You want to pat yourself on the back because life's pressure doesn't exceed most people's ability to cope and most of us are in the majority?

    Let's treat this incident as a baseline, and praise ourselves for having advanced well beyond it. This guy was an exception, not the norm.
    He is an exception created *BY* the norm.
  • Re:Gaming (Score:2, Insightful)

    by aquiltar (771588) on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:53PM (#18761435)
    3 engineering majors at once would break most people. Guaranteed. The gunman may well have been stressed, and 3 engineering majors at VT may well be very hard, but seriously... a lot of people in the world get to deal with much more -- academically, domestically, financially -- in their lives. 60 hours a week of work is hardly a justification for becoming a sociopath. I know, as I'm sure you do, people -- students included -- who work much harder and longer than the gunman probably did. Do they open fire everytime they get stressed? Comments like yours are well-intended in speculating about the problem's cause, but they're in danger of almost justifying the incident. Anyway, I heard that the guy was looking for his girlfriend, and shot everyone else out of rage. Any idea if that story is right?
  • Re:Gaming (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0tat03 (985078) on Monday April 16, 2007 @09:57PM (#18761489)

    Thank you, for saying what I think most people are not aware of. If you could be modded +6 I would do it in an instant.

    I am currently going through 3rd year in an engineering school in Canada. We are known to be the best eng school in Canada, and also known to be the toughest, though I perceive this as true for most engineering schools that I have seen.

    An engineering degree is no joke. For us 60h work weeks are quite common. Where with other degrees occasional all-nighters are required, for us guys in engineering it's a weekly affair, if not more often. It's crunch time all the time, and most of us learn to take our relaxation like timed medical doses, giving us just enough to move on and stay sane, but not so much that we slack off.

    My classes routinely average under 40% going into the final, and curving on the marks are never quite guaranteed. Meet an unlucky prof and 60% of the class gets to repeat the course. Couple that with a pretty hardline fail policy and you've got a lot of people on the edge.

    Most of us in engineering dislike the system. We would rather extend our degrees and spend more time in school than dealing with this virtual gulag. Unfortunately there is a lot of "well in my day we did the same thing" thinking going on in the administration which perpetuates this philosophy. This false engineer's pride that there's something *good* about these living and working conditions. Hell, some of the students believe it too - if you don't work like a dog for 60-80h a week you're not a *worthy* engineer. Bullshit of that sort.

    All of the engineering students I've met have developed some psychological curiosity or another. I hesitate to call them illnesses, but everyone has developed their own odd psychological defense mechanism to deal with the crushing stress, which is also why many engineers come off as such odd people. It's no surprise to me that one of them would snap and take out their rage like this.

  • "weapon stolen"??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by r00t (33219) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:00PM (#18761529) Journal
    Why do you anti-gun people keep pulling that one out? Do you really believe it? This isn't the movies; the bad guy can't "use the Force" to grab a gun.

    The gun wouldn't have any bullets by the time it could be grabbed, and grabbing is only possible if I'm really bad at aiming. It works like this:

    Only have the gun if you'd be willing to shoot an enemy. This is only an issue for pacifists.

    Only show the gun when violence is likely.

    If the attacker could grab the gun or could shoot you, then you shoot immediately. You try to shoot before the attacker even sees the gun. Otherwise, you may give the attacker a chance to follow orders and/or flee. Any movement toward you (to grab the gun or hurt you) means you shoot.

    When you shoot, you aim for the easy target that will stop the enemy. Nearly always, this is the center of the upper chest. (heart, lungs, liver, spleen, spine, etc.) You don't mess around with targets that would be hard to hit, such as the head or knee.

    When you shoot, you fire many rapid shots. You can empty the gun. You may reserve a couple bullets if you fear that the enemy may have an accomplice who might also need to be shot. If you know there is only one enemy, you empty the gun into him.

    Now imagine that you are the bad guy. How exactly would you have grabbed the gun?
  • by raehl (609729) <raehl311@ y a h oo.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:05PM (#18761587) Homepage
    Limiting gun access generally affects only those people who weren't criminals in the first place, so you only impact the honest people.

    What is your evidence for that statement?

    If gun access is limited, how many honest people are affected?

    To what degree are they affected? Count both would-be gun owners who are inconvenienced, and people who don't end up the victim of a gun crime.

    How many criminals are affected?

    To what degree are they affected?

    I don't know the answers to those questions, but you don't either. And your statement seems to assume that gun restrictions will ONLY inconvenience honest people and have no effect on criminal's access to guns. That doesn't make much sense. It's a convenient argument, but it's unlikely to be a true one.

    How were you planning to do that? Randomly search people and their houses?

    The same way we enforce any other law - good police work, probable cause, search warrants. You figure out who sells guns illegally. You figure out who they sold them to. And then you go and arrest all those people. And you've arrested them before they went on to commit a violent crime - because you were able to arrest them on the basis of just getting the TOOLS to commit a violent crime.

    Who says access is unfettered? Just and try to get a rifle when you're a convicted felon.

    It's relatively unfettered. Getting a rifle when you're a felon is easy. You do it illegally, but since it's so easy to legally acquire a firearm and then 'lose' it, it's easy to get them illegally as well. If you make guns harder to get legally, then they also become harder to get illegally, as the dealer who is selling them illegally is going to start charging more to reflect the increased cost/risk of him being in that business.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RespekMyAthorati (798091) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:17PM (#18761735)
    It does happen in other places, like my country (Canada), but it is very rare.
    The reason we hear so much about it in the US are:

    1. it's a big country, so more of everything happens there
    2. whatever happens in the US will dominate the news, since American media is so pervasive
    3. guns are more easily available there, especially on the black market

    They all contribute, and there is probably nothing that can be done about it.
    How do you plan for insanity?
    Nobody that's planning to kill themselves can be deterred.

    As to the fucktard who said "if all the students had guns, this wouldn't have happened", I reply:
    No, it would have been much worse, with hundreds of poorly-aimed bullets flying all over the place.
    Many innocent bystanders would have been killed in the crossfire.

    Trained SWAT officers have a hard time dealing with crazed snipers,
    how the hell would a bunch of scared
    university students handle it?
  • Re:Gun Laws (Score:3, Insightful)

    by catwh0re (540371) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:20PM (#18761791)
    You can run away from a knife. A weaker person with a knife can be overwhelmed. It's also difficult to quickly kill someone with a knife.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr. Flibble (12943) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:30PM (#18761911) Homepage
    Agreed. I think the only reason I did not go postal was because of my mother, and her caring attitude.

    However, after my dad died, I became very depressed, and suddenly, I was the target of abuse from everyone around me. Because being depressed, I did not fit in. I started getting picked on severely. Then, one teacher (who was later fired after a similar incident!) declared me to be "slow" - as opposed to being very unhappy. So, the next thing I know I am put in the class for "disadvantaged children" aka the special class. They run a bunch of tests on me, and find that at 10 years old, I am reading at a grade 12 level, and that my IQ is above normal, that no, I am not slow, just bored and depressed due to the death of my father.

    So what happens? The school does the nice thing and gets me *ADVANCED* material. So, there I am in the "slow" class, being given advanced material. The other kids in this class hated me, and picked on me incessantly. I got beaten up in and after school numerous times - often by multiple kids. It is hard to fight back when 7 people are attacking you. To make matters worse, I had no one to teach me how to fight back. So I kept loosing. And I kept getting attacked. The school would not help, and my mother just thought violence was "bad" and that I should "just not fight". (That was about her only negative influence).

    I can tell you, if I had access to a weapon, it is entirely possible - in fact, probably very likely - that I would have gone postal in that situation. As it was, I did not have access to one.

    Now that I am older, people wonder why I have studied martial arts for 13 years, and keep myself in very good physical condition. Partly because of vanity and wanting to look good. But mostly because I remember what it was like to be opressed so badly for those years.
  • Re:More Guns? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Russ Nelson (33911) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:31PM (#18761935) Homepage

    I am 90% certain that there are 0 guns within a mile or me.

    I am 99% certain that you are wrong. The 1% is there in case there are no other people within a mile of you.

    Do you know how safe that makes me feel?

    Nearly all of my neighbors own guns. Do you know how safe that makes me feel?

    Somebody opposing guns is guilty because someone managed to get a gun and commit mass murder??

    No. Somebody opposing guns is guilty because somebody ELSE didn't have a gun to stop the murderer.
  • concur (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thegnu (557446) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `ungeht'> on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:34PM (#18761949) Journal
    who has noticed the pervasive We Obviously Need More Cops Around Our Higher Learning Facilities message being looped on tv?
  • by pjpII (191291) on Monday April 16, 2007 @10:47PM (#18762053) Homepage
    Mod parent up.

    As a fairly normal college student, I think that most people in a 9AM lecture aren't wearing proper pants, let alone hauling around a gun.
  • by pbaer (833011) on Monday April 16, 2007 @11:03PM (#18762213)
    "I seriously doubt that mate. A random armed rabble will not overthrow your government by force. You have invented the most powerful Military on the planet."

    Actually an armed rabble overthrowing the U.S. government is quite feasible. Look at Iraq as an example of how well an armed rabble can stand up to our military. Throw the potency of guerrilla warfare on top of the fact that at least some of the military would refuse to shoot their own citizens in their homeland, and you have pretty decent odds of winning. Also there are limits as to the degree of force that would be used as no ruler wants to destroy their own infrastructure. I doubt even Bush would nuke Atlanta to maintain power.

  • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann@slashdot.gmail@com> on Monday April 16, 2007 @11:39PM (#18762511) Homepage Journal
    One armed student could have ended this right at the beginning.

    Well, one armed man just killed 20 people. The solution isn't to have MORE guns, but to have LESS. Instead, have MORE SECURITY at these buildings. Weapon detectors, security officers, i.e. people KNOWN to be safe with guns.
  • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:19AM (#18762837)

    I seriously doubt that mate. A random armed rabble will not overthrow your government by force. You have invented the most powerful Military on the planet.


    Yeah, because that Military is doing so well in Iraq right now. There are 250 million guns in the US. There isn't a military on the planet that could impose military law.

    You seem to think that the goal of an opressive government is to kill its citizens. It's not.

    In fact, the though that someone might be carrying a gun doesn't even occur to me any more.


    Perhaps that should scare you. We live in a society where good people outnumber bad people by a wide, wide margin. I don't want to trust the police with the preservation of my rights and my safety. I want to trust the 25% of the population who is ready and equipped to back up my rights.

    In an opressive government, it is the police who are used to subjugate the masses. Why should the police be the only individuals with the right to have firearms?

    Its unfortunate, but I suspect that the only way Americans will ever view the preservation of their society


    Perhaps we see the right to arms as part of the preservation of our society. And we have some pretty damned good historical evidence to support that belief. Perhaps you believe that military technology has rendered that advantage moot. But occupations are still fought on the ground, and when your army is outnumbered 300:1 by armed civilians, suddenly all of that hardware doesn't look so effective.

    Apple to Apples you Americans die more than 10 times more often than us from guns.


    We die 10 times more often than you from crimes committed with guns. Perhaps we should ban knives. Perhaps we should ban diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate. Perhaps we should ban chainsaws. All can be used to commit horrible, horrible crimes. But the fact is that the vast, vast majority of guns in the US are used legally and safely.

    People die. We all get wrapped up in tragedies. But over 2000 people died today because of heart disease. Perhaps we should ban fatty foods? Perhaps we should ban cars, which killed more than 100 people today. We live in a world of danger. It's all a matter of risk vs. benefit. Perhaps you don't see the benefit. But the 80 million gun owners in the US do.

    It's very easy to point fingers at the US. But forget comparing us to Australia - compare us to our neighbors to the north. Canada's gun violence rate (0.53 homicides per 100,000) is far, far lower than the US - but their 21% gun ownership rate is not.

    Perhaps you don't think our right to own guns is important. But here, it's so damned important that it's in the Bill of Rights. It's in the same category as freedom of speech and the press. We can't pick and choose which parts of the Constitution we want to uphold. If the advocates for gun control want to propose an Amendment, so be it - then we would get down to the real question of whether or not the right to bear arms really should be a right. But trying to erode the Bill of Rights is a particularly dangerous activity - if the Second Amendment no longer is worth the paper it's printed on, what about the rest of our rights?
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @12:31AM (#18762945) Homepage Journal

    The question, I think, is if you are more frightened of someone that goes through the process to carry a concealed weapon (and infact does so) than you are of some fuckin' nut who goes around shooting people?
    What makes you think the nut didn't have the proper paperwork on his weapon?
    The guy that shot up a college in Montreal last september had all his guns registered.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:33AM (#18763377)
    This is ridiculous!
    Don't you realise why things like that happen more often in the USA than in Europe?

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:33AM (#18763383) Journal
    "What happens if you see someone with a gun shoot someone else with a gun, then turn and point their gun at another guy with a gun?"

    Well I'd hope I'd first run for cover, even if I did have a gun strapped to my waist, and once i felt less vulnerable I'd probably pull out my gun and shoot anyone pointing at me.

    Think that's the issue here. We're not talking about a random hero in a classroom, we're suggesting if someone that was killed happened to have a gun and was targeted, perhaps they could have defended themselves.
  • Shame on you (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KKlaus (1012919) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:55AM (#18763573)
    Don't distort arguments with stupid emotional appeals. If more people would die due to low profile incidents on a highly armed campus that people that die in these high profile incidents with unarmed campuses, then arming students is a bad idea, period. I don't think that situation is unreasonable to suspect considering 10's of thousands of gun related deaths a year and less than a fifty or a hundred coming from school shootings. And guess what, those people would have families too.

    I am a believer in arming well trained law abiding citizens to deter crime, but the revelation that people that die have families isn't very awe inspiring. Either a policy saves more lives or it doesn't. Don't bullshit around with emotional appeals to crying parents.
  • by elbobo (28495) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @02:03AM (#18763627)

    I'm not saying it was OK because it was incredibly goddamn rare. What I'm saying is that to allow students to arm themselves for the 1 in 1 million chance of a school shooting, or attack on campus is insane.

    Also, if you go from having one student armed to having all students armed, then the rarity of such events drops as a result.

    Here's a better idea: why not go from one student armed to no students armed. It's absurd to solve a gun problem by throwing more guns at it.
  • by CptPicard (680154) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @02:36AM (#18763835)
    Actually, yes they did. Unless you're willing to go for unlimited escalation of force carried by each and every individual person, you have to call it quits at some point and just trust that strength in numbers is going to overcome whatever weapon the assailant is carrying. If you want to be accusing people for "pussification" because they refuse to live in world where they have to carry guns around because others do so too, consider that it might have been courageous of some sufficiently large guys to just rush him. Some might die, but it would do the trick -- I don't think he was carrying an assault rifle. It takes some bravery but the people in a certain airplane did it.
  • by coldcell (714061) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @02:39AM (#18763871) Homepage Journal
    Just FYI, before you pull comments out of your ass again: Probable causes of death (US) Heart Disease 1-in-5 Cancer 1-in-7 Stroke 1-in-23 Accidental Injury 1-in-36 Motor Vehicle Accident* 1-in-100 Intentional Self-harm (suicide) 1-in-121 Falling Down 1-in-246 Assault by Firearm 1-in-325 Fire or Smoke 1-in-1,116 Natural Forces (heat, cold, storms, quakes, etc.) 1-in-3,357 Electrocution* 1-in-5,000 Drowning 1-in-8,942 SOURCES: National Center for Health Statistics, CDC; American Cancer Society; National Safety Council; International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; World Health Organization; USGS; Clark Chapman, SwRI; David Morrison, NASA; Michael Paine, Planetary Society Australian Volunteers How would someone 'steal a gun' if no-one was permitted to carry a gun? Kinda self defeating argument there.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sippan (932861) <sippan@sippan.se> on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @03:04AM (#18764061) Homepage
    As much as I am against the right to bear arms in principle, and I thank God we have gun control laws in this country (Sweden) it's hard not to realize that in the US, the situation is completely different. The reason there are fewer gunshot deaths here is not only that we have gun control, it's that we've had gun control since forever. The US, on the other hand, has been a nation of guns for so long that there's no way you could possibly do anything about it now. You simply could not impose gun control on America now, because there are so very many people and so very many guns, outlawing them now would have no effect.

    I think the problem can't be fixed by laws, it has to come from the people. Every person who simply doesn't get a gun, is a person who is less likely to accidentally shoot himself, or snap one day and take it to his school to kill everyone, or have his kids find it and hurt themselves. If everyone would just realize that and stop being so obsessed with guns, maybe one day the problem would have reduced to a level where it could be tackled.

    But it'll never happen because they are so obsessed with guns. It seems people don't even realize that it is a problem. Instead of blaming the guns, they blame poor security or the nutjob who did it. Guess what, we have extremely poor security here in Sweden. We don't have metal detectors at my university, or even some sort of card required to enter the buildings, any madman with five rifles under his overcoat could walk right into the school at any time and shoot everyone!! But that's never happened. And we have nutjobs here, too! One of the most widely reported Swedish nutjobs recently was a guy who snapped and drove a car at 60 miles per hour through a pedestrian precinct full of people. How many people died again? Oh, 2. If he'd had a gun instead of a car? Not 2.
  • by paenguin (311404) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @03:10AM (#18764099)
    Great. When you have figured out a law that will keep a criminal from acting, let us know.

    I think, by definition, a criminal doesn't obey laws. That seems to be the real problem.

    Now, add to that an estimated half a billion guns in the US.

    Tell me how you are going to get them back and what kind of bloodbath that will involve. How many people do you think will die during that gun sweep?

    You really need to work on your comprehension skills.
  • by Rhesusmonkey (1028378) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @03:18AM (#18764169) Homepage
    Seriously, how many of you people decrying the political motives and angles used the phrase
    "The bodies aren't even cold" "Let the bodies get cold" or some souless variation?
    You don't care anymore than they do, this is some idle conversation point for you to stroke your ego on, so stop pretending you're superior to that filthy goddamn Thompson.
    These are people, they have families, and are not bodies for you to build arguments out of.
    Great googily moogily.
    Freakin vultures.
  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @03:22AM (#18764191) Homepage Journal
    You guys can count deaths by gun shoots by the thousends per year.

    Killing people is lifestyle choice in your country.

    In the UK it is national news when somebody gets stabbed to death, even more so when guns are involved (they are banned in the UK). We only have a few dozens of incidents per year in the whole country, most of them gang violence.

    After the only serious school shooting incident in the UK guns were banned. Guess what? We have had no reocurrence.

  • by SuchiRu (675808) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @03:29AM (#18764229)
    Q: Did it really matter what race he was?
    A: No.
  • No you tell them. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @03:33AM (#18764255) Homepage Journal
    Try explaining to them that in the rest of the civilized world (and most part of the not so civilized one) "school shootings" are not a familiar term.

    School shootings are like apple pie, Coke, and McDonalds: all American icons.

    Explain that to the parents of the kids if you possibly can, if you can't see the clear correlation between the crappy gun controls in your country and the applaing acts of random violence then you need to question your sanity.

    I do understand if US people have the right to bear arms, but if you think that the people that worte the constitution had in mind every person having free, unlimited access to any weapons of their choice, well, I can say no more and let that poor logic speak for itself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:14AM (#18764455)
    Right To Swim? The constitution doesnt have the part about bearing arms to prevent ppl from shooting themselves. I am very sure more people die from being shot by others with guns than people dying from other people drowning them when they are in the water already.

    I'm not here to critisize other nations, but i simply do not understand Americas obsession with carrying guns. Here in Australia gun laws are very tight. I can only think of one School shooting for example we ever had (2 fatalities). You can say i need a gun for protecteion against the other idiot who has a gun for protection against the other idiot who has a gun for protection, but simply the more guns in circulation the more they will get used. Even in a "gun free" (exageration) pl will bring in a gun to do shoot someone, but it will be a much more rare event.
  • Re:Beyond words... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by asninn (1071320) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @04:46AM (#18764635)

    I'm not saying these people are victims. I'm saying we live in a sick society.

    Let me do that for you, then: these people are - well, were - victims. Oh, sure, they're also perpetrators, mass killers, and most likely batshit insane, but it's not like you can't be a perpetrator and a victim at the same time: that's a false dichotomy.

    Similarly, I'd also like to remark that there is a difference between "excuse" and "explain". What killers like these do is unexcusable, but that doesn't mean it's unexplainable or impossible to understand on a rational level. I think people are making a mistake when they just condemn everyone who commits a crime - no matter how heinous - as simply being evil; there's almost always a reason why it happened, and if we want to avoid things like this from now on and keep them from happening again, we'd better make sure we understand those reasons so we can do something about them.

  • by strikethree (811449) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @06:08AM (#18765025) Journal
    I think you are approaching this from the wrong perspective:

    When some moron goes apeshit with a gun, I would like the ability to be able to defend myself. I really could give a flying fuck if you are "afraid" that *I* might be the one going apeshit.

    I am 39 years old and have never carried a weapon off-duty (I occasionaly work as a security guard), however, I want to retain the ability to do so. I am currently surrounded by people who carry assault rifles openly at all times. As a matter of fact, they are _required_ to carry them everywhere they go, even when they eat or go shopping at the store. While there have been a few accidental discharges, I feel very safe.

    Tell me, wouldn't you want the ability to defend yourself. Do you feel so strongly about not being able to defend yourself that you are willing to give up your life to prove it? Would your opinion change if you were one of the students being shot at?

    strike
  • by ciggieposeur (715798) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @09:45AM (#18766415)
    Why do you anti-gun people keep pulling that one out?

    And where did I ever say I was anti-gun? Are you illiterate as well as presumptuous?

    Do you really believe it? This isn't the movies; the bad guy can't "use the Force" to grab a gun.

    What I really believe is that the pro-gun zealots are coming out of the woodwork within minutes of this story posting when WE DON'T FUCKING NOW WHAT EVEN HAPPENED and turning this event into a political hack job.

    If you like guns, then good for you. I don't FUCKING CARE about YOU and YOUR GUNS. Got that? Can you really get that? This story is NOT ABOUT YOU. It is NOT ABOUT YOUR GUNS.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @11:19AM (#18767901)

    About the issue of guns in school, sorry but if everyone bring their gun to class, and manage to kill the guy killing people, how is the police to know who is the gunman, since the gunman could have killed someone with a gun as well, it's stupid to ask to have guns in school.

    If someone starts shooting and I shoot them dead, the first thing I do after making sure they still can't shoot me, is put my gun away. Then, I call the police and tell them what happened. They show up and ballistic evidence, eyewitnesses, etc. can prove who shot whom.

    People are there to learn, not defend themselves, leave that to the security dept.

    Neither campus security nor the police (if these are separate) has the capability of defending you. Nor, is it their responsibility. The police have no legal obligation to respond and stop crimes even when they have been notified of the crimes and told you they will respond. This was very dramatically demonstrated in the landmark case where several women were held prisoner and repeatedly raped and beaten and the police never came despite having been notified and telling the caller they would come. One of the women even managed to get access to the phone to call the police again, but still they did not bother to show up. The police don't have the manpower to defend you and if you expect them to do so, you're an idiot.

    I was talking to a guy whose brother was on a SWAT team, just the other day. He mentioned that they specifically arrive at violent confrontations with their lights on, and then wait 10 minutes before entering the scene of a violent confrontation to allow the criminals time to leave, as a matter of policy. They do this to reduce the chances of injury to any responding officers. Their job is to hunt down and capture the criminals for punishment, not to defend you. Ask any cop if it is his job to protect you or if you should protect yourself. Also, take a look at the statistics on 911 responses. I think they arrive in time to actually stop a crime from happening less than 10% of the time.

    Obviously there has to be a rethinking of how security is handled and a way to know what kind of weapons are being carried in bags or in pockets. I'm all for gun banning.

    Guns were already banned there. Worked real well huh? For some reason the mass murderer did not obey the law, who would have thought that could happen? Laws apply only to the law abiding and passing them restricts only the law abiding. We cannot and should not turn the US into a police state. Gun bans, statistically, increase violent crime and murder. Proposing them as a solution is the worst kind of emotional crap. People search for some easy, simple answer that they can believe will solve the problem and so they can feel safe, so they support gun bans under the blind assumption that maybe it will help when it only hurts. I expect as much from the average citizen who has never taken a logic course and does not apply the scientific method to their own life, but I hoped for better on a forum full of supposed nerds.

  • Anti-Gunners Unite (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AUDIOMIND (887218) on Tuesday April 17, 2007 @01:30PM (#18769691) Homepage
    As a former alumni of Va. Tech and former resident of Roanoke, VA, I would like to thank the Va. Tech talking heads, other liberal colleges around the state, campus police, Larry Hincker and all the other anti-gun crowd pundits who had a hand in striking down (illegally IMO) sound legislation (House Bill 1572 [state.va.us]); legislation proposed by the honorable Del. Todd Gilbert that would have allowed students and teachers, who hold a state-issued concealed carry permit, to carry a concealed gun on campus(es).

    By there very unconstitutional actions they were complicit and abeted Cho Seung-Hui in the killings of 33 students yesterday at Va. Tech. There is no guarantee, but if the students/teachers of Va. tech would have been allowed to lawfully carry a concealed weapon on campus (without the fear of ejection from the college) this tragedy may have been averted. My sympathies to the families who have been affected by this insane action by a seriously disturbed murderer.

    HB 1572
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?061+su m+HB1572 [state.va.us]

    Virginia Tech's ban on guns may draw legal fire
    http://www.roanoke.com/news/nrv/wb/xp-21770 [roanoke.com]

    A bill being considered in the House of Delegates challenges the authority of public universities to restrict weapons on campus.
    http://www.roanoke.com/politics/wb/49915 [roanoke.com]

    Gun bill gets shot down by panel
    http://www.roanoke.com/politics/wb/50658 [roanoke.com]

    College spokesman celebrated 2006 defeat because it would help make campus safe
    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTI CLE_ID=55226 [worldnetdaily.com]

    Va. Tech: Gunman Student From S. Korea
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/17/ap/natio nal/main2693365.shtml [cbsnews.com]

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