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Bass
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20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« on: 2007-04-17 18:55:06 »
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Breaking news - At least 20 dead in campus shootings

Quote:
(CNN) -- The Virginia Tech police chief said at least 20 people were killed in twin shootings on the Blacksburg campus Monday morning.

"Some victims were shot in a classroom," Chief Wendell Flinchum said, adding that the gunman was dead.

"Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions," said university President Charles Steger. "The university is shocked and indeed horrified."

The attacks mark the worst school shooting incident since 1999 when Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.

A hospital spokeswoman told The Associated Press that 17 Virginia Tech students were being treated for gunshot wounds and other injuries.

Sharon Honaker at the Carilion New River Valley Medical Center told CNN that four patients had been transported there, one in critical condition.

One person was killed and others were wounded at multiple locations inside a dormitory about 7:15 a.m., Flinchum said. Two hours later, another shooting at Norris Hall, the engineering science and mechanics building, resulted in multiple casualties, the university reported.

The first reported shooting occurred at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a co-ed dormitory that houses 895 students. The dormitory, one of the largest residence halls on the 2,600-acre campus, is located near the drill field and stadium.

Amie Steele, editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, said one of her reporters at the dormitory reported "mass chaos."

The reporter said there were "lots of students running around, going crazy, and the police officers were trying to settle everyone down and keep everything under control," according to Steele.

Kristyn Heiser said she was in class about 9:30 a.m. when she and her classmates saw about six gun-wielding police officers run by a window.

"We were like, 'What's going on?' Because this definitely is a quaint town where stuff doesn't really happen. It's pretty boring here," said Heiser during a phone interview as she sat on her classroom floor.

Student Matt Waldron said he did not hear the gunshots because he was listening to music, but he heard police sirens and saw officers hiding behind trees with their guns drawn.

"They told us to get out of there so we ran across the drill field as quick as we could," he said.

Waldron described the scene on campus as "mayhem."

"It was kind of scary," he said. "These two kids I guess had panicked and jumped out of the top story window and the one kid broke his ankle and the other girl was not in good shape just lying on the ground."

Madison Van Duyne said she and her classmates in a media writing class were on "lockdown" in their classrooms. They were huddled in the middle of the classroom, writing stories about the shootings and posting them online.

The university is updating its 26,000 students through e-mails, and an Internet webcam is broadcasting live pictures of the campus.

The shootings came three days after a bomb threat Friday forced the cancellation of classes in three buildings, WDBJ in Roanoke reported. Also, the 100,000-square-foot Torgersen Hall was evacuated April 2 after police received a written bomb threat, The Roanoke Times reported.

After the Monday shootings, students were instructed to stay indoors and away from windows, police at the university said.

"A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows," read a warning from the university.

"Virginia Tech has canceled all classes. Those on campus are asked to remain where they are, lock their doors and stay away from windows. Persons off campus are asked not to come to campus," a statement on the university Web site said. 


So, in light of yet another school shooting tragedy, do you think the US should use this as an opportunity for tougher gun control and higher safety standards at schools and the public in general?

This is the worst rampage-killing in the history of the United States, and the second worst in the entire world. Such a catastrophic failure of public safety is not "just another Columbine". President Bush will be making a statement at 4:15est - I'm waiting to see what he has to say on this. Hopefully it'll be worth hearing. I want to see a gameplan for dealing with this.

My take here is that school security should consist of trained and armed personnel such as retired policeman. Statistics prove that in area's where the second amendment has not been perverted violent crime is substantially lower than in area's with strict gun control laws. If the criminals know that you have the means to kill them if they try anything stupid they stay away. Makes perfect sense. The only people who will be affected by strict gun control will be the honest citizens who actually obey the laws.

Drugs are illegal and look how many people find it not only easy to find and use them but make a fortune by selling them. How many millions of illegal immigrants do we have in the U.S.A right now? Have the laws stopped them from coming to our country?

Laws only effect those willing to be bound by them in matters such as these and gun control is no different. People waking and demanding that the asinine "protection" our children are afforded at these schools be changed is the answer to the problem.


« Last Edit: 2007-04-17 18:56:03 by Bass » Report to moderator   Logged
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Re:20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« Reply #1 on: 2007-04-17 19:08:53 »
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Bass, I don't know where you found your information. Societies that have strict gun laws seem to be doing much better than those that don't in an awful lot of ways. Violent crime being one of them. Perhaps you will attempt to support your assertion. Try to choose an untainted statistical source not put together by the NRA or equivalent.

As for another "Homeland Insecurity" job for people with guns, consider that schoolchildren are much more likely to die of flu or bee stings than of shootings. Perhaps appointing Doctors and apiarists would make more sense. This is another emotional response, like that engendered by 911, on which, based on any realistic threat appraisal, we shouldn't be spending a brass farthing (and actually, till we give up the so called "war on drugs" we probably couldn't afford to).

What this country needs are much fewer laws, much fewer police and much fewer angry people. Not more visible thugs creating a climate where violence is perceived as routine, institutionalizing the problem.

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Hermit
« Last Edit: 2007-04-18 10:36:50 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re:20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« Reply #2 on: 2007-04-18 01:59:45 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2007-04-17 19:08:53   


<snip>

What this country needs are much fewer laws, much fewer police and much fewer angry people. Not more visible thugs creating a climate where violence is perceived as routine institutionalizing the problem.

Regards

Hermit






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Re:20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« Reply #3 on: 2007-04-18 07:29:02 »
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Some perspective. Assuming casualties in the Virginia incident to be 32 and assuming that there are 250 US cities with populations of 50,000. Then, if the Virginia incident were to be replicated in every US city every day for the next 2 years it would still not equal the casualties so egregiously inflicted on the Iraqi population by the USA.
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Re:20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« Reply #4 on: 2007-04-18 08:36:03 »
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And Jack Thompson is already on top of this shouting about video games being the cause of this. The guy needs a life other than making money off of incidents like this. He was saying something about the shooter owning lke 52 FPS games. As a couple at work commented, they had that many as well. Guess that makes them the next person to go on a rampage.

I don't know what they can really do about guns at this point. Having some recall is not going to fix the problem. Anyone will just hide it in some place and they will still be out there. I don't know if it can really be enforced that well at this point. I don't even think that it is America really, its the human being themselves. The government doesn't control people's emotions and mental state. People are free to choice what they want to do. Unless you are bound by chains or ropes or something you are free to do anything. Even in an oppression dictatorship, people just choose not to do anything because they don't want to die or hurt. It is still a choice they are making, even if it is based on fear.

A person is going to hurt someone if they are angry. If they are mentally ill, well that is adding in more variables. But the crimes of passion or whatever at typically sane individuals that get pushed too far, stressed out or whatever the factor is. Though is does come down to emotions, sane people will do stupid and crazy things if they are emotional. And that is being human. So blame the human state or person, however you wish. Guns are not the ones that kill, its the person that pulls the trigger.

If that guy did not have a gun to kill his girlfriend with he would have pulled out the kitchen knife or the hammer from the tool set. If he really wanted to kill her he'd find a substitute weapon. And we cannot go banning anything that's a weapon. A pencil is a deadly weapon in the right hand and wounding even in a poor man's hand. We wouldn't get the rampages, yes, but there would still be a person dead.
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Re:20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« Reply #5 on: 2007-04-18 12:45:46 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2007-04-18 07:29:02   

Some perspective. Assuming casualties in the Virginia incident to be 32 and assuming that there are 250 US cities with populations of 50,000. Then, if the Virginia incident were to be replicated in every US city every day for the next 2 years it would still not equal the casualties so egregiously inflicted on the Iraqi population by the USA.


Perspective?

In the U.S. mass media machine?

You gotta be fucking kidding me.


Walter


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Re:20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« Reply #6 on: 2007-04-18 12:49:00 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2007-04-18 07:29:02   

Some perspective. Assuming casualties in the Virginia incident to be 32 and assuming that there are 250 US cities with populations of 50,000. Then, if the Virginia incident were to be replicated in every US city every day for the next 2 years it would still not equal the casualties so egregiously inflicted on the Iraqi population by the USA.

[Blunderov] I fear my arithmetic may have failed me - no new thing. I was working on the Iraqi casualty figures as 6,500, 000; 650,000 is closer to the mark. Still, the point stands.

I know this is harsh. I know America does not want to hear this right now. But some things have to be said. America is very far from righteous in its mourning of this piffling event and this orgy of candlelit vigils is grotesque beyond words.

http://mediabloodhound.typepad.com/weblog/2007/04/story_of_the_da_1.html

April 17, 2007
Story of the Day:
Virginia Tech Massacre Is Our Gut-Check

Juan Cole and Larry Johnson, among others, hit on the same thing that went through my mind as the national media reacted with shock and horror to the tragedy at Virginia Tech: as sad and frightening as it is, this kind of violence is a daily occurence in Iraq.

Cole, speaking on PBS's Newshour last night, noted:

Remember that we’re all concerned, as we should be, about these events at Virginia Tech today. In Iraq this is a daily event. Imagine how horrible it would be if this kind of massacre were occurring every single day. And the people of Iraq feel that either the Americans are not stopping it or they’re actually causing it.

Johnson, writing on his blog No Quarter yesterday, summed it up this way:

The people of Iraq are living in a Marquis de Sade version of Groundhog Day. It is like the Bill Murray movie--the same horrible day repeated with some new, bizarre twists--only not funny. Multiple body counts and explosions and shootings are the daily experience of the people of Iraq. They have been living this hell for four years. Just keep that fact in mind as you mourn the deaths of 22 American students slain in Blacksburg, Viginia.

He also provided a rundown of just one day's worth of violence in Iraq (this past Sunday, the day before the incident at Virginia Tech):

04/15/07 Reuters: 19 bodies found in Baghdad on Saturday
Police found the bodies of 19 people in various parts of Baghdad in the past 24 hours, police said.

04/15/07 Reuters: 20 Iraqi troops and policemen abducted
A group linked to al Qaeda said it abducted 20 Iraqi troops and policemen and demanded the release of all Sunni women held in Iraq's prisons, according to a Web statement.

04/15/07 Reuters: 4 killed by suicide bombers in Mosul
Four people, including two Iraqi soldiers, were killed and 16 wounded when two oil trucks driven by suicide bombers exploded outside a military base in the northern city of Mosul, police said.

04/15/07 AP: Suicide bomber kills 5, wounds 11 in northwest Baghdad
A suicide bomber blew himself up on a minibus in northwest Baghdad, killing at least eight people and wounding 11, police and hospital officials said.

04/15/07 AP: 37 die as car bomb hits near Iraq shrine
A car bomb blasted through a busy bus station near one of Iraq's holiest shrines Saturday, killing at least 37 people, police and hospital officials said.

IraqSlogger goes a step further and directly contrasts the tragedy at Virginia Tech with what universities in Iraq have been experiencing (which receives little or no attention in our mainstream media):

On Monday, the same day as the Virginia Tech mass shooting, two separate shooting incidents struck Mosul University, one killing Dr. Talal Younis al-Jelili, the dean of the college of Political Science as he walked through the university gate, and another killing Dr. Jaafar Hassan Sadeq, a professor from the Faculty of Arts at the school, who was targeted in front of his home in the al-Kifaat area, according to Aswat al-Iraq.

In January, Baghdad’s Mustansiriya University sufferred a double suicide bombing in January that killed at least 70 people, including students, faculty, and staff. A month later, another suicide bomber struck at Mustansiriya, killing 40.

Kidnappings of students and faculty are another all-too-common occurrence on Iraq’s campuses. Members of the univerisity community have been abducted and murdered for sectarian reasons, or simply held for ransom. […]

In January, students reported that violent events had threatened students that attendance rates at Baghdad University had dropped to six percent.

Earlier this month, the Dr. Qais Jawad al-Azzawi, head of the Geneva-based Committee International Committee of Solidarity with Iraqi Professors said that 232 university professors were killed and 56 were reported missing in Iraq, while more than 3,000 others had left the country after the 2003 invasion.

Though it's not just university students in Iraq. Consider this from yesterday's prominently featured USA Today story (and kudos to them for giving it so much attention):

About 70% of primary school students in a Baghdad neighborhood suffer symptoms of trauma-related stress such as bed-wetting or stuttering, according to a survey by the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
...


Many Iraqi children have to pass dead bodies on the street as they walk to school in the morning, according to a separate report last week by the International Red Cross. Others have seen relatives killed or have been injured in mortar or bomb attacks.

"Some of these children are suffering one trauma after another, and it's severely damaging their development," said Said Al-Hashimi, a psychiatrist who teaches at Mustansiriya Medical School and runs a private clinic in west Baghdad. "We're not certain what will become of the next generation, even if there is peace one day," Al-Hashimi said.

...

In the study, schoolteachers were asked to determine whether randomly selected students showed any of 10 symptoms identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as signs of trauma. Other symptoms included voluntary muteness, declining performance in school or an increase in aggressive behavior.

The teachers received training from Iraqi psychologists on how to identify and help students cope with trauma-related stress, Al-Aboudi said.

The study "shows the impact of the violence and insecurity on the children and on children's mental health," said Naeema Al-Gasseer, the Iraqi representative of the WHO. "They have fear every day."

The Iraqi government is aware of the problem but largely unequipped to address it, said Ali al-Dabbagh, a government spokesman. "Until we have proper security in Baghdad, there's not much we can do to help these children," al-Dabbagh said in Washington.


If there was ever a time for Americans to attempt to wrap their heads around the daily horror being inflicted on students of all ages in Iraq, in addition to adult and elderly civilians, it is now. It's no accident that you hear less - or practically nothing - these days from Bush administration officials on the wonderful school attendance of Iraqi children.

Many Americans may not want to hear this right now. And the mainstream media will surely enable them to turn a deaf ear to these points. It's understandable on one level: what happened on Monday is still fresh. Yet for that very same reason, while our citizens are trying to come to terms with such senseless violence and abject loss, it should be our duty as a nation, and as human beings, to consider closer the daily madness befalling innocents in Iraq (not to mention our own soldiers). When you see American families and friends mourning over loved ones lost at Virginia Tech, when you hear their stories, observe their immeasurable suffering, their fear and helplessness and anguish, remember that none of them deserved this day of death visited on their lives.

And then try to imagine the unimaginable: consider what life would be like if every day were like Monday. That is Iraq. Today, tomorrow and the next day. Until we stop their suffering. Until the mainstream media captures half of the horror and sorrow it's managed to present in just two days worth of Virginia Tech coverage. Until our press corps asks our president how he can be "shocked" by this tragedy but not by the one his war of choice wreaks every single day on the Iraqi people, our soldiers and their families.

Warmongers (even the chickenhawks running our country) love to talk about "gut-checks." Well, you want a gut-check? Here it is. Due to circumstances created by this White House, a Republican-led Congress, a lapdog press corps and, yes, millions of Americans who supported them, it's not enough that we mourn these young men and women of Virginia Tech and pray for their families.


We have no right to mourn this tragedy, lick our wounds and then go about our daily lives again. The time for shopping has long been over. The war in Iraq must end now.

Gut-check.

(Big h/t to Think Progress)


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Re:20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« Reply #7 on: 2007-04-18 22:14:50 »
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Quote from: Blunderov on 2007-04-18 12:49:00   


Quote from: Blunderov on 2007-04-18 07:29:02   


<snip>

I know this is harsh. I know America does not want to hear this right now. But some things have to be said. America is very far from righteous in its mourning of this piffling event and this orgy of candlelit vigils is grotesque beyond words.

<snip>

Gut-check.

(Big h/t to Think Progress)






A BIG FUCKING AMEN from red-neck land................

WW (who's kinda drunk and listening to country music tonight)

Thanks Blunderov........

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Re:20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« Reply #8 on: 2007-04-19 02:05:32 »
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Quote from: Walter Watts on 2007-04-18 22:14:50   
A BIG FUCKING AMEN from red-neck land................

WW (who's kinda drunk and listening to country music tonight)

Thanks Blunderov........

[Blunderov] Well, there's living in a Red State and there's living in a Panama Red state...



Talking of country music, I liked NROTPS' eponymous first album a lot, especially the very Deadheadish "Dirty Business" which picks up on the Union Man legacy of Pete Seeger et al.



DIRTY BUSINESS
(JOHN DAWSON)

WELL THE MARSHALL CAME TO TOWN
AND HIS HAT WAS PULLED WAY DOWN
HE LOOKED LIKE HE HAD BUSINESS ON HIS MIND
HE DIDN’T STOP TO SAY
HE JUST RODE ALONG HIS WAY
‘TIL HE STOPPED IN AT THE OFFICE OF THE MINE

CHORUS:
DIRTY BUSINESS, DIRTY BUSINESS
DIRTY BUSINESS DOWN IN COAL CREEK
DIRTY BUSINESS DOWN IN COAL CREEK
THIS MORNING

WELL, I MAKE TWO BUCKS A DAY
AND THAT AIN’T A HEALTHY PAY
MY KIDS ARE JUST BEGINNING TO GET SICK
THERE’S TALK BEEN GOIN’ ROUND
HOW THEY’RE GONNA SHUT IT DOWN
IF THE MAN DON’T COME AND FIX THINGS
PRETTY QUICK

REPEAT CHORUS

PRETTY SOON THERE WAS A CROWD
IT WAS GETTING’ PRETTY LOUD
AND THE MEN ALL SAID THERE’D BE NO WORK TODAY
BUT THE OWNER WOULDN’T BUDGE
HE JUST SAT THERE LIKE A JUDGE
AND HE WOULDN’T GIVE A NICKEL MORE IN PAY

CHORUS:
DIRTY BUSINESS, DIRTY BUSINESS
DIRTY BUSINESS DOWN IN COAL CREEK
DIRTY BUSINESS DOWN IN COAL CREEK
THIS MORNING

JUST THEN THEY HEARD THE SOUND
THAT RUMBLED FROM THE GROUND
AND EVERYONE WAS RUSHING FOR THE DOOR
THE DUST CAME POURING OUT
AND IT FINALLY LEFT NO DOUBT
THAT THE MINE WAS NOT AT ISSUE ANYMORE

REPEAT CHORUS

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Re:20+ Dead in Campus Shooting - New Incentive for Gun Control?
« Reply #9 on: 2007-04-19 13:17:10 »
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[Blunderov] Returning to the main point of the thread, IMO gun control is not really the issue. The ready availability of guns makes multiple homicide very easy to perform it's true, but there are other ways to do this too. Furthermore, anyone who wishes to obtain a firearm is likely to be able to do so with sufficient effort.

Pure Pedantry

The most intelligent thing I've heard about Virginia Tech -or- The limits of mental health policy

19 April 2007, 17:55:00 | Jake Young

The murders at Virginia Tech are horrible and tragic, but they have also spawned a lot of hysterical claims. I think that is why I haven't talked about them. I have no desire to get swept up in that hysteria.

Last night on NPR, they interviewed Dr. Russ Federman, director of counseling at the University of Virginia, about what universities can do to prevent such incidents in the future. (Listen to the whole thing. It is short and worth it.)

I am paraphrasing here, but he basically said: When horrible things like this happen, we like to believe that we can make them never happen again. This allows us to regain some sense of safety and control. However, events such as this are not predictable and probably not entirely preventable.

Universities are aggressively attending to their students mental health, however, there is only so much legally and ethically that you can do. You cannot rob a student of their rights just because they are unhappy or mentally ill.

The last part really struck me. Every time someone mentally ill does something horrible, we ask: why wasn't this person put in an institution? Aside from the obvious difficulty of identifying the truly sick, would you want to live in a society where other people get to decide whether you are happy enough to walk around, to attend school, or to exercise personal liberty? I suspect not.

What happened at Virginia Tech was horrible, but ineffective and reflexive gestures in terms of policies will not make it less horrible. As we search for a solution, it is good for us to remember that some things can't be fixed.
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