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THE VIRGINIA MASSACRE….

By ATWadmin On April 16th, 2007

virginia-tech.jpgI’ve been following the shocking events that have taken place today at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Virginia. It appears that at least 32 students have been shot to death, with many more wounded. The gun-man, an "Asian" is reputed to be dead. It’s breaking news as I write, and I’m sure we’ll get a lot more detail later on, but I just wanted to express my deepest sympathies to the people of the USA reeling with this tragedy. Such an awful tragedy. It’s impossible to imagine the grief the family of those dozens of murdered students must be feeling but I pray that God will be with them.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me"

182 Responses to “THE VIRGINIA MASSACRE….”

  1. A terrible tragedy.
    A typically American tragedy, some people said the last time there was this kind of massacre.
    But of course it isn’t. Wherever there are even a few people with big hang-ups (i.e. everywhere) and where guns are readily available, there will inevitably be this kind of massacre, and nobody should really be shocked or even surprised by it.

    What is very American will be the reaction to it. Very sincere and articulate sympathy will be expressed, showing the great feeling of family solidarity that exists across this huge country, and then …. nothing! No new laws will be enacted, no regulatory measures taken to make this kind of event more unlikely in the future, probably not even in the gun-happy state where it happened.
    Any European government would already be meeting in emergency session to discuss what can be done. If it didn’t, it would stand accused of gross negligence and would be booted out of office at the next election
    No such sense of emergency or even legislative urgency will dominate in the States, and criminal negligence will be trumpeted as "freedom".

  2. What a Tragedy.

  3. Guns are readily available to anyone who really wants them. And someone hell-bent on committing a massacre will find the means to do it, whether by firearm, carbomb or other method. We in Northern Ireland know that all too well.

    Disarming the population of their legally-held and responsibly-owned firearms, and turning schools into prisons may be appealing at times like this, but they are not the answer to the problem.

  4. Cunningham,

    I don’t want to get into the whole "guns control" debate whilst the bodies are still being removed but I could not disagree more with you. James Orr is quite right. My thoughts though – remain with the families, and the broader people of the USA. We may be separated by an Ocean but tonight we all share your shock and grief.

  5. Cunningham,
    Is it totally impossible for some people to manage to not turn *everything* into politics? For goodness sake, could the bodies of the victims at least drop a temperature or two before we start pontificating about the evil of guns and how more laws are going to fix this? There are enough bloody laws. It’s illegal to kill people. It’s illegal to bring firearms to schools, and in some cases, to have them on your person within several yards of schools, legally issued or not. It’s illegal to even threaten to shoot people. It’s illegal to purchase or own firearms without a state-issued permit granted following a background check after a waiting period. There is nothing that more laws will solve or prevent in the future. The only guns that are "readily available" are the illegal ones.

  6. Cunningham

    You’ll get the chance to have your say at the right time. Feel free to shut up until then.

  7. Emily,

    How nice to hear from you but under such tragic circumstances.

  8. But why is that these horrible incidents appear to happen with such regularity, peculiarly in the USA?

    Yes, we had Hungerford and yes we had Dunblane, ten years apart and mercifully rare events. Not so America.

    Very sad and very tragic.

  9. Terribly sad that so many people presumable mostly young, went to school today not knowing it was their last on this earth. What awful grief has suddenly struck their families and loved ones. Tragic.

  10. James Orr is totally wrong when he says that guns are readily available to anyone who really wants them.
    In many European countries, for example, it’s impossible to get a gun without getting involved in very murky dealings with a small and ruthless underworld. A college kid with a big chip on his shoulder and a small brain would most likely lose his money and possibly also his life before getting his hands on one.

    As I said, this will happen every now and again when two things come together: a murderous sadist and the means for him to do his deed. The former will unfortunately always be with us, but the latter can to a great extent be prevented, or at least made very difficult, by law.

    Emily, Pete, etc.
    Imagine if this attack had been carried out by Al Quaeda. Would you and your ilk still be calling for more time of quiet and respect for the dead?
    No way! You’d all be screaming for the hangman and for war, war, war with not a moment to lose!
    So you are giving this mass murderer a certain benefit becasue he isn’t an Arab terrorist. I hope he appreciates it.

    No. The time for open debate on this issue is now. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that those who are trying to postpone debate are those who support a liberal gun policy.

  11. Cunningham

    I’m thinking of other things right now and haven’t the inclination to satisfy you. But I’m sure of my argument and will take it up with you in the next day or two.

  12. The instant reaction as the news is breaking is to feel just sad at the tragic cutting down of young peoples lives, but ATW has covered hundreds of tragic murderous events with instant debates and ‘blame’ comments so if Cunningham wishes to remark on the circumstantial background that he feels is responsible for this then he should be as free to do so as would happen with any other killing story.

  13. Colm,

    Of course he can. But perhaps others prefer to leave it.

  14. Good post Colm.

    Noel – while there is a debate to be had, I’d prefer to leave it for another day, but in brief, if the victims had been armed there would have been a hell of a lot less of them.
    Think on that.

  15. David

    Well personally I do think we should leave the inevitable debate on gun control until tomorrow when we may also be clearer on the situation and the circumstances of how it happened.

  16. Cunningham,
    I’ll thank you to please not assume what my reaction to a hypothetical situation would or would not be. Just for the record, when those things have happened, it was no different than it is to this tragedy today. I’d also appreciate it if you don’t assume anything about my opinions on "gun policy" when you haven’t the slightest clue how I feel about that subject. Go ahead and use this opportunity to score political points, though. Hooray for your side! You’ve got a body count to back up your argument! You must be so proud.

  17. Noel – while there is a debate to be had, I’d prefer to leave it for another day, but in brief, if the victims had been armed there would have been a hell of a lot less of them.
    Think on that.

    I would argue that there is no guarantee there would be less victims just more killers

  18. A terrible day. Truly terrible. The idea suggested that there might have been less dead if the victims were armed seems to me to ignore the fact that we don’t want to arm everyone on the face of the earth, especially in a school.

    Cunningham’s point is well taken and I don’t, even in a time of national grief, reject the the idea that our national calamity must await some cooling off period before we address the obscenity of our failure to even address handguns and assault rifles.

    While the usual suspects prepare their talking points we have another tragedy that should have been avoided. If someone who is a guns rights supporter can’t upon this day at least reflect upon their position with genuine concern instead of automatically seeking to protect the automatics, then I don’t know when they could.

  19. Mahons,
    Then would you at least agree that we should wait for the dust to settle and find out a fact or two about what actually happened before we go making any talking points *at all*? Perhaps that’s what the "cooling period" might be helpful for?

  20. if only the innocents in Iraq, that have been butchered by americans got such attention. Whatever a man (or nation) sows, so shall be reap

  21. Mahons

    I can damn well reflect on MY position. Can you?:

    ——————–
    "A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly."

    "House Bill 1572 didn’t get through the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. It died Monday in the subcommittee stage, the first of several hurdles bills must overcome before becoming laws."

    "The bill was proposed by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, on behalf of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Gilbert was unavailable Monday and spokesman Gary Frink would not comment on the bill’s defeat other than to say the issue was dead for this General Assembly session."

    "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."

    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/wb/xp-50658
    ———————–

    Hincker’s views were wrong at the time. They’re now a sick joke. Today, Virginia Tech was a ‘gun-free zone’. It was what the gun-grabbers wanted. The law, which they support, did not protect the victims. It did not do a damn thing to protect them from someone who wished to do them harm.

    They may have felt safe, but in reality all they were is disarmed and powerless to prevent their own deaths by someone who would have been stopped rapidly by an armed individual.

    He went there knowing it was ‘safe’ – it was safe to start killing because his victims were denied the basic means of defending themselves. It is the clearest example of the effects of gun control providing a murderer with unarmed victims.

  22. welcome to gun crazy, porn infested, abortion loving , drug dealing, god fearin america

  23. Wow. The victims deserved it because of the Iraq war. Class act there, Observer.

  24. emily, did i say that? please try READING before answering.

  25. Pete

    Whatever the arguments for or against gun control in general , it is absolutely crazy to allow students to carry handguns on campus. Yes you might help prevent lone gunman massacres but almost certainly you would end up with hundreds of individual murders every year carried out by hot headed youngsters concluding classroom arguments with bullets.

  26. You cant kill innocents and expect to walk free from pain…call it reaping wat you sow , karma or whatever, what goes around comes around

  27. Observer

    What else then did you mean by your 10.27pm comment about reaping what you sow.

  28. <Q>emily, did i say that? </Q>

    it’s how I read your

    <Q>Whatever a man (or nation) sows, so shall be reap</Q>

    after you wrote :

    <Q> if only the innocents in Iraq, that have been butchered by americans got such attention.</Q>

  29. Pete Moore: I suspect the families of the victims of this incident and the ones in the future will take any comfort from your lack of reasoning or any perspective on these events. You refer to people who might call for some regulation as gun grabbers which makes me wonder if you might just have one chromosone too many. This was a school. We don’t want to live in a world in which students in a school have to walk around with weapons to protect themselves because our legislatures have failed to by enancting sensible gun control laws.

  30. Colm

    " … it is absolutely crazy to allow students to carry handguns on campus."

    Yes, imagine what might happen, eh?!

    Why do these incidents ALWAYS happen in a gun-free zone? Why is it always a gun-free campus or gun-free office?

    Gun shows are year round events in the US and happen in all states. Tell me, why does this NEVER happen at a gun show?

  31. Maud
    if only the innocents in Iraq, that have been butchered by americans got such attention

    whats wrong with that? because they dont speak english, that theyre foreigners or is it the color of their skin that means they should be forgotten about on this site and others who can be repulsed when "civilised" children are killed but can ignore the deaths of thousands of others

  32. every action has its opposite and equal reaction, it doesnt make it right but it happens

  33. Mahons – the weakness in your argument is that even if this was done with legally held weapons and even if your legislature enacted really strict Gun Control Laws the Bad Guys would STILL be able to get illegal guns.

    Observer – the first part was legitimate comment, the second took you over the line – Very Like the initial SF reaction in AP/RN to 9/11.

  34. Mahons

    Think. Students with guns won’t have to ‘walk around with weapons to protect themselves’ – becasue they’re armed. What’s wrong with you?

    Only the unarmed and disarmed are ever targetted.

    Oh, banning handguns after Dunblane worked a right treat, eh? Gun crime plummeted after that law didn’t it?!

    Good luck to you tonight if someone climbs through your window. Good luck swinging your pillow at your attacker, if you’re not cowering in fear under it.

  35. And in respect of David Blogging this and not every individual horror in Iraq – this happened in the country of many of the contributors here. So expressing condolences to our many, many American writers and readers is entirely appropriate.

  36. Onserver

    You are talking absolute rubbish. Unless it turns out that this was a politically motivated revenge attack for Iraq then it is absolutely nothing to do with it. Unless you happen to think God organises these things ,do you ?

    Pete

    I have imagined what might happen if students were all allowed to carry guns in class. , hundreds if not thousands of individual tragedies that would add up to far more deaths than the occasional massacres which occur currently.

  37. And in respect of David Blogging this and not every individual horror in Iraq – this happened in the country of many of the contributors here. So expressing condolences to our many, many American writers and readers is entirely appropriate.
    Monday, April 16, 2007 at 10:50PM | Registered CommenterMadradin Ruad

    maud show me how many Blogs david has posted about children killed in iraq by americans?

  38. God doesnt need to organise things, men can do just fine without him.
    There is a phyical law and there is a spiritual law, every action has its reaction

  39. Observer,
    I don’t really know how else to interpret "reap what you sew" other than "you asked for it." Besides, your comment about "butchering innocents" is just rehtorical hyperbole and not really worth much further thought.

    Colm makes a good point @ 10:37 – most murders are crimes of passion that are not pre-meditated.

  40. Why Colm ? This claim that squabbles would become shoot-outs – It doesn’t regularly happen in Switzerland, It doesn’t regularly happen In Israel.

    There no way a country can be made gun free (except for the armed forces) – Even the mandatory death penalty for those found with guns – which was enforced – didn’t work in the Free State.

  41. <Q>maud show me how many Blogs david has posted about children killed in iraq by americans?</Q>

    West Belfast riff-raff – how many Iraqis post here ?

  42. Colm

    You clearly know nothing of people who are legally armed. We (yes, we) know our weapons, know how to use them and, most of all, know how to handle them safely. Legally held weapons are hardly ever used to commit crimes, let alone murders.

    If you take away more guns you will only create more victims. You can be certain of that.

    Before anyone else feels like weighing in on the side of armed criminals, address one question – Switzerland. This is the most heavily armed nation on earth. With so many legally held weapons in virtually all homes, why is gun crime virtually unknown?

  43. Observer

    What is a spiritual law other than mumbo jumbo nonsense, and how does a physical law enter into this incident. You have absolutely no idea what caused this tragedy or why this man did it. To refer to it as a reaction however oblique or tenuous to events in Iraq is without foundation. What was Dunblane a reaction too then, Northern Ireland ? The Falklands ?

  44. <Q>maud show me how many Blogs david has posted about children killed in iraq by americans?</Q>

    West Belfast riff-raff – how many Iraqis post here ?
    Monday, April 16, 2007 at 10:57PM | Registered CommenterMadradin Ruad

    maud, so your morality is measured by who posts on this site? so david will be grieving the next time a terrorist dies then?

  45. well colm you may not belive in it , but the majority of people on earth belive in a spirtual side and that no one or no nation can act without impunity in this world

  46. Pete

    I am not referring to gun control in general, I have mixed feelings about that, I agree it isn’t so clear cut, but I definitely view classrooms of young people carrying loaded guns as a ludicrous idea. The large majority may well be sensible but the atmospheres and competitiveness and often frictional circumstances of young people in schools is certainly not a suitable envinronment for individuals to be carrying guns.

  47. Colm,
    At this point, authorities aren’t ruling out that their might have been a second shooter. God, this is horrible. I know a few people that are still waiting to hear about loved ones that were students on campus.

  48. <Q>maud, so your morality is measured by who posts on this site?</Q>

    Not the point I was making – David was extending condolences to Our many American contributors. As we have no Iraqi contributors there wouldn’t be a lot of point in extending condolences to a non-audience.

  49. <Q>maud, so your morality is measured by who posts on this site?</Q>

    Not the point I was making – David was extending condolences to Our many American contributors. As we have no Iraqi contributors there wouldn’t be a lot of point in extending condolences to a non-audience.

    Monday, April 16, 2007 at 11:03PM | Registered CommenterMadradin Ruad

    why? its called common decency, but unless youre american and definitely not an A-RAB that doesnt count

  50. Observer, you’re totally offside with your comments here. This is an important subject for debate, so keep your stuff for some other place and time.

    I think Colm hit the nail on the head at 10:37.

  51. I don’t know why people are responding to such an obvious and tedious troll like Observer. It really is best to ignore it.

    The problem with assessing what makes massacres like this more likely to occur is that they are such rare events that it is impossible to make out any observable pattern. According to this anti-gun site:

    http://www.gun-control-network.org/GF02.htm

    There were 15 massacres of ten people or more in Western countries between 1966 and 2002,.of which 7 occurred in the United States.

    I suspect that the legal availiblity of guns would affect spontaneous massacres a fair bit, but the longer more planned ones less so.

  52. Colm

    Virginia Tech is a university. Adults attend it, although the state legislature clearly treats them like children.

    As for schools, I’d feel more reassured if I knew a teacher had the means to defend a class any child of mine was in.

    I’m off to bed now, although I won’t be sleeping much. This will be on my mind for a damned long time:

    "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."

  53. Observer was banned but is such a pathetic little creature that he keeps coming back, and making the most tedious posts. Arrangements will be put in place to prevent this happening going forward. ATW’s readers know how to respond civilly and appropriately. Nasty little trolls don’t.

  54. They may have felt safe, but in reality all they were is disarmed and powerless to prevent their own deaths by someone who would have been stopped rapidly by an armed individual.

    What utter and total bollocks! If the students had been armed they would have much more likely ended up shooting each other instead of the gunmen. The average untrained individual is total shite when it comes to stressfull situations and the occurence of freindly fire would have turned into a fire fight with students firing indiscriminatly. They would have shot themselves, each other and anyone passing by.

    And how would the police approach a building full of armed individuals? How would they enter such a building? They would for their own safety have to shoot virtually any individual they encountered who was carrying a gun and by your logic that would be everyone! So would the police have to enter the building with a shoot on site order? How would that save lives?

    This is not the wild west, with the propper gun controls you can be safe with out arming the whole population! Canada is the perfect example, I have never had a gun pointed at me in 38 years and i can more than reasonably expect not to have a gun pointed at me ever.

    Americans have this weird narrative that its guns that keep them safe, but the only reason every one needs a gun is because every one else has one. when somebody has more guns then teeth there is a problem

  55. Sean,
    You’re damn straight – when somebody has more guns than teeth that they’ve bought legally, the FBI and ATF thinks it’s a problem as well, which is how they ended up at places like Ruby Ridge and Waco.

    And not all Americans have this "weird narrative." There is a perfectly thriving anti-gun lobby in the US.

  56. Pete Moore: I never said all guns have to be banned. Simple regulation would go a long way towards helping to ease the crisis we have here in this country. I own a rifle so please feel free to come by my place and test your cowering pillow theory. Vance has the address.

  57. Emily: The pro-gun lobby (and by that I mean those absolutes who are opposed to any sensible regulation are a minority in the US, however, a well funded one). Can’t wait to see their bile on this.

  58. Sean

    I’ll type slowly. If the students weren’t disarmed then no-one would have attempted mass murder there today.

    People with bad intent only go to work where they know their victims won’t shoot back.

    No-one attempts mass murder at a gun show for reasons that are obvious.

  59. David: I understand your frustration with the trolls such as observer and I’ll leave his comments alone as they display his ignorance.

    Madradin: I think you have some points, but I have to cut out tonight so I am sure we’ll have another opportunity.

  60. Mahons

    Make your mind up. You flip from gun control to regulated ownership, which much of the US has. What are you in favour of?

  61. David calls himself a "christian", although i have yet to see forgiveness and love of God displayed from him on this site, so does he belive that a man , or nation, can reap what it sows?

  62. I’ll type slowly. If the students weren’t disarmed then no-one would have attempted mass murder there today.

    People with bad intent only go to work where they know their victims won’t shoot back.

    No-one attempts mass murder at a gun show for reasons that are obvious.

    Another bollocks post!

    People who massacre other people dont work on logic! They work on a demented mind, why did he choose an unarmed university? He didn’t! He chose an University probably with his own demented logic he was paying the school back for some perceived slight. Mad men are mad men the only difference is how easily they can arm themsleves

  63. and besides knowing the american predilection for guns how do you know some of the students werent armed?

    ANd observer is right about one thing if the students were armed there would be hundreds of deaths every year from petty squabbles that escalate into gun battles

  64. After the deadliest shooting at a US school, President George W Bush said the US was "shocked and saddened".

    "Schools should be places of safety and sanctuary and learning

    That is of course unless the schools are in afghanistan or IRaq where the americans have bombed and blew them up

  65. Sean,
    You make some valid points, but the thing is – and again, none of this applies to this particular case because we only have very vague details at this point – the only way it is "easy" to arm yourself in the US is to buy a gun illegally. There are gun control laws in place. This is not the wild west, where you can just walk into a candy store and pick out your favorite six shooter with a handful of licorice. Let’s wait and find out how the perpetrator in this particular case even *got* a gun before any of these arguments can be considered applicable to the subject at hand. You’re definitely right about a person in this instance not operating on logic – the thing is, make all the laws you want. A person disposed to murder probably isn’t going to have very much trouble ignoring the laws meant to prevent it, either.

  66. Emily
    Where do the illegal guns come from? From guns that were bought legally in the first place and then were stolen or traded into the criminal community

  67. In Canada we have laws that severly restrict hand guns and most semi automatic and all automatic weapons

    You can still purchase all the hunting rifles and shotguns you want.

    that is what I and we as a country consider a reasonable control of guns and since we have 1/100th of your gun crime it seems to be working

  68. What a horrible tragedy. All those people shot by some nutcase.
    Not sure what else to say really.

  69. Reading your comments section of those who think we should have more restrictions on guns. The real problem is in gun free zones. If there would have been some gun toten citizen, this would not have happened. In Texas you pull out your weapon and start shooting, someone is going to pull out theirs and shoot you!

  70. >>- the only way it is "easy" to arm yourself in the US is to buy a gun illegally. <<

    Emily, Ive never lived in the States, but I know that’s not true. Very many states have requirements far less than the limits under Federal law, many have no waiting period for purchasing a firearm, no minimum age (shotguns and handguns can be bought by under-18’s), no screening of buyers, etc.

    Re. the preventive effect. Sean made a good point when he said that we can’t know that some of the students were not armed.

  71. Jimmyk,

    >>In Texas you pull out your weapon and start shooting, someone is going to pull out theirs and shoot you!<<

    Strange then that until this incident the biggest mass shooting and the biggest school shooting in US history were both in Texas!

  72. Cunningham,
    There are very few states that don’t have age requirements on handgun purchase and ownership. The issue is complicated – licensed gun vendors are subject to stricter requirements than non-licensed ones, which some states won’t allow. Someone on the warpath isn’t very likely to research gun laws in every state just to find an easy way to have his name put in a database identifying himself as a gun owner. Trust me, where I live in California, a state with some pretty strict gun laws, it is ten times easier for me to ask one of the corner boys than go into a shop an purchase a gun legally. Your argument is contradictory in that sense – the tighter the restrictions on guns, the longer the waiting periods, the more likely a criminal is going to seek alternative, illegal methods for obtaining one.

    Sean,
    "Where do the illegal guns come from?"

    A lot of them are smuggled from Central and South America or fashioned from home-made materials. At least if someone is purchasing handguns legally and selling them illegally, the number of guns their buying will be tracked by authorities. Not a very lucrative business, really. At least not one that won’t get you into trouble when the ATF shows up at your home asking you why you’re buying so many damn guns.

  73. Thanks to all for the kind sentiments. This is quite numbing. I’ll not join the debate just yet.

  74. Guns bought and sold at gunshows are not regulated or tracked for the most part

  75. Guns sold between private individuals do not – such sales comprising an estimated 2 % of all crimes in the US. Licensed gun vendors at those shows are subject to the same requirements. All federal, state, and local laws remain in place at gun shows, though there are differentiations between licensed state dealers, unlicensed out-of-state dealers, private parties, etc. etc. This is why I have a particular distaste for the polarization on both sides of this issue. Far too often, certain facts are ignored that aren’t convenient to the argument of whoever is trying to prove their point "correct." It’s not a simple cut a dry matter that can be reduced to a few sentences to solve the problem of gun violence.

  76. >>Your argument is contradictory in that sense – the tighter the restrictions on guns, the longer the waiting periods, the more likely a criminal is going to seek alternative, illegal methods for obtaining one.<<

    Emily, that wasn’t my argument. I was merely pointing out that it isn’t true that the only easy way to get guns in the US is illegally. I have relatives in Vermont, and they say guns can be obtained across the counter there. And Vermont certainly isn’t the only state with lax gun-control laws.

    Basically, if someone is planning to murder someone, I don’t care if the gun is obtained legally or illegally. However, the only way to prevent some of the murders is to make it extremely difficult to get a gun legally. This will have a knock-on effect on the illegal gun market.

    The situation in, for example, Ireland is more or less as follows. No handguns, rifles, etc. can be held by anyone except the security forces and those at special risk (politicians, bank managers, etc). Even these are strictly controlled (bullets accounted for, etc.) Farmers and those using private land are allowed buy shotguns, although the necessary license for a shotgun is also difficult to obtain and easy to lose.
    There are of course many guns in the hands of criminals, but these are, I presume, very costly and difficult to obtain. For example, I know about 100 people fairly well and I’m sure that not one of them would have any idea how to go about getting a gun if he or she ever wanted to kill someone.
    It would all be so much easier for the would-be killer if guns were only avilable to buy in stores.

    If, on the other hand, it became extremely difficult to buy a gun legally throughout the US, the market would shink drastically, gun manufacturers would soon start producing less, there would be less around, they would be more prized and the price of firearms would rocket, both in the legal and illegal gun markets. It would inevitably be much more difficult for some crazed individual also to get his hands on one illegally. Most likely he would be robbed of his money by some dealer, or shot, or both.
    I am sure there would be far less casual killings as a result.

  77. My sincerest sympathies are condolences go out to the families of the deceased and also to the injured and all those caught up in this terribletragedy.

    I’ve waited a short while to reply, in respect of the victims, but I now feel that the best way of remembering them would be to help in some tiny, insignificant way to making sure this dosn’t happen again.

    Could gun control have stopped this incident? No. It didn’t. Guns are banned on the university campus. The law abiding students were unarmed, the law breaking killer was not.

    What if Virginia, or better yet the whole USA, required background checks on all gun purchases? Still no. Did the killer have a criminal record? Nobody knows who he is yet but it seems unlikely – "it’s always the quiet ones," as they say. Even if he did have a criminal record, he wouldn’t have to go through legal channels – more on that in a moment.

    The 1994 Assault Weapon Ban (AWB) expired in 2004 so is no longer in effect. What if it was still around, could that have stopped this? No. He used an ordinary, run of the mill pistol. Nothing "assault style" or "military style" about it. Even if he had used something banned by the AWB, he could go through illegal channels – again, more on that later.

    What if the USA banned all handguns? Again, no. Although the killer did use a handgun, handguns are the bottom of the (firearms) barrel – they’re the least effective firearms. It is true that they’re ‘concealable’, but so is a shotgun or rifle if you saw it down or just put it in a bag. So, if handguns had been banned he would just have used a shotgun or rifle. In 1990, a French man killed 14 people (more than two gunmen killed at Columbine) with ONE double-barrel shotgun. All guns can kill and kill large numbers of people. Or he could have illegally got a gun – more in a moment.

    So what if, wait for it, the USA banned ALL guns. We’re going to have to live in fantasy land here because this would never happen. Even in Britain will you never see a total gun ban because guns are a NECESSARY part of modern life for thousands of people (farmers and the like). But just suppose, somehow, ithappened . Could this have stopped the attack? Once again: no. All legal methods would be closed to him, so he would be forced to seek illegal methods.

    Cunningham said:

    "In many European countries, for example, it’s impossible to get a gun without getting involved in very murky dealings with a small and ruthless underworld. A college kid with a big chip on his shoulder and a small brain would most likely lose his money and possibly also his life before getting his hands on one."

    This is untrue. In any major British city, you can pick up an illegal gun in a pub with just a few hours searching (it takes waaaay longer to get one legally). The prices aren’t far off the pre-ban market price either. I live in a small town, not even a city, and I’ve been offered illegal guns for sale (the bloke overheard me talking about guns and assumed I was into illegal stuff :/).

    But you need not even buy a gun. You can just make one. http://www.thehomegunsmith.com contains plans for a 9mm submachinegun. It can be made using British Standard Pipe fittings with just hand tools with a couple of days work. Guns are not nuclear bombs. Machinegun technology is over a hundred years old and incredibly simple. An SMG is literally just concentric tubes with a spring and a trigger.

    In Pakistan and the Philippines, children in pre-industrial conditions make near exact copies of western and soviet weapons by melting down pots.

    Anybody who wants a gun, can get one, no matter what the law says.

    Now, at this point some people may say "ok, so criminals might be able to get guns, but it you let ordinary people have guns they end up killing people when they get angry". Well, firstly that’s notrelevant here as this guy did not just get angry, pull out a gun and cap some people. He planned this a long time in advance. Time enough to illegally make/buy a gun. Secondly, I could refute the idea completely but that would get away from the issue.

    In conclusion, no law I can conceive of could have stopped this man getting a gun. Even if guns vanished from the face of the earth, and all knowledge of how to construct themdisappeared, there’s still bombs, swords, axes, petrol etc etc etc. Harold Shipman killed more people than any gunman, over 200, and he never even touched a firearm.

    Laws are NOT the answer.

    So how can these killings be prevented? Some killings will always occur. It is the nature of being human. However, many killings can be avoided and this is such a killing. If every other student carried a gun, it would not have happened, it’s as simple as that.

    Gun ownership is not the sole answer to preventing murder, there are issues of policing, prosecution, sentencing, education, culture, family, poverty etc, but it is an important element, and perhaps the most elementary.

  78. Apologies for the poor spelling and spacing in the above post. It’s late 😛

    I’d also like to mention that I am one of the 750,000 (legal) British gun owners who didn’t kill anyone today. And I’m a college student!

  79. MR

    The Observer on this site is not the same person who posts on Balrog so I fail to see what relevence your "west belfast riff raff" comment has.

    In relation to the post

    My prayers will be with the families of those poor souls.

  80. Great comment, Cynical Lib.

  81. I will concede that gun laws will not stop a spree killer but what they will do is stop the casual killing, the accidental killing and the crimes of passion killers.

    My parents have a place in Arizona and one day two old farts got into an arguement and decided they would meet in the middle of the street with guns blazing! Imagine this scenario happening in church street in Antrim town, no never going to happen because there is not the unfettered access to guns in Antrim. You cant just make an application and as long as youre not crazy in 7 days you have a gun or 2 or 10. Lets think about what could have happened, the average person couldnt hit another person with a hand gun from 100 feet except out of sheir luck. So where do all the bullets go? Why do you think they invented the innocent bystander? So my mother gets shot while baking a cake in her own house in her own kitchen minding her own business! This is a reasonable outcome? Luckily that scenario is all suposition because someone reported them to the police and their guns were taken away and they were forced to leave the complex. But what if they had’nt waited? if they were carrying their firearms like so many of you propose? Don’t you watch your own news there are far more innocent bystanders killed in drive by shootings then intended victims.

    I am not anti-gun I like shooting and hunting, but honestly do you need a 15 shot berreta 9mm to hunt deer with?

    Hand guns serve only 1 purpose and that is too kill people! Therefore less hand guns less dead people!

  82. Oh and what was the big arguement about in my previous post?

    1 old fart had the audacity to accidentally step on the other old farts driveway

  83. Sean, more people are killed in the USA by cars than guns. More people are killed by swimming pools than by bullets. And that’s ALL gun deaths, including suicides and deliberate murders as well as accidents and ‘murder but not of the intended victim’ incidents.

    Handguns serve a number of purposes. One of which being the practice of Olympic sports. But the number one reason for hadguns, like all guns, to exist is to kill people. This is very convenient, because some people need killing.

  84. <Q>The Observer on this site is not the same person who posts on Balrog</Q>

    If that is the case, then I stand corrected Chris.

  85. It is MR

  86. Check Balrog 🙂

  87. What am I looking for?

  88. The apology I posted to the Observer who posts on your site.

  89. more people are killed by guns in the US then killed in Canada in 20

  90. Sean – what % of those killed with guns in both countries are killed with LHWs ?

  91. I disagree with Cynical Libertarian.
    I expect that statistics would probably show (though I haven’t checked them out) that countries with tougher gun control have a lower frequency of gun-related crimes including massacres.

    I agree that there are other cultural and social (and religious?) safeguards as well in such countries which are perhaps lacking in the US. In India we even have an economic safeguard since people are too poor to buy guns. May be the laws, then, are just a reflection of the priorities of the given culture, but I still think they’re quite helpful.

  92. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2005/06/28/gun-deaths050628.html

    the U.S. rate of gun homicide was nearly eight times Canada’s,

    so 8 times the rate multiplied by 10 times as many people there are 80 times as many americans killed with guns then Canadians or there are more americans killed with guns in 1 year then in 80 years in Canada

    those wide open gun laws sure are keeping you safe

  93. Mad I think you will find in both countries most people are killed by legally held weapons

  94. That wasn’t the impression I got from some reading I did a few years ago Sean. A lot of the deaths are drugs and gang related.

    Incidentally – according to the NRA

    "Washington D.C. enacted a virtual ban on handguns in 1976. Between 1976 and 1991, Washington D.C.’s homicide rate rose 200%, while the U.S. rate rose 12%"

    I posted this at 10.55PM

    <Q>This claim that squabbles would become shoot-outs – It doesn’t regularly happen in Switzerland, It doesn’t regularly happen In Israel.

    There no way a country can be made gun free (except for the armed forces) – Even the mandatory death penalty for those found with guns – which was enforced – didn’t work in the Free State.</Q>

  95. Just a curious question: What percentage of gun crimes in the US are committed by my fellow "Asians"? And does anyone argue that students should carry guns to the classroom to defend themselves against such attacks?

  96. Adrian read the responses quite a number of americans view that as a solution

  97. Mad

    the average american shot in his own home in a burgulary are more likely to be shot by their own gun then one brought by the burgular

  98. That doesn’t in any way answer the question Sean.
    What % of Homicides are done with LHWs ?
    I’ve been browsing the Bureau of Justice site.
    I’d imagine Intimate Homicides are more likely to be with LHWs – their numbers have thankfully been falling, and in the cities are less than 10%
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/city.htm

    If most murders are done with LHWs, then stringent gun control laws will probably cause a big reduction – but if not, then stringent control won’t have much effect.

    It’s a sad fact that the world is awash with weaponry – and you cannot get the genie back in the bottle.

  99. Wow you’re right, Sean. I hadn’t read the chilling set of comments in the middle. It’s obvious that what happened at Blacksburg is the quintessential parody of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – since it shows how the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of one person may be incompatible with those of scores of others. I’m beginning to think that mind control rather than gun control is necessary.

  100. Latest reports: It’s a 6 foot tall Chinaman that did it. Not ‘Asian’. They’re eating better over there in China these days, I guess.

    The senior faculty were celebrating last year around this time. The reason? A bill that would have allowed law abiding citizens and faculty to carry sidearms for self protection was defeated.

    Schools are a soft target. That school administration can do nothing more than offer an invocation for the dead tomorrow. That’s all that any school can do, really.

    It’s really terrible – just terrible what happened.

  101. Please let me clarify that the law would have allowed law abiding students and faulty to carry a sidearm ON CAMPUS.

  102. Colm and Sean think they’re in the right on this one, given that they want homicidal gunmen to have relative freedom to kill helpless people, and they want the rest of us to stand no chance against homicidal gunmen, that can’t be true, can it?

    They say something about how they imagine the situation would be worse on account of hundreds of thousands of people shooting each other over minor matters…(1) This, I repeat, is just your imagination and your imagination is not a good enough moral reason to strip everyone of the chance to stop some frenzied nutter from killing them. Which leads us to (2)So you have decided that, based on your own wrong-headed ideas of what people would do, ideas which say more about you than about anyone you could be describing, people’s right to live is affected by how you feel about them. I.e. since you think they would all go crazy if they had guns, they have no right at all to not have some gunman come along and wipe them out, almost as if he was righteously executing them for what they would do – in your mind – if they had the means to stop him. I support gun ownership for self-defence because the lives of other people are worth more than your fevered imaginings. You, in your arrogance, do not.

    People like you are sick, evil, and wrong. That you slur and misrepresent people you’ve never met and could never understand, to try to justify rendering them helpless against violence, makes you more evil, not less.

  103. Happy Rampager

    Has America’s relatively lax gun control laws made Americans less likely to be victims of shootings than other Westerners? . If you seriously believe allowing hundreds of thousands of students to walk around schools carrying guns will reduce that figure even more then you have little understanding of human nature particularly in such envinronments. 32 people tragically died in one incident yesterday , thankfully an extremely rare one but I firmly believe filling schoools with more guns would lead to many many more deaths overall not because think all the students would become ‘crazed’ but because as is the case with any large groups of people all it takes is a small minority to behave without restraint . I have already said above that I have mixed feelings in general about gun control but not in schools I don’t. However I don’t dismiss gun ownership advocates as ‘sick evil and wrong’ To call me that purely because I don’t want to see schools full of people carrying loaded weapons is just bizarre. You are demonstarting a fanatical intolerance for those holding different views to you.

  104. A sad and tragic day. May God bless the victims and their families.

  105. True, Andrew. That should come first of all.

    Hi Colm!
    Absolutely right as usual. You know, Colm, I think you’re one of the few people who actually think before posting their comments and don’t just write what George Bush wants them to write.

    In feudal times people were allowed to carry their own swords. That didn’t mean that there was less fighting those days.

    At the present rate, you’ll soon find seventeenth-century-style duels (or wild west style ones) being legalised in America (or taking place anyway).

  106. Adrian said:

    "I expect that statistics would probably show (though I haven’t checked them out) that countries with tougher gun control have a lower frequency of gun-related crimes including massacres."

    Why are gun murders any worse than regular murders? County A has 10 gun murders a year and 10 regular murders a year. Country B has 5 gun murders a year and 50 regular murders. Where do you wanna live?

    There’s no correlation between murder rate and gun laws. The UK has tough gun control and a low murder rate. Switzerland has lax gun control (a fully automatic assault rifle in every home!) but a low murder rate. The US has lax gun control but a high murder rate. Columbia has tough gun control but a high murder rate.

    Within the US, Washington DC/District of Columbia has the highest murder rate, but the toughest gun control. Vermont has the lowest murder rate but the most lax gun control.

    Colm said:

    "If you seriously believe allowing hundreds of thousands of students to walk around schools carrying guns will reduce that figure even more then you have little understanding of human nature particularly in such envinronments."

    Human nature is to survive. Gun control dosn’t stop mass murderers from getting and using guns, and even if it didn’t this dosn’t stop them from killing large numbers of people. When everyone is armed, mass gun murders simpyl cannot take place because the killer is gunned down before they can do much damage (and thus anybody who is shot can be taken to hospital straight away and probably survive). I don’t know if your disputing that or not, but there it is.

    My understanding is that you’re concerned about things like, for instance, two students getting into an argument and one blowing the other away. Well, in 1987 Florida was the first of many (41) States to allow law abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms for self-defence. There were of course cries that there would be ‘blood in the streets’ and ‘road rage shootings’ and the like. With this in mind, Florida police began to recard all incidents involving concealed carry permit holders. The program (the recording, not the permits) was abandoned in 1992 because there were not enough incidents to justify its existence.

    Following the introduction of this law, the murder rate fell by over a third, but barely changed in the US as a whole. Handgun murders fell by almost half, but rose in the US as a whole.

    Now, I’m not going to say that these changes were definitely and solely the result of the right to carry a gun being introduced. Maybe they were, maybe they wern’t, you just can’t tell. What they do prove (as does Switzerland, Vermont etc) that gun rights and low murder rates are not mutually exclusive.

    If you split the US up by demographics of race, gender, age, income, occupation, religious belief and so on and so forth, concealed carry permit holders are the second least likely to commit homicide (the least likely is ministers).

    In the whole of the US, there has only ever been one shooting by a concealed permit holder following a traffic accident…and it was in self-defence.

    The ‘blood in the streets’ argument never materialised and I don’t see a ‘blood in the schools’ argument materialising either.

    Students may seem immature, heck, I can be immature sometimes. But when I pick up a gun I STOP. Everything changes. People with guns do not generally go looking for trouble, nor do they pull out their guns over petty disputes. The opposite is true in fact, they avoid situations where trouble might arise to make sure they don’t need to ever use, or feel tempted to use, their weapons.

    Not everyone is responsible (though the vast, vast majority of people are when you entrust them with a firearm) but these are the people who would, sooner or later, end up killing someone. Perhaps it’s better they shoot someone at age 18 and be done with it than get into a drink driiving accident at 43 killing five members of an innocent family or some such.

  107. @ Adrian v2.0:

    Actually that is just about right. In Britain, prior to 1920, any man, woman or child could walk into a bicycle shop, hardware shop, ironmongers or department store (or use mail order) and get themselves a military rifle, a machinegun, or a pistol or indeed any other firearm.

    Indeed, firearms were almost as common in Britain as they were in the Old West. On one occasion, the police had lost the guy to their gun cabinet and were thus unable to chase down a group of Armenian terrorists…until numerous passers by pulled their guns out and lent them to the police. Selfridges had an in-store showroom for guns, including many designed especially for concealed carry, and Colt opened a very succesful shop (Oxford street I think) selling their Peacemaker to ordinary Londoners. The prime minister said that he would "laud the day when there was a rifle in every cottage in England." When a bill was proposed to ban pistols, MPs were disgusted and desribed "the idea that any free Englishman should be denied the right to keep and carry a pistol for self-protection is utterly monstrous." You need only read a Sherlock Holmes book to see how commonplace and ‘everday’ firearms were back then. Yet, gun crime was at a far lower rate than today.

    Recent research into the Old West also shows that crime was much rarer than previously thought.

  108. CL,
    To compare Britain with Switzerland is a bit bizarre. One must obviously compare countries with similar urban-rural ratio and similar population densities (and other demographic variables as well). The same goes to Washington DC/Vermont.

    I was going to write something about Victorian style education being necessary and then cancelled it out or rather changed it to "mind control" being more necessary than gun control at 3:30 am. What I’d like to know is why Victorian England saw less gun-crimes than today’s America despite having more guns. Could it have something to do with the education system? May be religion?

  109. Those poor people and I don’t even want to think what their familes are going through right now. Awful, just awful.

  110. Frankly, until we find out more details such as the identity of/if there even was the second shooter, and probably most crucially of all for the evolving debate on this thread *where the shooter got his guns from* (there were two guns and possibly two shooters according to latest reports, though the wire services seem to think they were one and the same now) its all a little moot.

    Oh and Observer, when even Cunningham tells you you are way out of line, that should be a clue that you need to seek mental help of some kind.

    My condolences to the families of the victims.

  111. A horrific event.

    "It’s a 6 foot tall Chinaman that did it. Not ‘Asian’. They’re eating better over there in China these days, I guess."

    Yeah, because he’s probably born in China, right Monica? As opposed to being an American of Chinese descent.

    Being un-PC is the new PC.

  112. Adrian said:

    "CL,
    To compare Britain with Switzerland is a bit bizarre. One must obviously compare countries with similar urban-rural ratio and similar population densities (and other demographic variables as well). The same goes to Washington DC/Vermont."

    Exactly! It’s not the number or legality of guns, but the culture, society etc of human beings that effects the level of crime.

    Adrian said:

    "I was going to write something about Victorian style education being necessary and then cancelled it out or rather changed it to "mind control" being more necessary than gun control at 3:30 am. What I’d like to know is why Victorian England saw less gun-crimes than today’s America despite having more guns. Could it have something to do with the education system? May be religion?"

    See above 😉

  113. Dan,

    He got on a plane from Shanghai on a student visa last August. How many six foot Chinese have you met lately? See, Monica made her little joke based on her possession of *the facts* instead of, say, an inability to debate without accusing people of racism?

    See, we would call someone of Oriental descent born in the US an ‘American’. Its only the likes of you that feels the need to use phrases like ‘Chinese-American’ and single US citizens out on ethnic grounds.

    Not much fun coming back at you is it?

  114. Human nature is to survive. Gun control dosn’t stop mass murderers from getting and using guns, and even if it didn’t this dosn’t stop them from killing large numbers of people. When everyone is armed, mass gun murders simpyl cannot take place because the killer is gunned down before they can do much damage (and thus anybody who is shot can be taken to hospital straight away and probably survive). I don’t know if your disputing that or not, but there it is.

    I am very much disputing that! People who are armed in situations like that are far more likely to do more harm then good because its human nature to panic as well. Its one thing to sit in a shooting gallery and plink away at paper targets , quite another to stand up when someone is shooting back! even people who have been trained by the military and police sometimes panic and thats just what this situation needed 15 people indiscriminately firing guns instead of just 1. You seem to have this idea if every one was armed some one would have casually stepped up and blow him away, get real!

    Besides the gunman commited suicide, which says he was more than willing to die when he started this rampage so other people carrying guns would have not been a deterent. How does he manage to hit so many when I say other people wouldnt have? Simple people in that state willing to kill indiscriminately are usually calm and measured, they are wild man foaming at the mouth running through the halls screaming. I am willing to bet he walked calmy from class to class or down the hallway more like a robot. he would have hit almost everyone he was aiming at not because he was a remarkable shot but because he had no fear of death his hand would not have wavered.

    This all comes down to access to guns and if you want less murders you need less guns.

    #24 United States: 0.042802 per 1,000 people
    #44 Canada: 0.0149063 per 1,000 people
    46 United Kingdom: 0.0140633 per 1,000 people

    lets ignore the gun murder rate being 8 times higher in the US then Canada look at these statistics.

    the murder rate in the US is almost 3 times higher than Canada and more than 3 times higher than the UK.

    why is that?

    and Monica that 6 foot chinese man crack is racist but not even smart racism as its the Japanese that are noted for being short not the Chinese I know several near 6 foot tall chinese

  115. I’d rather take my chances with a gun than without.

  116. Sean. I dont believe you can call that racism. Racism is the belief that one race is superior to another, a form of hatred. Making a jibe like that is stereotyping not racism.

  117. >>Within the US, Washington DC/District of Columbia has the highest murder rate, but the toughest gun control. Vermont has the lowest murder rate but the most lax gun control.<<

    Cynical Libertarian, did you make this up to suit your argument or have you some source for this claim. I suggest that no sane person should believe it (or, by extention, you). Try to prove me wrong.

  118. Cynical Libertarian,
    I’m glad you and I agree that the prevalent culture in certain parts of the world contributes more towards gun-related crime than the mere physical possession of guns.

    However, that doesn’t stop me thinking that there are certain cultures in which gun control is helpful in controlling crime, America possibly being one of them.

  119. Noel – according to the NRA :

    "Washington D.C. enacted a virtual ban on handguns in 1976. Between 1976 and 1991, Washington D.C.’s homicide rate rose 200%, while the U.S. rate rose 12%"

    There are a lot of charts and stats on this site

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/

  120. Cynical Libertarian, did you make this up to suit your argument or have you some source for this claim. I suggest that no sane person should believe it (or, by extention, you). Try to prove me wrong

    No I believe thats a fairly accurate statement Cunningham but all it really means is that Washingtonians are going to Vermont to buy their guns

    Sean. I dont believe you can call that racism. Racism is the belief that one race is superior to another, a form of hatred. Making a jibe like that is stereotyping not racism

    Stereo typing and racism are obverse sides of the same Coin

  121. You are demonstarting a fanatical intolerance for those holding different views to you.

    No, I am demonstrating an admirably reasonable intolerance to people like you who want to arrange matters so that psychos have total confidence that they can shoot and kill as many people as they want without any of those people being able to stop him. Virginia Tech bragged about how very convenient psychos were going to find it to come to their campus and kill people until they got sick of it. People like YOU make school shootings possible, RISK-FREE, and convenient for psycho shooters. People like YOU made what happened at Virginia Tech possible. That’s why, as much as you might hate it, you will just have to accept that the ‘sick evil and wrong’ label is 100% accurate.

  122. Pistol Pete Moore: Part of effective gun control is regulation. It is illegal in Virginia for cops use certain undercover tactics in dealing with gundealers, cops in the US can’t even share ballistics info without undergoing timewasting procedures and you could probably buy an AK-47 no questions asked in Virginia (even today). We need some sanity here.

  123. People like YOU make school shootings possible, RISK-FREE, and convenient for psycho shooters

    I live in Canada, everyday is risk free and convenient for pscho shooters. So then it must follow that every day we have atleast 1 psycho shooter incident right? Hmm doesnt happen I wonder why?

  124. Sean said:

    "People who are armed in situations like that are far more likely to do more harm then good because its human nature to panic as well. Its one thing to sit in a shooting gallery and plink away at paper targets , quite another to stand up when someone is shooting back! even people who have been trained by the military and police sometimes panic and thats just what this situation needed 15 people indiscriminately firing guns instead of just 1."

    I’m not aware of any incident ever where a CCW holder has missed his attacker and killed an innocent instead. I am aware, however, of numerous cases of people succesfully defending themselves with guns when they had never even touched a gun before. There’s CCTV footage of a female store clerk doing this somewhere if you’re interested.

    If armed resistence is a bad thing, why do we have cops? If there was another mass murderer rampaging through a school should the cops just sit tight and wait for him to kill everyone? And, as you say, cops don’t have some Jedi-like mastery over firearms. Ordinary CCW holders are invariably better combat shooters than ordianary police officers because they practice so much.

    "You seem to have this idea if every one was armed some one would have casually stepped up and blow him away, get real!"

    Perhaps not casually, but otherwise yes. Why would this not be the case? People defend themselves with firearms every day, around one million times a year. Indeed, in 1997 a sixteen year old boy stabbed his mother to death and went to school with a rifle. Principal Joel Myrick ran to his car as the shooting was going on a returned with is .45 caliber pistol. He shot the attacker in the leg, disabling him until police arrived. In the time it took him to reach his car and return, nine students were shot, two of whom died (since the attacker was taken out, ambulances were able to come and get the injured, unlike in most cases where police do not know if the attacker has killed himself or not and wait long enough for the victims to die of blood loss etc until allowing paramedics in). The Principal’s gun was not carried on his person because this was illegal. Had he been able to carry it in a holster, it might well be that nobody was killed at all.

    "Besides the gunman commited suicide, which says he was more than willing to die when he started this rampage so other people carrying guns would have not been a deterent."

    Of course they would. His objective was to kill as many people as possible. You can’t kill many people if they fight back. Even if he was totally stupid and attacked anyway, we might only have four or five or even zero people dead instead of 32 (excluding the attacker).

    "#24 United States: 0.042802 per 1,000 people
    #44 Canada: 0.0149063 per 1,000 people
    46 United Kingdom: 0.0140633 per 1,000 people"

    Rather selective choices there…you’ll notice that all of the nations with higher murder rates than the USA have stricter gun laws than it! You’ll also see that Switzerland, with a machinegun in every home, has the second lowest murder rate in the world. You might also be unaware that the gun murder rate has rissen continuously since the first gun laws were introduced. Indeed, since the 1988 SLR ban, gun murders have increased by ONE THOUSAND percent. Since the 1997 handgun ban, handgun murders have doubled. Britain does have a low murder rate, but Britain has always had a low murder rate and indeed the rate was lower before gun control than after it.

    Sean said:

    "the murder rate in the US is almost 3 times higher than Canada and more than 3 times higher than the UK.

    why is that?"

    America had a high murder rate before gun control. After some gun control, it still has a high murder rate. Britain had a low murder rate before gun control. Britain has a higher (but still low) murder rate after gun control. Thus, the reason for the difference is not the difference in laws, the laws had no effect at best, and a negative one at worst. As I’ve said previously, numerous factors such as poverty, education, culture etc etc are the primary reasons for the differences in murder rates.

    Cunningham said:

    "Cynical Libertarian, did you make this up to suit your argument or have you some source for this claim. I suggest that no sane person should believe it (or, by extention, you). Try to prove me wrong."

    I certainly did not. Washington DC has a total ban on firearms. In 2005, Washington DC had 35.4 murders per 100,000 people. Vermont has no state gun laws. In 2005, Vermont had 1.3 murders per 100,000 people. Britain has a near total prohibition on firearms. In the year spanning 2004/5, Britain had just over 1.4 murders per 100,000 people. That’s slightly higher than Vermont, with no gun laws, and around 23 times lower than Washington DC, with even stricter gun control.

    All US statistics courtesy of the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. UK statistics courtesy of the Home Office.

    Sean said:

    "No I believe thats a fairly accurate statement Cunningham but all it really means is that Washingtonians are going to Vermont to buy their guns"

    Perhaps they are. But it’s still a crime to bring a gun in to Washington DC. The criminals, unsuprisingly, ignore the law. Suppose Washington DC was the only country in the world, would the flow of guns stop? No. As I’ve explained, if criminals can’t buy guns, they make them (criminal gun factories and workshops have been uncovered across the UK). Not that this is a very helpful scenario as Washington DC is not an island. If Vermont were to ban guns they could just import them from elsewhere.

    Mahons said:

    "you could probably buy an AK-47 no questions asked in Virginia (even today)."

    Incorrect. An AK47 is a Class III weapon under federal law. Any built after 1986 are illegal for non-military/law enforcement. Those built prior to 1986 require a rigorous background check taking up to two years and a $200 tax stamp. Due to this limited supply, an AK47 costs about $17,000 plus tax stamp (and of course the two year waiting period).

    Sean, are you American? If so, it’s quite ironic that there’s me, a Brit, supporting gun ownership, and you, an American, supporting gun control 😛

  125. CL – Sean is an American with an inferiority complex – to wit, a Canadian 😉

  126. Now, now, Mad. Canada serves America quite well. Our entire country would slide further south, except for the fact that Canada sucks. 😉

    (admit it Sean, that’s a good one!)

  127. CL, your statistics are very selective – and in some cases plain wrong. Vermont has a low murder rate, but so has every other New England state and – yes – some with tougher gun laws have a lower murder rate than Vermont, despite what you claimed to the contrary.

    Alone in the US; Washington DC is an almost total urban state, and as such can hardly be compared to rural Vermont or in fact to any other state in the Union.

    Prior to this latest tragedy, the biggest firearm murder spree and the biggest school shooting both took place in Texas, a country with relatively lax gun control laws.

    The example of Switzerland is also misleading. The weapons there are government-issue, all male citizens ar obliged to keep a gun at home as part of national defence. They cannot carry them around without a license, and licenses are issued only to people involved in security etc.

    However, you are right when you say that social and cultural factors have a greater influence on the crime and murder rates than gun laws.

  128. Very good point Sean about why Canada doesn’t have the massacres the US does. Does ‘the Happy Rampager’ have an answer to that. It is a fact that the US has far more gun deaths proportionaly than countries like Canada and the US . Does supporting the gun culture that leads to more deaths make you ‘Sick evil and wrong’ Mr Rampager ?

  129. { Very good point Sean about why Canada doesn’t have the massacres the US does. Does ‘the Happy Rampager’ have an answer to that. }

    But Canada does have massacres, there was an attempted massacre in Montreal only a few months ago. They are rarer than in the united States but given the population difference you wouldn’t expect there to be more than one tenth of the US figure.

  130. Mad I am an Canadian with a superiority complex to wit not an american

  131. Ross it wasnt an attempted massacre it was one just on a much smaller scale with a rifle because the psycho couldnt get a hand gun

  132. But Sean you must admit Charles’ joke was quite good, even if it was at Canada’s expense 🙂

  133. Noel – remember – this maniac broke the law by taking the guns on campus. So the point about Switzerland and licenses is invalid.

    Let’s remember that this was an adult who carried out this horrific crime. Every adult male in Switzerland has easy access to more firepower than this adult male in Virginia.

    I’ll also point to Israel where Young Adult male Israelis have easy access to weaponry. Crimes like what happened at Virginia tech don’t happen there either.

  134. Sean,
    A Canadian is an American. Don’t forget that. Most of North America is currently under Canadian occupation.

  135. Marc Lepine, Montreal, 1989. Killed 14 female students at Montreal’s École Polytechnique.

  136. I’d like to throw something into the mix for discussion

    The media and the movie industry – do they have a role in this sort of behaviour ?

    I watched natural Born Killers a few days ago for the first time. As well as direct influences on disturbed people, Could films like this and, for example, ‘Kill Bill’ have a subliminal effect ?

    Ditto the pervasive media presentation of violence ?

  137. Something else to Ponder :

    There was an attempted Massacre in The Appalachian Law School 2002 –

    http://www.aei.org/publications/pubID.13550,filter.all/pub_detail.asp

    which was stopped because two students HAD GUNS IN THEIR CARS.

  138. I just think it’s too complex to try an rationalise such crazed maniacal behaviour down to blaming a specific legal framework or culture. It is too simplistic to claim that if all had guns it wouldn’t have happened just as it is equally fanciful to believ greater stricter gun control would prevent these incidents. Yes I have stated above that i cannot see how allowing students to hold loaded guns on campus would be at all beneficial in reducing gun killings overall but neither do I feel confident enough to claim a simple solution on either side of the gun control fence is possible.

  139. Colm,

    "neither do I feel confident enough to claim a simple solution on either side of the gun control fence is possible. "

    I agree – in the absence of any real evidence either way it would be reasonable to assume gun control or gun availability makes no difference at all in the long run.

  140. Colm – as pointed out, one of the things about the Gun issue is that the reporting is skewed.

    <Q>In all, 72, stories described how the attacker was stopped without mentioning that the student heroes had guns.

    Unfortunately, the coverage in this case was not unusual. In the other public school shootings where citizens with guns have stopped attacks, rarely do more than one percent of the news stories mention that citizens with guns stopped the attacks.

    Many people find it hard to believe that research shows that there are 2 million defensive gun uses each year. After all, if these events were really happening, wouldn’t we hear about them on the news? But when was the last time you saw a story on the national evening news (or even the local news) about a citizen using his gun to stop a crime? </Q>

    Think of the Middle East – how many times have you read of a terrorist going on the rampage before being stopped by an armed citizen ?

  141. >> surely all it exposes is Americas, (not all of them, mind), penchant for violence. especially as a means to solving problems that most people anywhere else in the world manage to solve passively<<

    Like the Irish?

  142. MR, if a lunatic killer with a gun really needs to kill, and assuming the gun-detriment effect, then he will walk into a kindergarten or a hospital or a monastery. Availability of guns will not stop killers. There have been firearm massacres in Texas and – yes – in Switzerland too.

  143. <Q>mad, why not just cut out the inevitable arms race and give all the students MP5s and a few grenades. they could also travel in a tank.</Q>

    Daytripper – Appalachian Law School 2002.

  144. "some with tougher gun laws have a lower murder rate than Vermont, despite what you claimed to the contrary."

    On investigating further, I found that North Dakota has a slightly lower murder rate than Vermont. North Dakota actually has very lax gun laws. In North Dakota you can buy a rifle, shotgun or handgun without a background check or waiting period. You can carry a concealed handgun, with a ‘shall issue’ permit. You can buy machineguns, SBRs, SBSs and supressors.

    Is there another state with a lower rate that I missed? If not then, I correct my statement: Vermont has the second lowest murder rate in the US, with no state gun laws – the lowest rate being in North Dakota with very few state gun laws.

    "Alone in the US; Washington DC is an almost total urban state, and as such can hardly be compared to rural Vermont or in fact to any other state in the Union."

    This is true. So surely the conclusion must be that urban enviroments cause crime, not guns?

    For a more direct comparison, we have Maryland. Also a New England state. Maryland has some of the toughest gun laws in the USA, yet a murder rate of 9.9, the third highest in the United State.

    "Prior to this latest tragedy, the biggest firearm murder spree and the biggest school shooting both took place in Texas, a country with relatively lax gun control laws."

    And the biggest murder in the US happened in New York, with gun laws almost as tough as Washington DC. They used box cutters, and killed nearly 3,000 people. Ban box cutters?

    "The example of Switzerland is also misleading. The weapons there are government-issue"

    So? (in reference to the second sentence) Perhaps because the State actually trusts them, they are able to act more maturely than people in places like the UK?

    "all male citizens ar obliged to keep a gun at home as part of national defence."

    A prudent measure.

    "They cannot carry them around without a license, and licenses are issued only to people involved in security etc."

    Not quite true. Military issue weapons can be carried around in public. Non-military weapons (of which there are many) require a permit to carry in public. SOME cantons only issue these to security staff, others issue to ordinary people. A friend of my uncle has such a permit. Also, the Swiss have a reputation (in my experience) to peacably ignore the law (or are just totally oblivious to those laws). Shooting is the national sport, and plenty of Swiss carry their guns loaded and holstered to and from the range (as opposed to unloaded in a locked case as would be the case in the UK). Of course, what makes you think that security staff won’t murder people, but office workers will?

    Hunting weapons can be bought without any restriction, other guns require only a permit (once you’ve got the permit, you can buy what you like). Such permits cannot be refused unless you are a convicted criminal or insane (so basically the same as the US at the federal level).

    The truth is that every home in Switzerland has a machinegun and ammunition in it yet they have the second lowest murder rate in the world. No matter how you spin that, it proves guns do not have to mean murder.

  145. Noel – if you were in a room and a lunatic with a gun walked in and started shooting would you rather be armed or unarmed?

    Taking away LHWs will not stop massacres. the world is awash with illegal weapons. Guns are easily enough made.

    The obvious counter argument for you – if this Lunatic had not been able to have obtained guns, what was to stop him doing a Timothy McVeigh?

  146. Sean said:

    "Ross it wasnt an attempted massacre it was one just on a much smaller scale with a rifle because the psycho couldnt get a hand gun"

    Rifles are far deadlier than handguns. The killer in question used a Beretta CX4. It, like many rifles, fires the same ammunition as a pistol, but at a higher velocity due to the increased barrel length (which allows the gases from the burning propellent to act on the bullet for longer thus increasing its velocity and killing power). It is semi-automatic, just like a handgun, and holds the same number of rounds as many handguns. It’s more accurate because of the longer barrel and higher velocity, and also because of the stabling effect of the stock and the much better sights. In mass shootings, concealability is hardly an issue.

    A note on ammunition: handgun ammunition, even out of a rifle, is much less deadly than proper rifle ammunition – just in case you got the idea that handgun ammunition is worse somehow.

  147. RE: Virginia Massacre
    News is coming out of the scripts that the shooter wrote and the violence in them. In one of the scripts, the song by Guns ‘n Roses "Mr Brownstone" is quoted. Has anyone else seen the eerie parallelism of the lyrics in the second stanza of this song- "The show usually starts around seven, we go on stage around nine…." to the timeline of the actual events?
    As I was reading through the scripts online and came to this, I got chills.

  148. "Wherever there are even a few people with big hang-ups (i.e. everywhere) and where guns are readily available, there will inevitably be this kind of massacre"
    – Monday, April 16, 2007 at 08:21PM | Cunningham

    "However, you are right when you say that social and cultural factors have a greater influence on the crime and murder rates than gun laws."
    – Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 09:39PM | Cunningham

    Glad you got there in the end.

  149. CL while rifles are far more deadly from a distance they are nearly useless upclose and almost impossible to fire effectively with one hand… unless you are Rambo

  150. That was a pretty good joke Charles but let me try one

    One day God was walking past the Pearly gates with a rather self satisfied grin on his face. As could be expected this peaked St. Peters attention so he called god over and asked him why he was smirking. God could hardly contain himself and burst out with his story to Peter.

    I have just been and invented a brand new country, it has majestic mountain, sparkling rivers, lakes teeming with fish, huge deposits of natural resources, clean air and beautiful scenery!

    Well this sets St. Peter back on his heels an he is burning to ask questions but I mean this is after all God and is it right to question god? However he just has to ask the lord about the wisdom of this.

    Lord is it really fair to give one country so much,when so many have to suffer with so little? And what do you call this country?

    God says i call it Canada

    Well Lord is it really fair to give Canada so much and so many others so little

    God stops and thinks, strokes his beard and ponders and finally says

    Wait till you meet their neighbours

  151. Lol Sean! Paybacks are hell aren’t they!

  152. Nothing will bring us the casualties back to life.
    Don’t have too big feelings of sadness, fear or anger, for this may trick you into a thinking sceme the perpetrators aimed to generate within the population, and which was the only reason it even happened.

    So how can we make sure, the people who died in this massacre, didn’t die senseless and for nothing?
    For sure, they wouldn’t have wished their deaths to be used for further evil, but to a more peaceful country and freedom.
    This is why, we need to learn from their deaths as much as possible. A weapon is a tool, that can do harm, but that can also prevent harm and defend. The weapon is not our enemy, but our friend, even if a thousand times as much people would have been killed.
    The weapons are the only thing that still guarantees our liberty.

    The satanic powers behind the perpetrator(s) obviously try to push the nation’s opinion towards a state of mind opposed to fireguns and the right for every free american to carry them. To blame fireguns the most horrible way possible, is the first step and only way that eventually leads to a general forbid.
    That’s the perpetrators goal, and thus we need to be awaken, wise and answer with a single voice, for we shall not fall for their evil targets.

    Don’t fall for the lie, without firearms our country will be safer and more secure. Bear in mind a good meant advise by Benjamin Franklin:
    "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."

    Please remember THE COMING GLORY & DECEIVING SPIRITS:
    "There shall come deceivers among My people in increasing numbers who speak for the truth and shall gain the favour and the hearts of the people."

  153. Sean said:

    "CL while rifles are far more deadly from a distance they are nearly useless upclose"

    Is that why all the SWAT teams and special forces use them?

    Sean coninued:

    "and almost impossible to fire effectively with one hand… unless you are Rambo"

    Why would you want to fire one handed whilst in the process of mass murder?

    The Patriot said:

    "Bear in mind a good meant advise by Benjamin Franklin:
    "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.""

    The quote is actually:

    "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security."

    And is only attributed to Franklin, nobody knows who actually came up with it. The connection to Franklin is that it appeared on the cover of a book, first published in England and later in the USA by Franklin. He didn’t write it, only publish it, but it is possible that he invented the text on the front, we just don’t know.

    ^Not to detract from your good points, just being pedantic 😛

  154. cl how do you propose he opens doors with his tongue ?

    Swat teams only carry rifles as stand off snipers when they enter a building the carry Sub machine guns, shot guns and pistols and they relay through the building in teams which leaves most team members free to use both hands a luxury not available to the lone nut job!

    Besides answer one of my original questions, how do police procede through a building if every one is armed? what if only half are armed? if the encountered an 18 year old girl with a gun would they shoot? would they be justified? how much longer would police have to wait to try and ascertain the security in the building? Would shoot on site be justified?

    guns do not kill people, people with guns kill people

  155. Shooter Cho Seung-Hui
    "He was a South Korean living in the U.S. as a resident alien. He had been in the U.S. since 1992 and held a green card signifying his status as a legal permanent U.S. resident, federal officials said."

  156. I live in Canada, everyday is risk free and convenient for pscho shooters. So then it must follow that every day we have atleast 1 psycho shooter incident right? Hmm doesnt happen I wonder why?

    Doesn’t happen every day in the US either, does it? This kind of incident we’re talking about.

    You’ve failed to rebut my point that making places into ‘come and kill people’ zones means that psychopaths will be able to kill without resistance, without being stopped, and the sort of people who want to support making places ‘come and kill people’ zones in the face of the consequences – as we’ve seen at Virginia Tech – are utterly warped and have no business trying to limit the rights of people to be able to fight back.

    Bottom line, if you support ‘come and kill people’ zones, people’s lives are of a very low priority to you, and every time you assert that your motive for making it difficult for people to protect their safety is ‘their safety’, you are simply lying. Something like this should make you reluctant to advocate making and keeping people relatively helpless, at least it would if you were capable of comprehending it on a human level.

  157. "Please remember THE COMING GLORY & DECEIVING SPIRITS:
    "There shall come deceivers among My people in increasing numbers who speak for the truth and shall gain the favour and the hearts of the people."
    Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 11:27PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Patriot "

    Now which makes you feel safer,
    a) the fact that the guy who wrote that is armed
    b) the Atlantic ocean
    ?

  158. LOLLL!! Frank. A great start to the day.

  159. Frank- if the guy who wrote that is armed would you rather be
    a) unarmed
    b) armed
    ?

  160. I presume Frank, like any sane person, who prefer if neither was armed.

    It has now emerged that the Virginia Tech killer bought the gun legally over the counter in Virginia. If guns were legally unavailable, there is no way a wimp like he could have got his hands on one in the criminal underworld. He would, as I said before, have lost his money and possibly also his life if he’d tried.

    This particular tragedy would not have happened if legal gun purchase was impossible or very strictly controlled.

  161. <Q>I presume Frank, like any sane person, who prefer if neither was armed.</Q>

    I’d love peace and goodwill to reign supreme as well and everybody to chant Desiderata every morning to a background of whale chirpings Noel 🙂 But in real life, there are nuts out there with guns – would you rather face them armed or unarmed?

    Appalachian Law School 2002 – massacre stopped because 2 students had guns.

    It’s wishful thinking that banning LHWs would stop nutters slaughtering people. Timothy McVeigh killed a lot more people without using a single gun.

  162. >>would you rather face them armed or unarmed?<<

    Would you rather both you and the nutter are armed or that neither is armed?
    Would you prefer a society where you, along with all the Chos and Lenny Murphys of the world, can freely obtain firearms?

    Timothy McVeigh is irrelevant. He was part of a larger conspiracy involving people with a strong military background. Not comparable with the VT killer.

    Also, I think again the example of RUC casualties during the Troubles proves that the presence of weapons will not necessarily stop a determined killer. RUC personnel were armed on and off duty, they were well trained in the use of firearms and, most importantly, were in a constant state of vigilance.
    Yet gunmen still managed to murder so many of them during their work and in their homes.
    There is no way you can expect every 18-yr-old college student in the country to be permanently armed and more vigilant than a police officer in a terrorist situation.

  163. Sean said:

    "cl how do you propose he opens doors with his tongue ?"

    Why would he be firing his gun whilst opening a door? Since nobody can see his weapon from the other side of the door, he can open the door and then aim his weapon with both hands. Unlike a SWAT team he’s not bursting into a room of people armed and waiting to shoot back, he’s bursting into a room of unarmed students.

    Sean said:

    "Swat teams only carry rifles as stand off snipers when they enter a building the carry Sub machine guns, shot guns and pistols"

    Submachineguns are just pistol-caliber rifles, like the one used in the Montreal shooting. Shotguns are just smoothbore rifles. But in fact you’re incorrect, many many SWAT teams use rifles for room-clearance etc.

    Like this team from New York:

    http://www.sheriff.us/images/swat.jpg

    Or this one in California:

    http://www.lvpd.org/divisions/detectives/detectives_images/entry_team.jpg

    Most police forces now have rifles for ordinary officers (replacing shotguns in many cases). Here you can see an officer at the VT shooting with one from the trunk of his car:

    http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2007/US/04/16/vtech.shooting/story.police.ap.jpg

    Sean said:

    "Besides answer one of my original questions, how do police procede through a building if every one is armed?"

    If everyone is armed, why would they need to? The shooter would be dead. Even if the shooter maanged to kill every armed student…there’d be nobody armed left so no problem.

    Sean said:

    "how much longer would police have to wait to try and ascertain the security in the building?"

    Much less time because the attacker would be dead. Surviving students would contact police, police would know the threat was gone.

    Cunningham:

    "I presume Frank, like any sane person, who prefer if neither was armed."

    Which will never happen. A physical impossibility.

    Cunningham said:

    "It has now emerged that the Virginia Tech killer bought the gun legally over the counter in Virginia. If guns were legally unavailable, there is no way a wimp like he could have got his hands on one in the criminal underworld. He would, as I said before, have lost his money and possibly also his life if he’d tried."

    So…your basing your argument on the belief that criminals will protect you?

    This guy was a college student. Insane he may have been but stupid he was not. "Show me the gun then I’ll give you the money" would be one solution.

    Or…he could just build one himself as I’ve shown.

    Or use a bomb. Or an axe. Or a sword. Or petrol.

    Cunningham said:

    "Would you rather both you and the nutter are armed or that neither is armed?"

    The latter is a ridiculous and impossible scenario. But let us suppose we have some kind of brain control device which prevents people from picking up weapons. In this case: both armed. When nobody is armed, the physically superior can do as they please.

    "Would you prefer a society where you, along with all the Chos and Lenny Murphys of the world, can freely obtain firearms?"

    Yes.

    "Timothy McVeigh is irrelevant. He was part of a larger conspiracy involving people with a strong military background. Not comparable with the VT killer."

    You can learn bomb building and demolitions from books, the internet…or he could join the army/a demolition company and learn first hand.

    "There is no way you can expect every 18-yr-old college student in the country to be permanently armed and more vigilant than a police officer in a terrorist situation."

    I don’t. But I can expect them to be given the choice, rather than being forcibly disarmed.

  164. >>The latter is a ridiculous and impossible scenario.<<

    Don’t be silly, CL. By "armed", both MR and I obviously meant armed with guns, as you’ll see if you care to look back at the comments.

    >>"Show me the gun then I’ll give you the money" would be one solution.<<

    No, it wouldn’t. The more stringent the law is against guns, the further traffiking is driven underground, and the more risky and difficult, and expensive, it becomes to get one. In your scenarios, let’s say in some lonely place outside town, the dealer would still walk away with both the weapons and the money.

    >>But I can expect them to be given the choice<<

    The point of the gun-deterrent argument is that all people do actually carry them at all times (otherwise the killer will simply wait for a "gun-free zone", remember?) and also maintain such a high level of vigillance at all times. The vast majority of people cannot and do not wish to live like that.

    As long as there are psychopaths like Chou in a place where guns are easily available, there will be such murder sprees.

  165. Sad and so very tragic. Jesper, Denmark.

  166. CL
    If everyone is armed, why would they need to? The shooter would be dead. Even if the shooter maanged to kill every armed student…there’d be nobody armed left so no problem

    Much less time because the attacker would be dead. Surviving students would contact police, police would know the threat was gone.

    How would the police determine that the shooter was dead? Would they take the word of the first person they encounter? who’s to say the first person they encounter is not the shooter or the shooters accomplice? Lets not forget Columbine had 2 shooters so what if 1 is a sleeper left to start up the rampage when the other 1 goes down? Lets not forget madness knows no end to genious.

    What happens if 3 armed students in 3 different class rooms hear gunshots, they all draw their weapons and go into the hallway? WHo would you shoot? in theory there are 4 armed people standing in the hall way and 3 out of 4 have no idea who the shooter is? do they just start pot shotting everything moving? Arming every one is the stupidest solution possible

    As for the "they target gun free zones" arguement that is the silliest thing ever. The people who go on these rampages target groups of people they view as having done them wrong. No unarmed groups just groups. In the Mark Lepine incident in Canada he specifically targeted female engineering students becaus he felt they had taken "his" spot in the engineering school so he was seeking revenge. I am sure the ffreak in this story also specifically targetted the engineering school for some mostly imagined slight that may never be brought to light.

    They maybe crazy spree killers but they are usually highly focused and target specific groups usually for reasons only known to them

  167. Please answer the question Noel – given that nutters will always be able to arm themselves with something – even a home made gun or a knife – would you rather face them armed or unarmed ?

    Please address what happened at the Appalachian school in 2002.

    <Q>Also, I think again the example of RUC casualties during the Troubles proves that the presence of weapons will not necessarily stop a determined killer. RUC personnel were armed on and off duty, they were well trained in the use of firearms and, most importantly, were in a constant state of vigilance.
    Yet gunmen still managed to murder so many of them during their work and in their homes.</Q>

    The IRA would have murdered a damned sight more of then if they had been unarmed – including a friend of mine who was ambushed. His guns saved his life.

    <Q>There is no way you can expect every 18-yr-old college student in the country to be permanently armed and more vigilant than a police officer in a terrorist situation.</Q>

    Straw men – NOBODY had advocated the arming of every 18 year old college student.

    And the Appalachian incident destroys your argument – at least I had the good grace to acknowledge the Asian BNP candidate.

  168. <Q>As long as there are psychopaths like Chou in a place where guns are easily available, there will be such murder sprees.</Q>

    According to Sean guns are not easily available in Canada – yet Marc Lepine killed 14 women in JUST such a murder spree.

  169. I’m with Mad on this. (surprise!) Having uni campusus become liberal created gun free zones is just an invitation to nutters to turn them into slaughter zones. BTW, never owned a gun in my life.

  170. That was before we tightened up our gun laws and again he used a rifle not a hand gun imagine if he had a hand gun and was free to swing it any direction he wanted there well might have been a lot more deaths

  171. As for the "they target gun free zones" arguement that is the silliest thing ever. The people who go on these rampages target groups of people they view as having done them wrong. No unarmed groups just groups. In the Mark Lepine incident in Canada he specifically targeted female engineering students becaus he felt they had taken "his" spot in the engineering school so he was seeking revenge. I am sure the ffreak in this story also specifically targetted the engineering school for some mostly imagined slight that may never be brought to light.

  172. I think the real key to this story is the 2 people he shot first early in the morning whatever happened between the 3 of them thats what sparked the rampage

  173. Sean – this rifle vs handgun thing does not make sense.
    Unless the shootings were from a yard or so away, a rifle is plenty manoeuvrable and is in many ways more deadly – more accurate for starters. Carbines, folding stocks etc.

  174. >>even a home made gun or a knife – would you rather face them armed or unarmed ?<<

    Of course in that situation I would prefer to be armed. But becuase the situation is rather unlikely for me (although I don’t trust that DSD fella!), I see no need to carry a gun all my life on the off-chance that it may occur. Basically, the risks from always carrying a gun make a – inadvertent – killing much more likely than if you never have one and face only the extreme unlikelihood of meeting a killer.

    I presume you see things the same. If you didn’t, you would be carrying a gun now.

    I hadn’t heard of the Appalachian incident. But what argument does it destroy? If you mean it shows that there should always be some armed people around – correct me if I’m wrong – that will again mean many, many more guns in untrained hands. It’s impossible to quantify the lives saved by killers being scared of facing armed men, but I think on balance more people would be killed – accidents, tempers – in such a society than in one where guns are totally outlawed and there is only a very occasional murder spree.

    Obviously during the Troubles potential targets had to be armed. I mentioned the RUC example just to show that even a vigillant and well-trained armed man can’t always protect even his own life. So the Appalachian case cannot be a general rule. Those armed students just happened to see the killer and happened to have time to react effectively, etc.. Having armed people permanently on campus (how many would there have to be?) and in every other place where people congregate would create a whole new set of risks and still wouldn’t guarantee safety from attack.

  175. <Q>Of course in that situation I would prefer to be armed.</Q>

    Thank You.

    Do you disagree with armed air marshalls ?

    Off for a snooze now – also – God help the killer’s parents – they must be devastated.

  176. Last point – You cannot totally outlaw guns. They have legitimate civilian uses. And no matter how draconian the laws, you cannot force people to stay unarmed – de Valera had people carrying unauthorised arms executed – that didn’t work.

  177. Cunningham said:

    "Don’t be silly, CL. By "armed", both MR and I obviously meant armed with guns, as you’ll see if you care to look back at the comments."

    I was talking about guns too. Feel free to draw up some legislation which will actually prevent people from making guns out of piping, as is quite possible (and easy).

    Cunningham said:

    "No, it wouldn’t. The more stringent the law is against guns, the further traffiking is driven underground, and the more risky and difficult, and expensive, it becomes to get one. In your scenarios, let’s say in some lonely place outside town, the dealer would still walk away with both the weapons and the money."

    Then how do criminals ever get guns in countries like the UK? Surely they’d all get killed trying to buy them and we’d have no crime. I mean, if a criminal is buying a gun, he must be unarmed, whilst the seller is armed so it wouldn’t matter how ‘hard’ the buyer is, the seller could just rob him. But this dosn’t happen (how many instances can you find where somebody was murdered whilst trying to buy an illegal gun, with the only motive being robbery?) becuase it’s bad for business. The seller is much more likely to get arrested if he goes around murdering people, and much less likely to get returning customers or reccomendations if he kills everyone. Why would he rob violent people who want to buy illegal guns when he could rob old ladies?

    Cunningham said:

    "The point of the gun-deterrent argument is that all people do actually carry them at all times (otherwise the killer will simply wait for a "gun-free zone", remember?) and also maintain such a high level of vigillance at all times."

    Um…no it’s not. I certainly never said that. The point of the gun deterrent argument is that nobody knows exactly who has a gun. Some people may choose to ‘open carry’, others may choose to ‘concealed carry’ (most people who carry choose to conceal btw), and some may choose to not carry at all. If you don’t want to carry, that’s your choice in my opinion, just like smoking, eating fatty foods or driving a car without airbags. And you don’t need to have super Spydie senses to know when a crazed madman is shooting at you…

    Cunningham said:

    "The vast majority of people cannot and do not wish to live like that."

    They’re welcome not to.

    Cunningham said:

    "As long as there are psychopaths like Chou in a place where guns are easily available, there will be such murder sprees."

    True. Guns are easily available in any location with metal to hand so that’s just about everywhere. Of course it’s equally true that "there will always be mass murder sprees" even if we could deinvent the firearm.

    Sean said:

    "How would the police determine that the shooter was dead?"

    Multiple eye witness reports plus going in and seeing the body should do it.

    Sean said:

    "Would they take the word of the first person they encounter?"

    No, they’d keep the possibility in mind that they were lying or mistaken.

    Sean said:

    "who’s to say the first person they encounter is not the shooter or the shooters accomplice?""

    Nobody? That’s why everyone is a suspect until they get all the eyewitness reports in.

    Sean said:

    "What happens if 3 armed students in 3 different class rooms hear gunshots, they all draw their weapons and go into the hallway?"

    I guess you’ve never taken a CCW class because that’s not what happens. You don’t draw until there is an immediate threat to your life. You stay put. You yourself have identified this problem, surely you didn’t need a class for you to figure this out.

    Sean said:

    "As for the "they target gun free zones" arguement that is the silliest thing ever."

    How many mass (i.e. multiple non-targeted) shootings have there been worldwide in the past 10 years (excluding war zones of course)? How many of those were in gun-free zones?

    Sean said:

    "In the Mark Lepine incident in Canada he specifically targeted female engineering students becaus he felt they had taken "his" spot in the engineering school so he was seeking revenge."

    They also happened to be in a gun-free zone.

    It’s true that people generally target people who they feel have done them wrong in mass kilings (though not always – Hungerford massacre for instance was totally random). However, they also almost always target people in gun free zones because it allows them to actually do what they want to do: kill.

    Sean said:

    "imagine if he had a hand gun and was free to swing it any direction he wanted there well might have been a lot more deaths"

    Have you ever actually used a rifle and handgun because it certainly sounds like you have not. Pistols are less less effective than rifles, both in indoor and outdoor situations. But don’t take my word for it. When soldiers in Iraq clear houses, they don’t switch to their pistols, they stick with their rifles. SWAT teams and police almost always choose to use long guns over handguns (and even when they use handguns it’s usually because they have no choice of weapon).

    Cunningham said:

    "Of course in that situation I would prefer to be armed."

    Good to know 🙂

    "But becuase the situation is rather unlikely for me (although I don’t trust that DSD fella!), I see no need to carry a gun all my life on the off-chance that it may occur."

    That’s fine. Nobody is trying to force you to. But a lot of people would appreciate the choice.

    "Basically, the risks from always carrying a gun make a – inadvertent – killing much more likely than if you never have one and face only the extreme unlikelihood of meeting a killer."

    I asked this a while back but nobody answered: how many incidents can you find of a CCW holder accidentally shooting someone in public?

  178. MR,

    "Frank- if the guy who wrote that is armed would you rather be
    a) unarmed
    b) armed
    ?"

    Honestly, if anyone at all is going to have a gun then my gut instinct is I want one first.

    But I can live with being unarmed, as long as I’m somewhere else 🙂

    But really this doesn’t figure very high in my everyday risk assessment. I don’t think I’m very likely to encounter somebody armed (they might have a knife I guess or a bat or something), and if I did I don’t think my being armed would really be very likely to make a difference to the outcome and might even make things worse. The closest I’ve come to death this week is when I monopolised a narrow road to annoy a cabbie who tried to cut me up on my bike, and I’m definitely glad he wasn’t armed. 🙂

  179. Frank: Was McCann driving that cab?

  180. Mahons, haha!! No no no, you can tell it is him when the incessant beep! beep! beep! rings out into the night.

    I’m sure those kids will still be speaking of the beep! beep! beep! during expensive therapy sessions in years to come.

  181. Sean said:

    "In the Mark Lepine incident in Canada he specifically targeted female engineering students becaus he felt they had taken "his" spot in the engineering school so he was seeking revenge."

    They also happened to be in a gun-free zone.

    All of Canada is considered a gun free zone

  182. Um, should I say thanks for proving my point?