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2007 April 18 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Guns For Every One

Badtux looks at arming students. [This happens to you when you are testing multiple frozen pizzas.]

Here’s the deal, if you aren’t ready to kill someone, having a gun is worthless. Not everyone is afraid of guns, you need to be able to honestly say that you can pull the trigger and take another life, or don’t own a gun. Guns are dangerous by design.

All of these people who claim that if the students or faculty were armed, it would have changed the outcome are delusional. It was one guy and no one tried to hit him with a chair. No one turned a fire hose on him. No one attacked him with any of the many things that will kill a human being that are readily available in a classroom. He was the only one with a killer instinct in the building.

Guns are tools, not mystical, magical devices that imbue those who hold them with knowledge, courage, and power. Cops carry guns 24/7 and are still killed. The same for the military. Having a gun that you can’t or won’t use is stupid and could get you killed…with your own gun. You would be dead and embarrassed.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I suspect that the people who are cheerleading for everyone to have guns wouldn’t be anxious to run towards the sound of gunfire.

Update: This isn’t about courage.  A number of people sacrificed their own lives to protect others.  They weren’t capable of killing, but they certainly had all of the courage there is in the world.

April 18, 2007   17 Comments

The Media Becomes The Story

Between killing two people in the dorm and 30 in the class building, Cho Seung-Hui dropped by the Post Office and sent a package to NBC News with his disjointed thoughts on paper and DVDs.

He identified himself as “Ishmael” on the package and had “Ismael Ax” on his arm when found.

My wild guess from what little I read is that he may have meant “Ismael Ach”, of the tribe of Ismael, referring to not to Arabs, but to the novel, Ishmael by Daniel Quinn which deals with how messed up the world is.

Unfortunately he didn’t learn that you have to get elected before you get to change the world by killing a lot of innocent people.

April 18, 2007   4 Comments

As I Said

To Quote myself: “The brain has a nasty habit of blocking things people don’t want to remember and adding things to make a ‘better’ story.”

Melissa at Shakesville notes that we now know the first woman killed was not the shooter’s girlfriend. The victim’s roommate and best friend didn’t know the shooter and had never seen him. The media and probably law enforcement assumed that this was a boyfriend/girlfriend problem because that’s the most familiar story.

So the “Asian male with a maroon hat” would have been all the police would have had to work with even if the initial victims hadn’t died.

It’s unfortunate that we don’t have better tools available to spot dangerous mental health problems earlier, but we don’t.

From start to finish this is one of the 5% of cases where the victims didn’t know their murderer.

Update: Via All Hat and No Cattle – the initial police effort was focused on locating and questioning the victim’s actual boyfriend, Karl D. Thornhill because of the reasonable assumption that this was one of the 19 out of 20 cases of murder, rather than the exception.

April 18, 2007   9 Comments


Update: what was really going on was all of the last possible minute e-tax filers: TurboTax e-filing woes draw customer ire combined with BlackBerry outage: RIM a victim of its own success?, the e-filing at the IRS site, and the 24/7 over-exposure of the Virginia Tech story. If we weren’t such procrastinators, this wouldn’t have happened. [I “snail mailed” my paper forms on Sunday.]

Steve Bates of Yellow Doggerel Democrat had his DSL go down and then a computer fail.

Global Crossing had an unusual outage on a segment of the Internet backbone.

My DSL was down and the ‘Net was slow.

Mustang Bobby reports the CrackBerry e-mail system failed.

It sounds like a bunch of incompetent amateurs are attempting to delete all records of their e-mails.

April 18, 2007   11 Comments

Gun Laws

Look, I have a radical proposal, that I have made many times in the past on many different forums, to no avail: instead of passing new laws, why don’t we try actually enforcing the laws that exist? Instead of slapping wrists for violations of current guns laws, why don’t we try kicking some butts?

There are a handful of gun dealers who are tied to hundreds of weapons that show up at crime scenes around the country, and yet they still have their Federal Firearms Licenses. This is not right. This is not just. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Many of these operations have no showrooms or real stores, but they sell huge quantities of weapons. They get fines, and occasional suspensions but they stay in business.

It is time to actually fund the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and to actually enforce the laws. The same thing needs to occur on the state and local level with real enforcement taking place and real penalties handed out. There is no point in passing new laws until we figure if the old laws will work. A law that isn’t enforced is a political press release.

April 18, 2007   4 Comments

It Has Started

Well the “experts” have already decided that everyone in charge at Virginia Tech is an incompetent buffoon who should be fired because this incident happened.

Some are saying that they should have “locked down the campus” which would have stopped the second shooting. They don’t suggest how that could be accomplished with over 25,000 students on a campus with 100 buildings on 2,600 acres when your entire police force for 24/7 coverage is 40 officers, but that’s what needed to be done. And when the campus got sued after the incident occurred anyway since they had locked in the killer and his weapons with the victims, these people would have argued that the administration should have allowed people to escape.

The problem is that the officers who responded to the first shooting received from the witnesses a description of Asian male wearing a maroon hat. The two people who could have provided better information were dead or dying. Without a good description, who do you look for? Does anyone believe there was only one male Asian on the campus, because they didn’t know the perpetrator was a student until later. As for the hat, it was probably a Virginia Tech hat and college students, despite their denials, all tend to dress alike.

This was the WORST incident of this kind ever. There is no right answer, because no one has ever dealt with this before. There still isn’t enough confirmed information to make any judgments. Let’s wait for the complete picture and stop going off half-cocked. The people at the top had to have known some of those who were killed personally, and they are dealing with grief like everyone else on the campus.

April 18, 2007   Comments Off on It Has Started

Go Harrass Him

Jack Cluth at People’s Republic of Seabrook is having his 47th birthday and is complaining about his lost youth.

April 18, 2007   Comments Off on Go Harrass Him