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Author Topic: Virginia Tech Shooting...  (Read 14870 times)
bedens67
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« on: April 16, 2007, 01:36:28 PM »

I don't know where this should be filed on this board, but it certainly covers the whole range of emotions... My thoughts are with those involved... cry

- Bert in Springdale, Arkansas
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Kumaw
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2007, 02:17:31 PM »

My thoughts and prayers with the victims. I do believe this is evidence of why we must be prepared at all times.

Here is something that is of some relevance

Gun Bill Gets Shot Down

Up to date info and commentary at Michelle Malkin
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bedens67
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2007, 02:42:59 PM »

My thoughts and prayers with the victims. I do believe this is evidence of why we must be prepared at all times.

Here is something that is of some relevance
Gun Bill Gets Shot Down
Up to date info and commentary at Michelle Malkin

Yes, definitely need to be prepared at all times... Something to think about, and certainly a reminder to kick up the training a notch or four...

I think this is why I decided to put this in the politics forum... I've already seen message boards packed full of Pro/Anti-NRA messages... This is certainly a hot topic for all...

In the meantime, I'm going to take time to think of the victims and their immediate families... Politics can come later...

- Bert
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G M
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2007, 03:08:04 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/04/16/at-least-22-dead-28-wounded-in-shooting-at-virginia-tech/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2007, 03:43:20 PM »

Absolutely terrible. 

There's going to be a lot of wild and contradictory rumors being bandied about as facts-- and powerful biases within the MSM against guns as they so often do may look to install falsehoods as facts in the public mind.

Keep your eyes open and hold on to all relevant info before the "inconvenient" parts get sent down the Orwellian memory hole.

====================

Here's Stratfor from a few minutes ago:

U.S.: A Well-Planned Shooting Spree
Summary

At least 32 people were killed April 16 when an individual or individuals went on a shooting spree at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus in Blacksburg, Va. This was obviously an attack for which the killer prepared, and the high killed-to-wounded ratio suggests the killer was skilled and thorough.

Analysis

At least 32 people were killed April 16 when an individual or individuals went on a shooting spree at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus in Blacksburg, Va. The shooter reportedly used two 9 mm semiautomatic pistols to kill his victims, many of whom were lined up and shot.

The first shooting occurred around 7:15 a.m. local time on the fourth floor of West Ambler Johnston Hall dormitory, where one victim was killed. The second shooting occurred approximately two hours later in Norris Hall, an engineering building. The gunman reportedly entered the building, chained the doors shut behind him and moved from classroom to classroom executing students.




This was obviously an attack for which the killer prepared. The high killed-to-wounded ratio suggests the killer was skilled and thorough. Police were still investigating the first shooting at the dorm when the other shootings occurred. It is possible the killing in the dormitory was meant as a diversion to occupy police while the gunman moved on to his primary target, Norris Hall.

Within the last two weeks, there were two separate bomb threats against engineering department buildings at the university. These could have been a form of preoperational surveillance to gauge the response times and procedures of university police.

Unconfirmed reports coming from Blacksburg have identified the suspect as an Asian individual in his mid-20s. In all probability, the delay in identifying the culprit or culprits is because the intelligence community is running foreign and criminal intelligence traces on the suspect(s). Police believe the shooting spree might have been the result of an off-campus incident. They are not certain whether the suspect was a student, nor have they ruled out the possibility that he had accomplices. Arrests reportedly were made this morning.

The largest killing spree on a U.S. campus until this incident was in 1966, when Charles Whitman killed 15 people in the clock tower at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1999, two high school students in Columbine, Colo., killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before taking their own lives.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 03:47:21 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2007, 03:56:04 PM »

Virginia quashed bill allowing handguns on campuses
Tech spokesman celebrated 2006 defeat because it would help make campus safe
Posted: April 16, 2007
3:15 p.m. Eastern


By Art Moore
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com



More than one year before today's unprecedented shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, the state's General Assembly quashed a bill that would have given qualified college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus.

At the time, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said he was happy to hear of the bill's defeat, according to the Roanoke Times.

"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," the Virginia Tech spokesman said.

At least 32 people were killed today at Virginia Tech in the worst campus shooting in U.S. history.

The proposal, House Bill 1572, was initiated by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, on behalf of the Virginia Citizens Defense League.

But the bill didn't pass its first stage, the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety.

Most universities in Virginia require students and employees, other than police, to check their guns with police or campus security upon entering campus.

Backers of the bill wanted to prohibit public universities from making "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun."

The bill's sponsor, Gilbert, told WND that with today's tragedy still unfolding, he is uncomfortable commenting and cannot assert the university's policy in any way contributed to the shooting. But he said, nevertheless, it's clear it couldn't have stopped the attack.

"The one thing that this tragic event does illustrate is that there is not a single gun law, rule or regulation that will stop someone with this kind of evil intent from going about their business and taking life at will, if they are committed to doing that," Gilbert said.

While advocates of gun control often believe they are improving safety, they are depriving law-abiding citizens from defending themselves in dangerous situations, he contended.

"Had I been on campus today, and otherwise been entitled to carry firearms for protection and been deprived of that, I don't think words can describe how I would have felt, knowing I could have stopped something like this," Gilbert said.

People who are willing to jump through all the legal hoops necessary to get a weapons permit usually are not people society needs to worry about, he argued.

The suspect in today's shootings might have been a legal weapons holder, Gilbert said, but the law didn't prevent him from doing what he did.

In the spring of 2005, a Virginia Tech student who had a concealed handgun permit was disciplined for bringing a handgun to class, the Roanoke paper reported.

Second Amendment groups questioned the university's authority, but the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police argued against guns on campus.

In June 2006, Virginia Tech's governing board approved a violence prevention policy that reaffirmed the school's ban.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2007, 11:44:08 PM »

Ayoob article on Whitman shooting and civilian participation. When Texas was what you expected of Texas. Link

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m..._72293265/pg_2

The AYOOB FILES



Case One was the infamous Texas Tower incident of August 1, 1966, in which Charles Whitman shot 45 people, 14 of them fatally. He had earlier stabbed both his wife and mother to death. His weaponry included a sawed-off J.C. Higgins semiautomatic 12 ga. shotgun with which he killed and wounded multiple victims inside the tower, a .30 M-1 carbine with which he shot several people, and the weapon with which he wrought most of his havoc- a bolt-action Remington in 6mm Rem. mounting a 4x scope.
The Austin newspapers reported that "dozens" of armed citizens returned fire on Whitman along with police, primarily using rifles. Most were "deer rifles," many of them accurate, scoped bolt-actions as precise as the killer's weapon. A military reservist deployed an M-14 .308 semi-automatic, believed to be match grade. While the shots came close enough to greatly reduce the death toll, once return fire started after the initial 20 minutes or so, Whitman kept shooting for more than an hour and a half.
Private citizen Allen Crum, armed with a rifle given him by a policeman, led Austin police officers Ramiro Martinez and Houston McCoy up through the tower to the killer's perch on the roof. They approached the sniper's lair from opposite sides. Crum fired the first shot, which did not strike the killer but did startle and disorient him. Martinez then emptied his service revolver at Whitman, and McCoy fired twice with his Winchester 1200 pump. Whitman fell, dropping his .30 carbine.


Martinez dropped his empty sixgun, grabbed McCoy's Winchester, charged the downed Whitman and shot him once more at close range, arm-into-chest. Researcher Gary M. Lavergne interprets the autopsy of the murderer to say that the fatal shot was McCoy's first shotgun blast from 50 feet away, which caught Whitman in the eyes and forehead and pierced his brain.
=========

Also, I would suggest that anyone who has not yet done so go to our front page, click on "Flight 93 Memorial" and read the article that pops up there.

TAC,
CD
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rogt
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2007, 10:55:00 AM »

From Bush's comments at the convocation last night:

Quote
Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they’re gone—and they leave behind grieving families, and grieving classmates, and a grieving nation.

Coming from a president who thinks pre-emptive wars, assassinations, secret imprisonment, and torture are all a-OK, his presence at the service was fairly inappropriate.  If he didn't enjoy effective immunity from the consequences of his policies, it might occur to him that the above could just as easily be said about the masses of dead Iraqis.

There's also this line.  Again, fairly predictable:

Quote
It’s impossible to make sense of such violence and suffering

Really?  Or could it be that why stuff like this is happening with increasing frequency in the US is a question that Bush and his speechwriters would prefer not to examine too closely?  What have we as a society done since Columbine to make such incidents any less likely to occur?

This thread (to this forum's credit) started out with expressions of shock and sympathy for the victims, but now it's all but devolved into a discussion about fears that incidents like this will increase the appeal of gun control laws.  IMO, that says quite a bit.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2007, 11:11:02 AM by rogt » Logged
Kumaw
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2007, 11:04:51 AM »

If he didn't enjoy effective immunity from the consequences of his policies, it might occur to him that the above could just as easily be said about the masses of dead Iraqis.

The same could be said about just about every politician in Washington, past present and future, on both sides of the aisle. I should also add he isn't using this event as a campaign speech like others are.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2007, 11:16:40 AM »

"What have we as a society done since Columbine to make such incidents any less likely to occur? This thread (to this forum's credit) started out with expressions of shock and sympathy for the victims, but now it's all but devolved into a discussion about fears that incidents like this will increase the appeal of gun control laws.  IMO, that says quite a bit."

Not sure I follow here.  You ask what we have done as a society to lessen the chances of such incidents, yet we are not to discuss allowing the population to defend itself vs. disarming the population?  rolleyes
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rogt
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2007, 11:22:21 AM »

If he didn't enjoy effective immunity from the consequences of his policies, it might occur to him that the above could just as easily be said about the masses of dead Iraqis.

The same could be said about just about every politician in Washington, past present and future, on both sides of the aisle.

Totally agree that the use of violence to achieve foreign policy goals is pretty bi-partisan.  Without over-simplifying the matter, I would argue that a policy of violence abroad is becoming increasingly difficult to separate from our domestic life.

Quote
I should also add he isn't using this event as a campaign speech like others are.

Sure, probably because he would prefer to sweep this under the rug ASAP.  His sympathy with the pro-gun lobby is no secret, and it's hard to imagine any serious discussion of this incident not going down that road eventually.

I've seen much mention of the fact that the shooter was here on a student visa.  Should immigrants (non-US citizens) be allowed to purchase guns here?
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G M
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2007, 11:26:24 AM »

From Bush's comments at the convocation last night:

Quote
Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they’re gone—and they leave behind grieving families, and grieving classmates, and a grieving nation.

Coming from a president who thinks pre-emptive wars, assassinations, secret imprisonment, and torture are all a-OK, his presence at the service was fairly inappropriate.  If he didn't enjoy effective immunity from the consequences of his policies, it might occur to him that the above could just as easily be said about the masses of dead Iraqis.

There's also this line.  Again, fairly predictable:

Quote
It’s impossible to make sense of such violence and suffering

Really?  Or could it be that why stuff like this is happening with increasing frequency in the US is a question that Bush and his speechwriters would prefer not to examine too closely?  What have we as a society done since Columbine to make such incidents any less likely to occur?

This thread (to this forum's credit) started out with expressions of shock and sympathy for the victims, but now it's all but devolved into a discussion about fears that incidents like this will increase the appeal of gun control laws.  IMO, that says quite a bit.

It seems that someone could post about burning their mouth on a hot slice of pizza and Rog could segue that into an anti-Bush diatribe. Just saying....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2007, 11:30:11 AM »


OK here's an analysis that has nothing to do with guns-- a WSJ editorial from many years ago that was reprinted today.  On a personal note I am left with a sense of wonderment that I should be posting it given who I thought I was in 1968.  Life truly is an Adventure.

====================

No Guardrails
August 1968 and the death of self-restraint.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:00 a.m. EDT

(Editor's note: This editorial appeared in The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 1993.)

The gunning down of abortion doctor David Gunn in Florida last week shows us how small the barrier has become that separates civilized from uncivilized behavior in American life. In our time, the United States suffers every day of the week because there are now so many marginalized people among us who don't understand the rules, who don't think that rules of personal or civil conduct apply to them, who have no notion of self-control. We are the country that has a TV commercial on all the time that says: "Just do it." Michael Frederick Griffin just did it.

An anti-abortion protester of intense emotions, he walked around behind the Pensacola Women's Medical Services Clinic and pumped three bullets into the back of Dr. Gunn. Emptied himself, Michael Griffin then waited for the police to take him away. A remark by his father-in-law caught our eye: "Now we've got to take care of two grandchildren."

As the saying goes, there was a time. And indeed there really was a time in the United States when life seemed more settled, when emotions, both private and public, didn't seem to run so continuously at breakneck speed, splattering one ungodly tragedy after another across the evening news. How did this happen to the United States? How, in T.S. Eliot's phrase, did so many become undone?





We think it is possible to identify the date when the U.S., or more precisely when many people within it, began to tip off the emotional tracks. A lot of people won't like this date, because it makes their political culture culpable for what has happened. The date is August 1968, when the Democratic National Convention found itself sharing Chicago with the street fighters of the anti-Vietnam War movement.
The real blame here does not lie with the mobs who fought bloody battles with the hysterical Chicago police. The larger responsibility falls on the intellectuals--university professors, politicians and journalistic commentators--who said then that the acts committed by the protesters were justified or explainable. That was the beginning. After Chicago, the justifications never really stopped. America had a new culture, for political action and personal living.

With great rhetorical firepower, books, magazines, opinion columns and editorials defended each succeeding act of defiance--against the war, against university presidents, against corporate practices, against behavior codes, against dress codes, against virtually all agents of established authority.





What in the past had been simply illegal became "civil disobedience." If you could claim, and it was never too hard to claim, that your group was engaged in an act of civil disobedience--taking over a building, preventing a government official from speaking, bursting onto the grounds of a nuclear cooling station, destroying animal research, desecrating Communion hosts--the shapers of opinion would blow right past the broken rules to seek an understanding of the "dissidents" (in the '60s and '70s) and "activists" (in the '80s and now).
Concurrently, the personal virtue known as self-restraint was devalued. In the process, certain rules that for a long time had governed behavior also became devalued. Whatever else was going on here, we were repeatedly lowering the barriers of acceptable political and personal conduct.

You can argue, as many did and still do, that all this was necessary because the established order wouldn't respond or change. But then you still need to account for the nation's simultaneous dive into extensive social and personal dysfunction. You need to account for what is happening to those people within U.S. society who seem least able to navigate the political and personal torrents that they become part of, like Michael Griffin. Those torrents began with the antiwar movement in the 1960s.

Those endless demonstrations, though, were merely one part of a much deeper shift in American culture--away from community and family rules of conduct and toward more autonomy, more personal independence. As to limits, you set your own.





The people who provided the theoretical underpinnings for this shift--the intellectuals and political leaders who led the movement--did very well, or at least survived. They are born with large reservoirs of intelligence and psychological strength. The fame and celebrity help, too.
But for a lot of other people it hasn't been such an easy life to sustain. Not exceedingly sophisticated, neither thinkers nor leaders, never interviewed for their views, they're held together by faith, friends, fun and, at the margins, by fanaticism. The big political crackups make the news--a Michael Griffin or the woman on trial in Connecticut for the attempted bombing of the CEO of a surgical-device company or the '70s radicals who accidentally blew themselves up in a New York brownstone. But the personal crackups just float like flotsam through the country's hospitals and streets. You can also see some of them on daytime TV, America's medical museum of personal autonomy.





It may be true that most of the people in Hollywood who did cocaine survived it, but many of the weaker members of the community hit the wall. And most of the teenage girls in the Midwest who learn about the nuances of sex from magazines published by thirtysomething women in New York will more or less survive, but some continue to end up as prostitutes on Eighth Avenue. Everyone today seems to know someone who couldn't handle the turns and went over the side of the mountain.
These weaker or more vulnerable people, who in different ways must try to live along life's margins, are among the reasons that a society erects rules. They're guardrails. It's also true that we need to distinguish good rules from bad rules and periodically re-examine old rules. But the broad movement that gained force during the anti-war years consciously and systematically took down the guardrails. Incredibly, even judges pitched in. All of them did so to transform the country's institutions and its codes of personal behavior (abortion, for instance).

In a sense, it has been a remarkable political and social achievement for them. But let's get something straight about the consequences. If as a society we want to live under conditions of constant challenge to institutions and limits on personal life, if we are going to march and fight and litigate over every conceivable grievance, then we should stop crying over all the individual casualties, because there are going to be a lot of them.

Michael Griffin and Dr. David Gunn are merely two names on a long list of confrontations and personal catastrophe going back 25 years. That today is the status quo. The alternative is to start rethinking it.

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Kumaw
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2007, 11:36:25 AM »


Sure, probably because he would prefer to sweep this under the rug ASAP.  His sympathy with the pro-gun lobby is no secret, and it's hard to imagine any serious discussion of this incident not going down that road eventually.

I've seen much mention of the fact that the shooter was here on a student visa.  Should immigrants (non-US citizens) be allowed to purchase guns here?

The truth is gun control does not work. Those who want guns, will attain them. How many guns recovered from violent crimes were actually being used by the person who bought and registered the gun legally. My guess is pretty low compared to the ones aquired illegally. 2nd amendment is there for a reason.

As far as non-citizens attaining weapons, I'm split on the subject. I know my inlaws (non-citizens) I would trust with my life with a gun, others not so much. What I believe for certain is that if someone on that campus had been armed besides the rentacops I doubt we would be discussing the 32 dead.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2007, 11:40:30 AM »

Here's a wiff of what the killer was like:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0417071vtech1.html
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G M
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2007, 11:42:58 AM »

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_School_disaster

Bath School disaster
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bath School Disaster

Bath Consolidated School after bombing
Location   Bath Township, Michigan, United States
Target(s)   Bath Consolidated School
Date   May 18, 1927
Attack type   Shooting/explosives/fire/suicide bombing
Fatalities   45
Perpetrator(s)   Andrew Kehoe
Motive   Financial Hardship

The Bath School disaster is the name given to three bombings in Bath Township, Michigan, USA, on May 18, 1927, which killed 45 people and injured 58. Most of the victims were children in second to sixth grades attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history. The perpetrator was school board member Andrew Kehoe, who was upset by a property tax that had been levied to fund the construction of the school building. He blamed the additional tax for financial hardships which led to foreclosure proceedings against his farm. These events apparently provoked Kehoe to plan his attack.
On the morning of May 18, Kehoe first killed his wife and then set his farm buildings on fire. As fire fighters arrived at the farm, an explosion devastated the north wing of the school building, killing many of the people inside. Kehoe used a detonator to ignite dynamite and hundreds of pounds of pyrotol which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months. As rescuers started gathering at the school, Kehoe drove up, stopped, and detonated a bomb inside his shrapnel-filled vehicle, killing himself and the school superintendent, and killing and injuring several others. During the rescue efforts, searchers discovered an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol planted throughout the basement of the school's south wing.

I Blame BUSH!!!!  rolleyes
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rogt
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2007, 11:43:26 AM »

Not sure I follow here.  You ask what we have done as a society to lessen the chances of such incidents, yet we are not to discuss allowing the population to defend itself vs. disarming the population?  rolleyes

I'm not saying anybody is "not to discuss" anything, but that I see more concern for the possible threat to the Second Amendment as unlimited freedom to own/carry guns than doing anything to prevent these incidents from happening.

For the record, I am not against guns and I support our right to (some limited) gun ownership.  I just don't buy this NRA fantasy of an armed-to-the-teeth (but educated and responsible) population somehow being the solution to all violent crime.
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rogt
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2007, 11:44:45 AM »

It seems that someone could post about burning their mouth on a hot slice of pizza and Rog could segue that into an anti-Bush diatribe. Just saying....

Hey there sweetheart.  We might be able to have an actual, reasonable discussion if you could leave out the personal jabs and name-calliing.  just saying...  Smiley
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G M
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2007, 11:53:34 AM »

Rog,

I'm glad to see i've endeared myself to you. I don't think pointing out your using the VT murders as a starting point for an attack on the president and his foreign policy counts as an ad hominem attack on your person.  wink
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Kumaw
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2007, 11:55:33 AM »

Deterring crime is the best solution. Concealed carry permits deter violent crimes more than handgun bans. Compare Washingto DC to say Austin Texas.
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rogt
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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2007, 12:03:19 PM »

The truth is gun control does not work. Those who want guns, will attain them.

I don't know about this.  Isn't the US in the minority of industrialized nations when it comes to gun ownership rights?  I agree that it's impossible to keep somebody from getting ahold of a gun if they really want one, but at same time I don't think this should be taken as a blanket invalidation of any attempt at gun control.  I personally think anti-drug laws are stupid, but there's no denying that they result in less drug use.

Quote
As far as non-citizens attaining weapons, I'm split on the subject. I know my inlaws (non-citizens) I would trust with my life with a gun, others not so much. What I believe for certain is that if someone on that campus had been armed besides the rentacops I doubt we would be discussing the 32 dead.

It's hard to say.  I ask about immigrant gun ownership because I remember then-AG John Ashcroft specifically stepping into block any investigation of gun purchases by immigrants in the aftermath of 9/11.  Of all the immigrants' rights being put on the chopping block after 9/11, appeasing the pro-gun lobby was still considered important enough that the sanctity of their right to anonymously purchase guns was considered not to be f-d with.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2007, 12:07:19 PM »

Rog:

Ummm, for the record actually he didn't call you a name.  Also worth considering is that when you posted this

"Coming from a president who thinks pre-emptive wars, assassinations, secret imprisonment, and torture are all a-OK, his presence at the service was fairly inappropriate.  If he didn't enjoy effective immunity from the consequences of his policies, it might occur to him that the above could just as easily be said about the masses of dead Iraqis. , , ,  could it be that why stuff like this is happening with increasing frequency in the US is a question that Bush and his speechwriters would prefer not to examine too closely?"

you open the door to his comment  smiley

Returning to the subject at hand "For the record, I am not against guns and I support our right to (some limited) gun ownership.  I just don't buy this NRA fantasy of an armed-to-the-teeth (but educated and responsible) population somehow being the solution to all violent crime."

I am delighted to see that you apparently recognize that there is a personal Consitutional right to regulated gun ownership. Have I understood you correctly on this?   

I think you will find that most "pro-gun" people can be similarly described.  The problem is that there is a very substantial movement in this country, found principally in the Democratic Party, MSM and academia that is passionately for the disarmament or virtual disarmament of the American people.  These people interpret the Second Amerndment as a matter of the rights of the States to have a National Guard or something like that.   These people simply seek to incrementally increase the burdens and irrationality of the various regulatory schemes of the Feds and the States to eventually destroy gun rights in America-- the very same path as was taken in England and Australia.

But for the disingenuous bad faith of these people pretending to be for reasonable regulation when they actually seek disarmament of the American people I think you would find that the NRA (of which I am a member) would be much more flexible.

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rogt
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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2007, 12:10:32 PM »

Deterring crime is the best solution. Concealed carry permits deter violent crimes more than handgun bans. Compare Washingto DC to say Austin Texas.

Again though, what's your explanation for why the many countries where citizens are not allowed to own guns aren't nation-sized versions of the crime-ridden neighborhood of "Death Wish 3"?

Keep in mind that an outright ban on all gun ownership is not what I'm after.  I don't even necessarily claim that stricter gun control laws can and will prevent stuff like the VT massacre.  I do strongly disagree though, that putting more guns in people's hands is the solution.
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Kumaw
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2007, 12:14:29 PM »

In the nanny state of England, where guns are banned, they have seen an increase in recent years.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2656875.stm

Though last year saw a drop in traditional robberies (banks and other big hits) using guns. Home invasions using guns rose there.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,,1999066,00.html

Even more info here

http://www.bloggernews.net/14139 (Pop-up warning)


Edit: commas are my friends...
« Last Edit: April 18, 2007, 12:16:46 PM by Kumaw » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2007, 12:15:12 PM »

So Rog, what do you suggest?  Today's Opinion Journal of the WSJ contains a reference to one practical approach.
====================================

Virginia vs. Gun Crime

Much is being made of the fact that Virginia resident Cho Seung-Hui legally bought the guns he used in his killing spree. But there is gun control and gun control.

In fact, Virginia has been a pioneer in clamping down on gun related crimes and has seen gun violence drop dramatically as a result. In 1997, "Project Exile" was launched by a U.S. Attorney in Richmond to move many gun-related crimes to federal court, allowing prosecutors to expedite the cases, impose stiffer sentences and prevent bail being offered to criminals caught using firearms. The last point was especially important: A criminal apprehended with a gun would face instant jail with little chance of being let out before trial.

To make sure the news got around, Virginia set up a private foundation to pay for a public awareness campaign. Word didn't take long to spread. At the time, an aide to then-Gov. James Gilmore told us of one criminal nabbed trying to flush a pistol down a toilet while police were kicking in his door even as the suspect left a pile of drugs for the cops to confiscate. He was apparently more afraid of being caught with a gun than of being caught with drugs.

In similar fashion, Mayor Rudy Giuliani made aggressive use of New York's stop-and-frisk authority to target habitual criminals packing guns as they traveled around the five boroughs. New York City and the state of Virginia have very different gun control regimes, but their success in reducing gun violence came by focusing on criminals, not retailers and the general public. At first, Project Exile in Richmond was controversial, but it quickly proved to be a success -- cutting gun violence in the city by 40% -- and has been adopted across Virginia and copied by other states.

Such laws wouldn't solve the problem of mad shooters like Cho Seung-Hui, and gun-control advocates will undoubtedly continue to demand laws to prohibit all gun sales. Those more interested in results will settle for effective gun control that has proved politically viable -- i.e. aimed at controlling the behavior of the 1% who are criminals, not the 99% who aren't.

-- Brendan Miniter

A Tragedy Foretold

The Virginia Tech killings were foreshadowed last August when escaped jail inmate William Morva allegedly killed a hospital guard and a sheriff's deputy just off campus and then fled to the Blacksburg school. His trial for those murders and other charges is set for September. The tragedy generated warnings about the school's vulnerability to violence that were ignored.

Jonathan McGlumphy, a Virginia Tech graduate student, wrote an op-ed in the school newspaper Collegiate Times calling on the campus community to "accurately assess the actions of all parties [in the Morva case] to ascertain what could have been done better or worse." His list was topped by university officials whom he said wrongly allowed morning classes to take place -- an eerie parallel to Monday's murders in which two hours elapsed between the first killings and the bulk of the homicides.

But Mr. McGlumphy saved his real ire last August for the school's policy of prohibiting students, faculty and staff members with concealed handgun permits from carrying legal firearms on campus. He noted that the campus gun ban "is completely artificial, and relies on the honor system... It is impossible to truly prevent someone from bringing a firearm if they are so inclined."

Mr. McGlumphy noted that any permit holder has gone through both firearm training and an extensive background check to obtain that permit. In Virginia, any permit holder must be 21 years of age or older, which excludes most college students, and holders are statistically less likely to commit violent crime than the general population. Mr. McGlumphy bluntly asked in the wake of the Morva incident whether "all students, faculty and staff would have been safer if CHP holders were not banned from carrying their weapons on campus? "

As evidence, Mr. McGlumphy cited a 2002 incident at the Appalachian School of Law in nearby Grundy, Virginia. Gunman Peter Odighizuwa killed three people and was only stopped when two permit-holding students ran to their cars, got their weapons, and subdued him.

But when a bill was introduced in Virginia's legislature last year to allow permit holders to carry guns on college campuses, Virginia Tech officials helped make sure it died in committee. Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker boasted: "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."

To Mr. McGlumphy such an attitude merely created a campus-wide "Safe Zone" for criminals. "For the university to continue to enforce its no-gun policy is to continue to put students in greater danger from the Morvas of the world," he wrote in Virginia Tech's campus paper last August.

Mr. McGlumphy now sadly concludes that the killings of 32 students and faculty this past Monday may have resulted partly because student Cho Seung-Hui knew that a university lecture hall was one place in Virginia where he had nothing to fear from the law-abiding people he was stalking.

-- John Fund

« Last Edit: April 18, 2007, 12:17:39 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2007, 12:18:34 PM »

http://www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/faq/faq2.htm#r1

(R1) May nonimmigrant aliens legally in the United States purchase or possess firearms and ammunition while in the United States?

Nonimmigrant aliens generally are prohibited from possessing or receiving (purchasing) firearms and ammunition in the United States.

There are exceptions to this general prohibition. The exceptions are as follows:

nonimmigrant aliens who possess a valid (unexpired) hunting license or permit lawfully issued by a State in the United States;

nonimmigrant aliens entering the United States to participate in a competitive target shooting event or to display firearms at a sports or hunting trade show sponsored by a national, State, or local firearms trade organization devoted to the collection, competitive use or other sporting use of firearms;
certain diplomats, if the firearms are for official duties;
officials of foreign governments, if the firearms are for official duties, or distinguished foreign visitors so designated by the U.S. State Department;
foreign law enforcement officers of friendly foreign governments entering the United States on official law enforcement business; and
persons who have received a waiver from the prohibition from the U.S. Attorney General.
Significantly, even if a nonimmigrant alien falls within one of these exceptions, the nonimmigrant alien CANNOT purchase a firearm from a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) unless he or she (1) has an alien number or admission number from the Department of Homeland Security (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service) AND (2) can provide the FFL with documentation showing that he or she has resided in a State within the United States for 90 consecutive days immediately prior to the firearms transaction.

[18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(b) and 922(y), 27 CFR 478.124, ATF Rul. 2004-1]

 


(R2) Typically, who are "nonimmigrant aliens?"

In large part, nonimmigrant aliens are persons traveling temporarily in the United States for business or pleasure, persons studying in the United States who maintain a foreign residence abroad, and certain foreign workers. Permanent resident aliens are NOT nonimmigrant aliens. Permanent resident aliens often are referred to as people with "green cards."

****It is my understanding that the VT shooter had Permanent resident status.****
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Kumaw
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2007, 12:21:15 PM »

I'm guessing he most likely did since he has been here since the 90's.

Quote
He came to the United States from South Korea in 1992 with his parents when he was eight years old. 

http://www.voanews.com/english/2007-04-18-voa22.cfm
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2007, 12:22:49 PM »

This from the editorial page of today's WSJ makes some comparative references to other countries:

'Gun-Free Zones'
By DAVID B. KOPEL
April 18, 2007; Page A17

The bucolic campus of Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va., would seem to have little in common with the Trolley Square shopping mall in Salt Lake City. Yet both share an important characteristic, common to the site of almost every other notorious mass murder in recent years: They are "gun-free zones."

Forty American states now have "shall issue" or similar laws, by which officials issue a pistol carry permit upon request to any adult who passes a background check and (in most states) a safety class. Research by Carlisle Moody of the College of William and Mary, and others, suggests that these laws provide law-abiding citizens some protection against violent crime. But in many states there are certain places, especially schools, set aside as off-limits for guns. In Virginia, universities aren't "gun-free zones" by statute, but college officials are allowed to impose anti-gun rules. The result is that mass murderers know where they can commit their crimes.

Private property owners also have the right to prohibit lawful gun possession. And some shopping malls have adopted anti-gun rules. Trolley Square was one, as announced by an unequivocal sign, "No weapons allowed on Trolley Square property."

In February of this year a young man walked past the sign prohibiting him from carrying a gun on the premises and began shooting people who moments earlier were leisurely shopping at Trolley Square. He killed five.

Fortunately, someone else -- off-duty Ogden, Utah, police officer Kenneth Hammond -- also did not comply with the mall's rules. After hearing "popping" sounds, Mr. Hammond investigated and immediately opened fire on the gunman. With his aggressive response, Mr. Hammond prevented other innocent bystanders from getting hurt. He bought time for the local police to respond, while stopping the gunman from hunting down other victims.

At Virginia Tech's sprawling campus in southwestern Va., the local police arrived at the engineering building a few minutes after the start of the murder spree, and after a few critical minutes, broke through the doors that Cho Seung-Hui had apparently chained shut. From what we know now, Cho committed suicide when he realized he'd soon be confronted by the police. But by then, 30 people had been murdered.

But let's take a step back in time. Last year the Virginia legislature defeated a bill that would have ended the "gun-free zones" in Virginia's public universities. At the time, a Virginia Tech associate vice president praised the General Assembly's action "because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus." In an August 2006 editorial for the Roanoke Times, he declared: "Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same."

Actually, Virginia Tech's policy only made the killer safer, for it was only the law-abiding victims, and not the criminal, who were prevented from having guns. Virginia Tech's policy bans all guns on campus (except for police and the university's own security guards); even faculty members are prohibited from keeping guns in their cars.

Virginia Tech thus went out of its way to prevent what happened at a Pearl, Miss., high school in 1997, where assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieved a handgun from his car and apprehended a school shooter. Or what happened at Appalachian Law School, in Grundy, Va., in 2002, when a mass murder was stopped by two students with law-enforcement experience, one of whom retrieved his own gun from his vehicle. Or in Edinboro, Pa., a few days after the Pearl event, when a school attack ended after a nearby merchant used a shotgun to force the attacker to desist. Law-abiding citizens routinely defend themselves with firearms. Annually, Americans drive-off home invaders a half-million times, according to a 1997 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Utah, there is no "gun-free schools" exception to the licensed carry law. In K-12 schools and in universities, teachers and other adults can and do legally carry concealed guns. In Utah, there has never been a Columbine-style attack on a school. Nor has there been any of the incidents predicted by self-defense opponents -- such as a teacher drawing a gun on a disrespectful student, or a student stealing a teacher's gun.

Israel uses armed teachers as part of a successful program to deter terrorist attacks on schools. Buddhist teachers in southern Thailand are following the Israeli example, because of Islamist terrorism.

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., long-time gun control advocates, including Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), agreed that making airplane cockpits into "gun-free zones" had made airplanes much more dangerous for everyone except hijackers. Corrective legislation, supported by large bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress, allowed pilots to carry firearms, while imposing rigorous gun-safety training on pilots who want to carry.

In many states, "gun-free schools" legislation was enacted hastily in the late 1980s or early 1990s due to concerns about juvenile crime. Aimed at juvenile gangsters, the poorly written and overbroad statutes had the disastrous consequence of rendering teachers unable to protect their students.

Reasonable advocates of gun control can still press for a wide variety of items on their agenda, while helping to reform the "gun-free zones" that have become attractive havens for mass killers. If legislators or administrators want to require extensive additional training for armed faculty and other adults, that's fine. Better that some victims be armed than none at all.

The founder of the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, understood the harms resulting from the type of policy created at Virginia Tech. In his "Commonplace Book," Jefferson copied a passage from Cesare Beccaria, the founder of criminology, which was as true on Monday as it always has been:

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

Mr. Kopel is research director of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colo., and co-author of the law school textbook, "Gun Control and Gun Rights" (NYU Press).
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rogt
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« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2007, 12:25:37 PM »

Quote
Ummm, for the record actually he didn't call you a name.  Also worth considering is that when you posted this

"Coming from a president who thinks pre-emptive wars, assassinations, secret imprisonment, and torture are all a-OK, his presence at the service was fairly inappropriate.  If he didn't enjoy effective immunity from the consequences of his policies, it might occur to him that the above could just as easily be said about the masses of dead Iraqis. , , ,  could it be that why stuff like this is happening with increasing frequency in the US is a question that Bush and his speechwriters would prefer not to examine too closely?"

you open the door to his comment  smiley

If GM (or anybody else) disagrees with what I posted then I'm happy to have that discussion, but his implication is that I was simply looking for an excuse to bash poor W, which is a non-response to what I consider a perfectly valid point.

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I am delighted to see that you apparently recognize that there is a personal Consitutional right to regulated gun ownership. Have I understood you correctly on this?   

Yes.  I don't believe I've ever denied that this right exists or opposed it.

Quote
I think you will find that most "pro-gun" people can be similarly described.  The problem is that there is a very substantial movement in this country, found principally in the Democratic Party, MSM and academia that is passionately for the disarmament or virtual disarmament of the American people.  These people interpret the Second Amerndment as a matter of the rights of the States to have a National Guard or something like that.   These people simply seek to incrementally increase the burdens and irrationality of the various regulatory schemes of the Feds and the States to eventually destroy gun rights in America-- the very same path as was taken in England and Australia.

Well, I can't speak for those people.  As for the UK and Australia, if (I assume) they have less gun violence as a result of their bans and most of those people feel their country is a safer, better place to live as a result, then how is that a bad thing?

Quote
But for the disingenuous bad faith of these people pretending to be for reasonable regulation when they actually seek disarmament of the American people I think you would find that the NRA (of which I am a member) would be much more flexible.

Do you see the NRA as being in favor of reasonable regulation?  IMO, they take a pretty fundamentalist view of the Second Amendment I'm not sure is realistic.  I see them as being to the Second Amendment like AQ is to Islam.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2007, 12:29:27 PM by rogt » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2007, 12:31:57 PM »

'Happyland' Arson
Eighty-seven people die in dance club fire

(CBS) The Bronx After working hard all week for modest wages, many Latino immigrants in the East Tremont section of The Bronx would forget their troubles on the crowded dance floor of the Happyland Social Club.

Happyland was located on two floors above a row of stores. It was a tight space with just a single staircase leading in and out. It also was an illegal establishment; ordered closed by the city for building and fire violations. Orders that were ignored by the club's operators.

After midnight on Sunday, March 25, 1990, Happyland was packed with young men and women, most of them new to the U.S. and still calling places like Honduras and Ecuador home.

Just before 3 a.m., according to some who later remembered, a man argued loudly with a woman who worked in the club. He said in Spanish: "I'll be back."

Less than an hour later, Happyland was an inferno. Eighty-seven people died that night, 61 men, 26 women, more than half of them under 25 years of age. Along the walls of the dancefloor, 68 bodies were piled, indicative of their desperate attempts to find a way out from the flames.

The dead were asphyxiated or burned to death within minutes.

Later on that Sunday, police arrested a man they said had set the blaze with gasoline after quarrelling with his girlfriend who worked as a ticket taker.

Julio Gonzalez, an immigrant from Cuba, left the club drunk and walked to a nearby gas station where he bought a gallon of gas. He returned to the club and splashed the staircase and lit the gas.

Investigators said Gonzalez wanted to kill his girlfriend in the fire. She was one of the few who survived.

The fire resulted in a crackdown by the city on the hundreds of illegal social clubs and dance halls believed to be located in all five boroughs.

Gonzalez went to trial later in 1990. After two days of deliberations, a jury found him guilty on all 174 counts - two counts for each victim -of murder. However, New York State law did not allow for a sentence greater than that for a single count of murder: 25 years to life.

****I blame the gas and matches lobby for these deaths, and President Bush, of course. When will this country impose reasonable restrictions on the sale and ownership of gasoline and matches?****  grin
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2007, 12:38:17 PM »

Would someone help out Rog with some data on what has happened in the UK and Australia since they have virtually outlawed guns?
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Kumaw
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« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2007, 12:42:15 PM »

http://johnrlott.tripod.com/op-eds/BritainToyGunsWSJE.html

Worried that even showing a starting pistol in a car ad might encourage gun crime in Britain, the British communications regulator has banned a Ford Motor Co. television spot because in it a woman is pictured holding such a "weapon." According to a report by Bloomberg News, the ad was said by regulators to "normalize" the use of guns and "must not be shown again."

What's next? Toy guns? Actually, the British government this year has been debating whether to ban toy guns. As a middle course, some unspecified number of imitation guns will be banned, and it will be illegal to take imitation guns into public places.

And in July a new debate erupted over whether those who own shotguns must now justify their continued ownership to the government before they will get a license.

The irony is that after gun laws are passed and crime rises, no one asks whether the original laws actually accomplished their purpose. Instead, it is automatically assumed that the only "problem" with past laws was they didn't go far enough. But now what is there left to do? Perhaps the country can follow Australia's recent lead and ban ceremonial swords.

Despite the attention that imitation weapons are getting, they account for a miniscule fraction of all violent crime (0.02%) and in recent years only about 6% of firearms offenses. But with crime so serious, Labor needs to be seen as doing something. The government recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.

Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned in 1997. Yet, since 1996 the serious violent crime rate has soared by 69%: robbery is up by 45% and murders up by 54%. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen by 50% from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost back to their 1993 levels.

The 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey, the last survey done, shows the violent-crime rate in England and Wales was twice the rate in the U.S. When the new survey for 2004 comes out, that gap will undoubtedly have widened even further as crimes reported to British police have since soared by 35%, while declining 6% in the U.S.

The high crime rates have so strained resources that 29% of the time in London it takes police longer than 12 minutes to arrive at the scene. No wonder police nearly always arrive on the crime scene after the crime has been committed.

As understandable as the desire to "do something" is, Britain seems to have already banned most weapons that can help commit a crime. Yet, it is hard to see how the latest proposals will accomplish anything.

• Banning guns that fire blanks and some imitation guns. Even if guns that fire blanks are converted to fire bullets, they would be lucky to fire one or two bullets and most likely pose more danger to the shooter than the victim. Rather than replace the barrel and the breach, it probably makes more sense to simply build a new gun.

  • Making it very difficult to get a license for a shotgun and banning those under 18 from using shotguns also adds little. Ignoring the fact that shotguns make excellent self-defense weapons, they are so rarely used in crime, that the Home Office's report doesn't even provide a breakdown of crimes committed with shotguns.

  Britain is not alone in its experience with banning guns. Australia has also seen its violent crime rates soar to rates similar to Britain's after its 1996 Port Arthur gun control measures. Violent crime rates averaged 32% higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did the year before the law in 1995. The same comparisons for armed robbery rates showed increases of 74%.

During the 1990s, just as Britain and Australia were more severely regulating guns, the U.S. was greatly liberalizing individuals' abilities to carry guns. Thirty-seven of the 50 states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns once they pass a criminal background check and pay a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours' worth. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murder rates and other violent crimes.

Many things affect crime; the rise of drug-gang violence in Britain is an important part of the story, just as it has long been important in explaining the U.S.'s rates. Drug gangs also help explain one of the many reasons it is so difficult to stop the flow of guns into a country. Drug gangs can't simply call up the police when another gang encroaches on their turf, so they end up essentially setting up their own armies. And just as they can smuggle drugs into the country, they can smuggle in weapons to defend their turf.

Everyone wants to take guns away from criminals. The problem is that if the law-abiding citizens obey the law and the criminals don't, the rules create sitting ducks who cannot defend themselves. This is especially true for those who are physically weaker, women and the elderly.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2007, 12:52:43 PM »

Rog makes the reasonable request that when we post an article that we include a brief statement of why we are doing so.

The following piece establishes VT in some sort of larger context of time and shows that guns are not the only technology i.e. suggesting that even if guns did not exist, something else would be used to effectuate evil.

=========

For the staticians among us:
 April 17, 2007
BLACKSBURG, ERFURT, LITTLETON
A Chronicle of the Worst Rampages Ever
The names Erfurt, Littleton and Dunblane stand for some of the bloodiest school shootings ever perpetrated. Blacksburg will now likely join that list. SPIEGEL ONLINE documents some of the worst shooting rampages in history.

February 12, 2007 : Ten people were killed during two shootings on the same day, one in Salt Lake City, Utah and one in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In Salt Lake City, the gunman opened fire in a shopping mall, killing five before he was shot and killed by the police. In Philadelphia, three men were killed at a business meeting before the gunman ultimately killed himself.


Photo Gallery: The Worst Ever School Massacres
     

October 2, 2006 : In Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, 32-year-old truck driver Charles Carl Roberts IV barricaded himself in a one-room Amish school house before killing five schoolgirls execution-style before killing himself.

March 21, 2005 : At Red Lake Senior High School in Minnesota, 16-year-old student Jeff Weise opened fire, killing five fellow students, a teacher and a security guard. Prior to the rampage, he had shot his grandfather and his grandfather's girlfriend. It later became apparent that Weise had visited neo-Nazi Web sites prior to the shooting.

April 26, 2002 : At Gutenberg Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany, 19-year-old Robert Steinhäuser killed 16 people and himself within just 10 minutes. Among the dead were 12 teachers, the school secretary, two students and a policeman. Steinhäuser had been expelled from the school one year prior to the attack.

March 27, 2002 : Thirty-three-year-old Richard Durn opened fire at a town hall in western Paris, calmly shooting at 40 people, killing eight of them. He committed suicide by jumping out of the fourth floor of police headquarters after he was captured.

September 26, 2001 : A 57-year-old attacker forced his way into the parliament of the Swiss canton Zug and opened fire. He killed 14 people before turning his gun on himself.

June 8, 2001 : Former janitor Mamoru Takuma rampaged through an elementary school in the Japanese city of Osaka. He stabbed eight children to death and wounded a number of others. He was sentenced to death and was hanged in September 2004.


April 20, 1999 : Two students stormed Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and murdered 12 other students aged 14 to 18 as well as a teacher. A further 24 people were injured before the attackers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, killed themselves.
March 24, 1998 : In Jonesboro, Arkansas, four students and a teacher were killed when two middle school boys aged 13 and 11 set off the fire alarm. The two then began shooting at the evacuated students from the woods nearby. A further nine students and a teacher were wounded in the hail of bullets.

May 22, 1997 : In north-eastern Brazil, a former soldier killed 17 people. First he murdered his wife and mother-in-law before leaving his home and firing randomly at people on the streets. The reason for his attack appears to have been rumors about his apparent homosexuality.


April 28, 1996 : Thirty-five people were killed and a further 37 wounded when 28-year-old Martin Bryant went on a rampage in the town of Port Arthur on the island of Tasmania in Australia. Bryant opened fire in a café with an automatic weapon before moving to the neighboring gift shop and then the parking lot outside. It took hours before the police were able to capture the killer.
March 13, 1996 : In the deadliest attack on children in United Kingdom history, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton opened fire in a school gymnasium, killing 16 five- and six-year-olds and one teacher in the Scottish town of Dunblane. Hamilton then committed suicide.

September 23-24, 1995: In the French town of Toulon, a 16-year-old student killed his step-father, his half-brother and his mother on the evening of Sept. 23. The next morning, he continued his rampage, killing a further 10 victims.

October 16, 1991 : George Hennard drove his pickup into Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas and opened fire on the guests inside. He killed 23 people and wounded 20 before eventually killing himself.

December 6, 1989 : Twenty-five-year-old Marc Lepine killed 14 women and wounded a further 13 people at the École Polytechnique at the University of Montreal in the worst school massacre in Canada's history. He then took his own life. In a letter he left behind, he indicated a hate for feminists as a motive for the shooting.

July 18; 1984: James Oliver Huberty, a 41-year-old welder, walked into a McDonald's in San Ysidro, California and opened fire with a 9-mm Uzi semi-automatic and other weapons. He killed 21 people and wounded 19 before being gunned down by the police.

August 1, 1966 : At the University of Texas at Austin, a student ascended a tower at the university and opened fire on people below. In all he killed 15 people, including his wife and mother the night before. He was shot dead by the police.

June 11, 1964 : In Volkhoven near Cologne, Germany, an army veteran stormed a school, killing eight children and stabbing two teachers to death.

May 18, 1927 : In the deadliest mass school murder in United States history, former school board member Andrew Kehoe set off three bombs in Bath Township, Michigan killing 45 people and wounding 58. Kehoe killed himself and the superintendent by blowing up his own vehicle.

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SB_Mig
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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2007, 01:40:14 PM »

Quote
What I believe for certain is that if someone on that campus had been armed besides the rentacops I doubt we would be discussing the 32 dead.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with this one.

This is one of the few instances in which I believe another armed individual (besides a uniformed LEO) would have been more of a hindrance than a help. While we await the full details of the police investigation, I think a few things need to be consider in regards to concealed carry and this incident:

1) Chaotic situation - Huge campus, unknown shooter, panicked faculty and students, massive police presence. Anyone walking around with a gun besides the LEOs would have not only put themselves at extreme risk (from both LEOs and bystanders), but would have had one hell of a time trying to "explain" that they were not the shooter and only trying to help out. The attention drawn to themselves would have had a detrimental effect on what was already a highly charged situation.

2) Probable lack of environmental training - There is often discussion in these forums of training for reality or under duress/stress. What are the chances that a non-LEO could have reacted accordingly without placing him/herself or others in more danger? The only person I want carrying a firearm in a stituation like this is someone who shoots on a regular basis, trains in and for situations like this, or has been in high stress situations which required them use firearms. Is the person with the firearm necessarily going to fit into these parameters?

The unfortunate reality is that the great majority of students/staff/faculty/civilians are not going to be prepared for these situations. A one hour seminar/orientation on what to do in case of an on-campus shooter is not nearly enough training.

3) Statistical reality - The chances of the armed civilian being in the right spot at the right time and able to get off the shot to take care of the perp are slim to none. While the idea of CCW is a valid one, the chaotic reality of the situation throws the odds in favor of the perp.

I work on a large University campus and there has been much discussion among faculty, staff, and students about this tragic shooting. The students who work for me are trained on how to react to a situation like this one, and we are fortunate enough to work in a building that is basically built like a bank vault. However, in as much as I respect them as adults and hard workers, this does not mean that they are necessarily mature enough or adult enough to handle a serious breach in security. And the thought of one of them carrying a firearm and trying to formulate a plan to take out an armed gunman is a definite stretch.

This was not a hold up at a bank or restaurant. This was chaos on a large scale with an unknown number of assailants. Just having another gun handy would not have been the fix.

Quote
Concealed carry permits deter violent crimes more than handgun bans.

This may be true, but I'm going to guess that this deterrent relates more to common criminals that gun wielding sociopaths. Anyone willing to go on a rampage like this is not stopping to think about the handgun under Prof. Johson's coat.
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Kumaw
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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2007, 01:52:00 PM »

The people that have concealed carry permits tend to be the more well trained individuals. I know here in Texas one must certify to get the permit, not just pay a fee.

Yes the guy is a sociapath, but even the suicide bombers in Israel have been detered by the fact that teachers are armed. And I can't think of anyone more out of their mind than a suicide bomber.
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G M
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« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2007, 01:58:12 PM »

****For those of you who don't know him, Massad Ayoob, the son of a Syrian immigrant is one of the top names in law enforcement/self defense firearms writing/training in the US. Reading his stuff as a teen inspired my career in law enforcement.****


Armed civilians can
help fight terrorism

By Massad Ayoob   

This article was written before terrorists seized a school in Beslan, a town in North Ossetia, one of the small republics that make up the modern Russian Federation. The terrorists took more than 1200 hostages and, by the time the ensuing siege ended, at least 335 of them, mostly children, were dead. As Mr. Ayoob points out, terrorists care not a bit for the lives of innocents, including children. But he also points out, in this article, that one of the most effective counters to terrorism is when the innocents themselves are armed. — Editor


It will happen like this. The story, by the way, is true and has already happened.

“At 7:50 a.m., near the highway’s third traffic light and by a row of shops called the White House Plaza, the Toyota minivan was waiting for the light to change when a yellow-painted taxicab overtook the consulate car and stopped at a sharp angle in front of it. Two men, both carrying Chinese-made AK-47 7.62mm assault rifles, calmly emerged from the cab, raised their weapons, and unleashed a point-blank, furious fusillade at the minibus and its passengers. One of the gunmen fired into the front of the vehicle, peppering the windshield with nearly twenty 7.62mm holes. The second man, who eyewitnesses reported as bearing down on the sliding door of the minibus in text-book assault position, unleashed a banana-clip magazine’s worth of ammunition straight into the van, killing Mrs. Van Landingham and Mr. Durell.”

That incident did not happen in the United States. It took place in Karachi, Pakistan, on Wednesday, March 8, 1995. The account comes from Relentless Pursuit, the 2002 book about the hunt for Al-Qaeda terrorists written by Samuel M. Katz. Notes Katz, “It was the kind of operation the Mujahadeen had carried out so many times in Afghanistan, ambushing Soviet officers in Kabul.”

They don’t need airplanes to crash into skyscrapers. Many in the world intelligence community have been predicting that the next wave of Al-Qaeda attacks in the USA will take place on a much smaller scale, and in the heartland: the rural areas and small towns so cherished by the readers of Backwoods Home Magazine.


The next major terrorist target in the United States might be in “the heartland” instead of New York City.

Perhaps afflicted with the attention span of a fish, some pundits have implied that it’s paranoid to worry about further attacks. They say there is no evidence that terrorists are here.

The clueless should not talk about evidence. Mohammad Atta and the rest of the September 11, 2001 skyjacker team had long dwelt among us in this country as a sleeper cell. It was a carefully crafted operation of significant size. Believing that it cannot happen again is a manifestation of wishful thinking.

The fact is, there is strong reason to believe that it most certainly is going to happen again. The Israeli intelligence-gathering group DEBKA reported on May 26 of 2004: “Several sleeper cells are also known to have infiltrated the United States in ship’s containers in 2003 and early this year. Some of these containers were spotted at important US ports with signs of occupation by men with weapons and explosives who were never caught. They may have been decoys to distract attention from landings of large parties of armed terrorists on American shores, whom intelligence sources believed headed undetected for safe houses inland to await orders to strike.”

DEBKA noted in the same bulletin: “Our sources add that American and foreign counter-terror and intelligence agencies are also hunting for Midaat Mursi, known as Abu Khabab, prominent member of al Qaeda’s operational partner, the Egyptian Jihad Islami, who is considered the organization’s top expert on radiological bombs. Mursi heads a number of terrorist rings who may have been instructed to infiltrate the United States through Canada for a dirty bomb attack. They may have made the crossing already.”

As to the “dirty bomb” thing, the tidbit has been going around through the intelligence community for years now that Osama bin Laden is in possession of multiple “suitcase nukes” acquired through rogue elements of the former Soviet Union military. These would be more likely to be employed near large population centers.

The face of the enemy

We have seen the patterns of terrorist attack in other countries, with Israel being the paradigm. Suicide bombings, car bombings, and mass murder attempts in public places with firearms, such as the Karachi incident recounted at the beginning of this article.

The deaths of unarmed men, women, and children do not concern the perpetrators. Naive observers feel that this is not going to happen because their reading of the Moslem faith is that such killings are strictly forbidden. That is my understanding also. The problem is, we are not dealing with strict Moslems. We are dealing with fanatics and radicals whose faith has been cruelly misinterpreted by their leaders and twisted against them as well as against us.


Even the humble .22 can save the day if a shot is coolly placed in the right spot. This is the Smith & Wesson .22 Kit Gun, a favorite of backwoods people since before WWII.

In the wake of the brutal murder of American hostage Paul Johnson, Jr. in June of 2004, King Abdullah II of Jordan was quoted by Beth Gardiner of Associated Press from an address he delivered over Jordan Radio. Said the king, “These evil acts are not only aimed against the United States and the West, but also against Islam and humanity.”

Researchers David Benjamin and Steven Simon were able to access the deposition of a captured member of Al-Qaeda. In the following passage, he talks about his training and what he was told by the spiritual leader who was in charge of his terrorist cell:

“He said that our time now is similar like in that time, and he say ibn al Tamiyeh, when a tartar come to Arabic war, Arabic countries that time, he say some Muslims, they help him. And he says ibn al Tamiyeh, he make a fatwah. He said anybody around the tartar, he buy something from them and he sell them something, you should kill him. And also, if when you attack the tartar, if anybody around them, anything, or he’s not military or that—if you kill him, you don’t have to worry about that. If he’s a good person, he go to paradise and if he’s a bad person, he go to hell.”

What this individual is expressing, literally, is an ethos of “kill them all and let God sort them out.”

There is, really, only one answer. The threat must be interdicted. The Israelis figured out long ago that there’s no point in taking at gunpoint a subject who considers himself to be on a “martyrdom operation,” as Osama bin Laden has called his trademark type of merciless attack against the helpless. When a criminal suspect is taken at gunpoint by a police officer, a security professional, or a law-abiding armed citizen, what is happening is essentially a kind of negotiation.

In negotiation, as we all know, a form of bargaining is taking place. We give something we can afford to give, to gain something that we genuinely need. At gunpoint, we are implicitly saying to the criminal, “If you cease what you are doing which endangers us, we will let you live.” We can afford to lodge him at society’s expense in a penitentiary (or, if we are not police, to let him escape) in return to his obedience to the command to cease hostility. On his side of the deal, he is allowed to live unharmed in return for ceasing his dangerous behavior, which forced us to point deadly weapons at him.

This particular negotiation breaks down, however, when what we offer in return for what we need is something the other party doesn’t particularly want. The fanatics of Al-Qaeda and their sympathizers have repeatedly said that where our culture loves life, theirs loves death. The volunteers call themselves martyrs, and expect to sit at the side of their god and be rewarded with a few dozen virgins in the afterlife as a result of their actions. Therefore, they do not fear death, and cannot be bargained with like a criminal who wants to live.

Only one type of “negotiation” is possible. If what we need is the safety of the innocent, and what the terrorists want is death, suddenly the trade seems feasible after all.

This is why the Israelis have learned to shoot first and discuss the matter later when the explosives or the guns come out in the hands of the other side. Not long ago, a woman in a market in Israel saw a man attempting to activate an explosive device strapped to his body. She drew a concealed pistol and shot him dead before he could trigger the suicide bomb, and in so doing she saved countless innocent people from being killed or mutilated. American newspapers referred to her as a “security” person, but the word I get is that she was simply an ordinary lady…with a gun, and the will to use it, and the foresight to have learned to use it properly and effectively.

Many years before, a clutch of terrorists opened fire in a public place in Israel. Guns bloomed everywhere from the concealing garments of honest Israeli citizens. In moments, the terrorists were on the ground bleeding from their gunshot wounds, all dead but one. The wounded survivor said indignantly afterward that no one had told them that their victims might be armed and capable of shooting back.

After the massacre at the Maalot school decades ago, the Israelis developed the policy of having plainclothes volunteer guards in the schools, armed with concealed handguns. They were not hired gun security specialists, but parents and grandparents who had signed up to help protect their children and those of the community. They were trained with their firearms by the civil guard. Since that time, there was no wholesale murder of children in an Israeli school. The one such incident happened on a field trip outside the country, where it would have been known to the murderers that the adult chaperones were not allowed to take the weapons they carried in Israel. Last year, a terrorist gunman opened fire in an Israeli school, and was cut down by civilian volunteer gunfire before he could accumulate a significant death toll.


A little “snub-nose .38” like this ended the depredations, and the life, of urban terrorist Twymon Myers. This one is the ubiquitous Smith & Wesson Chiefs Special, in production since 1950 and weighing some 19 ounces with five-shot capacity.

The June 2004 issue of the Gottlieb-Tartaro Report carried the following item under the headline Armed Israeli Citizens Help Curb Terrorists: “Israel’s police spokesman Gil Kleiman says that citizens who carry their own guns are helping to curb the damage terrorists can inflict by being able to stop a terrorist situation. ‘We’ve seen it time and time again,’ said Kleiman. ‘Armed civilians who are well trained can save people’s lives. If there isn’t a policeman, civilians can deal immediately with a terrorist.’” Emphasis is Gottlieb’s and Tartaro’s.

We need to remember, too, that all terrorism is not political. Two psychopathic teens inflicted a huge toll of death and tragedy at Columbine High School, acting out a sick agenda that was personal rather than political or religious. In Pearl, Mississippi, a young man in a similar state of mind murdered his mother with a knife to gain control of his estranged father’s deer rifle, which he then took to school. He shot several students, and was in the act of driving toward a nearby junior high school with the gun and a quantity of ammunition when he was interdicted at gunpoint by a courageous assistant principal who had retrieved a Colt .45 semiautomatic from his pickup truck in the parking lot.

NACOP, the National Association of Chiefs of Police, came up with some figures that are on point to this issue in their recent 16th Annual Survey of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs, which was posted June 15, 2004. Jim Kouri, identified as Vice President and Public Affairs Specialist for NACOP, noted that the survey results differed from the public’s perception that most police executives in this country frown upon the idea of citizens fighting back. “When police chiefs and sheriffs are allowed to respond to poll questions anonymously, the politics may be removed from their answers,” Kouri explained.

Some extracts from the results of that survey:

“When asked if the United States would be attacked by terrorists within the next year, 88.2 percent said yes. Meanwhile 64 percent of police commanders said they received training and other resources from the federal government to combat terrorism, while only 42 percent said their departments participated in terrorism-response simulations.”

Also, “With regard to private citizens owning firearms for sport or self-defense, 94 percent of the respondents supported civilian gun-ownership rights. Ninety-six percent of the police chiefs and sheriffs believe criminals obtain firearms from illegal sources and 91 percent revealed they hadn’t arrested anyone for violation of the so-called ‘waiting period’ laws. When asked if they opposed citizens obtaining concealed-weapons permits, only 34 percent said yes.”

We’ve seen the future

We are a nation of hundreds of million of citizens, equipped with only a few hundred thousand police officers. Clearly, the cops can’t be everywhere at once.

Obviously, any citizen should report suspicious behavior. That’s not paranoia or fascism; under the circumstances, it’s just common sense.

No, citizens won’t spot a guy in a kafiyeh setting the timer on a small nuclear device. However, citizens do spot smaller things that can have a bearing. 9/11 suicide squad leader Mohammed Atta allegedly got into a road rage incident en route to the original airport from which he flew to Boston to transfer onto the fateful flight that terminated at the Twin Towers. If a cell phone call to police had summoned authorities in time, the course of history might have been changed.


The 1911 style .45 caliber semiautomatic is the classic American fighting pistol. This one is a Kimber CDP.

Now, if a man carrying a boxcutter and intending to slash throats, commit mass murder, and die himself that day should find himself embroiled in a shouting match with an angry motorist who appears about to call people who can “come and take him away,” he is not likely to just drive off. This is yet another reason for competent, responsible people to consider going armed.

More states than ever now authorize concealed carry of handguns. Vermont, the one state that has traditionally allowed that practice without any requirement for a permit or license, has recently been joined in that by an enlightened state of Alaska. More states than ever have reciprocity in this regard, that is, will accept concealed carry authorization issued by other states. Your best constantly-current source on the national concealed carry gun law situation is the web-site www.packing.org.

Choice of equipment

The citizens of Israel have proven that you don’t need exotic counter-terrorist equipment to deal with scumbags who open fire on the innocent. The typical gun used there successfully by armed citizens is the ordinary 9mm semiautomatic pistol, of any of several makes. The key thing is that it be reliable. Be sure to load it with jacketed hollow point ammunition. It is designed to open up inside an offender’s body and lodge there, instead of tearing out the other side and homing in on an unseen bystander located behind the attacker and out of the shooter’s line of sight. The hollow point is also a more decisive “manstopper.” In shooting after shooting in Israel, terrorists have had to be shot again and again and again before they ceased their hostile actions, because the typical full metal jacket ammunition used there just punches a narrow wound profile like an ice-pick and does not deliver as much energy to surrounding tissues as does the American style bullet with the hollow cavity.

.45 caliber is a traditional American choice, and it’s no trick to teach even a small person to use one effectively. This powerful round has a good reputation for one-shot stops on violent human aggressors. Again, hollow points should be the choice of ammunition. The .45 kicks harder than the 9mm and so, for some, will warrant more training and practice time to gain competency. The US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is partial to the .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Frankly, the good old-fashioned six-shooter will probably do well enough. Back in the 1970s, a task force of NYPD detectives and Federal agents shot it out with one Twymon Myers, a domestic terrorist believed at the time to have been the last surviving member of the Black Liberation Army, whose signature attack was the ambush murder of uniformed police officers. Myers had wounded multiple lawmen in the firefight with his 14-shot Browning Hi-Power 9mm pistol, and was trying to get to heavier firepower in his attaché case, and a hail of gunfire from cops armed with everything from 9mm automatics to Magnum revolvers had failed to put him down. Police lore has it that, before Myers could dump his empty pistol and get into his case, a grizzled New York City detective leaned out from cover and carefully squeezed off a single shot from his 1950-style .38 Special revolver. The 158-grain non-hollow point bullet punched through Myers’ heart and dropped him like a rock. Inside the case the terrorist had with him were a Colt .357 Magnum revolver and a 9mm German Schmeisser submachine gun, both fully loaded.

Indeed, even a .22 is better than nothing at all. The .22 caliber Beretta pistol issued by Mossad has gotten many an Israeli intelligence agent out of dangerous circumstances.

Self-reliant people prepare for storms even if there haven’t been any for a while. There hasn’t been a real storm on these shores since 9/11 at this writing, but the storm warnings are clear and urgent.

The Federal government is preparing for the next wave of attacks. So is local law enforcement.

This means that the rest of America needs to prepare for it, too.

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SB_Mig
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« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2007, 02:27:51 PM »

GM -

Excellent post.

Kumaw -

Yes, most CC individuals are trained and knowledgeable in the use of their weapon. Unfortunately, this does not always equate to proficiency/ability to act under duress.

I think the article that GM's just posted article makes two points which we should be discussing as a society as a whole (and possibly under another forum heading):

1) Attitude - Most societies with a trained/enabled populace live under constant threat to life and limb. What we have here in the States is perceived threat. . We live in an open, relatively safe society so most people live with an "until it happens to me, I won't worry about it" mentality. Thus, the majority of the population, while believing that a terrorist threat is imminent, is unwilling to deal with that reality.

2) Preparation - Living under constant threat means that you prepare for worst case scenarios: Parents/grandparents/teachers learn to use weapons, fear or rejection of firearms is countered with education and training in firearms use, children are taught and trained to deal with "bad guys". As quoted in the article, "Armed civilians who are well trained can save people’s lives. If there isn’t a policeman, civilians can deal immediately with a terrorist.’”

So how do we, as a society prepare our populace to defend itself?
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Kumaw
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« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2007, 03:03:25 PM »

Granted training does not always equal proficiency under stress, the belief by the "bad guy" that someone else has a gun is usually a very good deterent.

As far as how we go about preparing our society for such attack, I wish I knew. The magic word would be education, but there are far to many people that have the belief that we can all just put down our guns and hug and the world's problems will go away. I would love nothing more than for that tactic to work, but sadly it is not a reality now, nor has it ever been.

You are correct in that we live in a relatively safe country, while in the back of our minds we know an attack may be imminent we do not prepare because we say it cannot happen to us. We said that on September 10, 2001 and after a short period in which we were better prepared most have reverted back. Today we and many others discuss what we can do to prevent this from occuring again. Sadly though this too will pass and most will go back to worrying about what Paris Hilton is doing today rather than if their children are safe.

Politics are the name of the game, until it becomes financially and politically lucrative to be secure and prepared, chances are it won't happen.


 
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2007, 06:57:05 PM »

Quote
Politics are the name of the game, until it becomes financially and politically lucrative to be secure and prepared, chances are it won't happen.

So true...



You brought up the point that even crazy suicide bombers are deterred by the possibility of armed civilians. This is true, but as mentally ill as suicide bombers are, they are still thinking "rationally" in terms of completing a mission or a series of objectives and they have a religious motivation to complete the task at hand in the most attention getting way possible. Getting gunned down before completing this task is what might give them pause.

As more facts come out in the VT shooting, it is readily apparent that the shooter was waaaaaaaaaay beyond "rational" thought and acting on a purely psycopathic level. So the idea that there might be another shooter out there wouldn't even be a blip on his radar screen.

Don't get me wrong, I think that CC is a viable solution in many instances, but not this one.

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G M
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« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2007, 07:02:52 PM »

The thought of an armed citizen might not deter him, but an armed citizen shooting him until he no longer presents a threat would work.

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Kumaw
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« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2007, 08:52:47 PM »

The thought of an armed citizen might not deter him, but an armed citizen shooting him until he no longer presents a threat would work.



I second that.
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G M
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« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2007, 08:57:47 PM »

Other viable options are an FMA practitioner leaping on him and stabbing him until the threat is ended, or a group of students rushing him and stomping him into jelly rather than being slaughtered like sheep.
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Cranewings
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« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2007, 09:04:40 PM »

It is really sad all this happened. I wish it could have turned out differently.

Personally, I'm a little suprised this thing doesn't happen more often. There are a lot of hurt and crazy people out there.

In a country of 300+ million people, there is bound to be someone who as all the parts needed to make a killer. A lot of our states have higher populations than some European countries.

I think that the killings are a symptom of the freedom we all possess. You would have to limit it dramatically if you wanted to go out and lock down every loner with a bad additude... or give "the man" the power to decide if someone isn't on the right page and lock him away before he commits a crime.

For your own family and friends, you can give them tools, weapons, and knowledge so that they can try to protect themselves or see the danger signs and avoid these kinds of things.

I just don't see a reasonable solution for the whole of society when it comes to protecting everyone, all the time, from these types of people.
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G M
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« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2007, 09:53:16 PM »





April 18, 2007, 0:44 p.m.

A Culture of Passivity
"Protecting" our "children" at Virginia Tech.

By Mark Steyn

I haven’t weighed in yet on Virginia Tech — mainly because, in a saner world, it would not be the kind of incident one needed to have a partisan opinion on. But I was giving a couple of speeches in Minnesota yesterday and I was asked about it and found myself more and more disturbed by the tone of the coverage. I’m not sure I’m ready to go the full Derb but I think he’s closer to the reality of the situation than most. On Monday night, Geraldo was all over Fox News saying we have to accept that, in this horrible world we live in, our “children” need to be “protected.”

Point one: They’re not “children.” The students at Virginia Tech were grown women and — if you’ll forgive the expression — men. They would be regarded as adults by any other society in the history of our planet. Granted, we live in a selectively infantilized culture where twentysomethings are “children” if they’re serving in the Third Infantry Division in Ramadi but grown-ups making rational choices if they drop to the broadloom in President Clinton’s Oval Office. Nonetheless, it’s deeply damaging to portray fit fully formed adults as children who need to be protected. We should be raising them to understand that there will be moments in life when you need to protect yourself — and, in a “horrible” world, there may come moments when you have to choose between protecting yourself or others. It is a poor reflection on us that, in those first critical seconds where one has to make a decision, only an elderly Holocaust survivor, Professor Librescu, understood instinctively the obligation to act.

Point two: The cost of a “protected” society of eternal “children” is too high. Every December 6th, my own unmanned Dominion lowers its flags to half-mast and tries to saddle Canadian manhood in general with the blame for the “Montreal massacre,”  the 14 female students of the Ecole Polytechnique murdered by Marc Lepine (born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater, though you’d never know that from the press coverage). As I wrote up north a few years ago:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

I have always believed America is different. Certainly on September 11th we understood. The only good news of the day came from the passengers who didn’t meekly follow the obsolescent 1970s hijack procedures but who used their wits and acted as free-born individuals. And a few months later as Richard Reid bent down and tried to light his shoe in that critical split-second even the French guys leapt up and pounded the bejasus out of him.

We do our children a disservice to raise them to entrust all to officialdom’s security blanket. Geraldo-like “protection” is a delusion: when something goes awry — whether on a September morning flight out of Logan or on a peaceful college campus — the state won’t be there to protect you. You’ll be the fellow on the scene who has to make the decision. As my distinguished compatriot Kathy Shaidle says:

When we say “we don’t know what we’d do under the same circumstances”, we make cowardice the default position.

I’d prefer to say that the default position is a terrible enervating passivity. Murderous misfit loners are mercifully rare. But this awful corrosive passivity is far more pervasive, and, unlike the psycho killer, is an existential threat to a functioning society.

 — Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is author of America Alone.

National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YzEzYzQ0Y2MyZjNlNjY1ZTEzMTA0MGRmM2EyMTQ0NjY=
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G M
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« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2007, 12:48:30 AM »

Wanted: A culture of self-defense
By Michelle Malkin   ·   April 18, 2007 11:24 AM
My column this week:

There's no polite way or time to say it: American college and universities have become coddle industries. Big Nanny administrators oversee speech codes, segregrated dorms, politically correct academic departments, and designated "safe spaces" to protect students selectively from hurtful (conservative) opinions—while allowing mob rule for approved leftist positions (textbook case: Columbia University's anti-Minuteman Project protesters).

Instead of teaching students to defend their beliefs, American educators shield them from vigorous intellectual debate. Instead of encouraging autonomy, our higher institutions of learning stoke passivity and conflict-avoidance.

And as the erosion of intellectual self-defense goes, so goes the erosion of physical self-defense.

As news was breaking about the carnage at Virginia Tech, a reader e-mailed me a news story from last January. State legislators in Virginia had attempted to pass a bill that would have eased handgun restrictions on college campuses. Opposed by outspoken, anti-gun activists and Virginia Tech administrators, that bill failed.

Is it too early to ask: "What if?" What if that bill had passed? What if just one student in one of those classrooms had been in lawful possession of a concealed weapon for the purpose of self-defense?

If it wasn't too early for Keystone Katie Couric to be jumping all over campus security yesterday for what they woulda/coulda/shoulda done in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, and if it isn't too early for the New York Times editorial board to be publishing its knee-jerk call for more gun control, it darned well isn't too early for me to raise questions about how the unrepentant anti-gun lobbying of college officials may have put students at risk.

The back story: Virginia Tech had punished a student for bringing a handgun to class last spring—despite the fact that the student had a valid concealed handgun permit. The bill would have barred public universities from making "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun." After the proposal died in subcommittee, the school's governing board reiterated its ban on students or employees carrying guns and prohibiting visitors from bringing them into campus buildings.

Late last summer, a shooting near campus prompted students to clamor again for loosening campus rules against armed self-defense. Virginia Tech officials turned up their noses. In response to student Bradford Wiles's campus newspaper op-ed piece in support of concealed carry on campus, Virginia Tech associate vice president Larry Hincker scoffed:

"t is absolutely mind-boggling to see the opinions of Bradford Wiles…The editors of this page must have printed this commentary if for no other reason than malicious compliance. Surely, they scratched their heads saying, 'I can't believe he really wants to say that.' Wiles tells us that he didn't feel safe with the hundreds of highly trained officers armed with high powered rifles encircling the building and protecting him. He even implies that he needed his sidearm to protect himself."

The nerve!

Hincker continued: "The writer would have us believe that a university campus, with tens of thousands of young people, is safer with everyone packing heat. Imagine the continual fear of students in that scenario. We've seen that fear here, and we don't want to see it again…Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same."

Who's scratching his head now, Mr. Hincker?

Some high-handed commentators insist it's premature or unseemly to examine the impact of school rules discouraging students from carrying arms on campus. Pundit Andrew Sullivan complained that it was "creepy" to highlight reader e-mails calling attention to the Virginia Tech's restrictions on student self-defense—even as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence rushed to capitalize on the massacre to sign up new members and gather e-mail addresses for Million Mom March chapters. "We are outraged by the increase in gun violence in America, especially the recent shooting at Virginia Tech," reads the online petition. "Add your name to the growing list of people who are saying 'Enough Is Enough!'"

Enough is enough, indeed. Enough of intellectual disarmament. Enough of physical disarmament. You want a safer campus? It begins with renewing a culture of self-defense—mind, spirit, and body. It begins with two words: Fight back.

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ccp
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« Reply #45 on: April 19, 2007, 01:19:33 AM »

Over twenty five years ago I took a class in forensic psychiatry.  We took a tour of St Elizabeth hospital for the crimnally insane.

I still remember many of the stories the psychiatrist told us.  I also remember him distinctly saying that most of the patients *appeared* dangerous, but were not.   Most of them, if released, would cause no harm.  The problem was being able to predict or figure out which ones would go out and harm others.   He said this was often impossible.   Thus, many of the inmates/patients would spend their lives there - because the psychiatrists coud not predict the harmless from the dangerous.   It is always easier in retrospect.  In my experience  in evaluating patients for mental hosptial commitment the psychiatrist simply interviews the patient to determine potential harm to him/herself and if they don't find clear evidence of delusions or hallucinations, and if the patient simply denies suicidal or homicidal intent then the patient is released.   

Of course now we'll hear how the "system" failed, the college president should be fired, the teachers should have been more proactive, it's bush's fault, it's the NRA's fault, it is our decadant culture, and on and on and on for weeks or months,  Time and Newsweek will come out with their version of the *real* truth behind the headlines, Geraldo, O'Reilly will have more to blab about ad nauseam on Fox, CNN will interview the Dems candidates side of the story giving them a platform describing how we need them to protect "our children" - all this and more - until we get new headlines.

Of course I can just turn off the news for a while or come here and chat and read up on other topics  smiley
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rogt
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« Reply #46 on: April 19, 2007, 01:12:44 PM »

Would someone help out Rog with some data on what has happened in the UK and Australia since they have virtually outlawed guns?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_the_UK

I don't want to post the whole page, so the following is my summary.  This applies only to the UK.

First off, guns are not completely banned in the UK, but there is a certification process that would be considered draconian by US standards.  The prospective gun owner must prove to the police that he has a "good reason" for owning one (legitimate sporting or work-related need) and that he can be trusted to operate it without causing any danger to the public.  Self-defense has not been considered a legitimate reason since 1946.  Before being issued a gun license, the person must give the police all serial numbers and other information on the specific gun(s) and must allow the police to inspect the person's gun storage arrangements.  Handguns are pretty difficult to get a license for, while there's a slightly easier process for getting a shotgun license.

As for the effect of gun legistlation on crime in the UK, I will post from the Wikipedia word-for-word:

Quote
In 2005/06 there were 766 offences initially recorded as homicide by the police in England and Wales (including the 52 victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings),[15] a rate of 1.4 per 100,000 of population. Only 50 (6.6%) were committed with firearms, one being with an air weapon.[16] The homicide rate for London was 2.4 per 100,000 in the same year (1.7 when excluding the 7 July bombings).[17]

By comparison, 5.5 murders per 100,000 of population were reported by police in the United States in 2000, of which 70% involved the use of firearms (75% of which were illegally obtained).[18] New York City, with a population size similar to London and similar firearms laws with almost all firearms prohibited to normal citizens (over 7 million residents), reported 6.9 murders per 100,000 people in 2004.[19]

Based on the above, I would argue that a country's gun crime rate doesn't have as much to do with it's gun control laws as with it's culture around guns.  We have few restrictions on gun ownership compared to other industrialized countries, but we also have a gun-glorifying culture I suspect you don't see much outside of the US.  Mind you I'm not arguing for censorship of guns from our TV, movies, video games, etc. but that they may have something to do with why our rates of crazy suicide-shootings are off the spectrum compared to other countries.
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G M
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« Reply #47 on: April 19, 2007, 01:32:22 PM »

The mass killers are the abberant and thus media intensive form of killer in the US. The subculture of gangsterism in urban minority centers fuels most of our violent crime statistics. When it is safer for a young black male to be in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan than a civilian in Washington D.C. it's a sign that something has gone very wrong.
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rogt
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« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2007, 01:52:01 PM »

The mass killers are the abberant and thus media intensive form of killer in the US. The subculture of gangsterism in urban minority centers fuels most of our violent crime statistics. When it is safer for a young black male to be in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan than a civilian in Washington D.C. it's a sign that something has gone very wrong.

No disagreement from me here.

Seriously, what can account for our exceptional rate of these mass murder-suicides?  What's changed here during the past 15 years or so that could explain it?  It's true that these mass killers are basically doing what they see in Quentin Tarantino movies and the Grand Theft Auto games (which I personally love BTW), but I don't know if these alone are enough.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2007, 01:53:41 PM by rogt » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #49 on: April 19, 2007, 02:22:58 PM »

Thank you for helping the conversation move forward with a good summary of your source Rog-- a good example for all of us btw!-- however it appears I have failed to make my point clear.  embarassed I was not looking for a US vs. the UK/Australia comparison.  Rather I was looking for intra UK/Australia before/after analysis.

Turning to the larger conversation, personally at the moment I find myself thinking more in terms of the inevitable flotsam of the anonymous interaction of modern life , , ,  Looking at the is guy in evo-psych terms my snap impression is of a guy in a culture somewhat alien to him who simply was always getting shut down by all the kitty flashing around him and it drove him angry bonkers.  If guns didn't exist he probably be doing arson or bombs.

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