April 16, 2007

Breaking: Mass Murder At Virginia Tech (Bumped - Update: 33 Dead)

At least one gunman has killed as many as 20 people at Virginia Tech, according to the BBC:

At least 20 people have been killed and more injured after a gunman went on the rampage at the campus of Virginia Tech university in Virginia, US.

Police say there were two separate shooting incidents - one at West Ambler Johnston Hall, a student dormitory, and Norris Hall, an engineering building.

The incidents were about two hours apart. Police say that the gunman at Norris Hall is dead.

Hot Air says the gunman -- so far it looks like only one -- carried an ammo vest and shot students in classrooms indiscriminately. I'll have more as details become available.

UPDATE: The two shootings were two hours apart. The first occurred in a student dorm where an ID would be required for access. The second occurred in an engineering building.

UPDATE II: The White House presser has started, and of course the first questions are about gun control. Reporters want to know whether gun control would have prevented this. It didn't prevent a sniper from targeting people in Washington DC a couple of years ago, though.

UPDATE III: "The gunman is deceased." No one knows whether he killed himself in Norris Hall, or whether law enforcement officers killed him.

UPDATE IV: Here's a question -- why didn't VT lock the campus down after the first shooting? They apparently only locked it down after the second shooting, according to the student being interviewed now on Fox.

UPDATE V: ABC News says the casualty count has risen to 25 dead, and it may go higher. And regarding gun control, perhaps armed students could have been able to defend themselves -- but that's going to be a debate that will satisfy no one, and is best saved for later.

UPDATE VI: CNN wonders how the gunman made it across campus after the first shooting to attack three hours later. They report that VT did lock the campus down after the first shooting, but then lifted the lockdown -- and that's when the second set of shootings occurred. Bear in mind that these details will almost certainly be incomplete at best, and that information later will likely be better.

UPDATE VII: Now ABC reports 29 confirmed dead at the same link. CNN is questioning the security plan for Virginia Tech, and given that the school had just had a series of bomb threats, it's a question that many will be asking.

UPDATE VIII: Via Instapundit, we find out that VT was a gun-free zone. A bill that would have allowed students and faculty to carry weapons failed in the Virginia Assembly.

UPDATE IX: Now it's 32 dead. More can be found at Planet Blacksburg. (h/t CQ reader Hugho)

UPDATE X: President Bush will speak in a few minutes. ABC News says the number of dead has been confirmed at 29, slightly better news than before. They also report that there was only one gunman and he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

UPDATE XI: CNN expert: "Why are these cops [in the student video] standing around? ... They get their ass in the building in order to stop this thing. ... We need to have these guys inside that building and finding that threat. ... Society has really put a clamp on their ability to be aggressive." That sound pretty harsh, especially based on one cell-phone video.

UPDATE XII: 33 confirmed deaths overall, including the gunman. He had no ID, but they're still working on finding out who he is. The earlier incident in the Ambler Johnston dorm was "domestic in nature", which tends to confirm some of the rumors about a love triangle prompting the shooting.

UPDATE XIII: The police chief and the university president will not state whether the two shootings are related. Also, some of the Norris Hall doors apparently were chained from the inside, which the chief described as "unusual". The shooter may have prepped the building to keep people from getting out of or into the building.


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» Multiple Shootings at Virginia Tech from JammieWearingFool
***See Updates*** This story is unfolding, but it appears there is more than one shooter involved. [Read More]

» *UPDATE* Reported Multiple Deaths in Virginia Tech Shooting from The Sandbox
Classes have been canceled today as a scary situation develops in Blacksburg:Shootings in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech left at least one person dead and seven or eight more wounded Monday before police arrested the suspected gunman, officials [Read More]

» Multiple Fatalities in Virginia Tech University Sh from Blue Star Chronicles
UPDATE - 1:41 p.m. ET: 32 people are confirmed dead. UPDATE - 1:51 p.m. ET: Reports are that there was a two hour lapse between two sets of shootings. [Read More]

» Breaking- Gunman kills 21 32 and wounds 21 28 more at Virginia Tech (UPDATED) from A Second Hand Conjecture
***BUMPED TO TOP*** Roanoke Times has continuous updates and eye witness accounts. MORE: HotAir has running updates including this from a Va. Tech student: Just got this from a reader who says it was posted on his VTech frat listserv. Grain of salt: Z... [Read More]

» Breaking - Gunmen Kill 21 32 In Virginia Tech Campus Shooting from Webloggin
The first shooting occurred in West Ambler Johnston Hall where there was one killing and multiple injuries. Police and EMS were on the scene when shots rang out in a separate hall. ... [Read More]

» At least 32 dead in Virginia Tech rampage from Bill's Bites
No word yet on any obvious motive. Broken romance? Jihad? Right now it's sounding like a damned good argument for concealed carry permits at any rate. Federal Officials: At Least 32 Dead After Virginia Tech Shooting BLACKSBURG, Va. — At [Read More]

» Virginia Tech: Deadliest Campus Shooting In U.S. History. from "7.62mm Justice" ™
A black day for the college campuses of America. The death toll has rises to at least 30 at this time. However the details are very sketchy. It doesn’t seem to be clear if there were two gunmen, or just one. The two shootings seem to be several h... [Read More]

» VA Tech & the Vampire Media from CDR Salamander
The first political thing that came to mind when I heard about the VA Tech shootings today was that no one should be in front of Sen. Schumer and a microphone as he and the leading Democrats run to call for more gun control - well I was wrong. The... [Read More]

» 22 dead in Va. Tech shooting rampage from Stop The ACLU
Gunman shot people in a dorm, second building; suspect among dead Breaking News AP BLACKSBURG, Va. - A gunman opened fire in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech on Monday, killing 21 people in the deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history. The gunma... [Read More]

» At least 32 dead in Virginia Tech rampage from Bill's Bites
No word yet on any obvious motive. Broken romance? Jihad? Right now it's sounding like a damned good argument for concealed carry permits at any rate. Federal Officials: At Least 32 Dead After Virginia Tech Shooting BLACKSBURG, Va. — At [Read More]

» 21 DEAD IN VIRGINIA TECH SHOOTING from Texas Hold 'Em Blogger
A gunman has left 21 people dead in his wake in a deadly shooting rampage at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. BLACKSBURG, Va. — At least 22 are dead after a shooting at Virginia Tech University Monday morning, the campus police chief said. Police sa... [Read More]

» Campus Self-Defense Squelched at Va. Tech in 2006 from Doug Ross @ Journal
"I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions," Hincker said on Jan. 31, 2006, "because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus..." [Read More]

Comments (54)

Posted by McBaine [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 12:23 PM

Now dare I ask the question the MSM would never ask? Would allowing Conceal carry permits at school could have saved lifes? Personally I think we should look at less gun control laws not more.

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 12:31 PM

How long will it take the left to blame this on Bush?

Posted by Hermie [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 12:32 PM

The next question is: Would a person who is prepared to kill over 20 people be in the least deterred by gun laws?

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 12:34 PM

I can just see the media templates being shuffled right now . . .

- If a white student who is the shooter, it will be blamed on America along with any institution he was involved in, that was the least bit conservative. There will be calls for shutting down institutions liberals do not like and for gun control.

- If it's a student who is not white, it will be blamed completely on America for "failing" him and how we need to change our lives and institutions to better accommodate "people of color". Plus more gun control.

Posted by Brooklyn [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 12:46 PM

very concerning...

and very sad...

thoughts and prayers with the victims.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 12:57 PM

Forty years ago, if Virginia Tech campus police had a hunch, that a person was "out of place" or "acting suspicious" or "strange" they'd just stop the guy and ask him what he's doing. Today, that's "harassment," or "profiling," and much more likely to get the cop in trouble than the person acting "strange." Better than taking everybody's right to a gun away, is allowing authorities to "get in people's business" more, enough to find out what's going on, as they were allowed to do (without fear) forty years ago.

Posted by Craig [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 1:00 PM

An ID may have been required to enter the dorm, but that's easy to circumvent by tailgating, especially when a lot of people are going in and out.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 1:19 PM

Unbelievable. What sort of sick, twisted person would do such a thing? Where do these monsters come from? How can we identify them and either get them the psychiatric help they need or lock them up BEFORE they start killing people?

Pray for the families of those who have been killed, and for the speedy and complete recovery of those who have been injured.

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 1:32 PM

Way too early to see anything reliable through the fog of battle. Reporters asking a blizzard of questions, some good, some as boneheaded as it gets. Reactions will have to do when information is so thin. The NEWS must be served! The cameras must be fed!

Legions of blowcombed news readers are staring into ravenous camera lenses desperately reaching for a small kernel of relevance. If they can't find any, they'll end up back where they came from - lingerie models!

Posted by Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 1:34 PM

If the shooter turns out to be Muslim, it will be a safe bet that the MSM will never find that information to be worth mentioning.

Posted by Count to 10 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 1:37 PM

You know, when hand guns became cheep and easy to get, they became the great equalizer; no longer could the biggest guy in town push everyone around and kill indiscriminately, lest he be shot.
Gun control laws can have the effect of backtracking on that. If only criminals and cops have guns, you are at the mercy of the criminals until the police arive. In any "gun-free" location, a gun toting criminal knows he has a free hand, and is largly invincible, for some period of time.

Oh, and Fox described the shooter as asian.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 1:58 PM

There is no one. Not one single person, in academia today, whose gonna bother at keeping your kids safe.

They're just a bunch of hand-wringers. I'd add "idealists" ... but their ideas have nothing to do with idealism, at all. JUST WACKO POWER GRABS.

Of course, when the roof blows off; and you see this carnage. You've got to wonder! How did this "asian-type" gunman get TWO BITES?

The cops got called from the dorm, at 7:AM.

I guess the shooter hid, huh?

When it seemed things were "gonna go back to normal." Normal, being for police, to take reports. And, run out of pencils and paper. The shooter, in another building; let go, again.

Finally? Some sharp shooter took him down.

Now? You have the display of "hand-wringers."

What's missing, and what those "hand-wringers" want to curtail? ANGER!

Imagine sending your kid to a school, which you FALSELY believe is essential; when it is NOT. And, you pay through the teeth, to boot. Only to know full well that the admissions process is allowing in the garbage from the global terrorist infrastructure.

And, now you're surprised?

NOPE. Not me.

So sad to know the kids who've perished are irreplaceable. And, they weren't even on the front lines! Where their sacrifices would have been against the lunatics who purpetrate this stuff.

I really have no stomach for the media; or the hand-wringers. It's about time we saw displayed ANGER. The kind of anger that hits every one of us, privately. And, is not allowed to be debated in public corridors.

Let alone, a mad man like this was supposedly "symptom free?" Now, don't you got pulling my leg! Because I kick back!

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 2:07 PM

"I really have no stomach for the media; or the hand-wringers. It's about time we saw displayed ANGER. The kind of anger that hits every one of us, privately. And, is not allowed to be debated in public corridors."

Nothing like a tragedy to reveal people's agendas.

Posted by Tom Shipley [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 2:22 PM

And as far as allowing students to bring fire arms to class?

I don't know. Just because someone has a permit to carry a fire arm, doesn't qualify them to handle a situation like this. Kids in college do stupid things on a regular basis. I don't think throwing fire arms into the mix would be the best idea.

Thinking back to my days in college, I wouldn't feel comfortable with students sitting around me packing heat. Seems like an extreme response to a rare occurrence.

Posted by Laddy [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 2:29 PM

Wasn't there a shooting at a law school somewhere in the past couple of years where one of the law students went out to his car, got his gun, and then dropped the assailant? Guns can save lives.

Posted by ohmyachingback [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 2:35 PM

I don't know Shipley, agendas cut both ways. Having armed students/faculty might not have prevented the first shooting, but I believe the death toll would not be as high as it is if a student or member of the faculty could have had a chance to fire back at the shooter.

I wouldn't want to see anyone packin' unless they were licensed and trained. I AM angry that once again the "good guys" finish last. Dead last!!

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 2:48 PM

The description of the shooter--asian, in his 20s--is from a victim, Derek O'Dell, a student that was shot in the arm when the shooter came into a classroom in the engineering building. Drudge has a link to his phone interview.

Posted by Cindy [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 3:41 PM

Carol - you are somewhat correct. We can not rely on the "handwringers" to keep our kids safe, I just don't know if it is a matter of them willfully not wanting to or not doing so out of ignorance.

Case in point - the Junior Logician's middle school recently held a "lock down drill". The premise of the drill was an "angry citizen" came into the school carrying a gun. The students were told to get into a corner of their classroom that is out of view from the interior windows. That is all well and good if you are in an interior classroom BUT if you are in a classroom with exterior windows as well as interior windows all the shooter needs to do is go to the outside windows AND LOOK IN! The teachers never addressed that possibility at all.


Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 4:18 PM

And then their is the "Matinee Mitt Gun Owners Clubs" already claiming that armed students and professors would be the answer to problems like this ... that's just what I wanted when I sent my two kids to college, to be surrounded by a bunch of students and professors with sidearms strapped to their sides. Amazing! Do you people even think before you talk about these things? Students at colleges die every year at chugging parties ... and you want to introduce guns to that environment.

This was all about a crazed individual who went even crazier. It's a disaster that happened right here in college town USA. It's not the excuse for all of us to go back to 1872 Wild West Days.

I read about the MSM and the liberal issues above, and then you go them one better taking this incredible disaster and floating gun ownership on its back.

Posted by Matt [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 4:23 PM

"And regarding gun control, perhaps armed students could have been able to defend themselves -- but that's going to be a debate that will satisfy no one, and is best saved for later."

Was it necessary to bring up in the first place?

Posted by maryBC [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 4:23 PM

To the victims, families teachers and school, my thoughts and prayers go out to you. These seem like such small words in light of the size of the tragedy.
We are thinking of you in Canada.

Posted by Mike Morrissey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 4:37 PM

Regarding Concealed Carry. Most states require you to be 21 years old. Colleges, such as VT, do not allow students and faculty to have guns on campus.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 4:43 PM

Where my ancestors grew up, in a rural Minnesota town, they had lots and lots of guns around, no locked doors, and can't remember any murders. I think their biggest crime wave involved an alter boy skimming from collection plates.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 4:51 PM

OK, cat's out of the bag (didn't take long, really). Three ways that I think people will look at this, especially once the shock wears off:

1. "We need more gun control!"

2. "If one of the students or professors had been armed, then maybe the death toll wouldn't have been so high."

3. "This is the random act of a crazy person. Let's not make it a bigger issue than that."

Posted by tony [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 5:01 PM

Just think...A student comes out of his dorm room armed with his NRA approved hand gun while all this is going on. He sees another student that he doesn't know with his gun out, In their panic , each thinks the other may be the shooter and start firing. Meanwhile others who have no idea who the real shooter is start firing their NRA approved hand guns and then we have twice as many students killed because we were stupid enough to allow them to bring hand guns to school.

There is always the other side to see. The one sided views that some have only see what they want, not what may have occurred if things don't go as well as they think they should. Everyone carrying guns around is not the answer. If we didn't make it so easy for everyone to get a weapon, then there would be less shootings. As it is, anyone can get just about any kind of weapon they want, legally.

Now how much sense does it make to allow handguns to be sold in just about every city in America, and all you need to buy one is a drivers licence? If they were illegal, then anyone caught with one would be in prison. Then there would be less killings.

I own 3 hand guns, so it's not like I take this lightly. But sooner or later we have to realize that there is a reason why America has more murders per capita then every other civilized nation in the world. It is because we allow the NRA to write our gun laws.

And we should all pray for the lives lost today. Our schools should be the safest places in America. We have to find a way to stop this type of violence.

Free Tibet

Posted by Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 5:24 PM

First: If you are going to make self defense impossible by banning firearms in an era where the sick and twisted (much less terrorists like Beslan) are TARGETING schools... then you had BETTER fill the void with some kind of Security Force that can address an attack like this. If you don't want 21 year olds to carry on campus, fine... but don't leave them unprotected because YOU feel safer that way. It doesn't matter what you feel, if your feelings require others to DIE.

Second: To the creep on CNN: Police are not a homologous 'thing', they are people, and groups of them are tasked to an area when there is an emergency, each with their own assignment. It is NOT the job of every officer assigned to the area to go in aggressively after a shooter. Some officers are tasked with area patrol, and that is what you were seeing.

During the WTO attacks in Seattle, there was a semi-famous shot of a line of Police Officers who just watched as the Urban Terrorists hired by the anti-WTO groups ransacked a Starbucks just across the street. Lots of folks blamed the Cops for not stopping the looting and destruction of that store. What they didn't know (I'm being kind), was that the Cops were detailed to keep OTHER Urban Terrorists from entering the Hotel they were guarding... and there was a line of black-hooded thugs around the corner just waiting for those particular Cops to abandon thier posts. To their credit, they didn't abandon thier post; to the City's shame, we did not supply an effective Security Force for the International Delegates.

Uninformed commentary is HELPING the criminals, not helping the People under attack. Please, stop. Thank you.


Posted by Glenmore [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 5:55 PM

I will be surprised if the killer does not turn out to have significant military or law enforcement experience. He was too calm, too prepared, and too 'competent' - for lack of a better word.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 6:24 PM

Free Tibet

... with an organic soy tall latte, a peace sign, and a rousing chorus of Kum By Yah! Leave your nasty ol' NRA-approved guns at home.

Hey, it worked for the Minutemen! Just read Emerson's immortal Concord Hymn:

By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April's breeze unfurled; Here once the embattled farmers stood; And said the, "Like, peace, dude!" heard round the world.

(rolls eyes)

tony wrote (April 16, 2007 05:01 PM):

Our schools should be the safest places in America. We have to find a way to stop this type of violence.

Agreed. When my niece told me about having "sniper drills" in her grammar school, I was outraged. What kind of sickos are we letting out on the streets? The idea that some psycho or some terrorist might turn my niece's school into another Columbine or Beslan gives me cold chills.

Possibly if we confined ourselves to discussing what can be done, instead of snarking about the NRA or the anti-gun idiots who want to make damned sure that we can't shoot back, we might get somewhere.

Sometimes you just feel safer with a Sig... or a Ruger... or a Smith and Wesson... or a Walther... or a Beretta... or a Colt...

Posted by SoldiersMom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 6:42 PM

Last I heard, drugs were illegal in this Country. Making them illegal hasn't made the problem go away.

It's illegal for non-residents to cross our borders, but it hasn't stopped the crossings.

Making gun ownership illegal, only protects those who would use those guns against a defenseless population.

Posted by gaffo [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 7:10 PM

just some collage kid - Chinese or Tawianese for some such. Over 6ft so probably not Japanese.

Probably not Indian since the PC term "Asian" here in the US (unlike Britain) refers only to Orientals. I doubt he had any military training (did the Colombine kids??) - just a love for guns. Probably a nurd who played alot of computer games. Tried to get with a girl in the dorm, she blew him off and he started to kill folks - starting with her. Probably lived in the same dorm and knew each other well.

He could be an Indonesian and thus possibly a Muslim - but I doubt there is any Islamophobia in this one folks.

just a kid who broke up with a girl - goes bizerk. Happens every few years.

simple as that.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 8:21 PM

I was born and raised in rural Wisconsin, owned guns and hunted,(still do), but I don't see how college kids, even with a concealed carry law, could have stopped this. Would some of those kids carried their handgun to engineering class? Seems doubtful to me. I liked the idea of a few armed guards on campus but these mass shootings are so rare, lets not everyone get irrational.

Posted by chsw [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 8:30 PM

This incident should be compared to the U. Texas campus tower incident in 1966. That brain cancer-deranged shooter was shot by a combination of police and fellow students who pulled rifles out of their car trunks and began firing back in self-defense. If there were no armed students on the UTx campus in 1966, the death toll would have been higher as the shooter in the tower had a commanding vantage point of the entire campus.


Posted by Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 9:01 PM

Conservative Democrat:

If you can't figure it out, here's some help.

Read up on the Appalachian Law School attack, it's the one that Laddy above was referring to. A disgruntled student decided to go on a shooting rampage. Killed a bunch of Students and Staff. But this time, some of the Students who heard the shots, went to their cars and brought back guns; in one case a BP Vest... there since that student, Ted Besen, was a police officer in another town. He and other Students were able to stop the murders at three... lots more injured. It all happened in 2002.

Hmmm... I wonder why we didn't hear about this one? Maybe BECAUSE there was an armed response that ended the matter? Nope, won't fit the template at all, will it.

You don't have to actually be carrying a gun on your person to bring it to bear on a situation that lasts long enough to kill scores of people. Nearby, even in a gun safe, is good enough. The knowledge that at least one facutly member in each building has access to a defensive firearm will go a LONG ways towards keeping a campus from being assaulted like what happened today. I'm just sorry the Virginia Legislature weren't responsible enough to do ANYTHING to protect the Students at Virginia Tech.

Posted by kande [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 9:15 PM

Estrogen needs to be sprayed on everyone in the world and all the problems would stop.

Posted by Tom Holsinger [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 10:07 PM

Ed, I agree with the CNN guy here:

UPDATE XI: CNN expert: "Why are these cops [in the student video] standing around? ... They get their ass in the building in order to stop this thing. ... We need to have these guys inside that building and finding that threat. ... Society has really put a clamp on their ability to be aggressive."

That sound[s] pretty harsh, especially based on one cell-phone video.

The police in this cell-phone video are visibly repeating the same mistake made at Columbine. And this repetition tells parents everywhere to disregard the police and rush in to save their children in such situations, with their own firearms, because the police will do nothing but protect themselves.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 10:32 PM

A firsthand account:

Firsthand account
by T.Rees Shapiro, Collegiate Times Staff Writer


"It seemed so strange," Sheehan said. "Because he peaked in twice, earlier in the lesson, like he was looking for someone, somebody, before he started shooting. But then we all heard something like drilling in the walls, and someone thought they sounded like bullets. That's when we blockaded the door to stop anyone from coming in."

"He was just a normal looking kid, Asian, but he had on a Boy Scout type outfit. He wore a tan button up vest, and this black vest, maybe it was for ammo or something."

"I saw bullets hit people's body," Sheehan said. "There was blood everywhere. People in the class were passed out, I don't know maybe from shock from the pain. But I was one of only four that made it out of that classroom. The rest were dead or injured." She described.

"My professor, Herr Bishop," Sheehan said, "I'm not sure if he's alive."

Posted by thoughttheater [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 11:09 PM

Is This A Symptom of our "Chain Letter Society"?

Read an analysis of the influences in our "Chain Letter Society" that may be precipitating events like the tragedy at Virginia Tech and how our focus on winning and being number one may be fostering a generation of children with fully inadequate coping skills who have a misguided sense of self-worth...here:


Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 12:25 AM

There's an expression detectives use, called "walking back the cat."

Here's what we now know.

The first one killed is the gal this lunatic was "dating."

So, he goes into her dorm. 7:00 AM. He must have been loud. Because the FIRST REACTION is to call the "advisor." To "talk some sense into this lunatic."

You'll notice how high the idealism runs. Because "talk" is thought to be a good thing.

First two people dead? The girl who tried to break up with this lunatic. And, the advisor.

Sort of puts "idealism" out on a limb, huh?

What's the best advice for the future?

Well, when it comes to dating, a lot of girls still have a lot to learn!

I'm also going to venture a guess that from the admissions department, to others in the school, WHO SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER, there were a lot of people burying their heads.

Today's tragedy knocks the hat off of that frame!

There was a time there was very little tolerance for the "crazies." They ended up institutionalized.

Yeah. But on view, too.

The word BEDLAM is a corruption of Bethlehem. The hospital, near London, for the insane.


You think this kid was "nice?"

I don't.

I think he was flagrantly NUTS. Leaving symtoms open to view.

But the "hand-wringers," are professional "idealists."

That's why when it goes bad, it explodes.

What happens if you have a kid at college, now? Doesn't it pass through you that this could have happened "anywhere?"


Because the nut is the one who can roam free.

Finally, at the end, he shot himself. He wasn't even taken out by a sharpshooter. WHY NOT?

Why did the campus police do such a crumby job?

The killer left the dorm. And, spent a few hours lying low. NOBODY TOLD THE KIDS TO LEAVE THE CAMPUS. THEY WERE SITTING DUCKS!

Maybe, in the long run, this will be examined.

But we're living through a time where excuses make up the BULK. ANd, the "idealists" survive on hand-wringing.

Today? If there were kids who got rejected from Virginia Tech; and they felt bad. At least can see this was one school where being rejected was your BONUS!

Until we can trust admissions to let in AMERICAN KIDS; and stop with this "visa seating" ... we will go some distance to PREVENT a recurrence. (Sadly, though, once the media grabs a story? They grow more lunatics to "try this.")

NO. It has nothing to do with video games.

And, everything to do with academics, who really are not reliable "parents" in your absence.

Can't make up for the tragedy now facing so many families. THEY WILL NEVER RECOVER.

But to stop "something" we need to be a lot more PRO-ACTIVE in what we expect from colleges.

They're not supposed to be sex shops. And, beer joints. We need MORE quality built into MANAGEMENT.

Ya know, we lost our automotive industry; because the management STUNK. (And, the Unions also bled successful companies dry.)

This is worse. This is LIFE snuffed out in places where we wanted our kids to be safe.

Can't get to "safe" until we do something with the trust.

So many girls go away to college. And, date themselves SICK. We promise too much that is just not achievable.

No. It's not enough to medicate the insane.

We need to keep our schools FREE OF THE LUNATICS. Instead? We have whole teams available to "hold their hands."

Otherwise? When all hell broke loose this morning, you can explain the wholesale lack of responsibility?

An adviser comes rushing over with "talking skills?"

Oy. So many dead kids. And, over all those hours, NO ONE CAME UP WITH A PLAN TO SHOOT THE BASTARD!

He had ammunition. He had a plan.

Talk, however, FAILED.

And, the hand-wringing administrators do not satisfy me at all.

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 12:55 AM

My son is an EMS tech in the area, says there are at least 35 officially confirmed dead, but it isn't being reported yet.
A lot of the kids in one of his EMS classes are students of that school and also work in the campus EMS system.
Armed and trained Americans with the right to carry, 2nd Amendment, thank you, would have stopped most of this.

It would make a lot of idiots "get hold of themselves" and pull themselves together to behave properly, too.

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:01 AM

The next question is: Would a person who is prepared to kill over 20 people be in the least deterred by gun laws?

Posted by: Hermie


Obviously not, since guns were already banned on campus.

However, they would have been deterrred by someone else who had a gun who was prepared to use it - what if he had been stopped and killed by the time he killed two people, instead of at least 35?

And think of the other hotshots who want to follow in his lead! Would THEY be willing to walk into an ARMED environment?

I don't think so.

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:12 AM

Wasn't there a shooting at a law school somewhere in the past couple of years where one of the law students went out to his car, got his gun, and then dropped the assailant? Guns can save lives.

Posted by: Laddy at April 16, 2007 02:29 PM


They clearly save more lives than they take.

Any time you get around where folks tend to carry, the stories of saved lives is amazing - and so under-reported.

Posted by Zero [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:22 AM

Debate is a good thing ... but how soon after a tragedy should we wait to start talking?

I think talk and debate should begin immediately. (unless it is to someone that has a personal connection to the event)

We, as outside observers, will internalize and empathize with any tragic event that we hear about.

The greater the tragedy, the greater the emotions invoked in reaction. Thus we are the most willing to take action (any action), as soon as we hear of the tragedy. It is then, when our emotions are running high, that we should give them outlet into a civilized debate.

OK, I agree with docjim505 that there are three general reactions to this event.

1. "We need more gun control!"

2. "If one of the students or professors had been armed, then maybe the death toll wouldn't have been so high."

3. "This is the random act of a crazy person. Let's not make it a bigger issue than that."

To those who believe option #3, understand that people are upset, and will take action in some form or another. By abstaining from the debate,
from the debate or by telling those that are debating that this is just a molehill, the chance to add a more rational and impartial
approach is missed (I say more rational and impartial because any person that suggests in-action probably had very little or no emotional reaction).

To those who believe option #2, I believe that your underlying principal is to increase the saturation of people who have the
capacity to mitigate the magnitude of these disasters. I equate this to the promotion of learning first aid and CPR. E.g. There is
a car-pedestrian accident and a by-stander (who knows first aid) will try to render assistance until the trained professional arrives.
While the by-stander may not be a qualified EMT, they could save the life of the person struck by the car by stopping the
person from bleeding to death, or etc.

To those who believe option #1, I believe that your underlying principal is to promote only allowing competent people to
address the given situation. Going back to the first aid analogy, there is nothing more potentially damaging to that pedestrian,
than to have miss-treatment (even if it is well-intended). Say that the person was stuck by a car, and they are lying in the
middle of the road. Said by-stander tries to move the injured person out of the way of on-coming traffic. However, in doing so, the victim suffers
a spinal injury from a vertebrate that was fractured in the accident.

So how then do we increase the number of trained personnel, capable of reacting quickly? Perhaps colleges could offer courses
for firearm training, or possible classes on taking down a shooter / sniper - possibly for police or ROTC programs.

Posted by Keemo [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:34 AM

Armed and trained Americans with the right to carry, 2nd Amendment, thank you, would have stopped most of this.

Dead right Rose...

Two border patrol agents are sitting in prison right now because they used force to protect the American people from an illegal alien drug dealer. Law enforcement agents throughout this country are watching as their fellow officers are being tried and convicted for using force to protect Americans from evil bad guys. Thanks mostly to Liberalism, Law enforcement has been handcuffed by activist judges and a media that thirsts for the scalp of anybody wearing a uniform. Can any of us blame those in uniform for questioning what "standard procedure" is in this country anymore? Bad evil people are presumed "victims" by the media in most every case. Just look at the Duke Lacrosse case for a recent example of this.

What were those campus police supposed to do? We all know what we would have liked them to do; go kill the bad guy before he kills others... But, look what happened to those (2) border patrol agents.

As for the reference to the CNN coverage & statement posted above; CNN is the same network that tried & convicted the Duke Lacrosse players despite the basic principle of "innocent until proven guilty" despite the simple principle of "looking at the evidence at hand" which never indicated any guilt on behalf of the players, while stacking up against the accuser. If those "damn officers" had actually gone in that building and started shooting at the bad guy, CNN (based on history) would have been demanding the scalps of these officers and the immediate "firing" of as many faculty members as possible.

Political correctness has changed our culture, while destroying freedom of speech. We must fight for the 2nd amendment before Liberals steal another piece of our freedom.

Bush & several week kneed Republicans are guilty here also. Bush has done nothing to help provide justice for the two border patrol agents currently locked up in prison; Bush has done nothing about illegal immigration; Bush sat back and allowed the likes of Libby & Delay to get destroyed by Liberal "death squads"... Hell, everyone involved with the protection of the people had better think twice before even saying anything that could be deemed "harmful" to those evil people that want to see dead Americans. So afraid of the big bad media!

Posted by lexhamfox [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 4:08 AM

"Armed and trained Americans with the right to carry, 2nd Amendment, thank you, would have stopped most of this." Rose

No Rose. That's not a realistic proposal. Who would you have carrying weapons on campus other than security? The students? The teachers...?

They had security. There were guns around there. They had law enforcement with guns, but the guy planned well and worked fast. There were plenty of armed officers on the other side of campus looking into the earlier murders when this kicked off. We will have to see how the investigation unfolds. Shocking stuff. Absolutely evil. I can't really see how this affects the debate on guns as no law would have stopped this guy. Other guns didn't seem to work either.

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 6:31 AM


A gun in the hands of a rent-a-cop halfway across the 2600 acre campus certainly wouldn't effect the situation either way. A gun in the hands of a student in the first classroom the shooter entered on the other hand...

Posted by Lightwave [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 6:53 AM

This was a horrible tragedy. But it also serves as an important lesson for America. That lesson is this:

Just because you want something to be safe, doesn't mean it is.

The criticism here is that the Va. Tech campus was safe because it was a "Gun Free Zone". Yesterday's terrible events showed it was not. There's a line of thought in this country that seems to plague people with the notion of the power of collective belief. "If we all agree this place is a gun free zone, then it will be." The problem is it only takes one person to violate that.

Before the 21st Century we had several examples of how the legislation of collective belief cannot work in an of itself. It must be backed up by action, not just belief. You must have a realistic view of how to deal with people who do not share that collective belief, and choose to ignore your laws. Virginia Tech decided the power of collective belief was enough to protect its students. It was wrong. 33 lie dead partly because of the refusal to recognize the difference between those who agree to a law, and those who by nature break those laws, and the response to those who break the laws. It was also a failure to realize that safety in America in the 21st century is largely predicated on the Legislation of Collective Belief. When people who believe give up the means to defend themselves to those who decide not to believe, safety vanishes.

The events of 9/11. The war on terror. The shootings in Blacksburg. All three events have groups looking for answers. All three of these have one group that is trying to legislate safety through collective belief, and another group that knows that collective belief can only work if 100% of the people involved agree 100% of the time not to violate that collective belief.

One side will tell you that "If only the people responsible for our safety will lead by example and regulate or eliminate the use of force, the power of civilized collective belief will protect all of us." Even after the events of the last six years plus, we have people who think this way. Many of the people in charge of Virginia Tech's safety and the safety of much of our college and university campuses fall into this category.

The other side is living in reality.

Keep this in mind when you ask yourself "What should we do to stop this from happening again?"

Then ask yourself "Why are we still asking what we should do to stop this from ever happening again when we said this would never happen again LAST time?"

Think about the answers. More importantly, think about why we're still asking the same questions.

Posted by Muse Unamused [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 8:25 AM

America weeps for fallen innocence. May God rest their souls, and heal the living wounded.

RBMN makes a solid point that today's police need the public support as they protect and keep the peace.

People MUST BE RESPONSIBLE for their own behavior. Criminals must be held responsible for their crimes.

tibet Tony's vision fails to see that the gunman is shooting people. To any observer, here is no doubt as to who the killer is and what must be done to stop the killer.

Reinstituting an upgraded ROTC program required for all students before school from 8th Grade through college would provide social cohesion during crisis.

It would not be surprising to find that nothing was physically abnormal from the autopsy of yesterday's mass murderer.

Overindulgent immaturity has ripened as the fruit of 50 year old liberalism. Liberalism has made mass blood money fortunes.

To deny the effective influence of drills on behavior is foolish. Anti-social games promoting criminal conduct DO AFFECT THE HUMAN PSYCHE.

The GOP needs a platform that truly codifies American unity in behavioral standards. All potential GOP candidates should privately convene NOW to establish exactly what the GOP platform is. Agree on the binding elements first. Though it may amount only to warm fuzzis, it would provide party strength during the campaign to know the firm platform from the limbs.

Posted by Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 8:29 AM


If our murder rate is cause by the presence of guns, why is the US's knife murder rate higher than most countries total murder rate?

As to your concern that students would start shooting at anyone with a gun in such a situation, I doubt it.

You have a pretty good idea where the gunmen is. You know that he is not immediately outside your room. You can hear the shots and the screams. The vast majority of people who have guns have enough responsibility to determine if their target is the shooter, before they start to shoot.

Posted by Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 8:39 AM


The problem is that the campus was not a "Gun Free Zone".

It had been declared such by the administration, but clearly, it was not gun free.

Unfortunately there are a lot of people in this world who belive that all you have to do to solve a problem, is pass a law against it.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 9:01 AM

We don't know what might have happened had their been armed students or teachers at Virginia Tech yesterday. One of them might have potted the psycho before he managed to kill very many people. They might have shot other innocent people. Or they might have made no difference at all.

I think many of us are having predictable though regrettable knee-jerk reactions. Natch, the anti-gun nuts are coming out in force, waving their fingers in the air and crying that, if only we didn't have guns in our country, this never would have happened!

Natch, those of us who own guns and cherish the right to keep and bear arms, having seen this sort of thing before, are on a hair-trigger to respond that armed citizens might have stopped the rampage; or that the psycho had already broken the gun laws; or that gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens, not crooks or psychos, etc.

I think, however, that we can all agree that we don't want this kind of thing to happen again.

I would prefer that we start thinking about where monsters like this guy come from, and how we can stop them before they ever even chamber the first round. Is it, as Daniel at thoughttheater (April 16, 2007 11:09 PM) suggests, that we're raising a generation of people who are so narcissistic that they absolutely can't deal with failure or rejection and see killing as the only option?

Is it the pervasive violence that we see all day, from commercials to TV shows to video games?

Whether some people have a screw loose or just a morbid desire to burn in hell, they're out there. How do we identify them and stop them doing things like what happened at Virginia Tech?

Posted by lexhamfox [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 3:35 PM

"A gun in the hands of a rent-a-cop halfway across the 2600 acre campus certainly wouldn't effect the situation either way. A gun in the hands of a student in the first classroom the shooter entered on the other hand..."


A student did have a gun... the shooter. As I said in my earlier comment, I do not beleive this makes a case for or against gun control.

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 5:06 AM


I see that someone did poorly on the reading comprehension section of their SATs. Anyone who wasn't being willfuly obtuse (or perhaps simply reading on a third grade level) would understand my comment to mean a student OTHER THAN the shooter.

Posted by gazzamoller [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 6:03 PM

Here in New Zealand we have plenty of murderous nutters. Difference is the tight controls on guns, including type. If a nutter goes on a rampage, it is most likely with a knife or a single shot rifle. Makes a huge difference to the carnage.

I have written an article about people who do these mass murders here: http://www.healthandlifestyle.co.nz/2007/04/virginia-tech-is-there-link-between.html

I think the argument that Virgina Tech justiufies all Americans bearing arms is laughable - sure there might be fewer mass killings; but there sure will be many, many more random killings - think about road rage incidents for example!!!

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 6:24 PM


Oh, I don't know. Seems that a prudent person would try a bit harder to keep his rage under control if he knew that it might cost him his life.

Many people (mostly libs) here in America invoke images of the "Wild West", as though armed Americans just can't resist the urge to shoot at each other. These tired arguments are trotted out every time a state considers issuing concealed carry permits: we're assured that Dodge City and the OK Corral will result.

They never do.

The fact of the matter is the guns are ubiquitous in American society, and the VAST majority of gun-owning Americans are quite peaceful and law-abiding. It's also worth noting that these massacres started happening after gun control became a hot issue in America; the "Wild West" didn't have cases of loonies shooting up schools or churches, mostly because (1) there were enough armed people around that a killer couldn't get very far without stopping a bullet (cf. Northfield, Minnesota bank robbery*), and (2) the legal system was a bit more, um, expeditious in those days and didn't run violent criminals through the revolving door of prison / parole / crime / prison / parole / crime. It was more like crime / prison / rope.

At any rate, unless somebody wants a police state that can and will shake down every home for guns in an effort to disarm us as the people of Britain have been disarmed, gun control measures such as bans, "gun free" zones, restrictions on magazines, etc, do nothing more than give armed criminals confidence that they are wolves among an unarmed and helpless fold.

Kind of like the Gestapo rounding up unarmed Jews, or the NKVD "arresting" unarmed people in the dead of night, or the KKK lynching unarmed blacks...


(*) http://www.civilwarstlouis.com/History/jamesnorthfield.htm