The unthinkable is just that ...

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The recent report on the Virginia Tech shooting as reported by MSNBC has a flaw that few people realize. Those that commit such actions do not think the way normal people do -- while that is obvious, few people realize the only logical conclusions. If someone is determined to kill a large number of people, and themselves (clearly this maniacal murderer's intent) then the only way to stop that outcome is the forceful stopping of the criminal.

One of the "conclusions" by the study was that the administration could have (or even should have) communicated the details of the shooting sooner. The idea being that some of the students might have stayed away from class. That may not have reduced the carnage any, though it may have changed who was killed.

The problem is one similar to the idea of someone who is armed with a knife coming to a gun fight. They loose. Only it is worse ... the students and faculty at VT were not coming to a gun fight armed with a knife, they were coming to a gun fight unarmed, and unprepared to defend themselves. The idea that we should sit tight and wait for "professionals" to defend us seems totally ludicrous, but yet that is what the media continues to trumpet. Teachers telling students to get under the desks and be quiet resulted in murderers coming into the classroom and shooting students on the floor (Columbine). If a determined individual (or group) intends to kill as many people as they can and then eventually kill themselves, the only sensible way to act to prevent a massacre is to use sufficient force to incapacitate the perpetrators. While that might be possible in a number of ways, if the perpetrators are wielding either a gun or a long reach edged weapon, or even blunt instrument (a bat, or staff), the only effective means for quickly stopping them if they do not care if they are injured or killed is a gun.

That said, some universities are starting to understand the issue. Utah has lifted the ban on students' carrying concealed weapons. Other universities have started programs to train staff (professors and others) in defensive firearms use. The principle behind such action is to make sure there are not any defenseless zones. If only 5% of the population were well trained and armed, the probability of having even 10 people killed by rampages such as Columbine or Virginia Tech would go down considerably. Having a single "resource officer" is not necessarily useful (Red Lake, Minn -- the killer obtained the gun from his grandfather, a police officer, whom he killed and then killed the security officer for the school first).

The only way to have this kind of thing stopped early is to have enough mature, sane individuals armed so that when (not if, but when) something like this starts, those that are present and armed can act to stop the individual. Anything less is a recipe for carnage.

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37 Comments

zimzo said:

Brilliant solution! Students armed to the teeth. I bet professors won't be giving too many bad grades knowing that an angry student might shoot them! Women better be careful about who they reject, that obnoxious guy hitting on them might have a gun! Sports teams who play Virginia Tech better make sure they lose in case a fan gets angry! And won't frat parties be fun because what could be more fun than drunken frat boys shooting off their guns!

Next week: How to stop hijacking by issuing guns to everyone in the plane.

Jack said:

Sarcasm aside, zimzo, it is a good solution. Those who are going to commit crimes can get guns. Most women would be at disadvantage against a rejected suitor who is attacking her with a knife or bat, even if she were similarly armed. Such is not the case with a gun. ("God made them male and female -- Samuel Colt made them equal.")

When an over-insistent boyfriend will not be denied, I would like my daughter to be able to say, "At least let me get protection," then pull her .38 calibre "protection" out of her purse.

zimzo said:

She'll be dead before she gets the gun out of her purse if the boyfriend has a gun, too, Jack. Do you honestly believe this nonsense?

Dan said:

Zizmo, you mean give the passengers box cutters don't you ?

Me, a persons rights do not stop at a college campus. Think Appalachian School of Law..

Please find me one incident of "frat boys" and "angry student". You can't. Your fantasy is your argument.

Dan said:

Zizmo, again you do not seem to be concerned that recorded fact and public record do not support your "opinion".

As you profess an ignorance of firearms and lawful use thereof, how can you make an emphatic statement such as your last and expect anyone to put even a modicum of faith in it ?

Further proof that rational debate cannot occur with less than two rational beings..

Sanity said:

More guns = More deaths.

Tough to kill 32 people with just a knife.

If all the students had guns, you might prevent a 32-person slaughter, but you would greatly increase the onesy-twosy killings, such that the total deaths would be far, far greater. Think ghettos.

Terrorism = 3500 Americans
Fight against terrorism = 4000 Americans (so far)
Guns (non-military) = 30,000 Americans EVERY YEAR

Get in "the real world" folks. Not in your "shoot-em-up" fantasies.

Jack said:

Hmmm. The White murder rate is about 2 per 100,000. The Hispanic murder rate is 4.5/100,000, and the Black murder rate is 9.0/100,000.

Can Whites not get guns?

Why did the murder rates in England and Australia go UP after gun control?

Why are there more rapes per capita higher in Canada?

Why is the rate of occupied-home break-ins in Canada FOUR TIMES the U.S. rate.

I will have to research this, but I have heard that those Virginians with a concealed-carry permits have a lower crime rate than the Virginia police.

Get your facts straight, inSanity.

Sanity said:

Jack: England and Australia can't compare. From the Washington Post:

"There were 55 shooting deaths in 1995 and 50 last year in England and Wales. By comparison, there were 137 fatal shootings in the District of Columbia last year."

Also see: http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/gunaus.htm

"A British citizen is still 50 TIMES less likely to be a victim of gun homicide than an American." (Emphasis mine.)

Simple fact: Gun control = fewer gun deaths and fewer homicides.

Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people.

Jack said:

The homicide rate for England and Wales is 1.4/100,000. For WHITE Americans, the rate is about 2.0. (If we take only Whites murdered by Whites, the rate drops to about 1.7.)

So an American is only 1.4 times as likely to be murdered as a Brit. Dead is dead. Does it matter what the weapon was?

Furthermore, murder is a very small part of violent crime. Compare the violent crime rates.

ACTivist said:

Sanity?

Your gun control tirade don't float. What were the killings of gang on gangs? How about law enforcement in the line of duty? Personal protection from rape/violence/break-ins? How about some facts. Please, don't base your whole argument on "facts" from the Washington (can't get it unbiased) Post, CNN, New York Times, Violence Policy Center, etc. They are wrong (like you) and have an agenda. If you need sites to be enlightened, I will be happy to oblige.

Brian is right. More guns, less crime. When decent people arm themselves to protect family, friends and others in need, the lawless don't know who is armed and that has always been the biggest deterent. Ask the criminals how they pick their marks, they will tell you. They ain't stupid!

Sanity, if we could stamp out yours, Zimzo and your ilk's ignorance on this issue, the I.Q. ratings for Americans collectively would go up!

zimzo said:

Dan, I never professed an "an ignorance of firearms and lawful use thereof." You just made that up. That's a new argument tactic I haven't encountered before. Claim your adversary has said he is ignorant about the topic at hand when he has said no such thing.

And here's an answer to your challenge Dan:

One frat boy incident:
http://media.www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2005/09/26/News/Frat-Party.Shooting.Injures.Freshman-1431543.shtml

One incident of a student angry about his grade:
http://www.courttv.com/trials/brazill/050201-am_ctv.html

If we lived in the 18th century and you could have challenged me to a duel and found out just how much I really do know about shooting firearms.

AFF said:

With every post this cat pens he sounds crazier and crazier.


Jack said:

Zimzo, your first article is rather interesting, since apparently no-one knew the shooter, and he was not a member of the fraternity.

The second was a 14-year old boy! No-one is suggesting that under-age students have guns.

zimzo said:

Such typical responses. Dan makes up something about me then accuses me of making up something and issues a challenge. I answer the challenge so ACTivist calls me crazy, as if this constitutes an argument, and Jack tries to nitpick the particular pieces I found that answered Dan's challenge. Of course, I could find hundreds more incidents that answer Dan's challenge and ACTivist would still call me crazy and Jack would nitpick each one. Nitpick all these, Jack:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=fraternity+shooting

There are only 717,000 pages to sort through. Get busy.

Jack said:

OK, zimzo, I went through the first three pages. There were TWO intentional shootings. One in Oregon, the other in the Philippines. There was one accidental shooting, and one BB-gun incident at a hazing.

You'll have to do better than that.

zimzo said:

OK, Jack. Dan asked for one. Thanks for finding it for me.

G.Stone said:

Gun Free Zones = Stupidy

An armed society is a polite society.

Only the wonky self indulgent social engineer class believe gun control works. It does not. The concept has been disproven over and over and over.

Its like the case for tax cuts. Some people simply refuse to think with their heads. Instead they keep insisting on using their hearts as the internal organ best equiped to grapple with logic, reason and common sense. hearts pump blood , not rational thought.

There are certain absolute truths. One of them is.... Gun Control has never worked anywhere in the world in which it was implemented. Period end of story.
If you wish to advocate for flawed public policy, knock yourself out.

Our country has many freedoms , sounding like a nitwit is one of them.

" Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not "
Thomas Jefferson

G.Stone said:

Gun Free Zones = Stupidy

An armed society is a polite society.

Only the wonky self indulgent social engineer class believe gun control works. It does not. The concept has been disproven over and over and over again.

Its like the case for tax cuts. Some people simply refuse to think with their heads. Instead they keep insisting on using their hearts as the internal organ best equiped to grapple with logic, reason and common sense. Hearts pump blood , not rational thought.

There are certain absolute truths. One of them is.... Gun Control has never worked anywhere in the world in which it was implemented as a way to control violence and crime. Period end of story.

If you wish to advocate for flawed public policy, knock yourself out.

Our country has many freedoms , sounding like a nitwit is one of them.

" Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not "
Thomas Jefferson

Sanity said:

G. Stone, how can you be so wrong? Just because you feel all macho with guns doesn't mean that they make us safer.

Check the facts. Even in Roman times, the folks that got chopped up and sliced the most were the ones with swords.

Weaponry breads conflict and fighting because it makes folks feel tough, and then they need to prove it.

Polite societies were (and are) the ones without the weapons. Slow your testosterone down and you'd understand.

Sanity said:

ACTivist,

P.S. Any time you wanna compare IQ's, let me know. I'll give you five to one.

mad said:

Sanity,

Let's do away with alcohol since DUI's are killing so many people on our roads. Or maybe it's the cars that we should get rid of. Or we could require everyone to where helmets like NASCAR drivers, that would save lives. Or better yet why don't you move to D.C. where people can't get guns, my bad, only the bad guys have guns.

mad said:

Sanity,

Let's do away with alcohol since DUI's are killing so many people on our roads. Or maybe it's the cars that we should get rid of. Or we could require everyone to where helmets like NASCAR drivers, that would save lives. Or better yet why don't you move to D.C. where people can't get guns, my bad, only the bad guys have guns.

Jack said:

"Gun Control has never worked anywhere in the world in which it was implemented."

On the contrary, it has done exactly what it is supposed to do -- disarm the populace so that they cannot resist the coming tyrrany.

Jack said:

Zimzo -- you're welcome. Still, one cannot form any conclusions from a single data point, except the rarity of the phenomenon observed. Why don't you try to find statistics on the homicide rate of fraternities?

zimzo said:

I wasn't making a data point, Jack. Dan said that the scenarios I listed had never happened and said I could not find even one time they did. I proved him wrong. Then as usual in these arguments when your side is losing, you stepped in and moved the goal posts.

Jack said:

Of course not, zimzo. You never make a point, and you never use data. The incident with the OSU frat boy is a single data point. You did not make it, the frat boy did.

You did not prove Dan wrong at all. He ASKED you to find an example, and said that YOU could not find such an incident. He was right -- you did not find it. I did. You typed two words into Google but were too lazy to actually read any of the pages presented to you.

That is the problem with many liberals -- laziness. They always want someone (the government, usually) to do something for them. Did you listen to the YouTube debate for the Democratic nomination? Most of the questions amounted to, "This is my problem, what are you going to do to help me?" What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks happened to the party of, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country."

The interesting thing about citing British murders vs. Washington DC murders is that *both* have restrictive gun laws, and both have had the rate of murder go up since those laws went into effect.

The idea of more guns implies more death is proved false by both jurisdictions. It may be true that all of England has a lower death rate than DC. I would hope that if you compare *any* dense pack city with a jurisdiction that includes farms, countryside and other low population density areas that you would see a difference in murder rates. But if less guns absolutely reduced murders, then both DC and England prove that wrong. The rate of murder in both has increased since making all private ownership of firearms illegal.

Folks, the qualifiers of what I posted are "mature, sane". At this time, you have to be 21 to purchase a pistol, and have a background check. To have a concealed carry, you also have to have a fairly complete background check.

14 year-olds should not have pistols outside the controlled environment of going shooting with Mom or Dad. And while I understand that 18 year-olds can defend the nation, I certainly don't want them carrying. On a college campus, the only students that could legally carry are seniors and second semester juniors. Generally not the immature kids that get in trouble with the law. And the ones that do, probably would already have a record that would exclude them.

The break-in in the Petit house show that even without guns, people will die if they are not defended. In this case, the police did nothing to defend the lives of the women -- they probably were setting up a perimeter around the house (the suspect crashed into police cars that were blocking the road while trying to escape). Police will not protect you, and the "bad guys" don't need a gun (they did not have one) in order to rape and murder whole families. Doing all you can to prevent this from happening to your own family has got to mean not only getting warning that something is wrong, but also having the means to defend against a physically stronger, more capable perpetrator than your own physical abilities allow. You can't depend on the police, you can't expect to be the best at defending yourself, and anything less than deadly force could easily leave you dead.

stay puft said:

"Still, one cannot form any conclusions from a single data point, except the rarity of the phenomenon observed."


and how many "virginia techs" have there been in the past century? 3? 4? college campuses remain some of the safest places in the country, a bigger threat to students being suicide. You want to save lives of college students, donate money (but please don't volunteer!) to campus mental health services

http://www.statisticstop10.com/Causes_of_Death_College_Age_Adults.html
note: this shows data on "college age" people, not "college students" but it'll do for now

Jack you always exclude blacks and hispanics when it suits your needs, then you say, "So an American is only 1.4 times as likely to be murdered as a Brit. Dead is dead. Does it matter what the weapon was?"

what a load of crap. if the data doesn't support your claims, you adjust the data by breaking it down along race/ethnic lines and then suggesting that the crime rate for white Americans is the true rate, and it's just distorted by the fact that blacks and Hispanics also live in this country.

it's rediculous. it makes me think you're hoping someone will call you racist so you can launch into your "typical liberal" shtick and draw attention away from the fact that you don't know what you're talking about.

don't ever claim to be an expert in statistics again, ok?

you say zimzo's idea that college students would be more likely to settle disputes by drawing guns is a is a fantasy, but so is your idea of a heroic gun-toting student saving a bunch of blond-haired blue eyes coeds from a psycho killer on the warpath. I think you need to lay off the 24 for a while, ok?

Jack said:

Puffalump, the fact remains that most of us here are White males. Yes, Blacks and Hispanics do live in this country, in proportions far exceeding those on the British Isles. As such, to make comparisons as valid as possible, the disparity of population composition must be taken into account.

The fact is, puffalump, I _am_ highly trained in statistics. Saying things such as, "a British citizen is still 50 TIMES less likely to be a victim of gun homicide than an American" is misusing statistics. When there are disparities, such as a 5.5/100k murder rate in the U.S. vs. a 1.4/100k murder rate in England and Wales, the reasons for the disparities mush be investigated.

One theory espoused by inSanity is that our lax gun laws are the cause. However, our lax gun laws apply to all races. (In fact, Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to live in areas with stricter gun control laws, such as DC and NYC.) Yet we see greater differences between the races than we see between England/Wales and the U.S. So to determine some cause besides racial composition, we must normalize the statistics to eliminate the effect of differences in racial composition.

In my analysis, I have not even accounted for the Black-on-White murders or the Hispanic-on-White murders. Doing so would make the England/Wales vs. U.S. comparison more valid, but I do not have the data available to do that normalization.

"you say zimzo's idea that college students would be more likely to settle disputes by drawing guns is a is a fantasy, but so is your idea of a heroic gun-toting student saving a bunch of blond-haired blue eyes coeds from a psycho killer on the warpath."

Is has happened, and in Virginia, too:
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=%5CNation%5Carchive%5C200209%5CNAT20020917a.html

"I think you need to lay off the 24 for a while, ok?"

I watched it once, about three years ago. As Jacob will tell you, I don't even have cable, and my TV is older than most of my kids. My stack of books to read is way too high to bother with cable TV. You might try this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Statistics-2nd/dp/1592576346/ref=sr_1_1/105-5069575-8666067?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188672887&sr=8-1

G Stone said:

Lets see if this Gun Control thing works shall we.

It is not guns, it is the Culture.

Sanity, I will go slow so follow me. Zimzo, you too should pay attention.

The tale of two
jurisdictions. The year 2000

Jurisdiction #1-
Washington , DC. Population of approx 500,000.
Murders- 239
DC has had a gun ban for over 20 years. You are not allowed to possess a handgun in Washington DC. It is a total Ban. A ban by the way that will soon be overturned.

Jurisdiction # 2-
Fairfax County Virginia
Population approx. DOUBLE that of Washington DC. 900,000 to a million people.
VA has no Gun Ban and since 1996 has had a shall issue concealed carry law. I know this because I am one of about 250,000 people who have applied for and were granted a permit to carry a firearm.
Murders - 2

The only thing that seperates these two jurisdictions is a river and a massive cultural divide.

Why do guns wait until they are on the DC side of the river to start shooting people ?

If it is Guns as those who favor gun control suggest. Then why is it only the Guns in DC that are killing people and the Guns in Virginia remain silent.

Are the Guns in Virginia just nicer ?

Are the Guns in Virginia not very accurate?

This means a gun living in Virginia marches right into DC ignoring the million targets in Fairfax County chosing instead to shoot only DC residents.

Why do these guns hate DC residents.

Its the Culture Stupid !

DC's murder rate is off the charts as compared to Virgina for one reason.
These nitwits like to shoot one another. To compound the problem even further, the innocents are defensless to shoot back.

If it is Guns as you suggest why are we not shooting each other at every oppertunity her in Virginia ?
We have twice the number of people and my guess is 10 times the numbers of guns.Yet,somehow by some mysterious force, those of us armed to the teeth in Virginia are resisting the temptation to shoot each other. We have more guns than you can shake a stick at but only 2 murders to show for all of this potential force.

Its the culture stupid!


ACTivist said:

"ACTivist,

P.S. Any time you wanna compare IQ's, let me know. I'll give you five to one."

And the point you are trying to make, Sanity? Is it being smarter than me and still ignorant about guns and crime? Or maybe smarter than me and knowing about guns but just being stupid on the issue? Maybe dumber than me and being a bleeding heart IGNORING the facts about guns and crimes? Which is it?

I know that they don't have crimes in "polite" societies and I guess that here in America we aren't polite. If you met me or most other decent, responsible gun owners (carriers) you would never know. Not even with your insulting remarks. But don't try to be threatening or physically abusive. In the right circumstance you might find things very different.

Is it your ignorance or stupidity (or to be polite, your foolishness?)

I found an interesting little tidbit. I have not found the data to back it up yet, but it seems the use of guns in defense is much greater than the use of guns in crime.

http://www.nraila.org/Legislation/Federal/Read.aspx?id=3220

The link has a statement:
"According to the study, in the first seven months of 2007, the three major networks ran some 650 stories on firearm-related homicides, yet only two covering the use of guns for self-defense. Considering guns are used three to five times more often for self-defense than to commit a crime, this disproportion is staggering."
If the report is true, there is little wonder that people think of guns being used in crime and killing to be the case much more than as a tool to defend oneself or other innocent people. If the truth is that guns are used to defend 3 to 5 times as often, the media is doing a grave disservice to the population in attempting to convince people that guns are the problem.

Oh, one more comment to zimzo. I have never had a student angry about a grade they earned. I've failed some students, but then they knew it all the while they were skipping class, not doing their work, not coming in for extra help, not doing test corrections ... essentially not doing anything to make it possible for me to be able to pass them. It would probably be a little different at a college ... the professors hopefully post what the rubric is for grades, and insist the student meet the rubric, but probably do not allow a lot of opportunity for retake. But a good professor makes sure the students can easily tell what the grade a student is earning as they earn that grade. People get angry when they are surprised by bad grades, not when they know they are earning them all along.

That said, it would not be OK for someone to use a gun to settle the dispute. That is not how sane people act -- especially those that carry guns. Given that there is a higher bar to clear for purchasing a gun than for purchasing a baseball bat (what was used to incapacitate Dr. Petit in Connecticut before his wife and daughters were killed without a gun) I'd rather have a class of "good guys" with guns around than have a "bad guy" with a bat hit me from behind because the "bad guy" thinks there won't be anyone able to stop him.

AFF said:

Holy smokes- this Brian cat was a teacher?

I must admit having enjoyed watching this guy hammer nails into his political coffin with every post but his having the ear of children concerns me.....even if it's John Grisby's kids

Jack said:

I had an IQ test when I was a kid. I scored a 185.

How about you, inSanity?

"Was a teacher"? ... is a teacher. My students tend to have some of the highest pass rates for SOLs anywhere (this past year my students' pass rate was over 90%).

I teach math, so while I tend to be too logical to get elected (I won't misrepresent truth just for votes) I also am logical enough to be able to teach math in the most diverse school in the county. (Park View has no "majority" population at this point, all ethnic backgrounds are in the minority at that school.)

I teach now, but had a successful career in IT prior to teaching, and I can speak to the students of what is needed outside of school. Despite the fact that many people cannot see past their own version of the world, I understand that a world view comes about because of unprovable assumptions (axioms in math). Therefore, I can easily separate the math instruction from the world view I have, while still teaching logical thought to all those students.

You could only wish for more teachers like me (regardless of their political viewpoint).

prince said:

wow- i don't know of I am qualified to comment here -seems like it is all about the size of our...errr...guns, no... our, our d..ddddbrains... no,no, our, our IQ's. yeah, our IQ's. no, I'm not smart enough. better go to bed.

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