Virginia Tech Shooting...

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Just saw it in the news. 31 students have been killed, making it the worst in U.S. history. :ohcrap:

Here (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/16/vtech.shooting/index.html) is the story.

posted by  chris_knows

I just saw the story as well. What is this world coming to? I'm scared to have kids and send them to public school, now I have to be worried about sending them to college as well? Oy!:doh:

posted by  97Talonchik

My dad went to VT, and this has just really struck me hard...I'm not sure why. I was with some friends this afternoon, and when I came home, one of my parents had stuck a black ribbon on our VT mailbox flag...it was quite sad. I haven't been this upset about something in a while...

posted by  jedimario

That's terrible. It seems the world goes from bad to worse! :banghead:

posted by  Cliffy

97Talonchik the world is the same as it's been for thousands of years. Maybe you can get an appreciation of how others feel when an IRA bomber blows up civilians, or a suicide bomber takes out dozens of people .

posted by  Wally

yeah it sucks but i agree with Wally, it sometimes takes something harsh that hits close to home for people to empathize and realize the suffering that happens all over the world everyday, and as our merry little lives carry on we forget how disgusting the human race can be at times, my heart goes out to those affected by this and a needless loss of lives everyday.

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

Wally, don't get me wrong, I'm a very apathetic person. I feel for the people all over the world. I pray for the Iraqis who are suffering in a needless war over oil. I pray for the Israelites who continue to fight with Palestine. I pray for the African nations and the lack of medical care and how the few clinics there are continue to run out of supplies or just close because of the lack of funding. I ponder the many small civil wars that abrupt across the world every day. I remember the many bombings that have occured over the years across the world and here at home. I fear what I don't understand. I am constantly conflicted with my own thoughts, beliefs and feelings about many things, namely humanity and the lack of it.

I was merely expressing discontent for this particular situation. I do know of the world and it's conflicts as well and think of them often.

posted by  97Talonchik

We had our own incident in 1996, where some lunatic massacred 35 holiday makers in Port Arthur, Tasmania.

Similarly we lost 88 Australians in Bali 2002 when some Muslim extremist dickhead decided he would bomb a bar made up primarily of 20 and 30 somethings.

I just watched some of the Virginia Tech service on the Jim Lehrer Newshour...... so many religious reps making a sermon, it's seemed a bit sideshow to me.

posted by  Wally

i think you mean sympathetic... apathetic means you don't care....:2cents:

posted by  dodger65

or empathetic

posted by  windsonian

The message was clear, sorry for the confusion with terminology. It was late.

posted by  97Talonchik

a dictionary at hand is almost a good of a friend as google :thumbs:

my opinion on the shooting? it happens, even though it shouldnt. i feel for the families who lost a beloved one (which is tough since it's most than likely they were mainly their sons/daughters). even a puerto rican student was shot, but i didnt know him personally. i asked my mother this morning since last week, my best girl friend's ex-boyfriend commited suicide on a bridge near our biggest mall (Plaza las Americas), and i didnt hear about it until a few days ago. so it would have been odd if i knew the VT guy as well, but i didnt.

anyhow, like wally said. the human race has been like this for thousands of years. before, it was for survival and power, while now it's just for power (a sarcastic "hurray"for capitalism). unfortunately, some people get depressions and what not, and dont know how to manage it (and those aware of those people dont take the necessary measures) and these things happen.

all we can do is, if we personally know someone like this, take it into our own hands and try to do something about it. one person may not make a difference to the world, but may make a difference to the world of one person. :2cents:

posted by  Inygknok

I could understand if he came to school and shot up a few people that have been making fun of him for years or something

but this is just pointless, I guess he wanted to make a big name for himself

posted by  nighthawk

yeah... i was thinking that empathy was sympathy w/ a firsthand comparable experience, but that's not necessarily required...:doh:

posted by  dodger65

i don't think it was about making a name... no need for a name where he is.... i think he just had a few roos loose in the top paddock.

posted by  windsonian

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9b/2007_Virginia_Tech _massacre_candlelight_vigil.jpg/800px-2007_Virginia_Tech_massacre_candlelig ht_vigil.jpg

Emily J. Hilscher
Ryan Clark
Ross Abdallah Alameddine
Brian Bluhm
Austin Cloyd
Matthew Gwaltney
Caitlin Hammaren
Jeremy Herbstritt
Rachael Elizabeth Hill
Matthew La Porte
Jarrett Lane
Henry Lee
Partahi Lumbantoruan
Lauren Ashley McCain
Minal Panchal
Daniel Patrick O'Neil
Juan Ramon Ortiz
Daniel Perez Cueva
Erin Peters
Michael Steven Pohle, Jr
Julia Pryde
Mary Karen Read
Reema Joseph Samaha
Waleed Shaalan
Leslie Sherman
Maxine Turner
Nicole White
Christopher James Bishop
Jocelyne Couture-Nowak
Kevin Granata
Liviu Librescu
G. V. Loganathan



May you rest in peace, after having your lives so brutally stolen from you. My condolences go out to you and your families. I can't even begin to understand the grief and horror they are having to go through. The only promise I can make, is that this is an event that has struck home for me, and others. I will live every day knowing full well that hate is a prevalent issue, and that I am not going to waste a day of my life, because it's something that has been taken away from you. In a way, we're all living for you now. I don't intend on wasting it.

posted by  Godlaus

Well said, Godlaus. May all of the friends & families affected by this find some way to deal with what has torn them apart.

posted by  Cliffy

there is no excuse for this... i don't give a shit if they were burning little effigies of him in class every day... you don't kill people...

posted by  dodger65

people kill people everyday. The way I see it there is only two different reasons why situations like these occur. One is there is some kind of mental occurance going on allowing the person to not know what he/she is doing is "wrong". Two is a person is beyond their pressure limit and they lose the things that keep them from doing acts like these.

I know what I say may offend and disgust some of you. It may sound selfish and insensitive, but I don't care for people like others do. I don't value my life. I only love, care, and live for 10 things on this planet. So to watch the media cover this story 24/7 is pretty rediculous to me. I don't see why they just don't post it in the paper or something when they finally got most of the facts. I'm sure watching this dude on tv everyday can't be easy for the familys of the deceased. Let the people grief alone or with others, but in private.

posted by  salimander13

I hear about it everywhere but haven't really paid much thought to it.



When Godlaus put the list of names up, I felt a sensation of sorrow.



Very sad because they were 100% innocent kids who probably had really bright futures.

posted by  Car hippie

Please, if you're going to comment on something of this nature, do so intelligently. While the victims where in all likelyhood "100% innocent", they most certainly were not all "kids". Not only was Professor Liviu Librescu responsible for saving students lives by sacrificing his own, he was also a 76 year old Holocaust survivor. I'm sure there may be other non-students, but he is the only one I'm aware of.

posted by  vwhobo

I heard some of the families were offended by some of the stuff going on in the news. I agree that they should just let them grieve now. I can' imagine what they're going through, but it would have to be easier to get over it if they weren't reminded by the news constantly.

Anybody see the videos he sent to NBC? He's comparing himself to being crucified like Jesus and splitting the seas like Moses. :banghead:

posted by  chris_knows

You don't value your life? I'd like to know the 10 things you place above your life and others.

You may not care much that these people died, but many people do. I don't think it is selfish that you feel that way, but I think it is selfish that you mentioned it at this time. You're taking advantage of the incident's timing to magnify the impact of your message...like these fools pushing for gun control with picket signs on Virginia Tech campus. People are using the tragedy to jump start their own cause.


Conserve the need to be heard and shut up for the moment.

posted by  What

He's right for once.

posted by  jedimario

Well we have something called freedom of speech and people use it for good and for bad. The thought of making my message magnified did not occur to me once while writing that message. Basically the heart of my messege was to stop over glorifying this event. The ten things you want listed are as followed. parent, parent, friend, friend, friend, friend, friends family, friends family, object, object.

Jedimario, he isn't right he just seems right because of what I stated and how you feel about my statement. I'll keep quiet out of respect for everyones feelings.

posted by  salimander13

I think one of the hallmarks of US American culture is the rally call for unity. Hyperbole or not, intense focus on these soughts of events galvanises public opinion that an attack on one is an attack on the whole. With so many disparit cultures unified as one nation, there shouldn't be any doubt that this massacre is deplorable by any measure. As sport is valuable to unify at a tribal level, the current affairs media, spiritual leaders and mass meetings are an extremely effective way of reminding the people of their national conscience and responsibility.

As an outsider I can only guess what effect this event has on the national psyche. When it happened here there was a feeling of disbelief that anyone could be so maniacal. Surely it had to be some barbarian zealot from another country, but no it was some bloke with a few snags short of a bbq. Try as they might the journalists tried to spin reasons behind the craziness, but it all just distilled down to the opportunity of using a weapon... he did it because he could.

As a boy, guns and rifles here were the privelege of of the armed forces and those with rural need. About 30 or so years ago some bright spark decided the police should hang a pistol off their belt. This of course just raised the ante and the criminals started toting firearms too. The next thing we have shooting crimes that were fairly rare prior. The criminals have become empowered and more brazen. The nutters can retaliate their social stigma with bravado. At least our Govt moved swiftly to disarm the majority of Australian nation following our massacre, but then we don't have a big weapons manufacturing industry that pays for political will.

posted by  Wally

I call BS on the last sentence. I could do the same, but never would. Having access to a gun is never a reason to kill somebody.



America seems to differ from Oz on that one. We already have guns, and we've always had guns. If you ban them the demand to get them illegally will rise, and the black market has the means to arm every lowlife on our streets. So now the citizens and police are left with pepperspray, while criminals have Uzis. In my limited research on the topic it seems most evidence supports the pro-gun agenda. If I'm not mistaken the safest place on earth is Switzerland, which hands out an Uzi to every household.

posted by  giant016

So lets say you are a criminal. You take the gun with you to intimidate your victim, but if necessary to fire upon them if they won't behave. Do you take the gun that has your name registered to it or do you take a black market gun? I would suspect you take the untraceable one, the net effect of criminals with illegal guns is the same.

You have been brought up with the American dream of wealth, power and affluence. You are getting no where fast, you're fed up with the constant expectations, but really just want to play nintendo and crawl into a safety bubble somewhere. You snap and decide to pay back all those people who have unwittingly made your life a misery. You have a choice of one on one combat with a knuckle fight, Mum's paring knife or Dad's ubeaut Audy Murphy style six shooters. Hmmm tuff choice.

Here's a thought, when you have a child give him a pack of razor blades for toys. On the otherhand you could not do that and understand that guns and rifles need proper training in their use. The US military scans it's recruits for mental disturbance and gives intensive drill on fire arm use... why bother if all the training you need is to watch some episodes of Law and Order, produce proof you're not a psychopath and go down the shop to purchase that peace maker?

posted by  Wally

So you're saying that either way the criminal will be armed. The only difference is that in one scenario he knows the shopkeeper isn't armed, so it's an easy job. And the cops don't have guns, so they can't apprehend him when he's running away. On the other hand, if guns are legal, the shopkeep could likely have a weapon, and when if the cops get on the scene in time they will be more likely to catch this guy. With guns being legal he will not only think twice about armed robbery, but is also more likely to be caught if he does indeed go through with it.



Well if guns were banned I'd have essentially the same choices. Either my mom's paring knife or an illegal firearm. If somebody can manage kill 30+ people, I don't think getting an illegal firearm would be that much of a hurdle.


I agree that there should be more training for civilians buying guns, by I don't think the situation we're talking about had anything to do with the gunmen not being familiar with his firearm.

posted by  giant016

I didn't want to make this thread about politics, but seeing how it now is, I just heard on the news that Australia and Britain, after making firearms illegal experienced a sharp (about 50%) increase in gun violence.
Just supports this point more:

posted by  chris_knows

As far as I'm aware firearms have always been illegal in the UK....at least to carry in public anyway. I have certainly seen a massive increase in gun /knife crime in the past few months alone....

posted by  Cliffy

Well I know that if guns are non existent there is no opportunity to use one. I know that if the school bully uses his size to hurt people, those people are likely to devise a method to defend themselves, which forces the bully to adopt a countermeasure plus some, maintaining his superiority. Each increment of agression and defence increases the probability of brinkmanship and death. An armed robber with the element of suprise, knows that average Joe with a gun is unlikely or unable to use his gun. What are the stats of convenience store holdups in the US where the shop keeper has successfully foiled an armed bandit by using his fiream? If the store owner has a gun already why are there those "amazing videos" on telly every week showing a baseball bat as the preferred retaliatory weapon?

If firearms were properly regulated, there would be a very limited source to access one. Instead there is always a compromise to pander some lobby group. It's no use plugging holes in the bottom of a bucket, if weep holes are left in the sides.

I really don't know how arms like army semi and automatic rifles can find their way out into the public sector. Surely there are stringent traceability checks at the factory and within the armed forces? Having got a rifle, how the hell do they get the ammunition?

Chris do you know where those figures are from and who the are perpetrators? In Oz we have had a recent gangland wars, desperate drought stricken farmers taking their lives and asian migrants doing what they do. What it shows is that firearms are the weapon of convenience when taking a life.

This supposed South Korean (accent sounded American to me) who shot the 33 people would have had a very hard time killing them without the gun. He certainly wouldn't have had the body count if he tossed the bullets at the crowd.

posted by  Wally

Cliffy, I believe it happened in 1997 for you guys and Aussies...Here's (http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9709/30/britain.aus.gunban/) a link.

I'm looking right now for gun violence rates for like 1995-2000 or so but can't find any.

EDIT: Here's (http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi2/tandi269.pdf) a site that shows the firearm related deaths, and it goes against what I said, so I'm not sure what the news reporter was talking about, but they also said that the town of Kennesaw in Georgia made it the law for every head of the household to own a gun if they legally could (i.e. criminals were not allowed), although if you didn't own one, they would not prosecute you. Burglaries and other crimes have dropped significantly because of it. On the other hand, Morton Grove, Illinois passed the exact opposite law and saw crime rates go up. Here's (http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/02/the_city_where_.html) where I got that from.

I don't want to start an argument on this though, because most people have good reasons for their opinions, and won't change their mind on it.

posted by  chris_knows

Damnit I was going to hold back on that data until someone really put their foot in it chris_knows.:evil:

If it's 4.2% in Oz how does that compare to Canada and the US.

Something like this:

26 Industrialized Countries:
.....
The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children aged less than 15 years was nearly 12 times higher than among children in the other 25 countries combined .....

The firearm-related homicide rate in the United States was nearly 16 times higher than that in all of the other countries combined ......

firearms were the primary cause of homicide in Finland, Israel, Australia, Italy, Germany, and England and Wales. Five countries (Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and Taiwan) reported only unintentional firearm-related deaths

posted by  Wally

The U.S.'s population is almost as much as all of those countries combined, but it's pretty obvious that:
a) It's too easy to get a gun
b) It's too easy to get a gun illegally.

posted by  chris_knows

Note the word "rate"

posted by  Wally

My bad...I also noted it was 12 times higher, but with kids under 15, most of the guns involved in the incidents were their parents. Parents need to learn to hide their guns better too.

posted by  chris_knows

If the U.S. takes away my guns, I won't be able to go hunting with Dick Cheney.:laughing:

posted by  thefonz

well i wouldnt say canda has proper gun laws, and we have had major shootings, like in montreal.....and well i cant remeber anymore, some kid in the prairies with a .22 went and shot up his school, but the do make it difficult to own a gun in canada and you do need proper training, and registration,about 70 % of canada is rural and guns are our way of life and when i say guns i mean a real gun like a a 30-06 rifle or 303 or a shotgun HUNTING for food, now if you try to justify your guns in the states by saying we need them for hunting, put away every pistol you own, and uzi or automatic rifle, then well talk about gun control and proper respect for firearms, like chris rock said bullets should cost $5000 a piece so if someone is going to get shot, they probably deserve it. its an argument that will go on till the end of time, personally i think charleton heston can suck my cawk, loser of a human being

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

And if cotton candy fell from the heavens I would be a happy man, but I don't see how either would ever happen.


I'm betting you need to be a legal citizen to legally get a firearm. (kidding at first, the I realized it's true)


Most illegal guns have the serial numbers scratched off, making them untraceable. As far as ammo, I believe you can waltz right in to WalMart and buy some.


Anybody who wants a gun in America will always be able to get one (unless they're incarcerated or something). It doesn't matter if guns are legal or illegal.

posted by  giant016

I'm not suggesting that guns will be banned in the USA. But they certainly empower people to wanton acts.

The Australian National University released it's findings on the gun buyback scheme here and found upto 3000 people's lives were saved since it's inception a decade ago. That's information largely based on cause and effect and should be taken seriously by those who try to sidetrack and trivialise efforts to reign in controls.

Do they teach US students the reason for the consititutional ammendment to carry firearms?

I'm sure Charlton Heston may well be offended at any interference before his hands are dead and cold, but think of the agony he has caused millions with his ham acting during his career.:wink2:

posted by  Wally

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