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Virginia Tech Massacre Answered

I am guessing most of you have heard of the horrible murders that went on this morning at Virginia Tech. For those of you who do not know, just turn on your news network. I was just wondering everybody's thoughts on this horrible case.

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T3h_Muffinator (author)2007-04-21

I think it's terrible how the news just keeps playing the same videos over and over. This isn't a tragedy that should be televised for more than a few days, it only glorifies the killer, it gives him what he wanted: fame. The videos of him should not have been released, and all information on the killer should have been concealed to everyone other than immediate family members of the killer and victims.

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Brennn10 (author)T3h_Muffinator2007-04-22

Yea, I saw an interview on TV about a man affected by the murders was intent that the media should not have let the videos out. CBS, and other news stations have lightened up on the use of the videos, so its a good start.

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lemonie (author)2007-04-17

I don't have a stastistic, but roughly what percentage of the population believe they have a constitutional right to bear arms (any circumstances) under the second amendment? L

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KentsOkay (author)lemonie2007-04-19

I'm part of the percentage, does that help?

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lemonie (author)KentsOkay2007-04-19

Not really. But how far does your right extend? From BBs to pistols, rifles, AK's, RPGs etc - where would you draw a line? L

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KentsOkay (author)lemonie2007-04-19

The problem's not really about what people own (I could build a better RPG than what the Ruskies have), the problems who owns them. A greater percentage of the arm-bearing population are law-abiding citizens. It's the small group of phicotic freaks that cause all the trouble. As long as we want to preserve our rights and keep our arms, were going to have to accept the conciquences that accompiny arms. Making it illegal to bear arms is dumb, you don't need anymore than your bare hands to kill someone.

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lemonie (author)KentsOkay2007-04-19

Would you favour being able to buy RPGs at Wal-mart, so long as you could prove you weren't psychotic?
As my original comment, where do you draw a line upon rights to bear arms?

L

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KentsOkay (author)lemonie2007-04-19

No (duh). I say no heavy machine guns, grenades, or other weapon-grade explosives. However there is also the educational stand. Loads of reanactors have 50cal. machine guns. I'm guessing that that stuff should only in the hands of museums.

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lemonie (author)KentsOkay2007-04-19

So assault-rifles are OK? Age limit?

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KentsOkay (author)lemonie2007-04-19

Well duh, 18 or over (oh crap, I always wanted tommy gun). But if you think about it, a kid could easily by a bb gun capable of killing someone. I reckon that all automatic weapons should be illegal, unless they're plugged or museum pieces.

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ottohund (author)KentsOkay2007-04-21

Since automatic weapons became "restricted" in the late 20's there has been only one murder in which a legally own automatic weapon was used (in the US). A police officer murdered someone with an automatic weapon. I don't know if it were department owned , or his personal weapon.

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KentsOkay (author)ottohund2007-04-21

No matter how many laws we pass to prevent ownership of weapons, people will always find a way to get them illegally.

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westfw (author)lemonie2007-04-18

Um. All of us? Some don't believe we should, and many don't choose to do so, but I don't think you'll find many people that don't believe that the "right to bear arms" doesn't currently exist... there may be argument over exactly what the circumstances are supposed to be, and what sort of arms you're supposed to be able to get. Sigh. "Muckers." Right out of Brunner's "Stand on Zanzibar."

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Bobfrizzle (author)2007-04-18

people were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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trebuchet03 (author)Bobfrizzle2007-04-19

Way to blame the victims... Class is not a "wrong place" and being in class when class is held is not a "wrong time." This is especially maddening when something like that is said of rape victims, abductions etc.... Is an ATM a wrong place? Absolutely not!

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And does that mean the killer was in the right place at the right time? I'm so confused.

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It depends on your perspective. For the killer, he was in the right place at the right time. From the student's perspective, the killer was in the wrong time at the wrong place, but the students were in the right place at the right time.

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assasin (author)Bobfrizzle2007-04-19

i hate wen im wrong like you bob

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Brennn10 (author)2007-04-21

I feel terribly sorry for the family of the killer.(I don't feel like butchering his name). I hear that they have to be continually moved around to place to place because of threats. Sad, Sad story.

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assasin (author)2007-04-19

i read sum "stories" of his and they were something like a 5th grader would write if he was allowed to fully express himself or just thinks its kool to sware

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fungus amungus (author)2007-04-19

Pretty gross how every news station is broadcasting the killer's video. They talk about how he wanted to glamorize his own self and then shove it into every media nook and cranny they can find? It's shameless and doesn't do anything to further the dialog.

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Well, I feel a bit better - I'm not the only one that feels that way (the news was on in the Engineering Atrium).

It's shameless and doesn't do anything to further the dialog.

Which is why I don't watch televised news (unless it's weather and they have their own channel :P). Anything beyond the 30-60 minutes of news is pure speculation, opinion and now "news." After reported, it's "olds" :/

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I turned on our TV for the first time in weeks so that we could watch Lost and they had teasers about that footage constantly. It reminded me why I stopped watching TV on a regular, or even occasional, basis for the past 10+ years. I bet you could do a decent thesis on the development of the press kits for killers. Mix up the Zodiac killer, the Unabomber, and this multimedia package and show how the murders aren't complete until the killer gets the media attention that he (and it's usually a he) wants.

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lemonie (author)fungus amungus2007-04-19

Is the CSI franchise popular in your part of the world? People like murder and violence.... L (What's wrong with the ceiling lights in the CSI labs? They seem to have to resort to using desk-lamps like there's a lighting-circuit failure?)

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fungus amungus (author)lemonie2007-04-19

I guess it is. They have three of them on the air now. I've only seen a bit of one of the Miami shows so I can't vouch for their desk lamps or electricity woes.

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lemonie (author)2007-04-17

I don't mean to be flippant at all, but how does one legislate against concealed weapons? Are you OK displaying unconcealed weapons? I understand the principle, but concealed must be written down somewhere, and it's not quite right.

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trebuchet03 (author)lemonie2007-04-17

Are you OK displaying unconcealed weapons?

Pretty much... the answer is yes. This is why one could own a shotgun at a younger age -- you'd have a hard time concealing it.

I just did a few quick searches... and it looks like (I could be wrong as things may have changed) mosts states do not require a license or permit etc. to carry an unconcealed weapon (which includes firearms). There may be a background check for eligibility (criminal unless your right was reinstated - dishonorable military discharge, et. al.) BUT you do not need to carry a permit.

In Florida - there appears to be no waiting period for long firearms - but a 3 day waiting period for small arms.

As for the %tage question -- I don't know... but I'm curious too

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Open carry is NOT legal in Florida opencarry

Personally I'm at the "An armed society is a polite society" end of the argument.

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Yeah, I'm with you there. There was some discussion on the radio. Kennesaw, GA made a law requiring gun ownership in '82 and saw crime plummet and remain low. So I of course think that if more on campus were carrying, than this guy wouldn't have gotten as far as he did.

But even so, I don't understand how this guy could have killed so many people with a couple handguns! This ugy had to reload and reload and reload. Why didn't anybody tackle him while he was reloading? It's really strange to me.

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trebuchet03 (author)royalestel2007-04-18

But even so, I don't understand how this guy could have killed so many people with a couple handguns! This ugy had to reload and reload and reload. Why didn't anybody tackle him while he was reloading? It's really strange to me.

Getting shot at is strange to most people.... Ask yourself, if you are tossed into a high stress situation in a "safe" location... What do you do? We all would like to think that you would do something (anything really). But that's likely not going to happen quick enough if you're not trained and/or exposed to previously.

Do you want to be that one person that started running towards the action? There's no guarantee someone will follow to help - making you stand out that much more. That reaction is opposite of instinct....

So I of course think that if more on campus were carrying....

Perhaps -- but the last thing I want is the guy next to me.... the loose stressed out college student carrying a firearm before/during/after a calculus exam o.0 Especially in a class where the professor was extra tough. Something tells me that you can't quite compare a city to a university - even though a university is "city like" :P

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royalestel (author)trebuchet032007-04-19

There's a time to stand up and be men and women. That was such a time. Whether physical violence or threat to freedom, it is strange to me that I have only read of one man in the situation that seemed to exhibit courage. He was a holocaust survivor. I don't really know what else to say. Our society is sick, obviously. Where is our courage? Where is our willingness to sacrifice for freedom from fear and death? I fear there is a minority that would defend freedom now. And that is . . . almost unspeakably bad. It would mean the imminent demise of our nation. Perhaps we will be humbled through famine instead.

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They were probably busy being scared out of their minds. Who knows where he was when he was reloading. He also had two guns so he could've reloaded one while the other still had a couple bullets left in it.

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A one-handed reload is tough, man. I just don't get it. This whole thing is terrible. I mean geez.

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He could've put it in his pocket. Who knows? It's easier to be logical after the fact is all.

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lemonie (author)trebuchet032007-04-18

Right... So you can go into school dressed like a cowboy with guns slung around your hips, but having a pistol stuffed down the front of your boxers is outlawed? (I am not trying to make humour from this, but it still doesn't seem logical)

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trebuchet03 (author)lemonie2007-04-18

So you can go into school dressed like a cowboy with guns slung around your hips, but having a pistol stuffed down the front of your boxers is outlawed?

(I am not trying to make humour from this, but it still doesn't seem logical)

That is correct. See Tool's map for where you're allowed to do that (state laws have done a bit of regulation beyond the 2nd amendment).

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royalestel (author)lemonie2007-04-18

Concealed weapons--in most states you must have a permit for them and if you get caught with a concealed weapon without a permit (even in your car, hence the gunracks) you get in Garfield-sized trouble.

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lemonie (author)Bobfrizzle2007-04-18

Yea that's a good philosophy...
The residents of Pompei: Wrong place = in the shadow of a volcano. Wrong time = when it erupted.
The population of Hiroshima: Wrong place = Hirosima. Wrong time = when the US is dropping a nuke on you.
Citizens of New Orleans: Wrong place = New Orleans. Wrong time = severe tropical storm season.
(it goes on)
Your statement is meaningless.

L

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lemonie (author)2007-04-17

How easy is it to buy guns in that state? Our news said 18 for rifle or shotgun, and 21 for hanguns, with "criminal record checks". Over here you need much more, like membersip of a club and references for a licence. Also the cops come around to assess you gun-cabinets/safes etc. Shotguns are in a different catergory, but you might need to show your NFU card(?) It's "I don't like Mondays again"? L

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The only gun buying law is you can only buy 1gun a month thats basically it besides the standard 7 day wait thing (it might not be 7 days I forget) but for having a gun in public it must be visible at all times. I dont know about VT's laws

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trebuchet03 (author)lemonie2007-04-17

I can't speak for their state... but I know my in state it's relatively easy (compared to your requirements). I do think there is a similar age restriction for shotguns and small arms. And safety equipment is not required. VT has rules against concealed weapons on campus (as does my school). Awhile back there was a push to have that rule changed - but it was taken down. Really, the last thing you want is a stressed out/loose college student with a concealed weapon during/before/after a calculus IV final exam :/

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KentsOkay (author)2007-04-17

They tried covering up the first shooting.

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trebuchet03 (author)KentsOkay2007-04-17

Not according to my buddies that actually go to VT... Besides, they know they can't cover something like that up - this isn't the first time someone started firing a gun on that campus. If that's what the mass media is saying -- PLEASE stop listening to them (find their source of information ;) ). If there's one thing I hate, it's reporting 30 minutes of news content in a 24 hour period... there's only room for speculation :( Honestly, if something like this happened at my university - with nearly 50K students.... There's no way to get the word out. It's not like a high school with an intercom system to get in touch with every building, every room, every place on campus simply by pressing a button. To call every room by phone would take a gargantuan effort - to call every professor... that would take less time, but you still won't get the word out fast enough to the people you need to get in touch with (those en-route to campus). The only way to get in touch with most students is eMail... And an eMail did go out before the second shooting. Unfortunately, it takes time to find out what happens, draft the eMail, approve it and then finally send it out. Most of that time is just finding out what happened (it does take police a bit of time to determine what's going on and get that information to the right people). And I would NOT expect, demand or even ask a staff member to put themselves into harms way to warn people "on the streets." This is not like Elementary school - the students are Adults - equal to every other Adult. It was a terrible thing that happened - but again, I wouldn't expect my staff to be required to put themselves in harms way.

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randofo (author)trebuchet032007-04-17

The university has the same responsibility to the students sitting in its classes as the City of New York has to its subway riders. Some adults are students, some adults are subway riders and some are responsible of ensuring the saftey of all. Given the string of terrorist and terrorist-like attacks in the past decade, a large organization such as a university should have a contingency plan they could implement in such an atypical situation. If people get shot, the university SHOULD be put on alert and immediately. A private university is especially responsible for ensuring the safety and welfare of its students because it is a small privately-owned and funded city unto itself and is usually in some sense self-governed (has their own security and judicial process... to a point). With that said, any small city with a relatively low crime rate should have some sort of plan to immediately put into action if something as drastic as a shooting were ever to occur (and a university is no different). At the very least, given the events of that morning and the fact the shooter was still at large, there should have been an immediate heightened security presence throughout the campus. A couple guys armed with pepper spray and walking around campus buildings informing the students to be more vigilant on that particular day could have gone a long way to avoid this situation. I know everyone puts great religious faith in email these days as a means to and end, but this is a situation that would have been best handled by an immediate response of actual manpower. A delayed and carefully sugar-coated notification for the student is no excuse for the university to fall short of its duty of ensuring the welfare of its student.

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trebuchet03 (author)randofo2007-04-17

At the very least, given the events of that morning and the fact the shooter was still at large, there should have been an immediate heightened security presence throughout the campus. A couple guys armed with pepper spray and walking around campus buildings informing the students to be more vigilant on that particular day could have gone a long way to avoid this situation.

The problem was... the police mad a bad call (perhaps premature, I don't know - this is what I'm being told)... The university (for a relatively long time) did not know there was someone at large. The local police declared it a domestic dispute - the crime was over. As we know now, this was not the case. But, that is why outside precincts were not brought in immediatly to assist.


Ironically, I got an eMail from my university a few hours ago about this, and letting us know they are "reviewing their security." I did some research and found that there's a University not far from my hometown that uses text messaging to get information like this out... But to be honest, after speaking with a few people... Unless school was outright canceled I probably would go about my day as normal. Sure, I'll be suspicious of something that looks "off" - but not suspicious of other students. Finally, if I got a short text message telling me school was closed (from a sender other than a friend) - I would be very suspicious of it's validity :/


I do wonder if anything short of shutting down the school would have helped... I mean, the person was a student - with small arms. I could keep a lot in my bag without you knowing -- and move about campus no problem because I'm a student, I look like a student, plenty of people move about every day...


There's one thing I've said for awhile in scenarios like this.... When someone has truly made up their mind that they are going to kill someone and themselves -- I mean truly made that decision (not just pleas for help). You'll be hard pressed to stop them before it begins. It's just the nature of homicidal and suicidal people. Most suicide attempts include a "plea for help" - that is, it's mentioned before it happens - but that's not the case for most suicides (especially in males || Females have a higher attempt rate while males have a higher suicide rate).

been best handled by an immediate response of actual manpower.

I do agree - in fact, that's likely one of the only ways to get me to change my plans. However, I still say that I do not expect not demand a staff/faculty member to put them self into harms way... Unless of course that person happens to be police and/or security.

Really, it will take a lot to make me change my plans on campus... Mostly because I fall into the "don't blame the victim" category. Warned or not - if the campus remained open - the students and faculty had a right to be where they were.



But, now re-reading - I do agree with the first things that you said. They do have a responsibility to get information out as quickly as they can... But quickness greatly depends on planning - and I surely don't know what their planning involved :/ In fact, I don't even know what my own University has planned.

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randofo (author)trebuchet032007-04-17

I suppose you have a point, there really was no way to stop him other than shutting down the school if he was that determined to do it. And given the initial situation shutting down the school may have been over-reacting However, not to sound like a broken record... but I still think the outcome wouldn't have been so bad if people knew what was going on ahead of time and there were more police around. Also, you probably know this, but males tend to have a higher success rate because the methods they use are more extreme, calculated and to the point (I've always found that amusing).

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fungus amungus (author)randofo2007-04-18

It's pretty incredibly rare that a single murder will then lead to a gigantic murder spree. So to really talk about how much the school should've done is to be talking from today's perspective as opposed to a few days ago. Suppose the school did have a habit of going into lockdown after such incidents, including non-murders. The student body would quickly become jaded and ignore them and even decry the university creating an environment of fear. It's also a matter of how long it takes information to percolate through a huge campus while classes are going on. It could've been better, but I doubt by much.

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