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April 17, 2007

Shaming and blaming Va-Tech victims and their co-ed dorms

Oh, look...The chickenhawks are pecking at the Va-Tech victims.

John Derbyshire:

As NRO's designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask: Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus ban on licensed conceals, why didn't anyone rush the guy? It's not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for  goodness' sake—one of them reportedly a .22.
At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him. Handguns aren't very accurate, even at close range. I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can't hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am. And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage—your chances aren't bad.

Yes, yes, I know it's easy to say these things: but didn't the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything? As the cliche goes—and like most cliches. It's true—none of us knows what he'd do in a dire situation like that. I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I'd at least take a run at the guy.  [NRO]   

Nathanael Blake:

College classrooms have scads of young men who are at their physical peak, and none of them seems to have done anything beyond ducking, running, and holding doors shut. Meanwhile, an old man hurled his body at the shooter to save others.

Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage. And not a one of the healthy young fellows in the classrooms seems to have done that. [Human Events]

[Via Think Progress.]

I knew it wouldn't be long before some wingnut blamed the co-ed dorm. Carol Iannone:

And I'm sorry, some will really think me foolish, but I don't think dorms should be co-ed, so that crazed, jealous boyfriends can enter their girlfriends' dorms and kill them and the innocent young men who come to their aid.  If it had been a single-sex dorm, the killer might not have been able to enter so readily.  There aren't enough difficulties getting young people through college these days so that we have to deal with "domestic disputes" in their dormitories as well? 

And, sorry again, but thoughts also arise on the killer's being an English major and on the spiritual emptiness of much education nowadays.  [NRO]

Other suspects fingered by wingnuts: evolution and atheism and crypto-Islamic terrorism by gun-hating Asian immigrants. That and our failure to put weird people under preemptive surveillance...


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The unknown blogger is Daniel Davies, who writes at Crooked Timber and The Guardian and is the well-known inventor of the "Shorter Steven den Beste." I'm sure he'd be happy to confirm his account, and throw in a "You're an obnoxious git" for good measure.

(BTW, I seem to recall you also used this stupid trollism about Moore during the George Allen macacca fracas. It's an all-purpose zombie lie!)

Speaking of "shaming and blaming," apparently the real fault lies with the girl who, it is speculated, "spurned" Cho:

I'll remember to submit this thread in the "how to aid and abet a pointless derailing" contest, assuming one exists.


In late 2002, Michael Moore gave " a series of performances at the Roundhouse theatre in north London that he described as 'one-and-a-half man shows' - the 'half a man' being George W. Bush. Moore's subject matter ranged from football to the Middle East conflict, and his style was typically confrontational. He caused some controversy with his observations about the behaviour of the passengers on the doomed aeroplanes involved in the events of September 11, 2001, but the shows received generally enthusiastic reviews."

It is entirely probable that the two people attended on different nights. Someone doing stand up for essentially the first time would not be expected to say the same thing each and every night.

So unless your Daniel Davies attend every single performance at the Roundhouse Theater, that was one stupid article that he wrote- how the hell would he know that he was there for the same show?

If these two schmucks blamed the victim--it was Michael Moore that showed them how to do it.

Night now, for real this time.

Lindsay, you may have forgotten the real source of the mass murder. Gays and lesbians. Apparently Fred Phelps is en route to the students' funerals to make sure people understand this. I don't have a fully reliable link, but the church's website apparently indicated an intent to protest and preach at the funerals.

janet -

That's a really disgusting article at, describing a murdered girl who may-or-may-not have ever been the girlfriend of the killer as having "sparked" the mass murder.

That article blames the victim more than any other I've seen so far.

"Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage."

Takes my breath away. If I wasn't laughing, I'd be unable to control my anger.

If there were 5 law abiding kids in that class with a guns, he would have gotten shot in a very short time. Instead he was able to sit at the door of the room with a hand gun (not a full auto weapon) and they just tried not to stick out. Unless we re-write the constitution hand guns are here to stay. What keeps people safe a gun ban or the write to carry? When someone that has total disregard for the law and human life, your helpless without a way to defend yourself.

Hadajobonce -

If you were taking a college class, and you were allowed to bring a gun there, would you?

Derbyshire should be disemboweled. All the rest of those right-wing/gun-nut slags should just shut the fuck up. Has this element of the American political-cultural landscape not done enough damage in the last 40 years? They have been so wrong on so many issues with such horrible consequences for so long. When is enough enough? Sick to death from their bullshit.

ahahahah ohhh man, phantom's as effective a troll as ever.

He's been posting here for what, a year or more? Come on guys. You know better than this.

I think I might but I would really know until I was able to. I have never had the option and there are other factors that would come into play. I would have to be allowed to carry it to all my daily activities. i.e work, store, bank, etc.

There are a handful of issues on which I'll never, ever be able to be objective. This is one, so I apologize ahead of time if my comments are less than perfectly dispassionate.

The truth is this. It doesn't matter if you keep an eye on weird, hostile people. It doesn't matter if you are raised from birth to know how to handle a gun and how to try to protect yourself with it. It doesn't matter if you choose to live in a community dominated by patriotic, native-born Americans.

My uncle did all those things. If he were alive today, I'm sure he'd happily join with Phantom on nearly every debate Phantom and I have ever had. If he were alive today, he'd still be quite capable with any number of guns, and still be living in a homogeneous, rural area of Tennessee.

Unfortunately, my uncle, the father of my cousins, doesn't do any of that, because his brains were removed from his head and splattered across and into the dashboard of the car of three drunk, crazy assholes who got off on the idea of kidnapping and killing a polite, religious mechanic. Because they thought it was funny. That's not conjecture - that's from the confessions.

The point is this - if awful, violent people want to ruin lives, they will. There's no policy, no social norm, no standard of civility that will stop it. Violent assholes are like hurricanes or earthquakes or tsunamis. They're a shitty curse on the world, plain and simple.

We can't fix this. But we also sure as fuck shouldn't use it as an excuse to go off on our own pet tangents. Phantom, maybe you've had the displeasure of going into a morgue and identifying your sibling with half a head. If so, I feel deeply for the depth of pain you suffered. But if you haven't, I encourage you to use another thread - any other thread - to make your points about Michael Moore.

Well, ya gotta admit, it's telling he had to go with both Michael Moore and 9/11 to shame hypocritical liberals into stop calling assholes assholes. And such a blatant attempt to derail discussion, too. "You did it first, so nyah." If he coulda just worked in Hilary Clinton, it would've been a thing of beauty.

And these people are just assholes, too, let's not beat around the bush about this. There's really no excuse for being snippy towards someone because you think they didn't react properly whilst being friggin' shot at. That's just rude, man.

Hadajobonce: “I would have to be allowed to carry it (a gun) to all my daily activities. i.e work, store, bank, etc.”

So Hadajobonce is in the bank, reaches for his checkbook and his shoulder holster is seen by a fellow vigilante who unholsters his own piece thinking a robbery is in progress, whereupon Hadajobonce, seeing what HE thinks is an armed robber, cuts loose with his weapon. Vigilante no.2’s gun barks as he falls, while vigilantes no.s 3, 4, and 5 snap the safetys off their roscoes and pump lead into vigilantes no.s 1 and 2 along with a couple suspicious looking bystanders and each other. Customers fleeing into the street are cut down by other John Wayne wannabees. Something like the convenience store scene in Repoman.

Ok, fine. Let the gun nuts use the bank, stores, etc. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate Wednesdays and the rest of us can stay home then.

"That's a really disgusting article at"

Yes, in the article they forgot to mention that she was a "rich kid" engaging in "debauchery" and also she was a "deceitful charlatan". What kind of reporting is that? If they are going to accuse her of causing the shootings, why not list all the "evidence" against her?

(irony is all I have left to offer)

"If you were taking a college class, and you were allowed to bring a gun there, would you?"

Guns don't belong in a college class, but I'm not sure they are a good idea even if one is walking through a semi-dangerous neighborhood. I've only been mugged one time, on August 13th of 2004. Two black guys came up behind me and beat me to a pulp. The police later decided the attack was probably not a robbery attempt, just two guys high on drugs and thinking some violence would be fun on a Friday night. I was lucky in that those guys didn't have a knife or gun. I may have been wearing bandages for the next two weeks, but at least I wasn't stabbed or shot.

Here's the thing: if I'd had a gun on me, I wouldn't have been able to use it. These guys came up on me from behind, and they took me by surprise. They knocked me down and proceeded to kick the shit out of me. If I had a gun on me, they probably would have found it, and then possibly used it against me. I believe that if I had a gun on me at the time, I'd be dead now.

Guns can give a fake sense of security. You might imagine how you might handle getting mugged. I certainly had. But when it actually happens, it takes you by surprise, and is often not the way you imagined it.

Follow up: I do support people's right to arms, as part of their right to self-defense. But from a purely practical level, I don't think carrying a gun offers the security that some people seem to think that it does.

The killing of American college students was fatuous before it even happened; the killing of Iraqi or Afghani civilians by terrorist American troops is not fatuous.The former is an imitation of itself; the latter rends fresh blood as we speak into an eternal, future present.

Anyone who participates in this saccharine tear fest in light of the American state terror demeans the former- as almost something to be wished for- if only to confirm and display the dreadful solipsism endemic to Americans.

Just as for Iraq, no one cares-only there Americans don't even pretend to.

What is worse is the pretense, rendering all these tedious paens of concern vulgar in the extreme. Just like 9-11.

So Lindsay lists three (3) conservative reactions to the VTech shootings that call the victims "cowards" and all Phantom can come up with is a four-year-old Michael Moore quote to say, "But liberals are just as bad!"

Phantom, which number is larger: three or one? No cheating now.

(Also, it seems the author was making a completely different point than the one WorldNet wanted her to: her argument was that it was racist for Moore to stereotype the black men, not the white ones.)

Putting aside the coed-dorm issue, which I think is a ludicrous diversion, I must admit that I was, let's say, disappointed at the thought of a class full of able-bodied college students fleeing a lone gunman while their beloved 77-year-old professor, Holocaust survivor Liviu Librescu, sacrificed his life barring the door to save them. If only a few of the students -- let alone the whole class -- had helped him, things would almost certainly have gone differently.

Without casting blame on any of the victims, it's still possible to wish that someone else in that room had had the bravery of their late teacher. If that makes me a chickenhawk, well, cock-a-doodle doo.

Gaijin Biker: 'Without casting blame on any of the victims, it's still possible to wish that someone else in that room had had the bravery of their late teacher.'

What heroic nonsense, of this idiocy: "I cannot help but wonder how many lives would have been saved if even one of the victims or witnesses had been carrying a concealed firearm. We will never know for certain."

It's not nonsense at all. I wonder why you are so appalled by the notion of heroism -- or, for that matter, the notion that if someone else had been armed, they could have stopped this guy.

Unbefuckinglievable. No one knows what they'd do in a situation like this until they're actually it. I doubt that even Wesley Autrey would have said for sure that he would jump into the subway well to rescue someone he didn't know until it actually happened. We all might very well have tried to jump out of the window to save our own lives rather than risk getting shot as we tried to wrestle the gun out of the guy's hand.

That's right, no one knows what he would do, etc. So what is so unspeakably awful about wishing some of the students in that classroom had helped their teacher?

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