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Rampage at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by The Shaman, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. shadow lurker Gems: 17/31
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    I've heard about this shooting everywhere I go, though I haven't been following it much because it's quite saddening and depressing to think about for me right now. The latest thing I heard was that his father suicided and his mother tried to suicide too, but was rescued.
    One of my friends pointed out that there's this guy in our course who looks pretty similar to the shooter. O.o
     
  2. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    I find the argument from the pro-gun lobby that "if the professors and students had been armed they could've defended themselves" absolutely disgraceful.

    And the fact that when applying for a gun there's a section of the form about mental illness, which basically says 'Are you mental? - Please tick yes or no' sickeningly hilarious. There's gun control for you, eh.
     
  3. shadow lurker Gems: 17/31
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    What the..as if anyone would tick 'yes' for that! Anyway, I heard that Virginia Tech students are being offered full credit depending on their grades. That's so unfair, some people don't even need to do their final exams anymore!
     
  4. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    My condolences to those American families.

    I can't say I'm surprised, it's happened before and it will obviously happen again.

    While sat in Houston airport for a connecting flight, I must say I found the media coverage rather crass and intrusive to the bereaved families, but maybe that's acceptable and common place in the US.

    Did anyone else here the quote from the guy who sold him the guns? "He seemed like a nice enough kid" was the line I heard, although admittedly I was trying to take care of the food-poisoned girlfriend at the time.

    @ Shadow Lurker
    About as sensible as some of the questions asked on the US green visa waiver forms.
     
  5. shadow lurker Gems: 17/31
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    @Carcaroth
    I'll take your word for it. :)
     
  6. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    I find the pacifist argument that people should not be allowed to defend themselves disgraceful.

    It is negligent to deny people the right to defend themselves unless adequate protection is provided...and it obviously was not in this case.

    I hope that the families of those who lost loved ones in Blacksburg sue the Commonwealth of Virginia and win an exorbitant award...it is just too bad that it won't come out of the pockets of the legislators in the Virginia Congress even if they do win.
     
  7. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    I find the argument that asking the government to apply stricter controls on the acquisition of firearms, ban assault weapons, and close up existing loopholes which allow people to acquire firearms without a background check is the same thing as arguing that people shouldn't be allowed to defend themselves disgraceful.

    It is negligent to allow people to buy firearms with only a cursory background check and a short waiting period or, in the case of gun shows, no[/] background check or waiting period, and it is even more negligent to allow civilians access to assault rifles which they will never actually need and will render them better armed than the police whose duty it is to protect them.
     
  8. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Ok, so what is it about American people that makes these kinds of things happen? Perhaps America just produces more homicidal lunatics than the average country? If gun crime levels were proportional to gun ownership (or the ease of availability) then Canada would have at least 5-6 of these crazy massacres by now. They haven't, to my knowledge, had one. America seems to have to least one yearly.
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I don't know about that. I think total population would play a role too. See as how Canada's population is a little over 30 million, and the U.S.'s population is a little over 300 million, even if guns per capita play a factor (which I'm sure it does) I would at least think that population matters more. I mean, with 10X as many people, there have to be way more guns in the U.S. than Canada, even if the percentage of people owning guns is higher in Canada.

    Well, while none have been as bad as Va Tech, I must admit you are spot on with this comment. This article by USA Today shows that there have been 14 school shootings in the past 10 years.

    What I find most objectionable about all of this, is that evidently the topic of gun control is off the table in the U.S. In fact, the only palce I have seen a discussion on gun control relating to this topic is here on SP. Politicians aren't calling for it, I didn't see any debates on major news networks, or anywhere else in mass media beyond a passing mention. The NRA is a very powerful lobby group, and gun control hasn't really even entered the discussion here in the U.S.
     
  10. Darkwolf Gems: 18/31
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    Nice post...I concur.

    And another post I agree with...Canada has more lax gun laws than England and yet why does England have more of these than the Brits? You are correct, it is a social issue, not a gun control issue.

    Gun laws that make it more difficult for criminals to get guns are good...gun laws that make it impossible for lawful people to by guns are bad...at least in America.
     
  11. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Homicidal maniacs or massacres?

    Either way I think your figures are off.

    In 2006, Canada had 159 homicides by Firearm, compared to 62 in the UK (Canada also has half the population)

    Total UK homicides coming to 1.37 per 100,000, compared to Canada of 1.93 per 100,000 (And 4.22 in the US)

    I can think of two "Massacres" in the UK in my lifetime, Hungerford and Dunblane. Both of these were before stricter gun control laws were brought in, and surprisingly we haven't had any since.

    Edit: Assumed you meant "England has more of these than the Canadians" England and Brits are kind of synonymous
     
  12. jaded empath Gems: 20/31
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    @Barmy - you shame me, mate. Do you really pay that little attention to my country? ;)

    - Ecole Polytechnique (which proves my memory is flawed, because I could SWEAR I was studying at uni when this happened, but I started post-secondary in 1990 :confused: )

    - Concordia University

    - W.R. Myers High School

    - Dawson College (Sorry if you missed this discussion on it - so did I)

    But I remembered Ecole Poly. and Dawson College even before I started digging...

    @DW
    :) Yep, I've already had a lengthy and fascinating discussion culminating in this over here.
    (And a lot of that forum are either present or former US military - pretty sensible, grounded lot, to be honest :skeptic: )

    Basically, guns are a part of America's inception (revolution, the Minutemen, etc.) and continuing essence. For better or worse, it's deep in the culture; you can't get rid of one without destroying the other. So this sort of calamity WILL happen, sadly.
     
  13. Montresor

    Montresor Mostly Harmless Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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  14. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Well if the population is an issue you could just compare to the entire European Union and I've not heard of a single similar school shooting within the borders of EU in the past years.

    What I'd like to see is guns being treated like cars, you need to go through a driving school in order to be able to drive one, a gun bearing lisence would hardly be so much to ask. Taking a few tests at the shooting range and hearing a lesson or two about responsible gun ownership would be enough. I believe that's the way it works here and we have plenty of guns in Finland but still gun crime is pretty low.
     
  15. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    There were one or two (in Germany, IIRC). But they're very rare and with far fewer victims.
     
  16. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    I looked this up in Wikipedia and after a quick glance found three fatal school shootings in Europe in the last few decades. Two in Germany and one in the UK. So three in EU since 96 (that was when the UK shooting happened), compared to the US where they several cases each year. This with EU having a greater population than the US.

    [ April 29, 2007, 13:21: Message edited by: Morgoroth ]
     
  17. Fabius Maximus Gems: 19/31
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    We've got two in 2002 in Erfurt and Freising that involved firearms, and one other two years before in Brannenburg (lying in Bayuvaria like Freising).

    A years before that some 15-year old kid stabbed a teacher to death.

    That's about it in the last 10 or 15 years.

    All the first three cases had in common that the the students had access to guns, wether through their parents or allowed to own them themselves.

    Robert Steinhauser, the one who went amok in Erfurt, was a marksmen himself and member in a club.

    Almost the only way to get guns here legally is to be a member of the police, a professional bodyguard or security specialist, or being a member in a marksmen club or association.
    It's possible to get guns on the black market, I believe, but I also believe that's rather hard for someone not knowing the right people.

    Knives, telescope clubs, or exotic stuff like shuriken or nun-chakos are easier to come by. Some of my fellow students in 'high school' brought knives and shuriken to school and showed them around. Owning these weapons is forbidden by law, though. In the case of knives it depends on the length of the blade.
     
  18. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    When I was in Bremen, a couple of people (including 2 TAs) wanted to make a dueling club. I asked them if it was legal, and they told me that the blade had to be dulled. "Not that it can't be fixed with half an hour and a whetstone", one added.

    However, I think it's a lot harder to take on 20 people with a bastard sword than with a Glock. I think so, at least ;)
     
  19. jaded empath Gems: 20/31
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    My theory is it comes down to culture; America was founded in armed rebellion against an oppressive monarchy. Its inception came at a time when a flintlock firearm was a common utility item (fowling piece) in most settlers' homes. For better or for worse, the United States was born with a gun in its hands. :bad:

    Other countries like Britain or Germany may have had bloodier histories, but much of the past strife occurred in the era of swords and armor (maybe Brits all wanna be Robin Hood? ;) )

    And most of the time it was a change from one specific monarchy to another. One exception to that, the French Revolution, occurred long after the French (Franks/Gauls) had become a unique 'culture'; not so with the American Colonials, their revolution CREATED them as a 'ethnological entity'.

    Further, the United States was an attempt at a classless society (Washington refused to be king, etc.) so there's always that underlying desire or need to overthrow one's 'betters' - that DID happen several times during France's revolution, if I recall - Robespierre and the other leaders ended up on the chopping block, themselves.

    SO, as a consequence of a) the prevalence of guns (the underlying instinct to keep them handing in case armed revolution against an oppressor is required again) combined with b) a subconscious tendency to respond violently when someone 'puts themselves over' the other person results in a higher incidence of school shootings than mere population and gun prevalence would suggest.

    (Schools could trigger this 'overthrow the oppressor' thingy with the hierarchy of teachers over students as well as social cliques within the student body. :skeptic: )

    So, whaddaya think - complete clap-trap? :)
     
  20. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Not that it's anything to be proud of but I'd say that in the past centuries a lot more blood has been spilled on this continent than the American one.
     
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