The Virginia Tech Massacre

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Tue, 2007-04-17 02:57

All the media outlets in America are shrieking with the news that earlier today at least 32 people were shockingly, pointlessly massacred at Virginia Tech University. This is truly horrific, but sometimes an act of raw evil and terrible tragedy is just that -- with nothing more to say. There's no moral to the story and no real lessons to be learned. This seems to be an example of that. There simply may be no good way to prevent this type of horror in a largely free America. Altho' it'll very likely help when we eventually learn the likely motives for the mass-murder. Still, in the meanwhile, maybe we can draw a few small conclusions beforehand, and on the side...

Francis Bacon says "knowledge itself is power," and so it may have been a notable blunder and miscalculation not to immediately alert the campus and local area -- via radio and even internet -- that several people were murdered at the first building, and that the gunman was still at large. This news may have made the people at the second building two hours later more prepared and alert, with consequently fewer people killed.

It may also be true that if more people had their Second Amendment rights protected, and thus possessed self-defense weapons -- especially security guards and even informal militias -- somebody could have stopped this killing spree sooner. Possibly people could have called for help via cell-phones -- or even the internet -- to friends who they knew had guns and decent weaponry experience.

It may also be the case that we live in what Bill Maher calls a recently "feminized" world in which private citizens and others are overquick to surrender to the bad guys and their attacks. The police constantly propagandize us not to fight back against criminals (albeit less so in the post-9/11 era). Certainly the passivity of Britain in that recent 15-soldier hostage crisis with Iran has to dishearten most civilized people. Criminals and bad guys today seem pretty emboldened by a general public irresponsibility in fighting back against unexpected evil. Even if some madman does have a gun and is firing on 20 completely unprepared German students, maybe they can all pick up their desks at once and violently charge the guy. He might only get off a few more shots before being pulverized with heavy furniture.

It may also be the case that public roads and grounds played a role in this. These "public" things are really government things, and that means communist things, from which much evil flows. Such property is basically uncontrolled by civilized society, or else is always somewhat chaotically out of control. Big Brother literally "paves the way" for every killer to do his evil deeds. Private college campuses with private security guards and thoughtful private control/access rules seem to be much less vulnerable.

I also think we need to see all this in context. Even if 32 students who barely tasted life died miserably on a bucolic college campus, I think we need to remember that 10,000 Americans perish every day. This comes courtesy of what Homer Simpson calls "Killey McGee on the job." This is the same creature George Bush earlier today called "a loving god." I think human life is truly sacred, and it should not be desecrated with references to the non-existent, and the maliciously conceived and maintained.

Just some passing thoughts...


( categories: )

The herring is a much-maligned fish

Ross Elliot's picture

It's juicy, delicious and satisfying. Much like myself Eye

Red Herring Ross

Lindsay Perigo's picture

...made ever so lovelier by *my* presence in it.

You wouldn't dare leave Timaru for Gore.

And, Lindsay has met me... in his dreams.

Nightmares! Smiling

And still the evasion continues!

Gore is a lovely little town...

Ross Elliot's picture

...made ever so lovelier by *my* presence in it Cool

And, Lindsay has met me... in his dreams Eye

Palmerston North ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... while indeed very, very boring, is just a red herring introduced by Elliot to get himself off the hook. He can't leave his house in Timaru for Gore (the retard town, not the retard Global Warmer), let alone Atlanta. Note his evasion of Kelly's plea for clarification. Kelly, I'm afraid it'll be a no-show by Ross. Here in NZ, where we've had two very successful SOLOCs, we're used to it. I've still not met the guy! Smiling

Linz

Robert,I have to agree with

Duncan Bayne's picture

Robert,

I have to agree with you there, having spent my life from the ages of 2 to 21 there.  John Cleese wrote the following about Palmerston North:

If you ever do want to kill yourself, but lack the courage, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick.

Robert, did I ever meet you while working for IT Services at Massey?

 

---
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Phyllis! :-)

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Just so you know ...

No one who attends SOLOC 5 will be made to feel less than a thousand per cent welcome. That includes you and anyone else with whom I have had/do have disagreements, however ferocious. Hell, James will be one of the presenters!

Linz

Besides, there's gonna be a whole lotta shooting going on. Your trichotomy would furnish excellent target practice! Smiling

Kelly...

Ross Elliot's picture

...if you're referring to not understanding my reference to the lower half of the North Island, don't worry--no-one understands it. It's populated by bureaucrats, chardonnay socialists and the terminally confused. When I fly over it, I avert my gaze lest, like Lot, I be turned into a pillar of salt Eye

Re Sherman, he said this upon the evacuation of Atlanta during the Civil War:

"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of our country."

You can wear your General

User hidden's picture

You can wear your General Sherman t-shirt, if only he has horns and a forked tail. Aside: When I was in third grade in MS, we had a coloring page with Sherman depicted like that with a very hellish looking Meridian behind him in flames. Smiling

So, though I didn't understand half of your message, I still think you are saying you won't be coming to SOLOC5. I sure hope you will! Please, please, pretty please?!

Kelly

I can confirm...

Ross Elliot's picture

...that Palmerston North, and indeed the *whole* lower half of the North Island, is the most boring place on Earth.

I'd go to Atlanta but only if I can wear my General Sherman t-shirt. But, somehow, I don't think that standing outside the city and haranguing the citizenry that they cannot qualify partying in harsher terms than I, would go down too well.

Smiling

I truly am sorry, Phil. I

User hidden's picture

I truly am sorry, Phil. I would like to have met you in person.

Kelly

> Ross, Robert, Jason, Phil,

PhilipC's picture

> Ross, Robert, Jason, Phil, Albert-SOLOC will be in Atlanta this fall. Plan to attend. I want to take anyone who's never fired a gun, is frightened of law abiding citizens carrying guns, etc. to the shooting range.

Aaron, thanks for the offer! Sounds like would be fun if I were going to attend, but my problem with coming to a multi-day SOLO conference which would be highly social is that (just as an ARI conference was for me where one might want to socialize but intellectual or factional disputes translated into lack of friendliness and respect): I won't spend my free time where I sense I'm likely to not be among friends. It's not just the founder and the FreeRadical editor, but you don't really want to hang out with people who view you with contempt or disdain rather than respect or appreciation or enjoyment...unless it's a very large group where you can get away from them and hang out with those who are more 'simpatico'...There are really nice people like Kelley and others (and you sound the same) that I'll regret not meeting.

This sums up my view...

jtgagnon's picture

Ted Nugent sums it all up quite nicely:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/...

Linz...

Robert's picture

If I had a glove, I'd slap you across the face and challenge you to a duel for impuning the reputation of Palmerston North as the most boring place on Earth. Smiling

Aaron again ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

See what I mean? He clearly has no intention of leaving the confines of Timaru. And believe me, Timaru is the most boring place on earth.

Wuss!

Aaron...

Ross Elliot's picture

...can I suggest Perigo-shaped cutouts for the practice targets? If you run out, you can always use the real thing...

Aaron ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Just so you know ... what Ross is afraid of is leaving the house. Getting him to the range won't be a problem. Getting him from Timaru to Atlanta will be! Smiling

Linz

Now, Aaron...

Ross Elliot's picture

...why mention my name? Am I frightened of guns? I've shot more skeets out of the air, more rabbits out of their holes, and more wallabies (small kangaroos) off hillsides than I care to remember. Whatever the current debate is about, it's not about being frightened of guns, that's for sure.

Ross, Robert, Jason, Phil,

Aaron's picture

Ross, Robert, Jason, Phil, Albert-
SOLOC will be in Atlanta this fall. Plan to attend. I want to take anyone who's never fired a gun, is frightened of law abiding citizens carrying guns, etc. to the shooting range. Duncan, John and anyone else already into or at least respecting responsible weapon ownership are all also welcome, of course.

Phil- Firearms' range and

Aaron's picture

Phil-
Firearms' range and directionality are precisely what makes them so effective, why they are such a better equalizer against physical strength and why they are far more effective for self-defense than knives, mace, fists, running away, etc.

As for the mass murderer argument against guns - claiming knives or fists would be the necessary option for mass murderers if only they were somehow denied guns is a strawman. Despite the horror of the Virginia Tech shootings and it setting a new record for death toll in American mass murder by firearms, the event still barely enters the top ten when considering all weapons. The most 'efficient' mass murderers didn't choose guns or knives; they chose dynamite, gasoline, or aircraft.

> Why does the fact that a

PhilipC's picture

> Why does the fact that a person is carrying a gun instead of a chopping knife or a pair of big strong hands make him any more likely to hurt me? [Kelly}

You're right that there are other sources of danger, except that the gun can kill at a distance and, as in the Virginia case, it can quickly kill many people 'rapid fire' in just a few seconds. Someone pulls a knife on you, it's easier to dodge or run away and if you are farther than arms length you are safe (most knives aren't designed for throwing.) Also, if someone chokes you there is more time to get away or get someone to help or not die from it. Most importantly, most people know how to use a gun or think they do than a knife...just point, aim, and a quick twitch of the trigger.

Invitation to Duncan

User hidden's picture

Please do come to my house, and I hope you will bring your gun! I would feel very safe and happy with an armed person like you around making good conversation and looking out for bad guys.

Kelly

Yes, Duncan.

User hidden's picture

I read a great book when I was pregnant about keeping children safe called _Protecting the Gift_. The basic premise is to trust your fear of certain people and situations. One big thing that clicked for me was that a normal man will not turn into a psycho cause he's mad. One recommendation of the author was for women to be more assertive and less timid about situations that scare them. If a man approaches to help you in a dark garage and you are afraid, say something loud and aggressive, like, "Stop! I don't need your help!" He makes the point that a normal man who was truly just going to help you may think, "Wow, that woman is way over nervous and kind of a bitch," but showing anger and resistence won't make him snap and hurt you (a fear the author encounters in women he counsels - be meek and then men won't hurt you). Wearing a gun, disliking your politics, etc won't make a normal person snap. And you never know what will make a crazy one snap. I would feel much safer in a society where lots of normal, decent people openly carried weapons as a part of their daily accessories along with their wallets and their overcoats. I already like the feeling of being around armed police officers and soldiers.

Kelly

It doesn't.  And

Duncan Bayne's picture

It doesn't.  And furthermore, the ability to carry a weapon (esp. a gun) gives you a much better chance of survival should a man much larger and stronger than you decide to attack you.

 

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guns vs other means of offing me

User hidden's picture

I'm not sure I understand why guns in particular are such an issue. I could get into an argument with almost any man in the world, and he could suddenly kill me with his bare hands, and yet, I don't feel scared in most situations with men. Restaurants are full of big sharp knives that someone could suddenly stab me with, and I don't feel scared there. I don't mind that there are people with chainsaws and machetes and welding torches running loose all over Georgia. Why does the fact that a person is carrying a gun instead of a chopping knife or a pair of big strong hands make him any more likely to hurt me?

Kelly

Context

Duncan Bayne's picture

Edited to add: Oh yes, and w.r.t. training: I wouldn't trust an unknown to train with me with anything other than a rubber-padded training knife. I wouldn't trust an unknown to shoot in my direction, either (say, at targets adjacent me). But I'd be quite happy for an unknown to be carrying a live blade or a gun in my presence. There is a world of difference between being in a room with an armed man, and training with him.

Don't expect me to trust you if you come armed to a place that excludes people from being armed and attempt to circumvent those rules.  That's dishonest in and of itself and marks you as untrustworthy.

Under some circumstances, yes.  Under others - especially if the prohibition on arms is by law, & the locale is known for violent crime - no.  Going armed onto private property where the owner has prohibited arms is dishonest, I agree. 

But would you really mistrust someone say, living in one of the more violent areas of L.A., who happened to pack a mini-revolver in his pocket when walking at night, despite that being prohibited by law?

That would, in some cases, include my home. For instance, what sane & peaceful reason could a stranger have to voluntarily come into my house if they seriously expect to have to defend themselves against me? There is none (save sloth), and so it is prudent that I be on my guard.

If I was going to your house, I'd be armed.  But I wouldn't be armed in case I had to defend myself against you - I'd be armed in case I had to defend myself against someone who wished to do me harm.  Say, a carjacker, a mugger, a meth tweaker who hadn't slept in three days, a stray dog, etc. etc. 

Again, I think the requirement that I disarm myself prior to entering your house, and re-arming myself afterwards would be a total waste of time for both of us.  But if it was a requirement to enter your house, I'd comply.

If you want to bear arms go ahead, but you'll have to check with me before entering my house with a weapon and I reserve the right to bar your entry for whatever reason

Sure, as is your right.  I'm not arguing against that - I'm merely arguing that requiring your guests to disarm themselves is nonsensical.  Likewise, it's the right of an educational establishment to require that students and staff disarm - and you can see what that policy achieved in the news today Sad

 

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Ducan, you've answered your own question:

Robert's picture

"I understand that you don't trust armed people you don't know, but you haven't explained that."

Actually I have. The reason is the same one you give as an answer to my question: So let me turn the question back on you: do you, in every context implicitly trust armed people or people in general?

"Not in every context, obviously."

Ditto. My trust of people is also contextual.

And I do & have trust armed people in certain contexts. I've hunted before with groups of men armed with high-powered rifles. But I knew each of them. I knew they were sensible, not taken to nervousness and had the proper attitude towards using firearms. I don't hunt on public land or with people I don't know because I don't implicitly trust strangers to handle their guns safely while crashing through trackless bush. That's the same reason you don't trust strangers to train with you using live blades & the same reason why your instructor only uses rubber knives when training rookies.

But if you are a stranger and I don't know you, don't expect me to automatically trust you completely armed or not. I'm not going to lend you money nor let you borrow my car nor leave my children in your care. And there are certain places where the mere fact that you're carrying a concealed weapon will arouse my suspicion.

Don't expect me to trust you if you come armed to a place that excludes people from being armed and attempt to circumvent those rules. That's dishonest in and of itself and marks you as untrustworthy. That would, in some cases, include my home. For instance, what sane & peaceful reason could a stranger have to voluntarily come into my house if they seriously expect to have to defend themselves against me? There is none (save sloth), and so it is prudent that I be on my guard.

It's a simple argument revolving around context, and I can't really make it any clearer then that.

"I'd accuse them of being idiots.  But it's their bank, & so their perogative"

Idiots? Given the nature of Bank Raids, I'd have thought it made good business sense to make sure that the only guns inside a bank were those in the hands of bank employees.

Lastly, on this and the other thread, I'm detecting a sliver of preciousness in the opposition to the stance Ross, Phil and myself have taken.

Voluntary interaction with other adults requires negotiation, if you don't like the terms set by the other guy then you are free to walk away. But don't act like the existance of weapons free-zones is an affront to your liberty. While your right to bear arms is absolute, your right to go where and when you please has limits -- you don't own my house and place of work. If you want to bear arms go ahead, but you'll have to check with me before entering my house with a weapon and I reserve the right to bar your entry for whatever reason, including your carrying a weapon. And to the detriment of their argument, this is the aspect that the NRA/SSANZ/NZDA-types mumbles through when they campaign against gun control laws.

Philip,If it's not about the

Duncan Bayne's picture

Philip,

If it's not about the majority, then it's about the minority ... one of whom has very recently proved that no effort to ban weapons will prevent the lunatic minority from going on killing sprees.

 

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Buy and wear InfidelGear - 100% of all InfidelGear profit goes to SOLO!

No that's a mis-statement.

Duncan Bayne's picture

No that's a mis-statement. If I'm on your property, that's my look-out, I should have checked you out beforehand.

Yes, sorry- I meant to type "your property," not "my property."

I've already gone into the reasons why I would ask for someone to leave their guns at the door.

Honestly, if you have, I missed it.  I understand why you would ask anyone entering your lab to leave metal objects including guns behind - but why your home?  Or your office?  I understand that you don't trust armed people you don't know, but you haven't explained that.

So let me turn the question back on you: do you, in every context implicitly trust armed people or people in general?

Not in every context, obviously.

But, in general, I trust that 'Joe six-pack' is capable of being armed for his own protection without his being armed posing a threat to me.  I extend people I don't know the courtesy of assuming that their intent is not hostile ... but at the same time, I prepare myself for the possibility that it is. 

I don't assume that if most people were to be armed, my life would be in danger from people who disagreed with me, my politics, or my philosophy - any more than it already is.  If someone really wanted to kill me they wouldn't need a gun to do it.  Hell, they could just wait on my street with a car, and run me flat as I walked home.

Did you not use dummy knives in that martial arts course you described?

Yes, I did, and I still do.  I use live blades only for test-cutting or practicing patterns (nothing like a live blade to keep your concentration focused).

Were you annoyed that they didn't hand you a 'live' knife first up?

No.  In fact I consider it a mark of Ian's professionalism that he the safety measures we'd be taking, the reasons for taking them, and sought our informed consent.  But there is a difference between training to use weapons and carrying real weapons for self defense. 

While I will happily trust 'Joe six-pack' to be armed around me, I would not trust someone I didn't know very well to work with me with live blades.

Would you accuse a bank of discrimination if they refused you entry because you were packing heat?

Discrimination?  I'd accuse them of being idiots.  But it's their bank, & so their perogative.

---
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> The vast majority of

PhilipC's picture

> The vast majority of people are peaceful, rational, non-violent people. [John]

This is not about the majority. Or about your wonderful, calm dad.

> deadly weapons that can be used to run down those you can get into a heated debate with.

Let's analyze your example for a moment shall we:

By the time someone has gotten into his car, you probably didn't accompany them to it or stand in front of it in the road. Or you are in you own car or hundreds of yards away. A little different from standing right in front of someone still arguing when he has a gun on his person inches away. It's also commonly pretty easy to get out of the way when someone guns his motor and aims his car at you.

Ridiculous

John Armaos's picture

Ok, definitely my last post on this thread. Philip you wrote: "There are certainly close calls or borderline cases, but I'm surprised the idea one shouldn't be "packing" in the classroom is being debated.

Supporting Robert's point about being a teacher in an 'armed classroom', can you imagine the danger of trying to teach ideas to which people are overwhelmingly hostile - Objectivism, atheism, attacking Islam, defending the war on a college or faced by demonstrators who are allowed to be armed?"

The vast majority of people are peaceful, rational, non-violent people. That we can't make a distinction between heated exchange of words as opposed to outright physical violence is rather childishly naive. Sure people get into heated debates. I got into a lot of them with my father. And my father into a lot of heated discussions with my mother, and guests who frequent his home. Not once, did he ever grab his gun. I mean come on this paranoia is just laughable, as if someone just turns into an animal as soon as he's given the right to bear a weapon?

What I'm observing here is people's irrational fear of guns. A college campus also has vehicles, which are themselves deadly weapons that can be used to run down those you can get into a heated debate with. I suppose you are also paranoid someone will run you down with their car after class if you have a disagreement with a student?

Just a question to those who are so afraid of guns, have you ever tried shooting one? Go to a gun range and try it, you may enjoy it. Have you lived in a house with one? Perhaps this fear of guns is a symptom of our sissification of American society?

Leave Your Guns at the Door or in Your Car...Usually

PhilipC's picture

One set of environments people frequently encounter is when they are outdoors, "out and about" -- traveling or walking down a city street or driving on a highway or in a strange place where things are less known or less controlled and you may bump into a wide range of people or have a greater likelihood of being preyed on by criminals.

A -very- different kind of context is a more known environment with fewer odd or strange people being likely: the most common examples are one's workplace or a school classroom or when invited to the home of people you know. [A shopping mall could fall in between the two environments.]

In many of the former kinds of place or situation, risks go up and it might be prudent to carry a weapon or have one in one's car. As well as to have one in one's home to protect against home invasion. But in the latter cases, unless you live in Beirut or Baghdad or the inner city as opposed to most of America, it is an order of magnitude less likely that one's life will be put at risk. And, in fact, the existence of a weapon in an escalating argument for example, or when the safety is nudged off can itself increase the danger to oneself or to those one cares about.

There are certainly close calls or borderline cases, but I'm surprised the idea one shouldn't be "packing" in the classroom is being debated. The Virginia Tech situation is about as likely as being hit by a lightning bolt.

Moreover, supporting Robert's point about being a teacher in an 'armed classroom', can you imagine the increased danger or the likelihood of censorsing oneself so as not to anger people when one is teaching ideas to which people are overwhelmingly not just in disagreement but actively hostile - Objectivism, atheism, attacking Islam, defending the war on a college or faced by demonstrators who are allowed to be armed?

More widely a great college teacher in the humanities or philosophy (especially one who is politically incorrect or challenges the conventional wisdom) often may have to be able to challenge and anger students, even rip apart their work or ideas or philosophy or essays or answers, get in their face. What if he fails a student and damages his career? The statistical law of averages is such that it becomes more and more possible that someone you teach does not have emotional self-control. They can leave their firearms in their car.

There is certainly a reason for metal detectors in high schools in rough neighborhoods. But many adolescents or people in their twenties don't become more emotionally in control when they suddenly become college students.

Another obvious context where a proprietor should prohibit "packing" is a context where people are drinking. The Old West saloon. "Gentlemen, Leave Your Guns at the Door." (I think Robert already discussed this last type of situation.)

"I disarm myself while on my

Robert's picture

"I disarm myself while on my property, in order to win your trust?"

No that's a mis-statement. If I'm on your property, that's my look-out, I should have checked you out beforehand.

But if leaving your gun at the door before you come onto my (or a third person's) property is the rule, then yes, you must disarm before winning my trust. That's the distinction: I don't expect people to be unarmed at all times in my presence.

Only if I ask and you are voluntarily on my property. I've already gone into the reasons why I would ask for someone to leave their guns at the door. I think they are reasonable and that it would be reasonable to be suspicious of somebody who refuses to comply (or keep his weapon, but leave).

There are plenty of places where you have to leave your guns at the door or leave. (1) Visitors to prisons aren't permitted to bring weapons for obvious reasons and (2) certain night clubs will not let you in if you come armed on the grounds that drunks and guns don't mix.

Go to a gun range and before entering or leaving the firing line you have to show the range-controller that your weapon is unloaded and safe. Again, for very good safety reasons - something you should appreciate given your own close-shaves while training with weapons.

So let me turn the question back on you: do you, in every context implicitly trust armed people or people in general? Did you not use dummy knives in that martial arts course you described? Were you annoyed that they didn't hand you a 'live' knife first up?

Would you accuse a bank of discrimination if they refused you entry because you were packing heat?

So, to clarify: you require

Duncan Bayne's picture

So, to clarify: you require that I disarm myself while on my property, in order to win your trust?  Why is that?  Why do you not trust people to be armed in your presence?

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"but against those who offer

Robert's picture

"but against those who offer me violence, I offer violence in return.  What is your problem with that?"

I have no problem with that. But you are voluntarily stepping into my domain and I make a simple request leave your gun at the door or not enter at all. Breaking that rule shows me that you aren't worthy of my trust.

It's up to you to do the background research on me and my honesty & level of security before stepping through my door.

Robert

Duncan Bayne's picture

Robert,

Fair enough - I can understand how a gun might not be appropriate in some settings due to safety concerns; I sure as hell wouldn't carry a large lump of metal around magnets like those you describe.  If I worked in your lab, & if it were legal, I'd carry a non-metallic knife to work Smiling

However, you are misrepresenting my position in your second comment. 

I am not arguing that being armed is a means of proving my sanity; I'm merely arguing that being armed provides me with a means of defending my life against violence.  In other words: I will deal politely & benevolently with those who treat me likewise, but against those who offer me violence, I offer violence in return.  What is your problem with that?

If you can't understand that then don't blame me.

If you don't understand it, then I can't explain?  Surely you can do better than that.

---
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Why?

Duncan Bayne's picture

The answer is that I don't mistrust YOU for being armed but I certainly trust an environment where large numbers of people are not armed much more then I trust an environment where large numbers of people are.

Why? More specifically - why would you trust individuals to be armed, but not be comfortable in an environment where many individuals are armed?

 

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Duncan

Robert's picture

"Moreover, why do you think that being armed would cause people to trust you less?"

Because of the context of where I am and what I'm doing Duncan. Carrying a gun into a laboratory like the one I work in is just plain dumb and if you want to prove your sanity to me, packing heat isn't the way to do it. That's obvious from what I said and I can't think of a way to make it any clearer.

John:

"This is simply the same argument people who are otherwise law abiding citizens if given a gun will turn into crazed animals"

No it isn't. It's a case of when you are on my turf you obey my rules. I have reasons for those rules quite apart from any Rosie O'Donald-type anti-gun cannard.

For instance, I've previously worked in the presence of large magnetic fields, powerful enough to rip a wrist watch off your hand. Are you going to condemn the people for demanding people not bring guns into their lab? If so, you're an idiot.

And I find it ironic that I'm being equated to the anti-gun morons. One of the reasons I don't own and use a gun here (I love to skeet shoot despite my lack of skill) is that as an alien, US law prohibits me from owning one.

"Why do you not trust an armed citizen?"

I don't completely trust anybody I don't know well regardless of their hue or the size of their arsenal or their job description.

"Do you trust an armed police officer?"

See above.

I will add this. When you are working closely with someone (as in teaching them) it's a hell of a lot easier and faster to get to know them when they are at ease and willing to talk with you freely. Carrying a firearm will inhibit that process, inhibiting my ability to do my job. If you can't understand that then don't blame me.

"I'm still hoping Jason can

Jason Quintana's picture

"I'm still hoping Jason can explain to me why he mistrusts me for being armed, & why I should trust him more, knowing that he is voluntarily unarmed."

The answer is that I don't mistrust YOU for being armed but I certainly trust an environment where large numbers of people are not armed much more then I trust an environment where large numbers of people are. If I owned a business for example I would ban weapons on the premises, and I don't believe that I would have any moral obligation to protect you simply because I made that rule. My business's level of security might be a selling point, but it is not an obligation.

The choice is up to you just as it is up to university students who can who either follow rules or choose not attend a university. And I believe their choice to follow that rule contributes to their safety most of the time, but in any case there is no moral right to protection once someone agrees to enter an environment where deadly weapons are banned.

- Jason

Jason D. Quintana is not associated with the Ayn Rand Institute -- neither as a writer nor as a speaker.

A weapon is a personal protection tool

Duncan Bayne's picture

> The solution--other than for the short-term--is not to carry more and bigger guns, but to destroy
> the power of the state.

Indeed.  Weapons (and not just guns; as I can't carry those legally I carry bladed weapons instead) aren't a cure for social ills like rampant violent crime.  The latest studies attempting to find a relationship between the availability of arms and violent crime have found no statistically significant relationship.

But being armed has nothing to do with any of that; it's simply a means of protecting yourself should you become one of the victims of violent crime.  To me, going armed is a natural conclusion of my philosophy; I value my life, therefore I take steps to protect it against those who would see it harmed, or ended.  I buy a burglar alarm, I lock my doors at night, I buy health insurance, I buy and carry a knife.

I'm still hoping Jason can explain to me why he mistrusts me for being armed, & why I should trust him more, knowing that he is voluntarily unarmed.

---
Buy and wear InfidelGear - 100% of all InfidelGear profit goes to SOLO!

Moreover, why do you think

Duncan Bayne's picture

Moreover, why do you think that being armed would cause people to trust you less?  If someone will only trust you if you disarm, what does that say about the motives behind their actions?

 

---
Buy and wear InfidelGear - 100% of all InfidelGear profit goes to SOLO!

Robert

John Armaos's picture

Robert you said: "And I doubt that I would consent to teaching students that were carrying. One reason is that as a teacher I feel that I have to win the trust and respect of the student in order to do my job properly."

This is simply the same argument people who are otherwise law abiding citizens if given a gun will turn into crazed animals settling their disputes at any moment by shooting others dead. I won't bother responding to this any further nor bother with issues of trust as you nor anyone else has demonstrated an armed citizenry would all of a sudden turn into lunatic untrustworthy criminals who would wantonly shoot anyone they see. The facts don't suggest this. Why do you not trust an armed citizen? Do you trust an armed police officer?

American Guns

"During the 1990s, just as Britain, Australia and Brazil were regulating guns, the United States was going in the opposite direction. Thirty-seven of the 50 states now have so-called "right-to-carry laws," which let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns once they pass a criminal background check and pay a fee. Only half the states require any training, usually around three to five hours' worth. Yet murder has fallen faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the United States with the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in violent crime."

I think that's all I have to say about this subject.

Mental Illness or Bad philosphy?

JoeM's picture

The first explanations offered for this guy were that he was distubred, troubled, crazy, etc. There is usually a rush to offer this explanation above all others. Rarely do you hear these offered as symptoms, and not causes, of a bad philosophy. Same with Timothy McVeigh. But I guess if we examined a person's philosophy as the cause of a rampage, it would force the people to examine their own beliefs.

And we wouldn't want to say that Islam bred this kind of person, now, would we? Sigh.

Anyway, here's a timely quote from Rand's essay "Our Cultural Value-Deprivation":

"The next time you hear about a crazed gang of juvenile delinquents, don't look for such explanations as 'slum childhood,' 'economic underpriviledge,' or 'parental neglect.' Look at the moral atmosphere of the country, at the examle set by their elders and by their public leaders."
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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

John

Robert's picture

"Why isn't it ideal"

The question is a subjective one based on the individual's assessment of the risks and values involved. 'Ideal' is different for every person.

And the reasons for each person will differ.

Personally I would regard a civilian carrying a piece 24/7 in the peaceful surroundings of KU in Lawrence KS with suspicion. It would mark him as a paranoid nut-job, and I wouldn't want to work with him - especially in a laboratory environment. I have enough hazards (of the radioactive, infectious & chemical variety) to be wary of in my job without having to deal with gun-safety issues too.

And I doubt that I would consent to teaching students that were carrying. One reason is that as a teacher I  feel that I have to win the trust and respect of the student in order to do my job properly. Carrying a loaded pistol whilst lecturing 100s of students is not a useful way to win that trust. Why? Because I'm obviously not trusting them. And that is my how I go about my teaching - that too is not negotiable and if you don't like it then don't take the course that I'm teaching.

In other words, I feel as if carrying a loaded gun at all times would inhibit my ability to do my job to the best of my ability. And I would expect that others in my profession would feel the same. My reasons are founded in the context of my job and my surroundings.

And this is from a person who used to own guns (a 12 ga. shotgun, a .22 and a .303 SMLE carbine).

No Guns In Baltimore

Hey albertkint, there are no handguns in Baltimore. We have very strict laws against that you know.

I have to disagree with you, in a civilized society all people would have the rights to defend themselves, even with deadly force. Some may choose to carry lethal force, others non-lethal.

Wm

Islam insofar as it is directed by governments, and as a measure enforced from above by any government, is to be done away with.

Impossible to Resolve

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

It's important to try to see the whole gun control controversy in context. It can't be definitively answered in today's world or context by definition. Today it's all a judgment call as we attempt to make the best of a bad, compromised, corrupt situation.

Today's world is a welfare state one, which is oddly and unnaturally collectivized. All this "public" property and "public" space results in the insolvable "problem of the commons." The "law of the jungle" prevails there. Who can really judge moral right and wrong in our current collectivist and even communist public spaces? I personally can see decent logic in forbidding people from having heavy arms on "public" streets and grounds since this might be considered exceptionally rude, or naturally aggressive and anti-social, or else constitute an inherent large threat.

This issue would all be much, much simpler if all property, (except for small pieces for official government work) such as streets, parks, and college campuses, were private. Then the Second Amendment would be a virtally unrestricted good.

What's wrong with guns on campus?

John Armaos's picture

"Given that it is probably not ideal to have people carrying guns on a university campus"

Why isn't it ideal? I just don't get the paranoia here. I say we encourage professors and teachers to carry concealed weapons, and let law abiding college students do the same. Issue solved. Lunatic gunman starts shooting, he's shot dead in his tracks.

I can understand a ban...

Mitch's picture

on guns at universities, most particularly at private ones. If a property owner tells you that you aren't allowed a gun on their property, you can either respect the rule and enter that property without a gun, or choose not to enter.

Now just so you don't get me wrong here, I say now that 100% of the responsibility for the shooting lies with the gunman. Period. However, the students who were attending this university in Virginia surely knew that they weren't allowed guns on campus, but that any madman could bring a gun and go on a rampage, right?

These students, being aware of the risks, still CHOSE to enter university grounds and carry out their studies.
The bottom line is that it all comes back to personal responsibility and choice. If you don't want to be put in danger of being gunned down by a madman, after weighing the risks, you may CHOOSE to go to the school with the least chance of this occurring. You may deem this to be a school where guns are allowed, and you may not.

I will say though (and I'm speaking from an NZ perspective) that the lack of emphasis on personal responsibility - replaced with reliance on government - most probably has a great deal to do with the number of people killed.

Two final points:
1) I hope the person who made the decision to suppress from the rest of the university the fact that there was an insane gunman on campus and unaccounted for is one of the 32. How was everybody not made aware of this? WHY!? In the name of emotional trauma and "fear" I suppose, rather than the rather more practical motivation of making sure people stayed alive.

2) Given that it is probably not ideal to have people carrying guns on a university campus, can anybody tell me what is wrong with an 'Air Marshall' type system, where there are anonymous people with guns (employed by the university) to meet a crazed gunman with some opposing force?

On a side note

John Armaos's picture

I'm not that experienced with guns but I had a ton of fun shooting a wide assortment of pistols and submachineguns at the "Gun Store" in Las Vegas. If anyone plans on a trip there I highly recommend making a visit to this place! They give you your own personal instructor and are very professional. You'll never second guess the right to shoot automatic weapons till you've tried it! MP5 was my favorite. Smiling

"It all comes down to fight or flight"

JoeM's picture

"In fact – if you really need to -[carry a gun] I would say you ought to consider moving."

BULLSHIT. To steal Mr. Erp's tagline, "it all comes down to fight or flight."

There was a memorial for yet another shooting victim in Philadelphia. During a peace vigil, there was ANOTHER drive-by resulting in another bystander being shot. How far can you run? WHY SHOULD WE RUN? They will just follow you. No more flight.

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

In response to Albert

John Armaos's picture

"I don’t advocate banning guns – just saying you can’t take them wherever you want."

Of course, but doesn't that go without saying? To say you can bring it wherever you want would imply the destruction of property rights, because it would mean you could carry a gun onto someone else's property without their consent.

"In fact – if you really need to -[carry a gun] I would say you ought to consider moving."

This isn't a very convincing argument. I suppose you could also say if you really felt the need to advocate more police on the streets because of a local spike in the crime rate, you ought to just consider moving instead of stay and stand up for yourself and your community? Just run away from your rights? Flee? Are those who live in the inner city ghetto any less deserving of their right to self-defense than those who live in an affluent neighborhood? I don't think rights ought to be based on local statistical crime rates. Nor for example does that even matter in the instance of Virginia Tech. There wasn't a high crime rate of gun violence on the campus but that didn't mean anything to the unarmed victims of that college.

"I support gun ownership rights but it is contextual - you cannot own deadly gas, a virulent disease, rocket launcher or an UZI or WMD at all."

Of course I would agree with this. Gun rights are contextual (except I disagree with your inclusion of an UZI, I don't see much of a difference between an UZI and a semi-auto pistol? Otherthan one is a fully automatic weapon?) I don't think people are advocating we have the right to carry around a deadly gas? It's not reasonable to ask for poisonous gas as a means of self-defense. If a homicidal maniac is about to unleash poison gas in a school a simple gun would do the trick to take him out, we don't need poison gas to fight someone who is about to unleash poison gas in a crowd. Those kinds of weapons are designed to be indiscriminate and would be entirely ineffective as a means of personal self-defense.

"Anyway, I’m no expert on the law but want to add my bit for not advocating a society that looks like Kabul."

You've already made that kind of comparison three times and it's not any more correct now than the last two times you said that.

Wild Wild West

JoeM's picture

Also, from AYN RAND ANSWERS:
"...men have the right to retaliate by force against an initiation of force. But if men wish to live together in a free society, they must DELEGATE [emphasis mine] that right to government. Personal retaliation is improper, because in a free society the government functions under objectively defined laws- laws that state what constitutes a crime....If everyone wanted to excercise his 'right' to retaliate by himself, project the chaos of arbitrary whims and total irrationality that would rule the country...(incidentally, if somebody pulls a gun on you, you have the right to fight back. But this isn't the right to initiate force; it's the right of self-defense.)"

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

John, I can't define a

albertkint's picture

John,

 

I can't define a civilized society frankly but one of the principles would be that one delegates one’s right to self defense to the government. That’s why we consider the wild west to be only partly civilized as one was one’s own law.

 

If we agree on this then we have to decide what we can do in an emergency when the police are not there and what kind of force we can use.

 

So my argument is not utilitarian (although it can be) but is based on objectivist principles of individual rights and the delegation of one of these rights (self defense) to the government. I think we agree about that. The law then determines what weapons you may own in the context of your right to self defense. So this would exclude chemical and nuclear weapons and rocket launchers and bombs and any other weapon not primarily designed for self defense. Now whether the law allows (yes allows – we are not anarchists here) you to own a machine gun perhaps this would need to be determined by the legislature in the context of what is necessary for self defense (say a farmer in Zimbabwe for example).

 

Property rights would determine where you can take these weapons.

Rand's dilemma

JoeM's picture

It's interesting to know that Rand had no easy answer, either (From AYN RAND ANSWERS):

"I do not know enough about [gun control], except to say that it's not of primary importance. Forbidding guns or registering them is not going to stop criminals from having them; nor is it a great threat to the private, noncriminal citizen if he has to register the fact that he has a gun...."

"It's a complex, technical issue in the name of the philosophy of law. Handguns are instruments for killing people-they are not carried for hunting animals-and you have no right to kill people. You do have the right to self defense, however. I don't know how the issue is to be resolved to protect you without giving you the privilege to kill people at whim."

It's a complex, technical issue in the philosophy of law. Handguns are instruments for killing people -- they are not carried for hunting animals -- and you have no right to kill people. You do have the right to self-defense, however. I dno't know how the issue is to be resolved to protect you without giving you the privilege to kill people at whim.[*]

An interview in 1979:

Raymond Newman: You have stated that the government ought to be the exclusive agent for the use of force under objective rules of law and justice --

Ayn Rand: That's right.

Newman: -- and yet at the same time today we see an alarming rise in violent crimes in this country and more and more people applying for gun permits and wanting to protect themselves. Do you see this as a dangerous trend, number one; and number two, do you favor any form of gun control laws?

Rand: I have given it no thought at all and, off-hand, I would say, no, the government shouldn't control guns except in very marginal forms. I don't think it's very important because I don't think it is in physical terms that the decisions and the fate of this country will be determined. If this country falls apart altogether, if the government collapses bankrupt, your having a handgun in your pocket isn't going to save your life. What you would need is ideas and other people who share those ideas and fighting towards a proper civilized government, not handguns for personal protection.[*]

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Good post, Jason

Ross Elliot's picture

Exactly my thoughts.

While I think there should be very little in the way of restrictions on gun ownership & use, it must be apparent to anyone that the increasing role of the state in our lives--especially with reference to drug prohibition causing a massive increase in drug-related crime--has led to a higher number of people thinking they need immediate access to a strong defense. Understandable. But it seems we're on an escalating, tit for tat ride to a more violent world as state power increases tensions in society, just as it does between nations.

The solution--other than for the short-term--is not to carry more and bigger guns, but to destroy the power of the state.

Szasz link

JoeM's picture

No link can contain the sound and the fury of Thomas Szasz! Seriously, no. Not one link, anyway. RUSSIAN RADICAL makes note of it, Szasz attacks Rand and Branden in his last book, etc. But Google should bring all that up. Easy start is http://www.szasz.com/ for his take.

(And I've already discussed this to death on the old Solo, so, no offense, but I only mention it in passing this time.) But in a nutshell: Szasz (you may have heard his name in connection with the Tom Cruise/Scientology rant against pyschiatry) wrote THE MYTH OF MENTAL ILLNESS, and as a Libertarian, crusaded against the state's power to incarcerate or hospitalize undesirables under the pretense that they are "mentally ill", while at the same time arguing that criminals who use the insanity defense seldom are. Rand and Branden applauded him for this, but disagreed elsewhere.

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Joe,

Robert's picture

have you got a link for that?

Jason: "Does the state have

JoeM's picture

Jason: "Does the state have the right to interfere with the rights of an obvious mental case who has not yet initiated force and hasn't shown any crystal clear tendencies in this direction but at the same time is deemed to be unstable? I.e. things like requiring that gun purchasers pass some kind of mental health examination, or other similar restrictive actions."

You may want to check out Thomaz Szasz (and Rand/Branden's appreciation/criticism in response.) Smiling

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Spaceplayer Sight and Sound

Mental Health/Initiation of Force

Jason Quintana's picture

Robert, you bring up an interesting broader question. Does the state have the right to interfere with the rights of an obvious mental case who has not yet initiated force and hasn't shown any crystal clear tendencies in this direction but at the same time is deemed to be unstable? I.e. things like requiring that gun purchasers pass some kind of mental health examination, or other similar restrictive actions.

I would prefer to say no given my concern about the larger consequences of such government intervention. In a country like the U.S. we probably are slightly more at risk to these kinds of incidents because of our less restrictive gun laws, but that doesn't give me enough reason to want to change them.

We will always be at the mercy of those few extreme nut cases who snap and have these kinds of psychotic, irrational reactions. This is because their actions are difficult to predict and because the person is willing to give up his life to accomplish his insane goals. Luckily I can usually assume that the people around me are not insane. I am FAR more likely to be killed in a car accident, or in several other types of freak incidents. This isn't very good consolation for these poor kids who have drawn the wrong kind of "lottery tickets" but I am not willing to invite large scale government intervention for the sake of preventing extremely rare, freak occurrences that are the result of a an uncommon type of psychopath.

- Jason

Jason D. Quintana is not associated with the Ayn Rand Institute -- neither as a writer nor as a speaker.

Aaron

Robert's picture

I'm not after a perfect solution, merely pondering whether there is something we have left undone in trying to combat this problem.

So yes, I agree that giving rational adults unfettered access to the means of self defence (as opposed to just guns) is a part of the solution. But I know from NZ of a number of cases where the Mental Health & Justice systems failed to do their duty, both to the patients and the public, and allowed psychotic people back into circulation with disastrous results.

Obviously I am acutely aware of the consequences of giving the police too many powers with respect to incarcerating people based on their perceived mental state. But surely there is something more that can be done?

At the very least, I think it is prudent to restrict access to certain items to adults who aren't (a) criminals or (b) taking substances or suffer some mental illness that impairs their ability to judge the consequences of using those items. The latter is analogous to drunk driving, whereby erratic behaviour is sufficient cause to allow the police to investigate and, after performing some test, deciding whether to incarcerate the person  temporarily until the symptoms pass. Now maybe laws in the US already allow this, I don't know.

What I do know is that crazy and guns is a volatile mixture I see no reason why the government should be powerless to act when it sees the two mixing prior to going boom. As I say, I'm pondering this not prosthelysing for it. I welcome any clear correction to any of my errant thinking on this matter.

Dodge city

albertkint's picture

I don’t advocate banning guns – just saying you can’t take them wherever you want. A little confusing with the notion of  “public space”  but within your own home or car you can carry one now. You don’t have this right to bring it to my place or at school.
In fact – if you really need to -  I would say you ought to consider moving.
I support gun ownership rights but it is contextual - you cannot own deadly gas, a virulent disease, rocket launcher or an UZI  or WMD at all.

So weapons of self defense must be defined (don’t know how though) by the law to determine the extent of what you can own within the context of what is necessary given that you have delegated to the police your right to self-defense except in an emergency . Anyway, I’m no expert on the law but want to add my bit for not advocating a society that looks like Kabul.

Albert you're not making any sense

John Armaos's picture

Please define to me what it means to have a civilized society and why that would entail an unarmed citizenry? When you say:

"In the context of the wild west or Afghanistan (or Baltimore perhaps) this is appropriate but not in a civilized society."

But this is only a utilitarian argument. That because places like Afghanistan have more gun toting criminals whereas in the United States there are fewer, this means one should be considered uncivilized to want to be an armed citizen because there's not that many homicidal maniacs here as opposed to over there? It really doesn't matter to the unarmed sacrificial lamb who's had his right to bear arms infringed when that rare instant of a serial killing maniac starts shooting at him does it? So now you are a utilitarian? Because it's rare one may confront a stranger that is intent on murdering you mean it would be uncivilized to prepare even for a rare instance? At what point do we arbitrarily say a society is relatively safe enough to warrant infringing on a citizen's right to arm himself?

It's never an option. An individual is an individual and not part of a collective consciousness called "society". Either individuals have the fundamental right to arm themselves against initiations of force, or they do not. You can't haggle or comprimise over man's rights.

Ismail Ax

Bill Visconti's picture

Reports have come in that the Virginia Tech University massacre perpetrator, Cho Seung-Hui, died with the words "Ismail Ax" in red ink on one of his arms. Ismail--the Arabic name for Ishmael--is considered the father of all Arabs and a very important figure in Islam.

Hmm. Sudden Jihad Syndrome anyone...

Proud Member Of The "Nuke-Them-Till-They-Glow" School Of Foreign Policy

you're right

albertkint's picture

I support the 2nd amendment but in the 37 states you mention you to be vetted by the state to be allowed to carry and are subject to felony stops and I understand you can't take them to schools etc.

 

By people carrying a weapon of deadly force you are saying to others that you deem it necessary – that you expect (or plan to perpetrate) violence and that it will one of your options for self defense (otherwise why bother).

 

This changes the dynamics of social relationships from a situation where we know a stranger will present himself unarmed as an act of good faith in their dealings with you and not put you in the position of being in an inferior, unarmed position.

 

In the context of the wild west or Afghanistan (or Baltimore perhaps) this is appropriate but not in a civilized society.

 

Robert-

Aaron's picture

Robert-
It's true that in an ideal society there will be some crime and the truly insane that cannot be deterred. However, I think even most of the school shooters are borderline cases retaining some tiny degree of self-interest - and that many Klebold/Harris and possibly Seung-hui types could be deterred even if Whitmans could not. It seems many of the ones willing to die want to die by their own hand and not by someone else's, suggesting an increased chance of armed resistance could still serve as a deterrent. Also, the significant rise in at least grade/high school shootings does correlate with them being made explicitly unarmed zones. I know it's inferring causality from correlation, but I'll say this is to no small degree since would-be killers can be safely confident of racking up a body count without being taken down prematurely.

And FYI concerning Whitman - Armed citizens joined in suppression fire on Whitman with their own firearms while the assault on him was made in the tower. The assault team that went up the tower also included Allen Crum, a private citizen with his own gun.

Coming at it from another direction

Robert's picture

The Universities in the USA would choose to be gun-free zones regardless of what the Federal, State, County or City ordinance. Do not forget that the Universities are the nurseries for every left-wing canard, including the idea that you can legislate a 'gun free society' into existence.

Moreover, even when kids packed heat, the demented & heavily armed Charles Whitman still occupied the University of Texas Clock Tower and killed over a dozen despite sporadic return fire by civilians & police alike. Whitman was only stopped when two armed patrolmen climbed up the clock tower and shot him dead.

The 'right to bear arms' (which I agree with wholeheartedly) is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff solution to this issue. Yes, I believe that the ambulance must be there. But I don't for a second believe that an armed populace would serve as a deterrent to people as unbalanced as Seung-hui. In fact, this was demonstrated in the case of Whitman. Hell, ready availability of firearms isn't enough -- on its own -- to deter violent criminals who are in their right mind: see Bonnie & Clyde and Billy the Kid. In addition to access to the means to self-defense, an effective justice system is required. A good justice system should be one designed to take the Billy the Kids and Cho Seung-hui's out of circulation (hopefully) before they mature into mass-murderers.

This is the aspect of this case that I would like to explore. The root cause of the problem was Cho Seung-hui himself or more accurately, the demented state of mind he was in. A state of mind that didn't materialize overnight if this FOXnews report is to be believed. How did a person being treated for depression manage to obtain a firearm through legal channels? Moreover, if these alleged arson & stalking incidents did occur, why wasn't the kid's state of mind evaluated at the time? And assuming an evaluation was performed and his psychotic disposition was correctly identified (a problem in and of itself according to my understanding of the current state of psychiatry), what should have been done? What could be done under current statutes in the USA?

I guess my question is this: All of these lone gunman-massacres have been perpetrated by mentally disturbed people. Whatever happened to the ability for the Justice System to commit such people for evaluation or isolation or treatment in the name of public safety? This mechanism does still exist in NZ and US law right? Right?

Should such laws even be on the books? If not, why not?

gun /= criminal

Wes's picture

Albert,

Giving a responsible citizen a gun doesn't turn them into a hot-headed criminal.

And did you miss this part:

"Currently 37 states are "shall issue" in the US, meaning that unless the gov't has a reason NOT to issue you a license to carry concealed they are obligated to give you one. None have experienced the "every little argument escalates to a shooting" crap that the gun control ninnies predict."

Civiliy requires you be unarmed?

John Armaos's picture

I am perplexed by this statement from Albert:

"Somehow I think everyone walking around with concealed weapons is not the answer. In a civilized society we don't walk around armed."

Dearming citizens, and leaving them to be defenseless sacrificial lambs against a crazed serial killing maniac is the most brutally uncivilized thing the state can do. Everyone has the fundamental right to defend their life, which includes the right to arm oneself. You apparently don't agree with that? To think the state banning handguns to be carried by law-abiding citizens is not an infringement on their rights is truly an anti-life stance. The state does not nor can it provide to us each our own personally armed bodyguard to protect us. We must be allowed to protect our own life as we can't expect the police to protect us in any emergency situation. If time doesn't permit, which in this case it obviously didn't as 32 people were ruthlessly murdered, then we must be allowed to arm ourselves, and defend our life from those who truly are uncivilized.

"In a civilized society we

Aaron's picture

"In a civilized society we don't walk around armed."

Speak for yourself. I've carried concealed much of the time for eight years. I've (fortunately) never had to shoot anything other than paper in that time, but the means of self-defense was available.

"advocating walking around armed at school is a recipe for introducing the possibility of settling disputes with deadly force."

This fear is commonly voiced but doesn't get borne out in reality. Even if you're the type of person so easily tempted to lash out with deadly force due to a tiff about a woman or ballgame or whatever, the realization that others may not be disarmed sheep can deter you.

Of course some disputes do warrant and demand deadly force. I'd loved to have seen Cho Seung-Hui so 'settled' far sooner yesterday.

When?

Richard Wiig's picture

"but advocating walking around armed at school is a recipe for introducing the possibility of settling disputes with deadly force."

When is the next school shooting massacre going to happen? It will happen, even though you haven't advocated, and have actually discouraged, anyone walking around with guns.

get out of dodge

albertkint's picture

Somehow I think everyone walking around with concealed weapons is not the answer. In a civilized society we don't walk around armed. One should have the right to keep them at home and under permit to carry them but advocating walking around armed at school is a recipe for introducing the possibility of settling disputes with deadly force.

In a place of work, learning and entertainment it is appropriate for the owners and city ordinances for that matter to ban weapons.

I don't think this is an infringement on your rights

Virginia Tech Already Gun-Free

MarkH's picture

Kyrel, you noted: It may also be true that if more people had their Second Amendment rights protected ... somebody could have stopped this killing spree sooner.

I was surprised to just read that a bill to permit otherwise-licensed handgun owners to carry their weapons on Virginia state campuses was defeated in committee just last year:

Regardless of whatever permits they may have, those students and employees are not allowed to possess guns on campus. Tech's regulations are similar to gun policies at public colleges throughout the state, such as the University of Virginia, Virginia Military Institute and Radford University.

      http://www.roanoke.com/politics/wb/49915

The irony is frankly so sad I hesitate to even quote the follow-up:

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus." 

      http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/wb/xp-50658

[Edit to add that I personally don't own a firearm, and even while working on two traditional college campuses, never felt the need to acquire one! I fully support the 2nd Amendment, of course, for others and for future versions of my not-so-humble self.]

Gun laws did contribute

Wes's picture

Colleges and other venues with large numbers of people are considered "gun-free" zones and its illegal for anyone to carry there. So its not just that no one there was able to defend themselves but also that the gunman didn't even have to worry about the possibility.

Currently 37 states are "shall issue" in the US, meaning that unless the gov't has a reason NOT to issue you a license to carry concealed they are obligated to give you one. None have experienced the "every little argument escalates to a shooting" crap that the gun control ninnies predict.

Well said...

MarkH's picture

... and I hesitate to even watch the news this morning. Every pro-statist group from the American Medical Association to Mothers Against Drunk Driving will be calling for firearms to be restricted against all the people who didn't shoot those kids.

Good post, Kyrel

Ross Elliot's picture

You're right, maybe nothing needs to be said. But, certainly, the anti-gun, anti-American types will have a field day. Blame is already being attributed to Virginia's minimal gun laws.

I sent the following off to NewsTalkZB's talkback host, Larry Williams:

Your reading of the Virginia gun laws was very dramatic but hardly relevant to the massacre at Virginia Tech. Many US states have minimal gun laws and don't suffer massacres.

Remember David Gray? 13 dead at Aramoana, using a legally registered hunting rifle.

Similarly, Martin Bryant, 35 dead, Port Arthur, Tasmania.

So, what have gun laws got to do with massacres like this? Nothing. Not a damn thing.

This gunman was obviously insane. And the insane, just like criminals, will get hold of guns, and use them, regardless of the law.

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