Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Selective Truth in the Press

As the pundits continue their shrill noises about the VA Tech Massacre, other people are also starting to dig through some archive material. Checking up on this I found some interesting tidbits about how the nature of self defense is approached by some press outlets.

Case in point: The Appalachian Law School Shooting in 2002.

Failing law student Peter Odighizuwa shot the dean of the school and two others on January 17, 2002.

Depending on the coverage, some news outlets chose to either state that two students who owned firearms retrieved them, confronted the shooter, the shooter dropped the weapon, and was then tackled by a third student. Other outlets leave this out entirely.

The Washington Post article leaves this out.

The article at states that there is some confusion as to whether the armed students actually did confront the shooter.

The Roanoke Times, normally a stalwart anti-firearms news organization (recall, they had published the list of everyone who had a concealed carry permit in Virginia online, comparing the public's right to know about permit holders to the right to know about sex offenders), mentions during the reporting on the April 16, 2005 incident where a VT student with a concealed carry permit was disciplined for carrying a firearm. The date is sadly ironic.

The tip-off for this article is this blog post.

In other news, it turns out the shooter was remanded to custody (Roanoke Times, Washington Post) for a mental health evaluation in 2005. This should have shown up on the background check when the firearm was purchased.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

VA Tech and Racism

Wow, after watching Geraldo on the O'Reilly Factor was sobering. Something "beware of Asian immigrants with guns." They were looking at this NoVa kid's blog. Sickening. There is a link to Geraldo linking to the blogger that linked to the blog (you got that right, they linked to the Gateway Pundit's blog, not the original).

20 minutes later (9:31PM), I just got off the phone with a friend in hysterics. She's Korean-American, got spat on this afternoon in Crystal City VA, and just found out her parents on the west coast had their house defaced and possibly destroyed. WTF is wrong with people?

She went to ROTC, she's born here, and someone I'd trust my back to. Link to her blog.

Bottom line:
  • Sick person
  • Possibly sick parents, perhaps meaning well
  • Person was identified by the system
My mother called this place the "Excited States" - how true those words ring now, as this nation descends into hysterics.

It is saddening how folks fail to understand that their superior standing in the world's economic order rests on the back of the diversity of it's people. The USA, Canada, Australia all derive their status from their immigrants and the diversity they bring. An attack on this diversity is an attack on the nation.

Addendum: A link to the shooter's plays.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

VA Tech Shooting - let the politicking begin

First off, my condolences to the victims' families. Words cannot express the sense of loss they will continue to feel for the rest of their lives. May those injured recover speedily.

Once the dust settles, and the police complete their investigations, there will undoubtedly be the chorus from the Brady Campaign and others to restrict firearms ownership. Simply put, my response is that first off, someone needs to be over 18 to legally purchase a pistol or "assault firearm" in the state of Virginia (see Brady Campaign Link for VA). VA Tech's spokesman Larry Hincker was quoted on January 31, 2006 in the Roanoke Times commenting on the bill to allow firearms on VA Tech's campus being 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." (link) I wonder what his comment is now.

Sadly, the possession ban goes both ways here. Had there been a student or security guard, who, either as duty or private citizen with a CCW permit (carry concealed weapons) were armed, this person could have been in a position in intervene. Similarly, the shooter could have felt emboldened by a weapons ban in the area he was committing the massacre.

The rules did not protect the people. They made them helpless to respond instead.

Also, stricter gun controls have had a poor record of stopping massacres of this nature. One can recall the Dawson College shooting in Montreal, Canada, where a lone gunman armed with a pistol and a carbine killed one woman and injured 19 others. Canada has very strict gun control laws, specifically with regards to semi-automatic weapons and pistols. This did not stop the perpetrator in that case - he complied with all laws in question.

Same happened in 2002 in Erfurt, Germany. Again, strict gun laws in effect, and the shooter nonetheless managed to legally acquire the firearms used. Germany has since raised the minimum age for firearms, with questionable effect. Smaller scale incidents continue to happen in Germany with starting regularity - a simple Google search for the German word used to describe this sort of action ("Amoklauf", i.e. running amok) shows this.

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