Virginia Massacre

Deborah Barnes

Thirty-three people were killed and at least 30 injured during a shooting rampage today at Virginia Tech, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Meanwhile, in Oregon, radio commentator Lars Larson went on the airways telling his audience it was time that all school teachers in Oregon public schools should be encouraged to carry weapons.

Law enforcement authorities, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the shooter used two 9mm pistols. They also said that the shooter was not carrying identification and his head wounds were so severe that authorities could not immediately identify him.

I can just picture myself walking into my classroom with a gun in my purse. I feel so protected right now. At any moment one of my students may just walk in and drop his backpack and pull out a gun. I could drop what I was doing (perhaps teaching) run through the classroom and grab my purse and save all of my students. I'm thinking, not!

I am not trained to shoot at people. I hate the fact that somebody had a gun and walked into a classroom and allegedly locked a door and began firing at innocent students and staff. I pray for their families tonight as I reflect on my day in the classroom and breathe a sigh of relief that tonight all of my students made it through another day without being harmed. My students watched the coverage in our class and asked great questions. It was a sad day to learn how terrible things happen in the "real world".

Asking me to bring a gun into my classroom just doesn't make sense. Perhaps Lars would realize that if he understood my job meant I was there to nuture rather than stop a madman or kill somebody with a gun.


Lars Larson Poll

Comments

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    This is a horrible tragedy. Nobody with a brain or a soul (that excludes Lars) would try to use this event to make a political point.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    People who aren't knowlegable and comfortable with guns shouldn't carry them. However, it's possible that one Professor from an adjoining classroom may have saved many lives had he been armed. At least the 30 people who were shot and killed like sitting ducks would have had a chance. The only thing that stopped this shooter and made him take his own life was when police with guns broke into the building. The police and security force really blew it, IMO. With more than two hourse between the first and second shootings, it's obvious students cannot depend upon the police to protect them. If I remember correctly, the police at Columbine lagged back and stayed outside for quite a while before they could muster up enough nerve to go and do their jobs.

  • joe hill (unverified)
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    I heard a few minutes of the Lars Larson show today. As a citizen, my first impression was that this FAR exceeded the bounds of civil discourse.

    I want to live in a country where there is a REAL culture of life (pace George W. Bush's pale simulacrum of same). You know, one that doesn't celebrate the prospect of solving problems by using a 9mm or an invasion and occupation or by arming the teachers and students in a learning community.

    This last suggestion is beyond farcical. I mean, we're in real Jonathan Swift territory here. How stupid, how vapid, how galactically clueless do you have to be to take such a suggestion seriously?

    And how cynical and morally bankrupt do you have to be to make such a suggestion on a day like today?

    To paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson (who would understand today, and have something to say about it worth hearing): Jesus! How low do you have to sink in this country to be on the radio?

  • pam from portland (unverified)
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    Teachers with permits to carry would indeed have the potential to save lives. Nobody wants to shoot someone ~ just ask a cop ~ but better to shoot the shooter before more lives are wasted! There is nothing inherently wrong in law-abiding citizen's (or teachers who want to) carrying guns. The alternative is to simply continue to be at the mercy of criminals or the insane whenever they choose to strike.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    Virginia had a chance to pass legislation over a year ago that may have saved some lives today. We'll never know now.

    Here is the article.

  • Aaron (unverified)
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    It's only been what, 12 hours since the massacre? Sounds like a great time to talk about the politics of the gun to me.

  • Al Fisher (unverified)
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    It's unfortunate that Virgina Tech's anti-gun policy didn't protect anyone- again. Maybe anti-gun laws really don't work? How many gun laws do we currently have on the books and how many will have to be added to protect people?

    I have favor carry permits & training for those willing to take that responsibility. This would be just one component of a full solution to the problem, but denying peoples right to protect themselves - those willing to accept responsibility for carrying - is not right.

  • jrw (unverified)
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    I'm a teacher.

    I own guns, shoot and am comfortable handling them.

    I do notnotnot favor having a gun in the classroom, or being armed in the classroom. Why?

    It's not practical.

    Look, folks. Most teachers do not leave their purses unlocked in the classroom, much less a gun in their purse. If we don't have locking cabinets in our classrooms, the purses are in the car--or we leave the big stuff at home, and just carry pocket stuff. Why?

    Because otherwise stuff gets stolen. Teachers have had closely watched digital cameras get stolen at school. We've had a camera stolen in less than two minutes.

    Open carry? Not reasonable, not really. Think about it. Do we really want that sort of society?

    Concealed carry? Come on. We don't wear the sort of clothing that readily translates to secure concealed carry, especially those working with younger children.

    Additionally, you run the risk of escalating the situation because of the macho, posturing kids who decide that if teacher can carry a gun, then they can carry a gun as well.

    Nope. Not a solution.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    Once again...we see it again.

    Someone waltzes into a gun-free zone and wreaks havoc.

    The simple truth is that if someone is bent on destruction and carries upon their person the means to do so, there is little to stop them from doing so in the average classroom, Deborah.

    You don't have to carry a gun. No one in the right mind would MAKE you do so (yes, I include Lars in that statement...I don't think he is generally of a sound mind.) But I kinda think that advertising a "gun free zone" to every whack-job with a grudge and an unstable brain is kinda like advertising free meth to a tweaker. We ought not be so surprised that the tweaker starts hanging around a LOT more.

    OTOH, this was hashed over about two years ago...

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    But I kinda think that advertising a "gun free zone" to every whack-job with a grudge and an unstable brain is kinda like advertising free meth to a tweaker.

    The only problem with this statement being that you have exactly zero evidence that what you kinda think has any merit. You think that because it sounds right to you that means it works for your average "whack-job"? Isn't it the point of calling someone a whack-job that they don't think real rationally? I submit that for all you know, the prospect of a shootout would attract even more "whack-jobs" into opening fire. They make movies about the romance of going out in a blaze of glory in a shootout after all.

    Of course, the big problem with guns in schools is the same as with guns at home. More guns, more potential access for guys who should not have them and more potential for accidents.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    Regarding the practicality of teachers having handguns in a classroom, the use of a small gun safe, bolted inside a desk drawer solves any security or theft issues. My pistol safe is about 9"x6"x4" in size and has a row of buttons on top, only three of which I must push to quickly open it. Nobody else has the combination, so it cannot be opened. It's also a good place to store cash and jewelry.

    One can come up with thousands of reasons why they don't like having teachers have access to guns at school, but there are at least 32 reasons in Virginia why we should allow it.

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    The facts of this case are far, far, far from being fully known. As I write, they still haven't even identified the shooter - or even 100% that there was only one shooter.

    The question to ask is: Did the shooter break existing gun laws, or do everything legally? If the former, we need stronger enforcement of existing laws. If the latter, we should examine the need for new/better/different/stronger laws.

    (Note that I didn't say "should pass". I said "should examine". It never hurts to re-examine the law in light of new facts.)

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    It's unhinged of Lars not only to suggest arming teachers (what about pastors and doctors--they deal with the public, too), but also to use this tragedy to try to score political points. On the day it happened. Makes me a little ill to think about it. Time for healing, not arming.

  • Hawthorne (unverified)
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    I'd just like to point out that a terrible thing happened today. I think our society would be a healthier one if we could learn to mourn properly (or, even for a few hours) before the blogsphere and the media start debating gun laws and doing post mortems on what campus safety could of, should of, done.

    33 people are dead. It's terrible. Can we pause to reflect for a bit before the rush to posture, pontificate and judge?

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    "Do we really want that sort of society?"

    we already have that sort of society, except the bad guys carry guns and shoot up folks, and the law abiding pay people to do that for us. We don't need to get our hands dirty, no sirry.

    Without question, this would mean a sea-change in the classroom...or not. Perhaps just a locker bolted the to wall in the room would work...heck, big enough for a purse, or a digital camera and a 1911.

    ::shrug:: All of this academic, really. These shootings don't show any sign of stopping anytime soon, nor do teachers seem to be clamboring to either protect themselves nor their charges.

    As long as the status quo is ok with teachers, then things will stay the same.

    I should point out that a kid is FAAAAAAAAAR and away more likely to die sitting still, strapped into a safety harness inside a car just feet from their own parents than they are by any sort of firearm accident. Heck, more kids die in pools of water than by guns, in or out of a school. Maybe we should try moats? It would be a dang sight more effective than those silly little "Gun Free Zone" signs that only deter the lawabiding among us.

    Me? I say lets let some of those grandpas that honorably served their country qualify as armed guards and volunteer to protect their grandkids. Get them some good solid firearm training, deputize them and put them into guardshacks at the school entrances, and I can bet that you won't see any nutcases crashing into another school anytime soon.

    But as for teachers? Nahhh...they got it rough enough as it is, and seem to be pretty OK with the odds. Heck, I wouldn't want their job, and I like kids.

  • pamela (unverified)
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    We now live in a time when our schools are marked for terrorist attacks.

    link

    It is time to get serious about how we are going to protect our children, and come up with the necessary tools, which may very well include allowing teachers who desire to do so to carry weapons.

    God bless the students and families of Virginia Tech.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    "The only problem with this statement being that you have exactly zero evidence that what you kinda think has any merit."

    Doretta:

    I'll try to hold off the dripping sarcasm, but I am not sure anyone could prove that the signs have any effect one way or the other.

    I have yet to see definitive proof that a "Gun-Free Zone" sign means that someone bent on doing evil, upon seeing it, will turn around and go away...looking instead for a police station or gun club where he is SURE that he will be able to go out in a "Blaze of Glory."

    But it MIGHT have happened. Somewhere. Sometime.

    Who knows?

    Oh, and this person most certainly qualifies as a "whack-job." No one does this in their right mind, and therefore fits the generally accepted definition.

    Ultimately, I am tiring of this whole thing. Everytime this happens, its Lars or Victoria with this same refrain, and every time, some well meaning person on our side of the aisle rises to the bait. Its like an amazingly persistent and annoying song that never ends, the only change being the voices that sing out in righteous indignation.

    Jeff is playing his part, I see, and I am here to play mine...again. Hawthorne is doing the usual part, too, but I think the last time around it was someone else. Surely our Patron Saint of Promotion Ginny Burdick will start spitting forth her usual b.s., and once more, the record will spin.

    I can see why Lars did what he did. He sees the upcoming assault on legal gun-owners and wants to head it off at the pass.

    Then things will die down, and then this will happen again.

    FWIW: I agree 100% with Kari. Its time to closely examine what we are doing in terms of firearms.

    I think its important to remember that we can't regulate what lawbreakers do...we can only mete out consequences for their actions. After all, its already illegal to kill people...and somehow I don't think that a 2000 year prison sentence would have deterred this person.

  • pamela (unverified)
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    sorry about the bad link. Here it is and I hope it works.

    http://americanthinker.com/2007/03/terrorists_targeting_students.html

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
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    Guns aside, I was stuck by a comparison to this incident and the one at Thurston HS here in Oregon.

    In the Thurston incident, fellow students jumped the shooter at risk of their own lives, and made him stop shooting. In this incident, students tipped over desks and were in hiding behind them.

    I doubt that guns would have made a different one way or another, as the element of surprise was what made this fellow so effective.

    I am a gun owner, and I have been in classrooms in a teaching role - I wouldn't take a gun to school ~~ but would not mind some building wide security plan that might involve locked guns at locations where trained staff could access them. I understand that this city sized University (26,000 students is about 2,000 more people than live in my County) had its own security force. I would hope they had training in the use of weapons. -- But again, it just doesn't matter here as the shooter had the element of surprise going.

  • (Show?)

    Further elaboration:

    When shocking events of violence sear our consciousness, it is normal to want to take action. We have complex reactions that range from compassion and the desire to protect to fear and anger and the resulting desire to strike back. This is generally not a good space from which to discuss policy issues. Our minds may have what seems like clarity, but it is actually a narrow bandwidth of emotion that has occluded all other considerations. It only seems clear. The actions you take from that space are as likely to be wise (invading Afghanistan following 9/11) as catastrophic (invading Iraq).

    I don't know if there are policy implications that arise from this tragedy. But I do think it's worth setting aside their consideration until our minds have unclenched a little bit.

  • Monica (unverified)
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    I think the greater focus should be on whether we should remove the ban on anyone legally carrying a gun into school and not the notion of encouraging people who are opposed to carrying to so so. Bottom line is we need to be stronger and end this lazy mood of weakness in the face of such terror. Acting outraged that we would have to defend ourselves and our children only sustains a state of denial and weakness. Don't you think? This student makes a very strong case.

    http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/commentary/wb/80510

    Unarmed and vulnerable Bradford B. Wiles Wiles, of New Castle, is a graduate student at Virginia Tech.

  • ellie (unverified)
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    I agree with JRW's comments.

    My $0.02: Teachers are charged with enough responsibility as it is. It is simply unrealistic to expect them to carry a weapon and use it.

    Let's just entertain the idea for a moment though, shall we? Can you imagine the outrage if:

    1. The teacher did not use the weapon (for any reason - safety considerations, inconvenient location, simply did not feel comfortable firing it, etc.)?

    2. The teacher did use the weapon and fired inaccurately striking another student?

    Look, I'm a gun-owner -- I have nothing against them. What I'm against is irresponsible use of them. And irresponsible people advocating irresponsible use of them. ahem, Lars

  • Harry (unverified)
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    Too bad both sides are jumping on the politics of this issue. (See the Brady gun control website...within hours they changed their website to capitalize on this tragedy and gain additional donations!)

    For those teachers who don't want to carry concealed weapons, it is as simple as those who are against abortions: Don't have an abortion, and don't carry concealed weapons. But just because you don't, doesn't mean that everybody else shouldn't be able to do so just because of your fears, reasons, or excuses.

    Harry

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    Further thoughts:

    I will admit that I wasn't shocked when I saw this on the news at lunch (I don't have internet access during my work-time.)

    I have been waiting for this for quite a while, and I am very sorry to say that I wasn't surprised. It was only a matter of time, really.

    I did, however, feel bad for the dead and their family. I said a prayer. There will be many folks who are gonna have their world destroyed tonight. We ought to stop and think of them for a minute. Say a prayer, hug your kids, and light a candle. It will likely get a LOT worse until it gets better, I am afraid.

    Steve: I think this might be a difference between urban and rural settings. The rural folks among us know that a firearm doesn't re-arm itself magically, and that it takes 2 hands to reload, so they knew when to "go". The folks who tend to live in urban areas and know nothing of firearms lack that crucial bit of knowledge.

    I think its a safe bet that the campus police had firearms, and presumedly the training to accompany same, but if you, as a firearm owner, saw the qualifiers that our own PPB officers use as a training standard, you would laugh. On a sunday morning, I push 6x the lead downrange at almost twice the training distance, and with more accuracy than our beat officers are required to possess. And we don't have the stress of someone shooting back AT us, generally. I have yet to see a cardboard target or clay attack.

    Ultimately, we dont' pay officers to be good shooters, we pay them to outthink the bad guys. It kinda looks like they failed us in that regard today, but its still very very early in the investigating process.

    Ellie: I think we REALLY ought to seriously consider moats. No license to

    THIS just in: Keith is reporting that the firearms in question had serial numbers removed, thus they were most certainly illegal firearms.

    24 Y/O Chinese national, recent immigrant. Came in through Canada. Interesting.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    Ellie:

    spend some time and go back over that prior thread...I don't think anyone was suggesting that a big shootout at the OK Corral would be a good idea. I believe the general consensus was to get the kids behind the teacher, lock in, barricade, get cover (not just concealment), pull out your firearm, aim it at the door, and wait.

    But if everyone is comfortable with status quo, I am fine with that. I don't have their job, and all we ever hear is how this is a BAD idea.

    What would the teachers on our board like to do to increase the security of the kids and themselves?

  • ellie (unverified)
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    JJ, I did go over the comments. I was responding to the original post.

    I don't think it's that easy, simply because there is the element of surprise.

  • jrw (unverified)
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    JJ Ark asks what teachers on Blue Oregon would like to do to increase the security of the kids and ourselves--

    1.) Better door locks. Right now, if I go into lockdown, I have to step outside my room to lock the door. Keeping the door locked doesn't work for my school. I need an effective way to barricade my door quickly without maximizing my exposure--and this is fairly common for most school buildings. That's a major, major security hole at this particular moment and it bugs the heck out of me whenever I go through my particular mental rehearsal.

    2.) Training. Not the lockdown drills we currently do, but how to manage the crisis if it hits. Live practice drill in locking the door, securing the kids, turning the desks over, preparing to fight back using what tools we have in the classroom.

    3.) Straight talk with kids about telling adults if a kid is bringing weapons to school. Teach, teach, and reteach that telling about a weapon is not ratting out. This deals with knives as well as guns--which is an issue I've dealt with more than a gun issue.

    Steve's idea of locked gun sites with trained users does possibly work for me, although it may not for others. The classroom is not a good place to have a gun, and a teacher in a classroom should be focused on keeping kids safe. Someone has to do that task. It's hard enough to manage 25 panicked kids without adding safely managing a gun to the equation. However, if trained staff not pinned down with kids could access guns, and move in without needing to keep the kids under rein, that's a useful thing.

    My major issue, besides the safety and security of keeping a gun in the classroom (sorry, Phil, but you underestimate the issues involved) is that as a teacher in a classroom under fire, my primary role is going to be managing the kids to keep them safe, not shooting back. Too many things going on to be using a weapon effectively, and unlike a cop, I have a personal relationship with those kids that will interfere with my focus on bringing the attacker down.

    Yes, I do think about this as a teacher, and role-play a potential response. And I break into a sweat every time I think about that dang door.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    Those are some EXCELLENT suggestions!

    I hope that someone here will push these suggestions on their politicians, and push them HARD. Especially the one about the locked doors.

    Actually, roaming the halls, searching out a shooter is very very risky, and best left to the police, not cuz they are better trained, although they are, but rather cuz they possess body armour. Clearing rooms is tense business, and very very risky. Body armour minimizes the damage.

    What sort of effective tool could be supplied to you to make your job of defense easier...besides a locked, steel-plated door? Crowbar? Spray mace?

    Seriously, since firearms are out of the question...what tools would society provide you with that would actually help you do your job more effectively in these horrible times?

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)
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    "Nobody with a brain or a soul (that excludes Lars) would try to use this event to make a political point."

    Right. Surely the anti-gun crowd won't be using this incident as ammunition to support draconian gun control measures. Now, I'll be the first to agree that they too are brainless, but I wouldn't go so far as to question the integrity of their souls. Not all of 'em, anyway.

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    It's absolutely terrible this happened today. I feel so sorry for the students, especially those who did not die when he came into the classroom the first time. I can't imagine the terror they went through in laying there pretending to be dead, hoping he didn't put "another" bullet in them for good measure.

    I think one thing that would have helped those students today was door locks.

    The student who pretended to be dead talked about how they worked together once he'd left the first time to barricade the door and keep him from coming back to kill the rest of them. Why did they have to barricade the door with their own bodies? No door locks.

    Stronger doors is important --at the University of Houston we had doors so old, I don't think they could have withstood someone throwing their weight into them.

    It seems to me that a great investment would be in a system where teachers could lock the doors from where they're standing. Maybe a panic button that locks the door and alerts security?

    I'm guessing it won't be too much longer before we see bag checks and such at the entrances to buildings on campus. In the dorms, I'd imagine you'd see enough backlash from students that I don't know it would go through -- it's where you live, and you're bringing in a lot of personal stuff with you.

    Of course, there's nothing to stop a gunman from just waiting until classes let out and there are students all over the halls, grounds, etc. to open fire. One of the deadliest university shootings was at the University of Texas. He killed 15 (although some argue 16 or 17 -- a person ended up committing suicide over it and a pregnant mother miscarried) and injured something like 30.

    How did he do it? He went up into the clock tower and shot people from there.

    I wonder if we're going to find out the first shooting was done small scale, knowing it would put the local and campus police there at that end of the campus. When some time had passed, and classes were still on and the campus wasn't on lockdown, he went for his targets in the classrooms.

  • Alen j (unverified)
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    Has anybody besides me ever thought about making it almost impossible to get a hold of BULLETS? What if we kept the same gun Laws but made you jump through five thousand hoops just to own any bullets. Give only Licensed people who took 100 hours of gun class bullets. Gun shops can no longer sell bullets but you must have a background check and purchase them from your local Police agency. Stop the mass manufacturing of bullets because ultimately they're the thing that kills.

  • BlueNote (unverified)
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    I had no idea that Lars and his supporters would view today's tragic events as a 2nd amendment issue.

    I am beginning to think about an award. Perhaps the "Lars Trophy". Maybe a traveling trophy in the shape of a clock tower with a gold plated sniper perched at the top. To be awarded to the lone gunman who kills the most college students before he/she is either killed or shoots him/her self. It could be awarded posthumously of course.

  • jrw (unverified)
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    JJ Ark and others--

    Door locks that are double keyed so that I can lock it from the inside without risking kids accidentally locking themselves in (like you'd get with a push button). That's what would raise the odds significantly to start on my list. My door is already a metal door and that would give me time to access the big scissors, the heavy overhead projector, and anything else I could use to heighten the barricade and slow any intruder.

    A barrier, a solid barrier, that can be secured with a key from the inside. Give me that instead of having to step outside the room to lock the door and the odds improve significantly.

    There are some very effective handle locks that shut the double doors of a school to secure it in a lockdown.

  • (Show?)

    jrw--

    Exactly. That's what I'm thinking.

    I remember being in high school and there being an incident. I don't remember if it was at our school or one in the area. But then they started teaching us stuff about lock downs (this was around '93 or so).

    The first thing we all brought forth is that we couldn't lock the doors. They could be locked from the outside with a key. But were the teachers supposed to stand outside the classrooms and get hurt?

    They did some changes so that the doors could be locked without the person having to stay outside the room. A short time later we ended up having an incident where an angry ex-husband came on campus for his kids, with a rifle.

    It was pretty scary-- the doors to the rooms all had a window a few inches wide and three feet or so tall. Our building had no windows, so there were no windows in the classroom. We did what the students mention at VT -- piled up desks. We shut the lights off. And we opened the doors to the big closet in the room, which we all huddled behind. It was in the corner of the room on the same end as the door, making in the hardest to see. We did everything we could to not be seen.

    It ended up being for nothing, as like most people in town, he had his rifle in the truck no matter where he went, and he wasn't there to cause trouble. But it was definitely scary.

    When given warning (whether it be via the PA system, text messages, or gun shots), students and teachers are going to try their best to get in a safe spot and stay there. But that's hard if we don't give them simple ways of doing that, such as the ability to easily and quickly lock the doors.

    For a while after the incident at our school, it became the norm to have the doors locked. You could get out the door, but not in. That meant if you had to run to your locker, the bathroom, etc., someone had to open the door back open for you.

  • (Show?)

    Here we go again: practicing lock down drills, security firms invited to school board meetings, cameras in every stairwell, endless discussions about dorm security, meetings.........

  • Zachary (unverified)
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    The discussion about security improvements in schools seems to focus solely on benefits, not costs. Just looking at one component--doors--and doing some arithmatic will give us an astoundingly large number. There are millions of doors in schools and each would cost tens, if not hundreds, of dollars to renovate. We could, therefore, spend billions of dollars on one safety component that might (I emphasize might, as doors do little to mitigate the element of surpirse) reduce the damage from school shootings that rarely occur (this is not meant to be dismissive, but in the grand scheme of things school shootings are few and far between).

    Those billions of dollars, spent feeding the hungry, getting medicine to the poor, providing basic health care to the underprivilaged, reducing air pollution, etc etc etc, would have a much greater public benefit than millions of new doors.

    School shootings are terrible things, but these mitigation suggestions are not practical when comparing the derived benefits with other projects investing in the public good.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    I am beginning to think about an award. Perhaps the "Lars Trophy". Maybe a traveling trophy in the shape of a clock tower with a gold plated sniper perched at the top. To be awarded to the lone gunman who kills the most college students before he/she is either killed or shoots him/her self. It could be awarded posthumously of course.

    I find those comments to be more offensive than anything Lars Larson said on-air yesterday. I think Lars does a good service by discussing the self-protection issue that several here have decried as being insensitive. How ironic is that?

    Lars has, for years, advocated the logic of allowing those who have passed FBI background checks and handgun training to bring concealed handguns onto campuses. Now is an ideal time to reexamine the practice of declaring school campuses "gun free zones". I understand even the campus security officers at Virginia Tech were not allowed to carry guns on campus.

    It should be obvious by now that no amount of gun laws will ever prevent the kind of mass carnage reported yesterday. There are simply too many guns in existence and there are always methods other-than-legal for criminals to obtain them.

    I, too, would hope I would never be forced to use a gun to protect my life or my family, but if it became necessary, at least I would have that option.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Deborah Barnes:

    my job meant I was there to nuture rather than stop a madman or kill somebody with a gun.

    Bob T:

    Result -- over 30 people murdered.

    Bob Tiernan

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    Bob,

    I appreciate your perspective that over 30 people were murdered because killing is not in my job description. I guess I missed that valuable condition for employment when I changed professions 14 years ago. I'll give the district office a call and see if we can have SWAT training for teachers put into staff development for next year. Let me know when you want to contribute to the teacher training fund with your own dollars.

    Deborah

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    On that Lars poll: last night when I went to look at the results, they were overwhelming against arming teachers (around 80%, I think). But this morning, it's 87%-13% in favor of arming teachers. Either someone flooded the gates with conservative gun fanciers, or someone's rigging the results.

  • Harry (unverified)
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    Deborah,

    You miss the point. Nobody is advocating that ALL teachers take training and go out kill the bad guys. If you do not want to defend yourself and your students, that is fine with me and most others. Again, nobody wants to mandate that you do anything.

    But to prevent responsible, trained teachers who do want to defend themselves is another thing altogether.

    Our local school board wants to pass a policy that prohibits (as a condition of employement) any employee from excercising their right to carry (if they have a CWP). Again, not mandating that all teachers have to carry in classrooms, but actually preventing those who are trained and who want to defend themselves.

    Two very different situations. If you don't want to fine, but don't impose your values on all the others who may not agree with your viewpoint.

    Harry

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    Harry,

    I don't remember ever saying anything in my original or subsequent posts about stopping teachers from having guns. I believe my original premise has been and continues to be that I am not a trained to shoot and kill people. I am not telling anybody what they can and cannot do.

    Oh...and I guess you missed the original point where Lars went on the airwaves following the massacre encouraging all public school teachers to carry guns. That is just not an option for ME..and I hope those in positions of power don't try impose their values on those that don't agree that having a weapon in the classroom is the right choice.

  • Harry (unverified)
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    "...and I hope those in positions of power don't try impose their values on those that don't agree that having a weapon in the classroom is the right choice."

    I agree that it should be a choice. Only those teachers that want to be trained (and fingerprinted, backgrounded, etc) should be permitted to carry. By their choice.

    But once you allow a choice to be made by others, then by definition, you may not agree that their choice is the right choice.

    It still sounds to me like you don't want other teachers (who may disagree with you on weapons in schools by permitted teachers) to have that choice. Am I correct?

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)
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    Deborah,

    Killing is not in my job description either, but I would not hesitate to do so if it meant protecting myself, my family or those in my charge from grave harm. Teachers and school administrators should not be required to carry weapons or undergo extensive tactical training. However, it might be wise not to discourage staff members with the desire to pack a defensive weapon and hold a concealed carry permit from doing so. How is it that a single murderous lunatic with a pistol can inflict so much harm, slaughtering innocent students like lambs to the slaughter? Is it primarily because of the availability of guns & ammunition? Should we outfit our places of learning to resemble prisons or panic rooms? Seems to me that encouraging self defense and awareness is the common sense solution. We can designate as many "gun-free" zones as we like, but understand that doing so only renders us all the more defenseless against that one murderous malcontent who wishes to do harm. 32 dead, many more injured. One guy with a 9mm and a .22 pistol. No one shot back.

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    Harry,

    As a teacher, we are already fingerprinted and have our background checked in order to work in the public school system. My choice is to leave law enforcement to people who are trained professionals who do this for a living. Having a gun doesn't make you necessarily safe in a classroom. That is my choice.

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    There is a simpler solution. Back in the '90s, when there was still a little bit of money for it, Sandy HS had an officer assigned inside the school.

    He was able to interact with the kids and there was a mutual learning/respect thing that was enabled between the local police and the students. The officer was also able, based on student familiarity and trust, to gather useful intel re vandalism, gang stuff, drug dealing etcetera.

    The officer was also a deterrent to both the bullies that push the potential shooters over the edge, and the potential shooters themselves.

    <hr/>

    A trained, armed professional in the house. A lot cheaper and sensible than many other options.......

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    Actually, the doors/locks are for more than just the rare school shooting.

    These are more often used when there is a convict loose in the area, there's been an armed robbery in the area with suspects on the loose, etc.

    A few times a week you'll hear about a school in lock down here in Oregon. There's no telling how many happen around the U.S.

    Locks and replacing some doors is a heck of a lot less expensive than one person's life -- both to those who have lost loved ones, but in the subsequent legal actions and insurance costs.

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    I'll try to hold off the dripping sarcasm, but I am not sure anyone could prove that the signs have any effect one way or the other.

    Precisely my point, only I never used the word "prove". It can't even be argued convincingly, let alone proved. Nice of you to hold off on the sarcasm.

    It's possible to get pretty close to having gun-free zones in this country, but you get those with metal detectors, x-ray machines, patdowns etc.--not with signs.

    I own a gun, a lifetime membership at a shooting range and have had concealed carry permits. I've argued here that it's not stupid to think that rifles could be of use in a domestic insurgency.

    I evaluate proposed solutions involving guns based on practicality, not knee-jerk ideology.

    A gun safe in a classroom when a shooter shows up does nothing more than make the teacher the logical first target of the gunman. Any trained police officer will tell you that once another person has a gun trained on you, you don't have time to draw the weapon strapped to your hip, let alone retreive one from a gun safe. Other teachers might have time to get their gun out if they happen to hear shots from elsewhere but those easily lockable secure doors seem like a better option in that case than a gun safe. You've already pointed out that having teachers roaming the halls looking to confront a gunman is a bad idea. How much training would you have to give teachers to get to a high level of probability that when a gunman shows up at their door they get him before he gets them? Keep in mind that these teachers are more likely to be like Deborah than like you in their general comfort level with guns. Someone pointed out how expensive better doors would be but the cost of that would pale next to training teachers and keeping them trained over time and I think it's clear that even if you spent the money the gun-in-every-classroom option would produce spotty results at best. If you've already locked a secure door and taken cover, a gun trained at the door is very likely superfluous.

    The guy at VT brought chains and locks and managed to keep a lot of people in the building. Even if every prof at VT had been carrying what would have prevented him from securing the doors to a classroom with a couple hundred students in it, walking in and shooting the prof first and then a lot of students? He still could have killed dozens in a matter of a minute or so.

    I know, let's arm all the students. It just doesn't pencil out to try and prevent gun deaths by adding a lot more guns, JJ. You might prevent a few deaths in a given circumstance but how many more accidental deaths or deaths by guys who got access to one of those guns who shouldn't have do you get to go along with that. Thirty people died at VT in the worst ever example of this kind of incident that seems to happen maybe once a decade. A cursory look into the statistics tells me that every year in this country more than a thousand die by gun accident, a couple hundred or so are children.

    Now is the place where I might ask where the outrage over those deaths is and sarcastically ask if it's because they don't get nonstop coverage on CNN. But I'm not going to do that. This was a horrifying incident and all of us but the most unhinged are horrified by the loss involved. Most of us really want to make things better wherever we are on the ideological spectrum.

    I think the idea that we can fix this sort of thing by just letting everyone who wants to carry a gun comes from our need to feel in control. It's a very human trait that I think Americans are particularly inclined to. (See Monica's post about "weakness" above. ) Unfortunately sometimes that leads us to solutions that give us the illusion of control but actually make the overall situation worse.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    OK, let's just continue allowing only bad guys to have guns on campuses. Don't let the good guys have guns. Makes perfect sense to me. Not!

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Blue Note:

    This is a horrible tragedy. Nobody with a brain or a soul (that excludes Lars) would try to use this event to make a political point.

    Bob T:

    Don't forget all the gun-haters who were preaching more gun control within minutes. Is Lars the only person you heard making political points? Or are you deaf and blind to your authoritarian fellow progs?

    Bob tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    pamela:

    We now live in a time when our schools are marked for terrorist attacks.

    Bob T:

    Are you sure? Michael Moore says, "There is no terrorist threat!" and is applauded by auditoreums full of idiots in denial.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Now I hear that the murderer's note says he hated "rich kids" and stuff.

    The Politics of Envy at work.

    Bob T

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    OK I get it. The comments will be restricted to gun control or lack thereof.

    My bad. I thought that actual solutions might be in order, but as my idea resonates with neither position being argued........

  • Allen j (unverified)
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    I wrote this comment yesterday and not one.....not one of you geniouses even commented on it. That shos me that not one of you ever thought about it ever. Clear your mind and read again. Then I have some serious questions for you. "Has anybody besides me ever thought about making it almost impossible to get a hold of BULLETS? What if we kept the same gun Laws but made you jump through five thousand hoops just to own any bullets. Give only Licensed people who took 100 hours of gun class bullets. Gun shops can no longer sell bullets but you must have a background check and purchase them from your local Police agency. Stop the mass manufacturing of bullets because ultimately they're the thing that kills." Question: those who are freakin out over this.....are you going to go back to playing those shoot'em up PLAYSTATION & NINTINDO games? Are you going to go back to paying $9.95 to go watch all the violence that Hollywood Loves to put on the big screen? Are you going to ignore our children when they playHalo for 10 hours a day. Could this be a reason why we do't value life? Did you know that our troops are fighting their ass off and over 3,000 of them died for all of us at this school and nation? Did you care before today? Did you blink an eye for the over 3,000 men and womwn who are fighting for you so we don't have another 9-11? What are you going to do different? What are you going to do? "Think"

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    Posted by: Allen j | Apr 17, 2007 12:19:39 PM

    Nobody commented on it because aside from it being a great source of a some good stand-up for Chris Rock, it is a pointless thought experiment. It is no more effective or better than restricting access to the firearms themselves. Whether you restrict the weapon or the ammo, it is in essence the same thing and the same basic set of legal, practical and ethical/moral set of problems and issues arise from it.

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    it's possible that one Professor from an adjoining classroom may have saved many lives had he been armed

    Yep. especially with, oh, a fully automatic assault rifle, say, or maybe a shoulder-launched anti-tank missile.

    Guns don't kill people. People kill people. That maniac had a back-up plan. He was prepared to take out 32 students and instructors with a pocketful of Swiss Army knives, a collapsible baseball bat, and a spatula.

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    OK Allen. I'm in.

    The reason that your theory wouldn't work is roughly that bullets are too easy to manufacture and/or smuggle.

    9mm rounds (used by the Virginia shooter) are common throughout the world. Also, tens of thousands of gun enthusiasts own reloading equipment.

    Primers are a little tougher to build, but are, of course wa-a-a-ay smaller than cartridges and even easier to transport undetected.

    <hr/>

    You'd also have the same logistics problem with machinists that you have with the idea of outlawing guns themselves. All lathe and press operators worldwide would need to be lobotomized. And don't get me started on computerized programmable machine tools......

  • lin qiao (unverified)
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    gun enthusiasts

    I don't understand how someone decides to be a gun enthusiast.

    I've fired guns. I appreciate their power. It scares the bejeezus out of me.

    Can a gun enthusiast in the crowd explain why s/he's a gun enthusiast? And just what there is about guns to be enthusiastic about?

    Seriously. I just don't get it. And please, don't just say something about self-defense. There has to be something more to gun enthusiasm than that.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    lin qiao, there are many people you could call gun enthusiasts. Some are very likely neighbors of yours. Gun enthusiasts are gun collectors, weekend shooters, hunters, etc. There is nothing wrong with being a gun enthusiast so long as they don't misuse the guns. The vast majority of gun enthusiasts are law abiding citizens who wouldn't jeapordize their hobby by committing a crime.

    BTW, regarding your previous comments about an armed Professor, I hope you would realize that one well placed bullet would have brought an end to the carnage at Virginia Tech. Your logic is flawed.

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    Where to start.......Hmm......Without reference to moral yardsticks.......

    Equalizer: With the advent of small, hand held projectile weapons, strength in a confrontation that may descend into physical violence can be made moot. Knowledge of possession can engender caution in folks otherwise prone toward physical intimidation.

    Cultural: Being raised in a gun culture, where the right to shoot a weapon and the right to own your first gun are tribal/familial rites of passage into adulthood.

    Competitive: developing skill and accuracy and mastering the discipline in competition with a peer group is always gratifying.

    Pop Cultural: Gunslinger as knight in pop culture, e.g. Westerns Gangster movies, really bad Stephen King series...un so weiter.

    Psychosexual: You know--The explosion, the ejaculation, etcetera

    Historical: Big picture--re the wide world and; small picture--the gun as heirloom.

    Esthetic: As in any other manufactured item, there is the whole grace of lines, the genius of a huge variety of innovations occurring over centuries, and pure novelty of bizarre variations, similar to that which has occurred through the years of auto manufacturing, for example.

    I'm sure that I've missed several.

  • Allen j (unverified)
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    Lestatdelc,I think the lack of comments is from the lack of thought. So stand up for Chris Rock huh. So lets hear your possible sollution. Are you a critic or can you be a problem solver? I once talked to a guy who said " I can find something wrong with anything". I said, "wow what a gift". So lets hear it Lestatdelc. What can you come up with that we can pick apart? No comments on payin $60.00 bucks a shot for all the shooot'em up Playstation Games you've been buying feeding your brain with ways to lash out at the world? I think you have to be the one supporting violence in movies and games right? And Pat how do you know bullets are too easy to manufacture and smuggle. Question have you manufactured or smuggled anything lately? If not, do you know anybody that has? If not,how do you know it won't work? We have to do something don't you agree? So your sollution Pat is what? Do nothing? I'd rather have Sum Luck Nune have to smuggle or have a hard time getting the amo than going to a Gun shop and picking out the 9mm like a number 2 at Mcdonalds. Or should we say "well they can smuggle the amo and make the amo anyway so why not let them buy them from your local Gun shop and kill 32 students"? please............

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    Whew!

    So many questions, so little time.

    LOL!

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    THIS just in: Keith is reporting that the firearms in question had serial numbers removed, thus they were most certainly illegal firearms.

    24 Y/O Chinese national, recent immigrant. Came in through Canada. Interesting.

    I'm assuming this was posted before the facts were out about this young man growing up in this country after moving here as a child, and that the gun purchase was legal and documented a few weeks ago? This was not an illegal firearm, nor does it do anything positive or productive to begin the immediate portrayal of this person as foreign national. Semantically speaking, yes he is an immigrant, but this wording plays to the already over the top fear of anyone who is not "one of us."

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    BTW...It was Bush yesterday who turned this into a political moment in his first statements regarding what happened by immediately making an issue of citizen's rights to carry arms. Whether an advocate, or a foe of gun control, it only shows how low of an element the president, and Larson operate from to turn this tragedy immediately into a stump speech for their own agendas. This goes for the Brady site, as well. It goes without saying that the issue of gun control will need to be addressed. Can we not spend five minutes simply mourning the victims and their families before we hit the bully pulpits?

  • Dale Powers (unverified)
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    There you go with that Gun control crap. I kind of like Allens idea. Ammunition Contrtol! You can't shoot a gun without Amo! Dale

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    "I'm assuming this was posted before the facts were out"

    You would be correct, Sir.

    Unfortunately, I was quoting Keith Olbermann, a generally good source of news. I am afraid he was off that night.

    And if you must know the truth, I was hoping that this was a terrorist incident...not cuz I root for the terrorists, but because I was hoping to be able to make some sense out of the senseless. Unfortunately, we are left without a concrete reason other than the dislike of rich kids and traditional mental instability.

    Anti-immigrant? Eh...not so much. Anti-terrorist? Yep.

  • Dale Powers (unverified)
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    There you go with that Gun control crap. I kind of like Allens idea. Ammunition Contrtol! You can't shoot a gun without Amo! Dale

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    Being here in Korea when this happened is sad because we now know the student was a Korean immigrant who attended VT. If I have time I might write a column in terms of the reaction here in Korea.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    Bullets.

    Bullets.

    Ok...I was gonna stop posting gun stuff, but some folks here have a general question that they seem to want answered. Please forgive my geekery here, folks:

    I am assuming that you mean <bold>cartidges not bullets.

    Bullets are a malleable entity at the tip of a cartridge. It is the bullet that is propelled by the explosion contained within and constrained by the powder inside the cartridge.

    Now...raising the price and requiring background check on something as expendable as a bullet brings for the questions:

    Who What Where How

    Who will be the repository for the paperwork, and Who bears the burden of registration costs? Cartridge manufacturers? The recreational shooter? Taxes levied on hunters? How long must the state hold on to the registrations?

    What do we actually want to register and require paperwork on? The box of 525 .22 cartridges (aka a "brick") or each one individually? Kinda brings us back to the Who part of the equation--if we require that paperwork be kept on all 525 .22 cartridges, then how much SPACE would be needed at each sporting goods outlet?

    Where would these special cartridges be made? This brings us to...

    How? So we make everyone buying ammo meet a certain requirement. Fair nuff. We sell them a "brick" of .22s. Then what? We have done nothing to reduce crime...they can sell them on the street, they could litter the ground with them, or they could give them to Junior, who later uses that .22 in a gun to rob a convenience store. Junior got nervous, and popped a round into the floor, so they police MIGHT be able to track him down from that registered ammo, right? ER...no. Wouldn't do any good. WE haven't MARKED them, indexing them to something traceable.

    Now, we have to consider the million or so reloading folks in the US---they can not only manufacture the bullets themselves, but reload in many, many calibers. Are those folks suddenly criminals now? Shall we go house to house and confiscate reloading equipment? How about the folks that hunt for meat and reload on grandpa's press? Are we gonna take away their heirloom?

    We really need to consider avialability as well. I know folks that own hundreds of thousands of rounds...bulk buyers with firearms of many calibers. These could conceavibly be around for a millenia, sold off one by one to the highest bidder on the street. When a bullet through the government costs 1000$, how much do you think a single round of 9mm would go for on the street? Probably a few bucks until the supply caught up with scarcity...say, 3 or 4 hundred years.

    Lastly, lets consider the constitutionality issues:

    I like guns. I like the 2nd amendment. I can't lie. The framers designed a system that allowed folks to revolt if government became truly horrible. They built into the founding document a way to do so. Making bullets scarce would be ruinous of that effort. Please remember that democide almost always starts off as a populist revolution and gets worse from there. Hitler was elected, and by the time things become horrible, it was too late. No one possessed the means of opposition.

  • JJ Ark (unverified)
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    I sometimes wonder if we shouldn't set up a seperate thread for just "gun questions" when this stuff happens. No flame, no recriminations, just simple data. I have heard these questions from a lot of folks, and I would love to see a forum that gives answers.

    That place isn't here however. I won't post again about gun-related tech stuff. Sorry for the digression.

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    Door locks that are double keyed so that I can lock it from the inside without risking kids accidentally locking themselves in (like you'd get with a push button).

    It'll only take one incident of a teacher locking a door from the inside and molesting a kid to get all those windows put back in the solid doors, and the locks flipped around again.

  • Susan Abe (unverified)
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    Here's what I'm thinking:

    It's necessary to have a gun (or guns) if you want to carry out a mass shooting.

    It's not necessary to have a gun to stop or prevent a mass shooting. Mass shootings have been stopped or balked by good locked doors, by effective communications, by crazy heroic football tackles. Not to mention by good prophylactic counseling services. (Personally, I'd try flinging money at the situation -- if everyone in a crowd hurls all their pocket change, and maybe pencils, at a shooter's face, that would be the moment for the crazy heroic football try.)

    I did hear, last night, from a police officer who says it's a nightmare scenario to think what you'd do if you burst in on a shooting and face multiple people holding guns. Can you imagine the effects on those students of watching a cop shoot their teacher?

  • 17yearoldwithanopinion (unverified)
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    As a high school student I would like to comment on the whole teachers with gun agruments. My school as 6 unarmed security guards and a armed police officer. Most high schools now have security guards. Instead of having teachers armed arm the guards. Seeing a teacher armed with a gun would scare me as a student and inhibit my ability to learn. A security guard with a gun wouldnt be so scary and would make me feel safer. Also most schools limit the amount of doors that enter the building and place guards near those doors. Armed guards can prevent the shooter from reaching the classrooms. Also schools that have a real reason to think they can be victims of shootings should install metal decectors.

  • ws (unverified)
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    I can just imagine that by now, Osama bin Laden is rubbing his hands together and laughing his head off. I was concerned that this shooter was going to turn out to be a suicide with an affinity for Osama's perspective. It would be so easy for some of them to pull a stunt like this off in any number of places like the university. Tuesday night 11pm news id'd the kid, revealing that he was a known, disturbingly depressed person...a student it seems, yet consider how all those knowing this responded to that knowledge.

    Watching OPB's broadcast of U.S. at a Crossroads, I either heard for the first time, or was reminded of Osama having been provided by his Iman with the rationale or justification to kill up to 10 million americans...y'know...with a nuclear bomb. This kid probably won't turn out to have had anything similar to the kind of motivation that would allow somebody to work towards doing something like that. Still...

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    We put signs up at school campuses declaring they are "Gun Free Zones".

    Would we put such a sign in our own front yards? Of course not. It would be an open invitation to burglars.

    Why. then, do we declare schools to be "Gun Free Zones"?

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Deborah Barnes:

    Bob,

    I appreciate your perspective that over 30 people were murdered because killing is not in my job description. I guess I missed that valuable condition for employment when I changed professions 14 years ago.

    Bob T:

    It doesn't have to be part of the job description. But if you are already trusted by the government to be a teacher, then if you want to carry a revolver for your own protection as well as to respond, if you can, to an incident such as this, why should you be prevented from this? I have no idea what I'd do in this situation (I might shake so much that I'd shoot my own foot while thinking I'm aiming at someone coming at me with a gun), but I'd prefer to give myself a chance instead of waiting, hoping I'm not spotted.

    I'm trying to talk about this realiztically, and you're being sarcastic (which was found in the rest of your message which I deleted).

    Bob Tiernan

  • jeff (unverified)
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    And there goes lars again using the tragedy for his bent view of how Oregon schools should be ran while he lives in Washington. I'm dismayed by the action carried by this very disturbed person, but the last thing I want or need is some blowhard telling me how our schools system should be run. Lars with a gun is very frightening.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    Lars carries his gun on Oregon school campuses every time he is invited to speak at one of their events. I've never heard of him displaying it in public. After all these years, it seems he passes the test for gun safety.

  • (Show?)

    The way to lock many of the doors in schools is to open them and then push a button on the side of the door near where the piece that goes in and out when you open and close a door (sorry -- I don't know what that's called). The only way to unlock them is with a key on the outside or to open the door from the inside and then reset that button.

    When changes were made to the locks at our school, they fixed it so the door could be locked without opening it, but it could still be unlocked/locked from the outside with a key.

    And that's exactly how you'd have to unlock most of the classroom doors now -- the locks on them have been to protect the contents inside when the room is not in use.

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one."

    • Thomas Jefferson, Quoting Cesare Beccari's "On Crimes and Punishment"
  • jrw (unverified)
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    Jenni--

    unfortunately, I've never worked at a school that had that sort of door-locking system, or had a child at a school with that sort of door-locking system.

  • curt (unverified)
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    "Why. then, do we declare schools to be "Gun Free Zones"? "

    Easy -- so if a weirdo brings a gun to school they can kick him out without waiting for him to do something weirder.

    Curt

  • Phil Jones (unverified)
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    "Why. then, do we declare schools to be "Gun Free Zones"? "

    Easy -- so if a weirdo brings a gun to school they can kick him out without waiting for him to do something weirder.

    Curt

    That No Gun Policy worked really well at Virginia Tech the other day, huh? It's so easy to tell when someone brings a CONCEALED weapon to school, isn't it?

    And forget about calling 911 when killers attack. Have you ever thought about why so many politcians have armed security guards with them? Why can't they simply call 911 like they want the rest of us to do.

    Time to wake up and smell the gunpowder!

  • curt (unverified)
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    "Why. then, do we declare schools to be "Gun Free Zones"? " Me: Easy -- so if a weirdo brings a gun to school they can kick him out without waiting for him to do something weirder.

    Curt

    Phil: That No Gun Policy worked really well at Virginia Tech the other day, huh? It's so easy to tell when someone brings a CONCEALED weapon to school, isn't it?

    Me again: Nope. Didn't work for spit, did it? Nevertheless, that's why they have the policy. Lots of places do. Courthouses, schools, gummint buildings, etc. My college had the same policy. Guns would get you expelled. Hey, you asked.

    Do we think any of these places are likely to change their policies due to this story?

    Curt

  • Ranten N. Raven (unverified)
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    How typical. The argument is in the form of: "I would feel uncomfortable as a teacher with a gun, therefore nobody should be allowed to carry a gun in my school." There are men and women trained and ready to use a gun to protect you. We call them "cops." There are other men and women trained to use a gun to protect themselves and others that we call "Our Troops." There are a third set of people trained, licensed, and ready to use a gun to protect themselves and others that we call "concealed carry permit holders." Hello? Earth to the timid! None of those people are a danger to you. You should welcome the third group as warmly as the first two.

  • 17yearoldwithanopinion (unverified)
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    Does anyone here realize that VT is 2,000 acre campus with over 100 buildings? Of course you cant prevent someone from bringing a gun on campus. You can declare it a no gun zone so you have reason to kick gun trotters off without any problems. At high schoos they put the main office near the entrance so guests have to check in. College campus unlike K-12 schools dont require guests to check in. Lets not spend to much time comparing college safety to K-12 school safety since the two are so different in many aspects. The only way to truly prevent this type of attack is to detect problem people earlier and get them help. The idea of they have guns so I should have guns is a bad one. Becuase under that logic if they have drugs or something like that I can also have them. MLK Jr. faced weapons and violence but didnt resort to them. He fought back with words. Just becuase killers may have guns doesnt mean teachers should have guns.

  • Curt (unverified)
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    "There are a third set of people trained, licensed, and ready to use a gun to protect themselves and others that we call "concealed carry permit holders." Hello? Earth to the timid! None of those people are a danger to you. You should welcome the third group as warmly as the first two."

    While I don't have a problem with concealed permit holders (I actually have one of those, although I don't bother carrying a gun around), let's get a little bit real here -- there's no "training" involved in getting one. Not in the sense of the training police and army guys get. You take a little tiny class consisting of little more than "the round end of the bullet goes away from you" and "don't take your gun to the courthouse". You're not some kind of a trained professional, and there's no reason I should assume that you're any less likely to hit me than the bad guy should you unloose some goofy fusillade of bullets on the MAX.

    Now, you may be a crack shot, ex marine sniper, and so forth. But just having a gun permit doesn't mean you are, nor that I should assume you've got any higher level of training or knowledge than the bad guy.

    I really would rather that someone had been able to shoot the weirdo and get him stopped. I just disagree with blanket statements that we should arm students, or that CCW holders would be some sort of automatic protection against something like this happening, or that a private entity like Virginia Tech should somehow be prevented from banning guns on its campus if it wants to.

    Curt

  • Allen j (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Because no one understood my post of "make it almost impossible for crazy freaks to obtain bullets"......JJ ark wants to break it down to a frickin science class with the old cartridges not bullets routine. ( he says "they are a malleable entity at the tip of a cartridge,not bullets" ) whatever....... That's geekery x 10.....I'll offer some more sollutions. We must do whatever it takes to fight back like 9-11 on the plane...."lets roll" and get it in our minds ,our kids minds now. There will be a copycat so here's some tips.............++++++++++++++++ I fully understand that they were still young adults, but if a gunman chained the doors and methodically began executing people, would you lie down and wait your turn?

    Even without training, I would have imagined that someone in that predicament would have at least tried to stop the shooter. Throw a desk, a textbook, jumped at him, whatever.

    Unfortunately, the same conditioning elements (violent media, video games, etc.) that romanticize these kind of killings (go read On Combat by Grossman) also seem to pacify the "hero" mechanism within most people today.

    Without beating around the bush, here's exactly what you should do (and pass on to your kids and family) if a gun ever presents itself.

    1) Run. Those kids from Va. Tech who immediately jumped out the window had the right idea. You see a weapon, get as far away as possible. If that means jumping out a 2nd story window and breaking your leg, fine. If it means running as fast as you can to a known safe area, fine too. Get the hell out of there at all costs.

    2) Get offline ASAP. Statistics show an absolutely incredible decline in ability to hit a moving target with a firearm when target reacquisition is necessary. And that's with highly trained shooters. If you step offline from wherever the gun is pointed, your survival rate just took a HUGE turn for the better.

    3) Drive back in. Can't run? Got offline? Good, now take the fight back to the bastard. Drive that psycho back on his heels and edge of hand him into the ground. Get to his eyes. I want all of you reading this to do something for me now. (Close your eyes) Ok now when you closed your eyes did you see anything? No? EXACTLY.....when faced with another freak... boldGET TO HIS EYES. SHOVE YOUR THUMBS,FINGERS,PENS,PENCILSbold and whatever is available deep into his eye socket. Now you can disarm him stripping the gun. Its impossible to shoot (even a close target)what you can't see ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  • Allen j (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Because no one understood my post of "make it almost impossible for crazy freaks to obtain bullets"......JJ ark wants to break it down to a frickin science class with the old cartridges not bullets routine. ( he says "they are a malleable entity at the tip of a cartridge,not bullets" ) whatever....... That's geekery x 10.....I'll offer some more sollutions. We must do whatever it takes to fight back like 9-11 on the plane...."lets roll" and get it in our minds ,our kids minds now. There will be a copycat so here's some tips.............++++++++++++++++ I fully understand that they were still young adults, but if a gunman chained the doors and methodically began executing people, would you lie down and wait your turn?

    Even without training, I would have imagined that someone in that predicament would have at least tried to stop the shooter. Throw a desk, a textbook, jumped at him, whatever.

    Unfortunately, the same conditioning elements (violent media, video games, etc.) that romanticize these kind of killings (go read On Combat by Grossman) also seem to pacify the "hero" mechanism within most people today.

    Without beating around the bush, here's exactly what you should do (and pass on to your kids and family) if a gun ever presents itself.

    1) Run. Those kids from Va. Tech who immediately jumped out the window had the right idea. You see a weapon, get as far away as possible. If that means jumping out a 2nd story window and breaking your leg, fine. If it means running as fast as you can to a known safe area, fine too. Get the hell out of there at all costs.

    2) Get offline ASAP. Statistics show an absolutely incredible decline in ability to hit a moving target with a firearm when target reacquisition is necessary. And that's with highly trained shooters. If you step offline from wherever the gun is pointed, your survival rate just took a HUGE turn for the better.

    3) Drive back in. Can't run? Got offline? Good, now take the fight back to the bastard. Drive that psycho back on his heels and edge of hand him into the ground. Especially if he's 120lbs. IMPORTANT: Get to his eyes. I want all of you reading this to do something for me now. (Close your eyes) Ok now when you closed your eyes did you see anything? No? EXACTLY.....when faced with another freak... boldGET TO HIS EYES. SHOVE YOUR THUMBS,FINGERS,PENS,PENCILSbold and whatever is available deep into his eye socket. Now you can disarm him stripping the gun. Its impossible to shoot (even a close target)what you can't see ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  • Ronald K (unverified)
    (Show?)

    there is a tribute for the victims with beautiful poems. see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8-Swa2QjLU

  • Ronald K (unverified)
    (Show?)

    there is a tribute for the victims with beautiful poems. see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8-Swa2QjLU

  • Mr. Gunny T (unverified)
    (Show?)

    If campus security had been armed, at least they could have returned fire. As evidenced in the recent Salt Lake City mall shooting, a trained member of the law enforcement community can profoundly alter the outcome if they are armed, courageous, and in the right place at the right time.

    My mother is an elementary school principal. My father is a retired cop. They both have concealed weapons permits and routinely carry a small handgun on their person with (at least) 15 rounds of ammunition. If a homicidal maniac starts killing people within a 25 yard radius of either of them, his probability of getting shot is quite high. If the maniac is threatening/harming children, I would expect my mother to be walking in his direction.

    That's who they are, and they shouldn't be feared or reviled because they carry a pistol and can hit what they aim at.

  • Mr. Gunny T (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Curt:

    CWP holders in California must "requalify" at the target range every two years on the specific weapon(s) they are licensed to carry.

    That means they have to hit a target MULTIPLE TIMES at 25 feet with the specific weapon listed on their CWP. They are not required to receive any tactical training (situational stress enhanced threat analysis tends to make hands shake and impair accuracy), and that doesn't imbue them with law enforcement powers. Nobody suggested that a CWP is the equivalent of law enforcement training. That said, they can still react in a crisis.

    Oregon is much more lax, and the CWP license doesn't even require that you fire a gun. That should be changed.

  • Curt (unverified)
    (Show?)

    No idea if anyone is even looking at this anymore..

    Yeh, I agree, Oregon's CCW rules should be tighter. You should have to prove that you can hit what you point at, and miss what you don't want to hit.

    Curt

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