About me
About me

Guest Post: Reflections on the Virginia Massacre


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 11 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

In sjhoward.co.uk’s first ever Guest Post, regular commenter Mort Karman provides an American perspective on the shootings at the Virginia Tech campus.

A victim is taken to the Emergency DepartmentAt latest count 33 people, human beings, are dead, shot to death by some crazy gunman we have not been told anything about except that he also killed himself.

Virginia Tech is a fine engineering university located in a peaceful area of rolling hills in the Virginia countryside.

It is the kind of campus parents like to send their children to because it is supposed to be located in a safe place.

Today, that place was not safe.

In two individual, but apparently related incidents, what appears to be a lone gunman armed with two assault rifles entered the open campus of the school and proceeded to murder people.

At a press briefing police and university officials offered little real information about what happened.

They just gave the figures: 33 dead including the shooter, and about 17 wounded or otherwise injured.

The university president and the local police chief sounded like the Keystone cops when they tried to explain why it took two hours to warn the students and faculty and why they did not lock down the entire campus. Super Cop said they thought the shooter of the first two people had hightailed it out of Dodge, so why bother to do any more.

I am sure there will be investigations up the yazoo and perhaps the university president and the police chief will get new jobs working as animal control officers, but that doesn’t bring back the dead people.

I don’t have answers.

We can’t turn our schools and universities into high security prisons with gates and a moat and machine gun toting guards. But we can’t keep loosing our young people and the folks who teach them.

Police activity in the wake of the shootings

Pictures from The Guardian

This 1,103rd post was filed under: Guest Posts, News and Comment.

More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd December 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd November 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th October 2018)

Lazy Labour lies again (published 16th April 2005)

Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (published 6th January 2005)

Improving coffee loyalty schemes (published 11th March 2013)

So did the G8 matter? (published 8th July 2005)

Comments and responses

Comment from Mort Karman

by Mort Karman

Comment posted at 16:21 on 18th April 2007.

It now appears that the guns which the Virginia Tech killer used were purchased from a gun shop which followed the law by having Cho fill out the required federal form to purchase a firearm and also called the authorities as required to get a background check and approval code before they sold him the gun. But Cho was not supposed to own a gun because in 2005 he was sent to a mental hospital. The Brady gun law says anyone who has been a mental patient is not allowed to have a firearm. Cho lied on the application and a loop hole in the law prevented the gun control people from knowing he had been hospitalized for a mental health problem.
The way it works is if you have been arrested by the police and convicted of a crime or sent to a mental facility it becomes part of the National Crime Information Computer- but if you go into a mental health facility or just go as outpatient to mental health care without a police or court involvement it does not go on the computer. So Cho lied and got his gun and now we have 33 dead people. What are the authorities to do? Charge the dead person with violation the Brady gun law? We need a better way to identify possible nut cases before we give them firearms. Perhaps before one can get a gun he should have to get a doctor fill out a form attesting to his mental state. It would be as easy as the form I and other handicapped people have to get to obtain the special license plate for parking and access. It would not take away any of the “freedoms” we Americans have to own firearms. There are requirements to get a driver license, so why not a gun license. No one would loose any “gun freedom” but we would all get some needed protection.

Comment from Bush

by Bush

Comment posted at 02:15 on 30th May 2007.

Fantastic website… Good resources for learning, easy to follow… Keep up the good work!!! Make your opinion about my resources 🙂

Comment from Kiandra

by Kiandra

Comment posted at 02:19 on 30th May 2007.

COOOOOOL!!!!!!!! Let’s be friends!!! Go to my site and post your info 🙂

Comment from Mort Karman

by Mort Karman

Comment posted at 02:39 on 30th May 2007.

Kiandra I would be glad to be your friend. But I have no address for your web site. Mine is dotmortthree@yahoo.com – Simon, you have my permission to print the address. Have a good day and evening.

Compose a new comment


You may use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> .

If you would like to display a profile picture beside your comment, sign up for Gravatar, and enter your email address above.

By submitting your comment, you confirm that it conforms to the site's comment policy. Comments are subject to both automatic and human moderation, and may take some time to appear.

The content of this site is copyright protected by a Creative Commons License, with some rights reserved. All trademarks, images and logos remain the property of their respective owners. The accuracy of information on this site is in no way guaranteed. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author. No responsibility can be accepted for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information provided by this site. This site uses cookies - click here for more information.