Monday, April 16, 2007

Faux news

I had a doctor's appointment today. When I arrived at the office, I took a seat in the waiting room and listened to 45 minutes of Faux News (for my non-American readers, that would be Fox News). I was dumbfounded by some of the commentary, regarding the -apparently- ONLY news for the day: the shootings at Virginia Tech.

Yes. The shootings were horrible. Yes. I'm horrified by the actions that some people take against their fellow humans. Yes. It was/is a tragic event. I'm not writing this to belittle anyone's suffering or agony.

However, in traditional Faux News style, the following statements were made, in FORTY-FIVE MINUTES of coverage:
1. "This is the worst civilian disaster in United States history."
Ummmmm... so, we're just completely going to discount 9/11? Those people were civilians. What about Waco? Hurricane Katrina...anyone?
Then, someone must've said, "Ix-nay on the generalizations-ay.", because they changed it to:
2. "This is the worst shooting disaster in American history."
*cough*CIVILWAR*cough* Seems to me there were a whole bunch of people killed by guns in the Civil War. I also seem to remember that firearms played a pretty big role in the extermination of Native American cultures...you know, what the syphilis and smallpox didn't take care of, the Winchesters finished. And, since when are we only quantifying "worst" in numerical terms. I think any time a kid stumbles upon daddy's Saturday Night Special and accidently offs a friend is pretty damned disasterous.
3. "Something helped me get out of that building, through a window... I just...God was with me."
Ahhhhhhhh...yes. The theist glurge was sure to appear. And, Faux was happy to oblige the Christian masses, yearning for a light in the darkness.
I guess God just wasn't with the fifty-something people who got shot/killed/injured. They must've been atheists! What? "They were probably Christians", you say? Can't be... God wouldn't pick-and-choose who lives and who dies based on who put off that foreign language requirement until the last quarter...or would he? See. That's the problem with claiming that God is on your side...you inadvertantly imply that your God just didn't give a flying fuck about the people who died!!! *grumbles*
4. "Can you give us any details about how long it will be until they release the names of the victims?"
I think this was the exact moment that the bile began to rise in my throat. Leave it to Faux News to jump on the victims' families before they can even finish accepting that their child has just been shot/killed/injured. Holy Christ on a glazed donut! Are these people really THAT insensitive!?! Hey! Faux News... when given the names of the victims, I hope that you allow for a minute (JUST ONE MINUTE) of air time, wherein the families can show pictures of the victim, FOR FREE, in memorium, as a "thanks for letting us use your child to help us boost our ratings". I think losing fifty-three (oh...wait, fifty four!) minutes of valuable air time should be penance enough for your opportunistic, ass-hattery!

I'm very grumpy this evening, aren't I?
America the beautiful. Land of, what they would like us to believe, 90% theist, God-fearing people...all waiting to pounce on, and escalate/profit, off of the suffering of others. If I had a Jpeg of Buddy Christ (from Dogma)...his picture would go here.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Having never ever seen Fox News I cannot comment on their style. All news organisations live off the suffering of people (as do religions).

Maybe I'm becoming de-sensitised, but my reaction on hearing the news was very much along the lines of "oh, another one."

The thing that really upset me this morning as I listened to the news was that it was unlikely any party would try to back tighter gun controls because they would lose votes. How many more children must be slaughtered anyone realises that easy access to guns is to blame cause? There's not even the consolation that some good might come of this tragedy.

How many lives is the right to bear arms worth?

Tone said...

P-Momma,
Another excellent post. One more thing I would like to add. If I hear one more person refer to the people on this campus as "kids" or "children" I am going to vomit! This was a college campus and these were adults. The same thing was said about the Women involved with the whole Imus crap.

I actually heard an idiot on AM talk radio this morning (yeah I'm a nerd) saying that campuses need to start to lock in the "kids" during classes after the bell rings. HUH? I went to college and I don't remember a bell... He also said we need to have patrols to question people who don't look like they belong and who haven't signed in to be there... AGAIN this is college not high school. If there had been "hall monitors" when I was in college I am sure there would have been a revolt.

The sadest part about this whole thing is that too many people blindly follow their "leaders" now days and allow their freedoms to be erroded in the name of security.

Anonymous said...

"How many more children must be slaughtered anyone realises that easy access to guns is to blame cause? "

Access to guns is not to blame. The gun didnt kill anybody. The person that pulled the trigger did the killing. The only people stricter gun control laws affects are the law abiding ones. Could it have stopped this particular event? Maybe, but whats to stop him from grabbing a knife or a bat or making a bomb and doing the same thing? Hell, whats to stop him from using his fists and feet to kill? Should we outlaw all of those as well?

"How many lives is the right to bear arms worth?"

There is no number. But i know that many many people died a long time ago and still die today to give me this right to defend myself, my family, my friends, and my way of life. If I were allowed to carry a gun I for one would not hesitate to put a stop to some asshole killing innocent people for no better reason then he is a coward.

As far as I know there are more people like me that would use the weapon only to defend then to go around and kill people at random. And maybe if this asshat knew before he walked into this building that there would be people who would fire back then he wouldnt have done it.

The bottom line is guns are a fact of life and so are criminals. Laws do not stop them. If you dont want the right to protect yourself and dont want a gun that is fine. But who are you to take that away from me? I happen to want the ability to defend myself.

Vincent said...

1- I don't like when they compare this to Columbine. While there are some similarities, there is a vast difference between high schools and colleges.

2- I can't decide where to go on the gun issue. On the one hand, if it were EXTREMELY difficult to get guns/bullets, he probably wouldn't have had the ability to do what he did. On the other hand, if someone else had been armed, he might have been shot before he killed so many people.
I would point out though, that his guns were illegal and so was the bullet proof vest he was wearing.

Anonymous said...

Access to guns is not to blame. The gun didnt kill anybody. The person that pulled the trigger did the killing.

That is patently absurd. Of COURSE the gun killed the students. This is like saying that lightening didn't kill someone, the low-pressure system did it. What a joke.

The only people stricter gun control laws affects are the law abiding ones.

Says you.

Could it have stopped this particular event? Maybe, but whats to stop him from grabbing a knife or a bat or making a bomb and doing the same thing? Hell, whats to stop him from using his fists and feet to kill? Should we outlaw all of those as well?


Except that everything you listed here (with the exception of the bomb, which is illegal anyway) has a purpose besides killing. Guns do not have any purpose except to kill (or at least hurt very badly).

But i know that many many people died a long time ago and still die today to give me this right to defend myself, my family, my friends, and my way of life.

So, you belong to a well regulated Militia?

If I were allowed to carry a gun I for one would not hesitate to put a stop to some asshole killing innocent people for no better reason then he is a coward.

Figures. Mr. Mighty - like this guy couldn't have gotten the drop on you? All we need are a bunch of trigger happy gun-nuts walking around just itching for a reason to unload their weapon.

As far as I know there are more people like me that would use the weapon only to defend then to go around and kill people at random.

Sure, but what if your children find your gun? What if you accidently shoot someone (who's not an attacker) in the middle of the night or in a drunken rage? What if someone steals your gun from your house when you're away and used it in some rampage?

And maybe if this asshat knew before he walked into this building that there would be people who would fire back then he wouldnt have done it.

That's a hell of a "what if." You're telling me that this fella didn't know that the cops would end up showing up and gunning his ass down? We don't know the motive, so I think it's highly inappropriate to jump to such conclusions.

The bottom line is guns are a fact of life and so are criminals.

For now.

Laws do not stop them. If you dont want the right to protect yourself and dont want a gun that is fine. But who are you to take that away from me? I happen to want the ability to defend myself.

What a strawman. Who doesn't want to protect themselves? If you have the ability to sneak up on someone and shoot them, you have the ability to get out the situation. If you're in the line of fire, you probably would have been anyways, regardless if you had a gun or not.

I just read in "Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking" about an assassin that was so worried about what he was about to do that he accidently shot himself in the leg. An armed police officer tried to shoot the assassin but accidently shot the prime minister's wife and an 8-year-old boy was also shot in the melee. How's that for protection? And that was a trained professional who f'ed up that badly. I can't imagine the havok you'd wreak.

PerpetualBeginner said...

Arrgh!

Guns are a weapon of offense, not of defense. They make truly lousy defensive weapons. Notice that the police had all kinds of guns, yet were (rightly) cautious in their approach. Unless you have your legal gun in hand and loaded when the bad guy hits your area, it's pretty much useless to you - and who wanders around their daily routine with a loaded gun in their hand?

I would also mention that even among the police, who train regularly, the shooting rates (excluding SWAT) are under 80%. That's at least two bullets out of every ten going where they don't belong. Do you really want random civilians (most likely with even lower accuracy rates) popping up around chaotic scenes and shooting off some rounds to "get the bad guy"? How many people down to friendly fire would you like?

Speaking as someone who occassionally teaches self-defense, I'd far rather deal with the single gunman than the single gunman and three other people shooting back. My odds of survival are much better in the first instance.

markbt73 said...

I've said this before in other places, and I'll say it again before it's over, I'm sure:

There is nothing anyone could have done yesterday to have prevented this tragedy. Banning access to the small portable machines that did the damage would have done nothing. Those who wish to do violence will do so.

But go back a week, a month, six months, and you would have seen a young man slowly coming to the place where violence was his answer. This was not an overnight decision, and it may have been averted with four simple well-timed words: "Hey, man, you okay?"

We all have an agenda these days. We're all so quick to search for a culprit, so driven to get revenge, so hungry for the "assurance that something this terrible never happens again." But we never TALK to each other. And worse, we never LISTEN.

Don't blame the gun, the gun-maker, the right, the left, the media, the church, or anything or anyone. Just pay attention to the people around you and help them out when they're getting overwhelmed. Everybody goes a little nuts once in a while, but if we pay a little attention to each other, maybe those rough spots don't have to end in tragedy.

Okay, back to your 2nd Amendment bickering, if you must.

Anonymous said...

That is patently absurd. Of COURSE the gun killed the students. This is like saying that lightening didn't kill someone, the low-pressure system did it. What a joke.

So if the gun is responsible for killing people then i guess the pencil is responsible for mis-spelled words.

So, you belong to a well regulated Militia?

FYI the 2nd amendment stats: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infinged."

Please note it says the right of the people to bear arms, not just the militia.

Anonymous said...

So if the gun is responsible for killing people then i guess the pencil is responsible for mis-spelled words.

You'll notice that I mentioned the purpose of the gun a little later in the response, but you failed to address it. I wonder why that could be? Also, I never placed the responsibility of the killing on anything or anyone, I simply pointed out that it was, in fact, the gun that caused the death.


FYI the 2nd amendment stats: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infinged."

Please note it says the right of the people to bear arms, not just the militia.


You cannot disassociate one from the other - sorry.

Berlzebub said...

FYI the 2nd amendment stats: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infinged."

Please note it says the right of the people to bear arms, not just the militia.


You cannot disassociate one from the other - sorry.


Okay, I have a limited time, but what anon1 doesn't seem to understand that every able bodied person able to defend our soil is the militia.

Plus, it is true that stronger laws against gun ownership only affect law-abiding citizens. Convicted criminals are not, by law, allowed to have a firearm in the house, whether it's owned by them or someone else. Yet, you can still hear of instances where one got a firearm to use in a felony.

Laws to ban firearm ownership will not work. As long as firearms exist, anywhere in the world, they will find their way into criminal hands. And I, for one, intend to keep mine until they find a way to completely erradicate all firearms, and knowledge of how to use and construct them. In other words, I'm not giving up my guns.

Mainly, because there are a lot of Xians that belong to the NRA, and I'm an atheist. ;-)

-Berlzebub

Anonymous said...

"How many lives is the right to bear arms worth?"

It's worth at least one life, Mine.
It's worth a few more lives, My Spouse and My Childrens Lives.

It's always saddening when someone tells me that my Life and the Lives of those I love are not worth protecting.

Gun Control Laws do not stop criminals, it just gives you another thing to charge the criminal with, when the do get caught. Tough luck on the disarmed victims.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

Pmomma..I agree with you on the God stuff, but early training prevails, and my first thought, when Child#1 called from VT to say "unharmed and OK", my first thought was Thank God and my second was, oh the poor parents of those who weren't unharmed and OK. My heart goes out to them. I won't pray for them, since I don't believe in God, but I do wish for them the comfort of whatever they use for solace, religion, family, whatever.

I have few feelings about gun control. Personally, I never want to own a gun. I have family members who own several kinds, from handguns (the police officer) to hunting rifles (other family members). I don't think anyone should be denied the right, but I do think the right should be tightly controlled. This young man legally bought both guns, only 30 days apart. Would a longer waiting period between purchases have made a difference? What about a delay between applying to purchase a gun and the actual purchase? Who knows? Supposedly, the young man had been referred to counseling services because some of his professors felt alarmed by his writings. Would that have made a difference, if that information had been available on a database? Who knows?

I don't watch Faux News. If I throw things at the TV, my husband gets upset.

Tone...sorry, many of those persons on campus are kids...one of them is mine. Old enough to be legally an adult, young enough to still have some maturity issues.

Locking the doors wouldn't have helped; the gunman was a student with the legal right to be on campus. Who would have known to lock him out if he had knocked on the door to be let in?

Lastly: I was very appalled at the VT Convocation. I respected the president of VT and the others, who spoke of their religion without too much pushing onto the students, but then they recited the Lord's prayer, with all the non-Christian religious leaders standing there!!! How insensitive was that? If they wanted to have a prayer, couldn't they have at least had someone offer a generic prayer? Geez!!!

JS said...

GoogleImages is your friend when it comes to finding pictures (and TinyURL is your friend when the comment format does not support embedded links):

http://tinyurl.com/4vx3e

W.r.t. the notion that gun control could not have prevented the shooting in question, I refer you to the subcontinent just across the Pond.

By the latest census I heard, Europe had a third again the number of people that the US did. When was the last time you heard about a European gun-man going on a rampage? Off the top of my head, I'd say back in the eighties-something.

- JS

Riker said...

markbt73 hit the nail on the head.

At least, he did if the nail is "how could/should we best defend ourselves from future instances of this nature?"

The firearms argument is a secondary one. Being that I have an appetite for debate, it is quite a delicious one... but I won't address it here; even if we came to a conclusion for that argument, we won't have come to the answer for the problem that resulted in the Virginia Tech shooting. How do we handle the problem of dissociated members of society with an affliction (whatever it may be) severe enough to prompt them to lash out violently against others?

I'd just be rephrasing it, and markbt73 already said it eloquently.

Sean the Blogonaut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean the Blogonaut said...

It could be argued that the general populace having healthy access to firearms did not protect anyone in this case either.

But perhaps this is tangental the conversation.

Chakolate said...

I've read the discussion of gun control, and I appreciated the calmness and maturity of the second anonymous poster. It's difficult to keep a civil tone when discussing something so emotional, and he did it well.

I live in Chicago, and until recently lived in a very, very bad neighborhood. I never had a gun, and never needed one. So many people in Chicago carry guns that all you have to do is keep your hand in your pocket and your eyes and your attention focussed. So while I don't have and don't want a gun, I'm glad that so many others do.

I have no idea whether carrying a concealed weapon is illegal in Chicago, but it probably is. That doesn't stop anybody, not criminals, and not honest citizens who feel the need to protect themselves.

Anonymous said...

"Sean the Blogonaut said...

It could be argued that the general populace having healthy access to firearms did not protect anyone in this case either.

But perhaps this is tangental the conversation. "

It could be argued that Virginia Tech was a "Victim Disarmament Zone" or a "Gun Free Zone" so the genral populace having healthy access to firearms did not apply. Because the law forbid responsible people from carrying a gun. Funny those same laws didn't seem to stop the Murderer. [sarcasm] Obviously what we need is a stronger law and more of them. [/sarcasm]


But perhaps this is tangental the conversation.

Virginia aka Ginny said...

I'm just pissed because "Boston Legal" got preempted for some "Prime Time Live" news coverage of the shooting. The vultures didn't take long to circle on this one...

aimee said...

Maybe if the campus police had been able to carry a gun, this asshole never would have made it as far as he did. If other students had been able to carry a concealed weapon, they could have stopped him from lining people up and shooting them execution style. Making guns illegal will not stop the people that want to use them for violence.

Paul said...

Dear Anonymous,

You are an imbecile. Pick up a knife or a baseball bat and try to use it to kill thirty people in the space of a few minutes. Just try it, and then let me know how you did. Trying to argue that the gun had nothing to do with this event is stupid. Wait, strike that. It's *STUPID*! If this guy didn't have a gun, there wouldn't be thirty-three people dead. There might have been one or two, but there very likely would have been none. In this particular case, the presence of a gun was instrumental in the commission of this act. So take your inane "guns don't kill people" rhetoric elsewhere.

Oh, and that whole "gun control laws only affect law abiding citizens" tack is 100% off point here, as well. The person who committed this act was not a convicted felon. He owned, and had legally purchased at least one of the guns found at the site. So properly enforced gun control legislation would absolutely have mitigated this tragedy.

In response to the NRA propganda that you spouted earlier, I can only say this: "people with guns kill more people, more easily, than people without guns."

Bwian said...

Not to disturb the... lively discussion, but I did want to point out that CNN at least was running what information they had on victims today: names, photos, positions, and remembrances of them if possible. Not the full minute PM wanted, but it is still early days. And CNN is, of course, no Fox...

Anonymous said...

"So properly enforced gun control legislation would absolutely have mitigated this tragedy."


Name three.

Anonymous said...

"people with guns kill more people, more easily, than people without guns."

People with Cars kill more people, more eaisly, than people without cars.

Sean the Blogonaut said...

Unaware that it was a gun free zone - I am not a resident of the US so I am sure that you will easily disregard anything I have to say on the matter.

Anonymous what's you solution to the problem?

And Could you please identify yourself (somehow)as I think there are a few anon. posters in this discussion.

The gun is a tool, you could restrict the type of tool ie revolver's instead of semi auto's.

You could require that to obtain a gun licence you need to pass certain psychological tests, meet certain obligations.

You will never get guns out of the hands of criminals yet I don't know how many criminals are actually involved in massacres. Stricter gun laws might protect us from the mentally unbalanced.

Anonymous said...

I am relieved to hear that no one has pointed out that the shooter was an asian, a south korean(not american-korean), in fact.

What i am wondering is, Why Should South Korea Apologise?

"Something helped me get out of that building, through a window... I just...God was with me."
not really surprising

Anonymous said...

Maybe if the campus police had been able to carry a gun, this asshole never would have made it as far as he did. If other students had been able to carry a concealed weapon, they could have stopped him from lining people up and shooting them execution style. Making guns illegal will not stop the people that want to use them for violence.

Maybe they would have added to the body-count, too? Unintentional shootings are probable in this situation. Let's just all carry murderous weapons - everyone! That way we can all feel safer and not worry about looking funny to someone. That should be simple! No worries - I know that everyone is carrying a gun!

Aimee said...

Anon, how about giving an answer to the problem then instead of spouting off. What would your solution be? Should we take the guns away from the real police and the swat teams too because they might accidentally miss their target? Get real! Should we take the air marshalls off the planes now too or just wait for another 9/11 to happen?

I know, let's collect all the guns in the world, melt them down, close down all gun and bullet manufacturers, then FINALLY, the world will be a better place, NOT!

Get a grip, quit using this tragedy to blame gun laws, you are no better than the politicians that are using this to push their way up the polls by earning brownie points with uninformed people like you(about gun statistics).

You can have the toughest gun laws ever in history all across the U.S., but it will not stop someone who intends to kill others. They will find a way to obtain their weapon of choice legally or otherwise.

Why not blame the school for doing a better job in protecting the students? They easily could have put the WHOLE campus in lock down, not let anymore students that were in transit in, stop them at the parking lot, turn them away. The students that were in class, lock the buildings so that no one can get in. I don't care if they thought the first 2 were an isolated incident, they failed to protect those students.

Don't you think if they had put the entire school in lockdown, they would have had an easier time looking for the suspect without thousands of students roaming around?

Try looking up stories instead where civilians are allowed to carry concealed weapons and how many lives have been saved. Remember that mall shooting not that long ago, if it had not been for the man with his gun and being able to stop the shooter, who knows how much damage that shooter oculd have caused. The man that put a stop to it did not hit anyone else, thanks to him, he saved countless lives.

I bet if someone with a concealed weapon saved your ass you would be grateful, at least I hope you would be.

Milo Johnson said...

This god dude seems to be a lot like George W. Bush. He gladly takes all the credit when things go well, but when the shit hits the fan, it's just bad luck and nothing he has any control over...

Andrew said...

I am all for HANDgun control. I have no problem with single-shot rifles or breech-loading shotguns for hunting, but anything else should be illegal in my book. Handguns are designed for one purpose… to kill people. You can’t seriously hunt with a handgun (although I am aware that people try). They are too easy to conceal and too deadly.

Banning access to the small portable machines that did the damage would have done nothing. Those who wish to do violence will do so.

Not true. Think about it. If handguns are illegal, the only ones available would be on the black market. First, the killer would need to know someone who can get him a gun (not likely), and then he would need to fork over the hugely inflated price of thousands of dollars (very unlikely).

So if the gun is responsible for killing people then i guess the pencil is responsible for mis-spelled words.

Let’s not compare murder to misspelled words. Hardly a relevant point…

FYI the 2nd amendment stats: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infinged."

Please note it says the right of the people to bear arms, not just the militia.


I am not trying to tell you what the 2nd Amendment says; I know what is says. I am telling you that it is wrong.

Let’s think about the context of when this was written shall we.

1. The total war with Britain had only been over for four years. There was a strong possibility for corruption and dictatorship in the new government. The framers hoped that keeping militias would keep authorities straight.

2. The threat of another war with England was very likely (and actually happened 25 years later).

3. There were only thirteen colonies and to the west lay a vast (mostly uncharted) wilderness full of beasts and natives (some very unfriendly). A rifle/musket was practical and necessary for rural life (where most people lived at the time).

4. Handguns were rarer at the time. They were expensive and impractical (highly inaccurate past a few feet).

5. Rifles and muskets fired one shot at a time. A good shooter could fire no more than two times a minute. A person with one of these weapons could not do much damage before being overpowered.

My point here is that the Founders could not have possibly foreseen the problems we have with personal firearms today.

Laws to ban firearm ownership will not work. As long as firearms exist, anywhere in the world, they will find their way into criminal hands. And I, for one, intend to keep mine until they find a way to completely erradicate all firearms, and knowledge of how to use and construct them. In other words, I'm not giving up my guns.

Sure they will, but how many of your everyday criminals can afford to pay $5k for a pistol? And who knows what for ammo?

It's worth at least one life, Mine.
It's worth a few more lives, My Spouse and My Childrens Lives.


That is a bit overdramatic. You are more likely to die in a plane crash than be the victim of a home invasion…

"people with guns kill more people, more easily, than people without guns."

People with Cars kill more people, more eaisly, than people without cars.


Cars are not designed to kill people. Handguns are designed for no other purpose.

Let’s say a wife has a horrible fight with her husband. They have never fought so bad before. She finds out he has been cheating on her for years and is leaving her. She has never been more upset and angry in her life. There is a pistol in the bedroom…

What happens with this scenario if there is no pistol? In theory, she could try to hack him with a kitchen knife or hit him with a pipe wrench, but that means she would have to get in close thus making it more likely he can disarm her.


I have had this debate a few times, and it is one of the few issues I have won my fundy father over on. He even got rid of his pistol. I have also had this debate with a few folk here in the Army. The best anyone can come up with is “it’s my right” and “pry them out of my cold, dead fingers”… hardly logical, rational arguments. Thinking guns are cool does not justify the wrong that is done with them. I am willing to sacrifice the right to have assault rifles and handguns to help save thousands of needless deaths a year. And anyone who isn’t should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous said...

Wow, aimee, you certainly are presumptuous...

Anon, how about giving an answer to the problem then instead of spouting off.


If you actually go back and read the entire comments section, you'll notice that this is in response to another poster who brought up gun control - not I.

What would your solution be? Should we take the guns away from the real police and the swat teams too because they might accidentally miss their target?

Did I say anything about taking guns away from law enforcement?

Get real! Should we take the air marshalls off the planes now too or just wait for another 9/11 to happen?

You know, if you continue to create these strawman arguments, your credibility might start to crumble. Nowhere did I ever mention anything of this sort.

I know, let's collect all the guns in the world, melt them down, close down all gun and bullet manufacturers, then FINALLY, the world will be a better place, NOT!

Again, not a position I was arguing.

Get a grip, quit using this tragedy to blame gun laws, you are no better than the politicians that are using this to push their way up the polls by earning brownie points with uninformed people like you(about gun statistics).

I'm not using this tragedy for anything. I guess I have to continue to point out that 1) I was responding to another comment that was made about gun control which 2) I had NOT initially made.


You can have the toughest gun laws ever in history all across the U.S., but it will not stop someone who intends to kill others. They will find a way to obtain their weapon of choice legally or otherwise.

If you say so. There is evidence that suggests otherwise.

Why not blame the school for doing a better job in protecting the students? They easily could have put the WHOLE campus in lock down, not let anymore students that were in transit in, stop them at the parking lot, turn them away. The students that were in class, lock the buildings so that no one can get in. I don't care if they thought the first 2 were an isolated incident, they failed to protect those students.

I never placed the BLAME on anyone or anything, although I concur that the school could have been a little more pro-active.

Don't you think if they had put the entire school in lockdown, they would have had an easier time looking for the suspect without thousands of students roaming around?

Sure!

Try looking up stories instead where civilians are allowed to carry concealed weapons and how many lives have been saved.

Why don't you point me to some?

Remember that mall shooting not that long ago, if it had not been for the man with his gun and being able to stop the shooter, who knows how much damage that shooter oculd have caused.

Could you be a little more ambiguous? Besides, there's ONE example. Whoopty-freakin'-doo!

The man that put a stop to it did not hit anyone else, thanks to him, he saved countless lives.

Wow - that couldn't POSSIBLY be a fluke incident!

I bet if someone with a concealed weapon saved your ass you would be grateful, at least I hope you would be.

I would be! But it wouldn't change my views. There's a reason that I was put in a situation like that in the first place...

Anonymous said...

BTW, I agree almost 100% with Andrew. He was more succint and eloquent with his position than I.

I'm also glad that he pointed out the economic nonviability of getting a hold of a black market pistol. Supply and Demand plus the illegality of the firearm would cause the price to skyrocket for those types of guns.

I tend to agree with him in trying to put constitutional amendments in context, but that's a road I'd prefer not to go down. That would also put the first amendment rights at risk, allowing for that type of scrutiny.

Andrew said...

I tend to agree with him in trying to put constitutional amendments in context, but that's a road I'd prefer not to go down. That would also put the first amendment rights at risk, allowing for that type of scrutiny.

Interesting point.
And I don't actually think real gun control will ever happen in this country.

aimee said...

If you didn't hide behind the anonymous title, I would know which one I was talking to. Here are at least 3 stories, plus statistics.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/13/national/main2466711.shtml

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/C8F7B714E662ECD68625729E000FA62B?OpenDocument

http://kotv.com/news/topstory/?id=124857

Bureau of Justice Statistics: There are stats as recent as 2005 on the page. This one stood out to me though, especially the last line. "According to the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from -

a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%".

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/guns.htm

“You can have the toughest gun laws ever in history all across the U.S., but it will not stop someone who intends to kill others. They will find a way to obtain their weapon of choice legally or otherwise”.

“If you say so. There is evidence that suggests otherwise”.

Your turn to show me some.

Anonymous said...

"Sean the Blogonaut said...

Unaware that it was a gun free zone - I am not a resident of the US so I am sure that you will easily disregard anything I have to say on the matter."


Yes.

"Anonymous what's you solution to the problem?"

The problem is assuming there is a problem in the first place. Much like assuming that there is a god.

33+ deaths is a statistical anomaly

"And Could you please identify yourself (somehow)as I think there are a few anon. posters in this discussion."

No.

"The gun is a tool, you could restrict the type of tool ie revolver's instead of semi auto's.

You could require that to obtain a gun licence you need to pass certain psychological tests, meet certain obligations."


Just like Automobiles are restricted to go less than 30 MPH and the Psych test you take before you buy or rent one. Of course this still doesnt prevent someone becoming upset later and committing the same crime

"You will never get guns out of the hands of criminals yet I don't know how many criminals are actually involved in massacres. Stricter gun laws might protect us from the mentally unbalanced."

So what you realy are proposing is Annual Mandatory Psychlogical Evaluations.


The world has not become more violent. These types of things have been going on since the founding of the country. What has happened is our information gathering and reporting ablilities have been vastly increased. There is also that 24 hour news cycle to fill.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

Aimee...I just want to point out that putting students in lockdown might not have protected them anyway...remember, the killer was a VT student. If they had put the school on lockdown, he could have easily gotten into a dorm or classroom building because he was a student; they would have let him in, even with no ID, if someone recognized him as a student. (Yes, I realize that during lockdown no one is supposed to go in or out, but know from my Child who is a student there that persons caught outside the dorm during lockdown were let in by fellow students)

Also, putting the university on lockdown isn't easy. The campus has centralized food services, not cafeterias in every dorm. If kids don't have food or water in their dorm rooms, they have to wait till lockdown is lifted to get them.

Where would you put all the commuter students? Only about 1/3 of all students live in the dorms. Find a safe place to put the other 2/3 and hope the gunman WHO HASN'T BEEN HEARD OF OR SEEN FOR 2 HOURS isn't one of them. We may never know what he was doing or where he was for those 2 hours. Was he in his dorm room? The library? Norris Hall? It only takes 5 minutes to walk from West AJ to Norris.

There are too many questions. Personally, I think the university did the best they could.

aimee said...

Maggie, like I said before, the students in transit could have been turned away. Have all streets blocked off that would allow them to have access to school parking. The police do it all the time for other shootings, why should this one have been any different. So the kids would have to be without food for a while, so what? I'm tired of arguing about this already. No one will ever know if something could have been done differently. There were signs that this guy was a little on the weird side, students and teachers saw this. Hind sight is 20/20, but after situations like Columbine, you would think people would quit shrugging off their gut feeling, and tell someone this guy isn't stable.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

I'm getting really close to disabling anonymous posting. I really hate to do that, because I thought it was best to allow any/all people to post, without fear. But, now it's just getting too hard to distinguish between the anonymous masses. Pick a name, it doesn't have to be your own, but pick something to represent you and stand by your comments. Choosing a name will also allow us to follow an argument easier.

Xzanron said...

I agree with almost everything Andrew said.

I live in the UK. We have the most stringent gun control laws in the world, even our Olympic pistol team cannot practice in this country.

Once you get past a certain point gun control gets stupid. My view is simply that anything that doesn't need to be manually reloaded to fire a 2nd shot should be banned, as well as anything with without a barrel of at least 1-2 feet. That let's people hunt, farmers shoot predators etc.

As a mental exercise... I wonder how I would get hold of a gun... and the truth is.. i have no idea. The only thing I can think of is that i'd have to steal it from the police or the military. Or start wandering around the rougher areas of london standing out like a clown at a funeral as I ask anyone that looks sufficiently shifty if they know where I can buy a gun.

Annon2 listed knives, fists, bombs as things that should be banned as well. Load of rubbish. A handgun has one purpose and one purpose only: to kill another human. Knives are used for all sorts of non-killing actions. So are hands and even fits; I banged a reluctant piece of furniture into the correct shape using my fists just the other day. Bombs... well. they are used in mining and construction. Bomb tends to have negative connotations, but something that can blow a wall of rocks to pieces is no different to something that blows up a bus.

The UK has a population of 50 million, living in an area smaller than most US states. The us has a population of 270 million.

Firearm Homicides in the UK in according to the Home Office (State Department) for 2004/5 is 73. Scale this to the US population and you get around 350.

The figures I found for the US are for 1996 (and have increased since then) and are over 14,000. (http://www.vpc.org/studies/whostate.htm). Texas alone had over 1,000, and its population is only 20 million, less than half that of the UK. (http://quickfacts.census.gov)

These figures do not include suicides of accidental gun deaths, which only make the US look much worse.

Either the UK is a utopia where everyone loves everyone else, and therefore the US must be a dystopia. Or... it could be that people in the UK can't shoot eachother because they don't have guns.

Compare religion with gun ownership.

Reasons for supporting religion/gun-ownership:

People cling ot religion because they think that without it there would be no morals and they cannot face the thought of not existing after death. So they cling to the comfort blanket of religion.

All the evidence indicates that they are wrong, yet they still cling to their belief.

Gun owners are the same. They are scared of being shot if they don't have a gun, scared of being a victim of crime if they don't have one. So they cling to their irrational belief that the more guns there are the safer they'll be. A comfort blanket to deal with their own insecurities.

All the evidence indicates that they are wrong, yet they still cling to their belief.

Both are irrational beliefs and both are things the world would be better off without.

Xzanron said...

tone: "One more thing I would like to add. If I hear one more person refer to the people on this campus as "kids" or "children" I am going to vomit!"

Feel free to vomit; just don't do it over me :P

When I was at University age 18-27 (I went twice) there were lecturers that still called us kids regardless. It irked us, but to someone 3 times our age we were kids.

In truth... now that I'm past 30... I'm starting to think of my 18-20 year old self as a kid. It's all a matter of perspective.

Anonmouse said...

That is a bit overdramatic. You are more likely to die in a plane crash than be the victim of a home invasion…

Discounting my own Personal Experience?

Thats is a bit overdramatic. You are more likely to die in a Car Crash than die as the victim of Gun Violence.

So why do you need to ban them again?

Let’s say a wife has a horrible fight with her husband. They have never fought so bad before. She finds out he has been cheating on her for years and is leaving her. She has never been more upset and angry in her life. There is a pistol in the bedroom…

What happens with this scenario if there is no pistol? In theory, she could try to hack him with a kitchen knife or hit him with a pipe wrench, but that means she would have to get in close thus making it more likely he can disarm her.

You want to play what if games.

Let's say a wife has a horrible fight with her husband. They have never fought so bad before. Her Husband starts choking her and slapping her around she breaks free for a few moments, there is no pistol in the bedroom.

In theory she could try to hack him with a kitchen knife or hit him with a pipe wrench, but that means she would have to get in close thus making it more likely he can disarm her.
I wonder what happens to the Wife. I wonder what happens if its a Rapist.

Cars are not designed to kill people. Handguns are designed for no other purpose.

And Fire is only used to cook food.
You don't have to kill somone with a handgun in order to defend yourself.

I'm also glad that he pointed out the economic nonviability of getting a hold of a black market pistol. Supply and Demand plus the illegality of the firearm would cause the price to skyrocket for those types of guns.

Economic Nonviability? It sounds just like something that might work on Bizzaro World. Just like it's worked for Prohibition and Illegal Drugs.

I am willing to sacrifice the right to have assault rifles and handguns to help save thousands of needless deaths a year. And anyone who isn’t should be ashamed of themselves.

Sacrifice all you want, just don't go dragging other people to your Altar. If you Drive a Car you should be ashamed of yourself.

Number of Registered Drivers in the USA - 191 Million
Number of Auto Deaths, Passengers and Pedistrians 78,293

Number of Firearms in the US - 200 Million
of that Number 65 Million are handguns.
Number of Gun Deaths wich were not Suicide - 12,077

Thats more than 6 times of the number of deaths. So I guess you will be having that talk with your Fundy Father again.

Queen Pickle said...

Not true. Think about it. If handguns are illegal, the only ones available would be on the black market. First, the killer would need to know someone who can get him a gun (not likely), and then he would need to fork over the hugely inflated price of thousands of dollars (very unlikely).

Automatic rifles were illegal for a while, but you could still buy them for a not too unreasonable price.

As for knowing where to get an illegal gun, if you've ever lived in a bad neighborhood, then you probably know where to get one. And not for a hugely inflated price, either. This gun, most likely stolen, will go for the price of the next 'hit' of the drug du jour. Most criminals aren't savvy businessmen.

Anonmouse said...

Firearm Homicides in the UK in according to the Home Office (State Department) for 2004/5 is 73. Scale this to the US population and you get around 350.

They've (YOU) also been doing the Gun Ban thing for a over a Hundred years now.
Modern restrictions on gun ownership began in 1903, with the Pistols Act.

You also have Cameras with Megaphones on the street corners to watch your populace. You can Keep them both to yourself.

We have these words in something called a Constitution. It was something we wrote to diffentiate ourselves from you over a couple hundred years ago.

It doesn't work perfectly all the time, but so far so good!

Compare religion with gun ownership.

Gun owners are the same. They are scared of being shot if they don't have a gun, scared of being a victim of crime if they don't have one. So they cling to their irrational belief that the more guns there are the safer they'll be. A comfort blanket to deal with their own insecurities.

All the evidence indicates that they are wrong, yet they still cling to their belief.

Both are irrational beliefs and both are things the world would be better off without.


Gun Banners are the same. The are scared of being shot if anyone has a Gun, scared of being a victim of a crime if others have one. So they cling to their irration belief that the less guns there are the safer they'll be. A comfort blanket to deal with their own insecurites.

All the evidence indicates that they are wrong, yet they still cling to their belief.

Both are irrational beliefs and both are things the world would be better off without.

Sean the Blogonaut said...

So to steer away from "the right to bear arms" argument which will go nowhere.

What would/could have averted this "statistical anomaly"? Aside from tighter gun control.

Queen Pickle said...

How many more children must be slaughtered anyone realises that easy access to guns is to blame cause?

Didn't the 9-11 hijackings happen because the terrorists had box cutters? Not guns..box cutters. I know they said they had a bomb, but all anyone saw were the box cutters.

States that allow conceal-carry permits do NOT allow guns to be carried onto school grounds, into bars or any place alcohol is sold, any government building, or any business with a 'no guns' sign in the window. Which basically makes the conceal-carry permit a joke, since criminals know that law abiding people have left their guns in the car when they rob these places.

Regarding the times that a gun toting, law abiding citizen has saved the day: those stories don't stay in the news very long, if they even make anything more than local headlines. The mega-media wants blood and tears. Reminds me of that song from the 80's by Don Henley- "Dirty Laundry".

Anonmouse said...

Sean the Blogonaut said...
What would/could have averted this "statistical anomaly"? Aside from tighter gun control.


Since you asked.

One or Both of his Stalking victims could have pressed charges with either the Local or School Authorites.

Five words, "Hey buddy, are you OK?" Then Backed up with a willingness to listen and take action.

When you say, "aside from tighter gun control" When you say Tighter and Control what do you mean? The School was a "Gun Free Zone", he was already breaking a law by entering the campus armed. How would creating another law and his inevitable violation of it prevented this tragedy?

aimee said...

Five words, "Hey buddy, are you OK?"

That isn't always enough. His own roommate said he wouldn't talk to him.

The school knew about the stalking and didn't do anything about it. While this might have stopped him, on the flip side, it could have caused this event to happen sooner. People like this guy are ticking time bombs.

Paul said...

Anonymous said...
"So properly enforced gun control legislation would absolutely have mitigated this tragedy."


Name three.


Huh? Your response does not make any sense. Three what?

Anonymous also said...
"people with guns kill more people, more easily, than people without guns."

People with Cars kill more people, more eaisly, than people without cars.


Are trying to say that his gun went off accidentally...thirty three times? Truly, my first assesment of you was correct.

anonomouse said...

Huh? Your response does not make any sense. Three what?

That's what I was just thinking.

I'll try it again, you even posted what you wrote and you still didn't get it.

YOU SAID, "So properly enforced gun control legislation would absolutely have mitigated this tragedy."

I asked you to Name Three.

Name three properly enforced gun control legislations, or even just Ideas that would have mitigated this tragedy.

Already We had one solution, the School was a Gun Free Zone. Obviously that law didn't work.


Are trying to say that his gun went off accidentally...thirty three times? Truly, my first assesment of you was correct.


NO. I'm not trying to say that at all.

This is why I changed my name and initialy posted as Anonomous. Trying to avoid petty little attacks like that. Besides I think you have the wrong Anonomous. You may have confused me with the guy you were speaking to earlier when you said, "You are an imbecile."

Paul, please quit the personal attacks.

Xzanron said...


They've (YOU) also been doing the Gun Ban thing for a over a Hundred years now.
Modern restrictions on gun ownership began in 1903, with the Pistols Act.


Correct, which is why we don't have guns all over the place, people with cellars crowded with enough guns to start a war and why we have such a low gun crime rate.

The end of the WWI and WWII saw a massive rise in gun ownership in the UK as soldiers brought back souvenirs. Gun crime soared as a result.

Gun legislation in the US won't solve the problem overnight. It will take decades to get all existing guns out of circulation. Of course, if you never start, it will never happen.


You also have Cameras with Megaphones on the street corners to watch your populace. You can Keep them both to yourself.

We have these words in something called a Constitution. It was something we wrote to diffentiate ourselves from you over a couple hundred years ago.

It doesn't work perfectly all the time, but so far so good!


What arrogance. The UK has a constitution (it's unwritten, but it's very real) we also as of recently have an equivalent to the Bill of Rights (the Human Rights Legislation) a much more important document in my view.

I don't like the recent influx in cctv cameras and I'm working to undo it, it has no bearing on gun ownership.

Germany has had speakers on cameras for decades. Germany also has a written constitution, drafted by the allies (mostly the US) after WW2; based very strongly on the US constitution. If you read up on its drafting you will discover that the drafters tried to fix everything that they thought was "imperfect" as you put it in the US constitution.
Compare religion with gun ownership.

Oh, and gun crime rate in Germany is lower than the UK despite the German population being larger.


Gun Banners are the same. The are scared of being shot if anyone has a Gun, scared of being a victim of a crime if others have one. So they cling to their irration belief that the less guns there are the safer they'll be. A comfort blanket to deal with their own insecurites.

All the evidence indicates that they are wrong, yet they still cling to their belief.

Both are irrational beliefs and both are things the world would be better off without.


Thank you for making my point. I've provided evidence that gun ownership is directly related to gun deaths. Compare the number of people that own guns to the number of deaths by gun crime for every country in the world and you'll soon discover that those countries with gun ownership and lots of guns in circulation all have massively inflated gun deaths.

Of course, as you are a gun fundie, you blithely ignore the evidence. Please provide evidence (not hearsay) that gun ownership reduces gun crime, and I'll concede that you might have a point. Being irrationally in love with your gun, I expect you to ignore the evidence though.

anonomouse said...

Oh, and gun crime rate in Germany is lower than the UK despite the German population being larger.

Being Depopulated and then Foribly Disarmed by three world powers tends to leave a lasting impression on a culture.

You've made no points. One case you have the constant and gradual errosion of civil liberties that has been going on for 100+ years. In the 2nd you have the abrupt and total reorganization of a culture.

JS said...

An American lecturing a European on the concept of eroding liberties...

Pot, this is kettle. Kettle, this is pot. Pot, kettle, this is Guantanamo Bay Concentra... er, Holding Facility.

That being said, CCTV cams are worrysome... What does this have to do with gun control again?

- JS

Sean the Blogonaut said...

Anonomouse

When you say, "aside from tighter gun control" When you say Tighter and Control what do you mean?

Sorry I was being retarded and unlear and bsically repeating myself.

The rest of you post posed some valid points.

Sean the Blogonaut said...

I'll leave the Americans on this post to duke it out.

I'm happy in Australia with our tight gun controls, with a lack of a bill of rights, with the absence of a civil war, with a largely accepting society where we don't force you to pledge allegience to god or queen.

Andrew said...

Anonmouse,

Sacrifice all you want, just don't go dragging other people to your Altar. If you Drive a Car you should be ashamed of yourself.

You know, you sound like a lunatic, gun-nut. You would rather have your cool guns than prevent homicide (and suicide). Look at the UK! It works! Speaking of suicide, check this article linking gun-ownership to suicide rates.

“Economic Nonviability? It sounds just like something that might work on Bizzaro World. Just like it's worked for Prohibition and Illegal Drugs.

There was and is a massive demand for alcohol and drugs as they bring pleasure and are not designed solely to kill… once again a poor analogy on your part.

You also have Cameras with Megaphones on the street corners to watch your populace. You can Keep them both to yourself.

We have these words in something called a Constitution. It was something we wrote to diffentiate ourselves from you over a couple hundred years ago.

It doesn't work perfectly all the time, but so far so good!


Ever heard of British Common Law? It is what our entire justice system is based upon…

You've made no points. One case you have the constant and gradual errosion of civil liberties that has been going on for 100+ years. In the 2nd you have the abrupt and total reorganization of a culture.

Sure we have. Civil liberties? So suffrage, civil rights, etc are an erosion? WHAT?

You have clearly shown you have no idea what you are talking about. Western society is moving forward, we stumble (and even fall) but we are still moving forward. Also, what civil liberty allows you to kill? If you are so concerned with civil liberties, why aren’t you fighting for your right to personal M1A1 tanks? What about M240B squad automatic rifle or a M90 automatic grenade launcher? Technically, it is a constitutional right. Of course, it is a killing machine designed for no other purpose (just more efficient than a pistol), but it is SO cool!

Andrew said...

Anon's a republican...

anonomouse said...

Andrew and Sean, So when you say Gun Control, you really mean Gun Ban?

It would be good to get you to finaly use that word.

Look at the UK! It works! Speaking of suicide, check this article linking gun-ownership to suicide rates.
I've looked at the UK, I've lived in the UK. I dont care about suicides. If suicides want to shorten the line at the grocery store and bank by one, thats fine by me. Only when they injure others when they leave do I care.

Just like you seemingly don't care when people die in Auto Accidents.

once again a poor analogy on your part.
I thought it was a good one. What those 2 things did do was Make the product Less Safe, Cheaper to make, and More Profitable.

There is a thing that is called a 3D Printer. At the rate out technology is growing do you think the 3D Printer will become more advanced or less? Will they be more expensive to buy or less? Will it be able to create more complex items? Will it be able to make more durable items?

Ever heard of British Common Law? It is what our entire justice system is based upon…

Except for those inconvienient 27 Amendment things.

You have clearly shown....
Up goes the whole forest of straw men, mouths stuffed with other peoples words, and waving their hands with emotional appeals.

You know, you sound like a lunatic, gun-nut. You would rather have your cool guns

Anon's a republican...

Now you are just calling people names. How very reasoned and mature.

This is why I posted under a different ID. I'll stop now and go back to my original ID so we can all go back to being buddies again.

But not in this thread.

Andrew said...

If suicides want to shorten the line at the grocery store and bank by one, thats fine by me. Only when they injure others when they leave do I care.

We're done.

I don't converse with people who are so cavalier about other peoples' lives.

Paul said...

Anonomouse,

Sorry if I have confused you with someone else who is also afraid to identify themselves. I only need name one possible legislation. This man walked into a legally operated gun shop and legally purchased a handgun. If the sale of handguns - hell, all guns - were illegal, he would not have been able to do that.

Yes, you will argue that he could have obtained a gun illegally, but the point is that currently, there are absolutely no impediments in the USA to a person with malice aforethought walking into a shop and walking out with a weapon capable of killing dozens of people in the space of a few short moments. Some impediments - any impediments, will dramatically reduce the frequency of the occurences of these types of incidents. You have only to look at the substantially lower per capita murder and gun crime rates in countries like Canada and the UK to see that gun control legislation clearly does work very well. To deny it is intellectually dishonest, because the numbers speak volumes.

Now, you answer my second question. How, exactly, is the comparison of a mass murder to a car accident in any way relevent in this discussion?

lynn's daughter said...

I love it. I love it. "God was with me" what do they have over the people who DIDN'T make it out? God was with you, but he abaondoned them? You drew the lucky God lottery during this disaster? What a poor, delluded soul.