Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Virginia Tech Madness

with 5 comments

Jesus wept.

What a sad day yesterday was. Of course innocent people die every day in the USA, but not like this. My prayers go out to the lost and injured, and their loved ones. And while I am saddened by this, I spend so much time reading about events like this in other parts of the world that I am somewhat numb to the horror of it all. I wasn’t even going to blog about it, since whatever I say someone else will say better. Heck, this will probably be the most blogged about event in history. I decided to say a few things though, this is my Virginia Tech post.

Unfortunately, aside from dominating the news for awhile, this story will also likely have one of the lowest signal to noise ratios in history. I tried to watch the TV news today and the amount of non information and wild speculation was almost frightening. It’s going to be awhile before the details of what really happened become known, but that’s not stopping the talking heads and conspiracy people from already spinning castles in the air. For now it’s enough to say that a nut or nuts murdered a bunch of college students.

However, a few general observations be made without knowing the details. The first is that general observations are about all that can be gleaned from a single incident. The amount of second guessing and blame mongering in the media has already surpassed absurd levels. This is a single incident, a fluke, not something to hang major changes of policies on. It may sound cold, but TTH (These Things Happen.) There will be calls to increase security at college campuses, and the anti-gun lobby will go nuts. People have an annoying tendency to want to base policies on extreme events, this is most definitely an extreme event, but there’s no need to build walls around America’s colleges and disarm the population over it.

In fact there’s already people going wild because the campus wasn’t “locked down” or such after the first two murders. I’m sorry, but give me a break. When there’s a murder anywhere do police notify thousands of people nearby and evacuate them or tell them to hunker down? Of course not, only if there’s some indication that a crazed killer is running around. Unless the killer issued threats or some such at the first killing, there was no reason to believe he was lurking around planning a mass murder. These were real people operating in the real world, in Hollywood movies the cops always do the right thing, in reality they do the best they can with what they know at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I am in favour of laws making gun ownership more restrictive. There’s an incredible amount that could be done to prevent this type of weaponry from falling into the hands of unstable people without interfering with the 2nd amendment. There’s no need for civilians to be able to access this type of military/police style weapon. A six shot revolver or a four shot rifle is all anyone needs for sporting or self defence, it wouldn’t stop all gun crime but it would sure save a lot of lives when it does happen. I thought this way before this incident though, Virginia Tech just reinforced my thinking on the issue, it didn’t change my mind.

And speaking of gun control, at the risk of offending my American readers, incidents like this happen in Iraq almost every day now. And you can be sure that the friends and relatives of the innocent victims feel the same way as you about the horror of it all. I ask that the Americans who are so Gung Ho to invade, bomb, and otherwise meddle in other countries think about this before they blithely support military adventures abroad. Innocent people die when war is waged, it’s not something to be undertaken lightly.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and it is central to illustrating the post. Image credit: AP/Dan Petersen.)


Written by unitedcats

April 17, 2007 at 8:49 am

Posted in Crime, Philosophy, War

5 Responses

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  1. Hi Doug,

    Absolutely right about this. Everyone will seek blame, but the truth of the matter is, these things exist in a world like this and have always. How can one avoid random violence like this? There is no way one can.

    We do owe these dear family and affected friends our prayers.

    God bless,



    April 17, 2007 at 10:54 am

  2. It is a very sad time in our lives. Almost nothing is right any more.
    Making it difficult for the good guys to own guns does not help. The bad guys will always find a way to do their dirty deeds. Only honest, law-abiding citizens are controlled by laws.
    There is a reason that our founding fathers insisted that the “right to bear arms” was not taken from us. They saw the need for the citizenry to have arms to protect them from their own government. The way our country is changing, with rights and freedoms being constantly taken away from us, taxes steadily increasing for those who work to be given to those who don’t work, and government regulations incresingly stiffling small businesses, there is a strong likelihood that one day there will be a need for another revolution such as the one our forefathers undertook to gain their freedom from England. It is just a matter of time before that once again becomes necessary. Think about the reasons the colonists revolted–taxation without representation, religious repression, etc., etc. Then think about the current status. Is it much different?

    Dan Evans

    April 17, 2007 at 5:10 pm

  3. Andrew Sullivan also sees the Iraq parallel.


    April 18, 2007 at 12:15 pm

  4. I think the police should’ve taken more precautions. I still am curious as to what the authorities were doing after the first two students were killed. Were they patrolling the campus? There seems to be no indication that they were.

    I am sorry that this guy reached his breaking point and went on this deadly rampage. I’m analyzing it from the psychological and sociological perspective and I find it troubling.

    I am even sorrier that those innocent lives were lost.



    April 18, 2007 at 1:26 pm

  5. Yup. I went away for 24 hrs. and I’m still boggled by Dan Evans’ comment.

    “Think about the reasons the colonists revolted–taxation without representation, religious repression, etc., etc. Then think about the current status. Is it much different?”

    It’s my guess people look for comfort in simplistic kinds of thinking. In dreams, for example, that the actions of a few impoverished, angry colonials will make a whit of difference in the kind of class struggle before us–which is, in essence, over. Trickle-down economics? Did they trickle? Ronald Reagan and the Creation of the Underclass. Hell-o Rio de Janiero. Say hi to your new overlords. You got it: Halliburton and Their Many Friends.


    April 18, 2007 at 3:40 pm

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