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William Kelly

Virginia Tech Spree Killer

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One reason you don't get gun crimes in Sweden like you do in the USA, despite there being loads of high-powered rifles in circulation (owned by hunters of elk, bear and wild boar) is that the possession of firearms is strictly licensed here.

To get a gun license, you first have to do a three-month course (usually run by the Swedish Hunting Association). Then you have to apply to the police and demonstrate that you're a stable, law-abiding person. You have to have an approved gun safe at home, and you have to keep the firing mechanism locked up and separate from the rest of the gun.

After that, the police can do regular background checks on you, and if you get arrested for drunk driving, or harassing your ex-partner, it's a racing certainty that the police will be around to collect your firearms immediately. They'll also revoke your gun license and the only way to get it back is to apply to the courts (who'll want fairly concrete evidence that you've dealt with your emotional problems).

Sure it's a restriction on your personal freedom, but, then again, I'm not free to drive on the left-hand side of the road here either! In other words, we're all subject to all sorts of restrictions just by living in a society. The question is how reasonable the restrictions are.

I remember my first visit to the States very clearly. It was in 1982 and I stayed with American families and met 'ordinary' Americans in Atlanta, Knoxville and Washington DC for three weeks. During that time violent incidents happened to three of the people I met, or to people very closely related to them (i.e. during the three weeks I was there). The most tragic one was the family in Knoxville who proudly showed us their home arsenal, which ranged from hand guns to a belt-driven machine gun! They had 14 firearms about the house altogether ('to protect themselves from burglars' in a very quiet, gated community …). Whilst we were in Washington DC, the mother we'd met was doing the ironing, and the 14-month old baby got hold of one of the hand guns. Before she had time to do anything, the baby had pulled the trigger and died. What most surprised - and shocked - me was that this was only one in a succession of similar incidents in that extended family, but none of them drew any conclusions about the keeping of firearms where children could get to them.

My take on all this is that every society has taboos it just can't discuss. In Sweden it's alcohol (or, rather, letting go of your rationality), and in the States it's the possession of firearms. In the UK, it's most things relating to sex and the human body. If you happen to live in a society where you don't suffer from that particular taboo, you can see all sorts of reasonable solutions, but people who are subject to that taboo just can't take in what you say. So … I'm not expecting much in the way of a reasoned debate about the possession of firearms from our friends and colleagues in the US. However, this doesn't mean you have to give up - societies do change.

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My take on all this is that every society has taboos it just can't discuss. In Sweden it's alcohol (or, rather, letting go of your rationality), and in the States it's the possession of firearms. In the UK, it's most things relating to sex and the human body. If you happen to live in a society where you don't suffer from that particular taboo, you can see all sorts of reasonable solutions, but people who are subject to that taboo just can't take in what you say. So … I'm not expecting much in the way of a reasoned debate about the possession of firearms from our friends and colleagues in the US. However, this doesn't mean you have to give up - societies do change.

It used to be sex but now it is drugs. See this report today:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6566369.stm

However, the politicians refuse to introduce a logical drug policy.

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I find it interesting how once again the term 'loner' is being used to describe the gunman. I was watching Sky news yesterday and they were interviewing a professor of American studies/history who was American and taught at a university in the UK (Birmingham I think). After discussing gun laws in the US, and the 'lone gunman he said something like ' after the assasination attempts on Regan and the Kennedy assassination, the government should have learned lessons to prevent 'these type of people' getting guns so easily.' He was obviously implying that a lone killer killed Kennedy. Sad to think this man is a professor of history....

The media always seems as if they are implying that you are more likely to be a killer if you are 'quiet' and keep yourself to yourself. The media always seem to play on the word 'loner'. I would consider myself as being someone who enjoys my own company a fair bit as well as the company of others but I would call that being independant rather than being a 'loner'. It also doesn't mean I have any intention of going out and gunning people down. I never heard for example of a killer being described as 'outgoing'.

Just an observation.....

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Eighty killings per day in the U.S. with handguns.

One must understand first, several seldom thought of conditions. Due to both the "size" and the ethnic mixture in the U.S., I am actually surprised at this "low" a number. This is 1.6 killings a day in each of the fifty states (most of which comprise a very large area and are well populated). If I am not mistaken, the state of Texas alone is larger than Germany. Also not mentioned here is the number of killings per day sans handguns.

There is also a "war on drugs" being conducted in the U.S., but I wonder how many "deaths per day" are due to drug overdose of illegal drugs, or deliberate misuse of prescribed drugs?

How many killings a day, by one means or another, are the result of domestic dispute, which if not committed with the use of guns, would not have occurred by some other means?

If children can procure illegal drugs, do you think that "potentially violent" adults could not find a way to posess illegal firearms?

I also wonder that due the phenomenal number of traffic deaths, should we: lower speed limits to 20mph----ban alcoholic beverages----or to be certain, just ban automobiles.

Killing occurred, according to the Bible, within the first family that God had created. And not with a handgun !

The act of deliberately killing, is itself legislated against throughout the entire world, and in many areas punishable by death. But does this prevent it?

What occurred was an "absolute horror" ! Thirty two people at least. But how many mass murderers, have one victim at a time, killed many more people before being caught? How many wander around and are never caught? Most of these killers do not use handguns.

I think the response to this tragedy is not surprising or unwarranted. But would an unbalanced individual have been less deranged and guilty if he had used Molotov Coctails which is easily done and much cheaper and easier to posess?

I could take this to extreme and state that if the teachers had been armed at both Columbine and Virgia Tech, there would have been many fewer deaths. Or more probably, these planned massacres would not even have been attempted---at least with handguns.

I feel that we are again experiencing a very natural human reaction---on both sides of the pond!

Guns can of course be "used" to kill. But a human who truly desires to kill one, or a mass of persons, will not be stopped regardless of legislation. LOOK AT 911 ! And hundreds of "suicide bombers'. It is "minds" that need to be changed or helped, not the pasing of legislation.

If all cookware suddenly became illegal to own----

would the world do much less cooking? Different cooking------but cooking still !

The idea of "guns as killers" is IMHO, not much different than "killing the messenger".

Here in the colonies, not everyone trusts the police or government agencies to completely protect us. We have less "trust" in these persons now, than ever before. And I think rightfully so. There will be no government agency or Army that could carry off 6 million Jews to be slaughtered over here.

One is not less dead as a result of the Killer being associated with government, than were he a crazed gunman.

It is our freedoms that protects us---not a dependency on others, or legislation.

A Japanese Admiral once said that it would be fruitless to invade the U.S., because you would have an armed civilian firing at you from behind every tree. He was right in 1941, and would be more right today.

People are "killers", not knives, arrows, baseball bats or sling shots! These, along with guns, are merely implements / tools.

My personal opinion only, but if a person wants to kill either one or one hundred people, he will find a reasonable way to do it wthout the use of the "tools" which I mentioned above.

It has been an ages old reality, that if you want to subdue a person or a group, you should first try to disarm them. This is why Americans will not disarm, before ALL other guns are permanently disposed of. Maybe not even then !

I didn't mean to preach, but a massacre like this introduces a self made forum for "gun control".

How does giving up protection, or placing your and your families protection in the hands of persons, who by nature, do not value your lives as much as you do, seem rational? It is, at best, a very bad gamble, which a great percentage of those in the U.S. are not willing to take.

I suppose that I will now hear, from the "more cultured" on this forum, how preposterous and uncivilized are my arguments.

But you must remember, that I have only recently emerged from my colonial Florida swampland, and will never realize the rationality that only the Old World cultured naturally inherit.

Charlie Black

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There is bound to be new gun control legislation in the U.S. as a result of the Virginia Tech killings, because that's how the politicians in Congress react to any catastrophe: pass a law, any law they can get their hands on, to prevent it from "ever happening again."

Luckily for U.S. citizens, the Patriot Act was already written and waiting when 9/11 happened. But the government is not usually so amazingly prescient, thus knee-jerk legislation for every crisis.

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While the situation continues to unfold, I think we can confidently place it in Peter Dale Scott's category of a such a special event that we can not depend on the mainstream media to quickly decipher the story.

In the meantime, we can do what we have been trained to do - begin a chronology/time line of events and name file, and see where this case goes.

I was going to take odds on how long this story was going to be a page one event, but things are starting to get bizzarro, and all bets are off.

BK

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I find the official story of this event to be filled with the same kind of holes that seemingly all official stories are filled with. Just a few of my questions:

- How does this stereotypical "loner" (and yes, Francesa, I agree with you about the curiously liberal use of that term) have such a good-looking girlfriend? It just doesn't add up socially that someone who was so withdrawn and uncommunicative that he didn't even respond to simple greetings, could attract someone as attractive as the first victim was (assuming the reports about her being his girlfriend are correct).

- What were the app. 300 law enforcement officers doing cowering behind trees, in their protective gear, while this lone gunman fired off over 100 rounds in their midst? How could they have failed to storn the building where all the shots were coming from? This is on a par with JFK's Secret Service detail not reacting at all to the sound of gunfire in Dealey Plaza, only these officers had a lot more time to respond.

- Where did the lone gunman go during the over two hours between the shooting incidents? If he was wearing any of his shooter outfit as he walked across the campus, it is especially perplexing how none of the law enforcement personnel noticed him.

- Why didn't the university use the loudspeaker system, which was installed across the campus for just such a purpose, to notify students that a shooting had taken place, and the shooter had not been apprehended? How could the university president make the ridiculous claim that they initially thought this was a domestic dispute, and even a possible murder-suicide? How do you have a suicide without a murder weapon at the scene?

These are only a few of the questions that spring immediately to my mind. I am confident, however, that no mainstream journalist will ask them. This tragic incident will be exploited for political purposes, and boil down to yet another tired debate on gun control. For the record, I've never shot a gun, but there are scores of gun laws on the books, and one thing we should have learned by now is the simple fact that those who are willing to commit violent crimes are not likely to respect any gun laws. Washington, D.C. has some of the toughest gun laws in the land, and their crime rate is among the highest in the country. In this case, Va. Tech had a law against bringing guns on to the campus. Obviously, this demented fellow didn't obey it. Whatever happens, we'll probably get more "secure" campuses, and as a result, continue to lose more of our dwindling civil liberties.

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Yes, the media is reacting exactly as could be expected. If I did not have cable television, which I pay $80.00 a month for, I could almost have watched nothing except this horrible incident. This is a "Media Dream Come True" !

I would like to say however, in response to John Simkin's post #29, that the young "suicidal lady",

to which you refer, would have committed suicide if she had access to a gun, is ridiculous. What is wrong with a razor blade? Her claim is ridiculous!

Please see my post #35.

Charlie Black

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I find the official story of this event to be filled with the same kind of holes that seemingly all official stories are filled with. Just a few of my questions:

- How does this stereotypical "loner" (and yes, Francesa, I agree with you about the curiously liberal use of that term) have such a good-looking girlfriend? It just doesn't add up socially that someone who was so withdrawn and uncommunicative that he didn't even respond to simple greetings, could attract someone as attractive as the first victim was (assuming the reports about her being his girlfriend are correct).

Our media is reporting that these initial stories are untrue and that she had a boyfriend from another university. In fact, she and another female student had complained about him stalking them.

I suspect that these "conspiracy" stories are an attempt to distract people from the real issue of "gun control".

I believe the second amendment reads: "Congress must not deny the states a militia. 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 infringed." Clearly, this reflects a time when people were concerned over the possible tyranny of the federal government. Is that still true today.

I have just watched the video Cho Seung-hui made after killing the girl he had been stalking and before the mass massacre. He obviously wanted to become a "famous figure" in history and has used the latest technology to do so. His statement includes the following:

“I didn’t have to do this, I could have left, I could have fled, but now I will no longer run, it’s not for me, or for my children, for my brothers and sisters that you f*****! I did it for them.... You have vandalized my heart… torched my conscience. You thought it was one pathetic boy’s life you’re extinguishing…Thanks to you I die like Jesus Christ to inspire generations of the weak and defenseless people... You have never felt a single ounce of pain in your life but you want to inject as much misery in our lives as you can just because you can, you had everything you wanted. Your Mercedes wasn't enough, your brats. Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust fund wasn't enough. Your vodka and cognac weren't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything."

These are of course the ramblings of a sick individual. However, it could be described as a political act. In fact, it reminded me of the videos made by terrorists. I am sure this will be the first of many such attacks. Some will be carried out by people who will claim political motives. The media, will give them the full publicity that they desire. That is the way capitalism works. As Marx's said, it is this internal contradiction that will eventually destroy it.

post-7-1176988648_thumb.jpg

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I have refused to watch news coverage this morning,

but the questions that immediately came to my mind yesterday are 1) why has no one interviewed this killer's high school teachers and acquaintances?

2) this student was 23 years old....what had he been doing in the period between high school and college? 3) if he had been diagnosed as unstable and a threat to himself, why he was released from a mental facility after only two days...I realize that he was voluntarily incarcerated and could not be held against his will, however didn't that mental institution have at least a moral responsibility to have reported this to anyone?

Did they "cure" his mental illness within two days? Was he prescribed medication?

Had he not the financial ability to pay for further treatment, there are government agencies that could have helped him with no charge. One of the questions asked while applying for permission to buy a handgun, "have you ever been diagnosed as being not mentally stable?" Should not someone have reported his mental diagnosis so that it could be a part of his record?

I understand that this University had a campus wide loudspeaker system, that was installed to handle potential crises. Why was it not used instead of an email? How many check their emails at 7:30 AM ?

There seems to be both much wrong which include complacency of the University, slow and inadequate reaction of the Police, and disturbngly gross errors "once again by the news media."

Regardless of how many laws are on the books, one cannot legislate against a great many failures of several different systems already recognized in this case ! Complacency and the lack of "common sense" also tend to deny the practical validity of established rules and laws. Instead of more "gun control laws", there are available many psychological tests that can be given to children in both high school and college. Possibly included as part of SAT testing! Mandatory testing!

Charlie Black

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I believe the second amendment reads: "Congress must not deny the states a militia. 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 infringed." Clearly, this reflects a time when people were concerned over the possible tyranny of the federal government. Is that still true today.

Are you kidding?

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I find the official story of this event to be filled with the same kind of holes that seemingly all official stories are filled with. Just a few of my questions:

.........

I suspect that these "conspiracy" stories are an attempt to distract people from the real issue of "gun control".

I believe the second amendment reads: "Congress must not deny the states a militia. 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 infringed." Clearly, this reflects a time when people were concerned over the possible tyranny of the federal government. Is that still true today.

I have just watched the video Cho Seung-hui made after killing the girl he had been stalking and before the mass massacre. He obviously wanted to become a "famous figure" in history and has used the latest technology to do so. ......

......These are of course the ramblings of a sick individual. However, it could be described as a political act. In fact, it reminded me of the videos made by terrorists. I am sure this will be the first of many such attacks. Some will be carried out by people who will claim political motives. The media, will give them the full publicity that they desire. That is the way capitalism works. As Marx's said, it is this internal contradiction that will eventually destroy it.

John, I too think this guy is a sick individual and this is just the beggining of a new round for psycho profilers, but I don't think you can break it down into the "real issue" of gun control or the internal contradictions of capitalism.

Both guns he used were purchased legally, and the knee jerk reaction, as it was after the JFK assassination, is to regulate guns, when really, the proper reaction is to solve the crime so it won't happen again.

Instead of identifying the MO of Dealey Plaza as a covert intelligence operation connected with US Cuban ops, they blamed the "lone nut" Oswald and banned the mail order of guns.

What I mean by looking at this as a case study is to see how the law enforcement, media and other officials react to this crime, and see how we can learn from it to solve or prevent similar crimes.

Not blame gun control and capitalism.

There was a political assassination this week in Japan, a country that has no legal handguns, and as for the Sweden, wasn't there a political assassination there by a guy who used a .38 and got away with it?

BK

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There are those calling for the heads of the university president and police chief for their "incompetence" in this tragedy.

Around 3,000 people died on 9/11, and one of the many unanswered questions is why not a single person is known to have been fired, demoted, or reprimanded for the blanket government incompetence of that day. Some of those involved got promotions, the only person fired (Sibel Edmonds) being a whistleblower.

But by all means let's crucify some officials at Virginia Tech.

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Hello John Simkin

It absolutely astonished me, but you stated in your immediately prior post that "...the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Clearly this reflects a time when people were concerned with the possible tyranny of the federal government. Is that still true today."

I cannot imagine you being in your position on this forum and stating ".....Is that still true today"

What do you think that we are referring to when we speak of an 11/22/63 Coup d' Etat? Or our often reference that the current Bush Administration is bleeding away our rights ? That the CIA is unmanaageable ? That the last election results were contested because of reported and proven improprieties?

Yes John ! We still fear tyranny of any sort.

If a majority of our 1776 revolutionaries, were not armed, we would still be a part of the "British Empire".

It was not only because of the threat of red indians or wild animals that these 1776ers bore arms. It was also against a repeated threat of tyranny.

Actually the meaning of to "keep and BEAR arms", means that citizens may be "accompanied by a gun" whenever they so choose.

I knew John, that you and a few others, would attempt to turn this thread into a gun control debate, as I stated in my post #35.

I would like to state that the great portion of my life was lived within the United States. I have been to all of the "big crime ridden cities" and never once have I or any of my family been physically threatened by ANYONE ! That is why I find it not only amazing, but preposterous that so many UK visitors are singled out and attacked.

Our southern neighbor, Mexico, banned handguns !

Would you like to walk down some dark, suburban Mexican Streets alone ?

The Mexican gun prohibition has prohibited only the citizenry from protecting themselves. There are still Banditos throughout Central America. There are certainly some areas of some American cities that one would not want to enter with a dozen guns. But this is mostly the result of gang and ethnic wars. Since you, I and everyone knows that guns cannot be kept out of the hands of criminals, why should I be stupid enough, or not care enough about the safety of my family, to give up my guns,

while knowing that the criminal element has not and never will ? I was long ago taught, "do not go to a gunfight armed only with a knife". I think that is sound reasoning !

Although there is a much greater chance that one of us is killed in an auto accident, by drowning, or some other means, than there is that we will be killed by a "bad guy", I can take steps to protect myself and my family against the bad guy, so why should I be denied this?

Charlie Black

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Hello John Simkin

It absolutely astonished me, but you stated in your immediately prior post that "...the right of people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Clearly this reflects a time when people were concerned with the possible tyranny of the federal government. Is that still true today."

I cannot imagine you being in your position on this forum and stating ".....Is that still true today"

What do you think that we are referring to when we speak of an 11/22/63 Coup d' Etat? Or our often reference that the current Bush Administration is bleeding away our rights ? That the CIA is unmanaageable ? That the last election results were contested because of reported and proven improprieties?

Yes John ! We still fear tyranny of any sort.

If a majority of our 1776 revolutionaries, were not armed, we would still be a part of the "British Empire".

It was not only because of the threat of red indians or wild animals that these 1776ers bore arms. It was also against a repeated threat of tyranny.

Actually the meaning of to "keep and BEAR arms", means that citizens may be "accompanied by a gun" whenever they so choose.

I knew John, that you and a few others, would attempt to turn this thread into a gun control debate, as I stated in my post #35.

I would like to state that the great portion of my life was lived within the United States. I have been to all of the "big crime ridden cities" and never once have I or any of my family been physically threatened by ANYONE ! That is why I find it not only amazing, but preposterous that so many UK visitors are singled out and attacked.

Our southern neighbor, Mexico, banned handguns !

Would you like to walk down some dark, suburban Mexican Streets alone ?

The Mexican gun prohibition has prohibited only the citizenry from protecting themselves. There are still Banditos throughout Central America. There are certainly some areas of some American cities that one would not want to enter with a dozen guns. But this is mostly the result of gang and ethnic wars. Since you, I and everyone knows that guns cannot be kept out of the hands of criminals, why should I be stupid enough, or not care enough about the safety of my family, to give up my guns,

while knowing that the criminal element has not and never will ? I was long ago taught, "do not go to a gunfight armed only with a knife". I think that is sound reasoning !

Although there is a much greater chance that one of us is killed in an auto accident, by drowning, or some other means, than there is that we will be killed by a "bad guy", I can take steps to protect myself and my family against the bad guy, so why should I be denied this?

Charlie Black

I still can't figure out what this has to do with who killed JFK. I carry mutliple handguns daily based on 20yrs in Detroit AND my perfect knowledge that evil abounds

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