Monday, April 16, 2007

And right on cue...

Posted by --Blue Girl at 4/16/2007 02:38:00 PM

Glenn *Instahack* Reynolds cranks up the Wurlitzer in record time...

I figure he will take this down pretty quick, so here it is for posterity:

THIS IS AWFUL: "At least 20 people were killed this morning at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University after a shooting spree at two buildings on the campus." Nobody seems to know much yet on what happened. These things do seem to take place in locations where it's not legal for people with carry permits to carry guns, though, and I believe that's the case where the Virginia Tech campus is concerned. I certainly wish that someone had been in a position to shoot this guy at the outset.

UPDATE: More here and here. And some background here. And reader John Lucas, who works with a Virginia law firm, emails that Va. Tech is a "gun-free zone." Well, for those who follow the law. There was an effort to change that but it failed: "A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly." That's unfortunate. Had the bill passed, things might have turned out differently, though we'll never know now.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's a big, continuously updated roundup on the subject from Pajamas Media. And here's lots more from a Virginia Tech alumnus.

More background on Virginia Tech here. And here's more local blogging on the tragedy. And here's a blog entry with some photos.

And here are more thoughts from John Noonan. And send your thoughts and prayers to Marc Danziger, who has a son at Virginia Tech.

Yeah. Just what a situation like this calls for is 150 Barney Fife's running around, with their bullets out of their pockets. GMAFB

It takes a hell of a lot more than a Saturday afternoon seminar to adequately train people to respond in a situation like this. Remember that the person who stopped the Utah Shopping Mall shooter a few weeks ago was an off-duty police officer - not a vigilante.

Humans have a set of pre-programmed responses to danger. Fight, or flight? If "fight" wins, and there is a weapon like a gun at the avail of a poorly trained person, tragedy is more likely to compounded than ameliorated. How many of these civilians in the action are likely to be felled by trained professionals responding to the shooting? How many innocent people might this untrained army of vigilantes kill in the heat of the moment. "Hey, the guy had something in his hand..." (Yeah, it was his cell phone and he was calling 911...trying to get some real help on the scene...)

I have worked too many traumas. Cops aren't even that helpful until they are properly seasoned. Sorry. That's just reality. And Instahack is, as per usual, wrong. Wrong, wronger, wrongest. A perfect specimen of wrongness. But then, what do we expect from that joker, anyway?