Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Campus shooting.

“Today the university was struck with a tragedy that we consider of monumental proportions,” said the university’s president, Charles Steger.

There were two shootings on the campus in Blacksburg, Va., and in each case fatalities with “multiple shooting victims,” he said.

The shootings started early in the morning and as they unfolded, many of the details emerged from witnesses who recorded images on their cellphones or described fellow students jumping out of campus building windows. The university has more than 25,000 full-time students on a campus that is spread out over 2,600 acres.

Up until today, the deadliest campus shooting in United States history was in 1966 at the University of Texas, where Charles Whitman climbed to the 28th-floor observation deck of a clock tower and opened fire, killing 16 people before he was gunned down by police. In the Columbine High attack in 1999, two teenagers killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before killing themselves.

A police official at Virginia Tech, Wendell Flinchum, said there were “at least 20 fatalities,” and that some of the victims were shot in the classroom. News of the number of the fatalities sent up an audible gasp in the news conference, said one television reporter in the broadcast.

At least 22 people were injured. At least 17 Virginia Tech students were being treated for gunshot wounds and other injuries at Montgomery Regional Hospital, and four of them were in surgery, according to a hospital spokesperson. At Lewis-Gale Medical Center, in Salem, Va., four students and a staff member were treated. Two were in stable condition, and the conditions of the other three were described as "undetermined."

Officials said there could have been more people who were injured and taken to other medical facilities.

President Bush was “horrified” at the news of the shooting, and expressed deep concern for the families of the victims, said Dana Perino, a White House spokeswoman. President Bush said he would make federal assets available to the school and to the community.

One student captured partial images, broadcast on CNN, using his cellphone video camera showing grainy dark-clad figures on the street outside of campus buildings. Popping sounds from the gunfire were audible.

“This place is in a state of panic,” said a student who was interviewed on CNN, Shaver Deyerle. “Nobody knew what was going on at first.”

Jesus, the above story is just breaking over here and I can't believe it. The death toll is believed to be 22 and rising. What the hell makes people do something like this? What possible reason could a person have for shooting down so many innocent kids. It's is just beyond me.

UPDATE Fox News is reporting that 32 fatalities have been reported and up to 18 wounded. What the hell kind of weapon was this person using?

Question. Why were there two hours between the first two shootings and the rest of this madman's rampage? Why was the school not evacuated when there was clearly an armed killer on the loose?

UPDATE, the murderer is not from China, he is South Korean called Cho Seung Hui.



Anonymous Bonnie said...

"Law enforcement officials said the gunman carried two weapons, a 9-mm handgun and a 22-caliber gun" is what is reporting. And no one wants to talk about the issue of gun control in this county. Amazing.

7:42 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Don't you need permits and all sorts of things to carry guns? Are they really that easy to get a hold of?

7:46 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Although, I suppose it's not the law abiding gun owners you have to worry about is it? It's the nuts and the crooks, and they will get a gun regardless of any law.

7:49 p.m.  
Blogger finn said...

and in the bad taste category...

8:33 p.m.  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

FMC, yes you need permits and there are waiting periods, etc if you buy from a gun store. If you buy from a gun show, however, there is no such thing. A system that works well, wouldn't you say? Yes, nuts will always be able to secure a weapon to use against others, but as my favorite bumper sticker says "Make getting a gun permit as difficult as getting a building permit."

9:29 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Guns don't kill people.

It's people with guns who kill people.

Ban people.

11:27 p.m.  
Blogger Glinda the good witch said...

Horrific. And the bastards always turn the guns on themselves. Gun control in the USA is a total oxymoron. Poor parents of dead students. After getting through babyhood, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence...their kids get into college and get taken out randomly by a nutter. You're never bloody out of the woods once you have kids.

1:14 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

It appears the shooter was a 24 year old Chinese national whose girlfriend had left him for another man.

8:48 a.m.  
Anonymous Max Drive said...

Guns are relatively easy to get in almost every country in the world. What is not easy to get is education about morality, ethical behavior and civic responsibility.

Every time there is an episode like this it seems logical to many that gun control laws are the answer. We already have a penalty of life in prison or in some states death for Homicide. Is there any doubt that the shooter knew that? He shot himself to escape the penalties he deserved. What makes anyone think that a penalty for owning a gun or taking a gun on campus would have stopped him?

The Virginia Legislature let a bill die in committee that would have allowed concealed handguns on campus this year. How different might this terrible situation been had just one teacher or student been able to shoot this man before he decided he had killed enough students? Instead, he was the "fox in the hen house," able to spend two hours armed on campus and shoot 50 people without fear before the Police closed in.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims of this senseless act.

10:45 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

I have just finished reading "We need to talk about Kevin" which is about just this subject. It was one of the most shocking books I have read. To try to understand the mind of somebody who can kill innocents indiscriminately is impossible - off the rader of normal people. Who can explain irrational thought? Horrific.

11:27 a.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Ahh yes, more guns is the answer.

Sort of like a nuclear stand-off.

11:29 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Shebah I read that a few months ago, and it was a very disturbing book, I actually cried at a certain point-I'm not going to say when as I don't want to give anything away for those who might not have read it.

12:02 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

I think I know when - it had the same effect on me!

12:06 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Max Drive, I'm not sure what difference tighter gun control makes to be perfectly honest. Law abiding people gun holders are not usually the problem. I think those who want to commit murder will do so, although perhaps if guns were not so easily available the sheer scale of the carnage-as in this case- might not be so easily achieved.
I would be interested to know how this foreign student on a visa was able to get two guns, a 22 and a 9mm, so easily.

12:07 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Twenty, I read what you said and I know what you mean, but with my hand on my heart, I'd rather take my chances with a gun than without if some dude comes into where I am shooting(assuming there wasn't a window I could fling myself straight out of)

12:41 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Put the comma after 'am' other words it will get confusing.

12:57 p.m.  
Blogger Kav said...

I just finished reading We Need to Talk About Kevin last week. Everyone should read it. Shebah, FMC, did ye not see that bit coming? I kind of had an inkling.

1:45 p.m.  
Blogger Kav said...

Not that knowing it detracted from the shock in any way, it must be said.

1:46 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I saw it coming Kav, but like you it didn't alter the impact.

1:56 p.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

I did see it coming, but not in that format. I had difficulty sleeping that night.

4:40 p.m.  
Blogger grimsaburger said...

I've straddled the fence on this issue for many years, having grown up in the country (I'm American, and in the boondocks of Kentucky you've missed out on something important if you didn't hunt with Dad as a kid) and having both a healthy respect and I'll admit an enjoyment of shooting targets and defenseless overpopulated wild animals; that said, however, as an adult I'll never own a gun again. It's something about not wanting to be part of the problem. But hey, I'm just one gal.
It's ridiculously easy to buy guns from both legal and illegal sources, and insanely easy to buy guns made for shooting people (ahem, a 9mm and a .22, or any handgun for that matter). I don't know if that should mean that only shotguns and rifles made for the purpose of shooting poor defenseless animals should be sold to civilians or what. I also don't know how you would write a law that says even if you're a clean-cut college kid living in town it should be illegal for you to buy a gun.

9:11 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I doubt you could Grims. Anyway, like I've said, the people who want to inflict murder and mayhem are not the most law abiding chaps.
Poor old families, what they must be going through. It's like what Glinda said, you get your kids through measles, mumps, ear aches spills from bikes and god knows what danger, and then, just as they are adults and finally making their way in the world some fucking loser snatchs them away from the lives they could have had and from their loved ones.
Just sick.

9:35 p.m.  
Anonymous Max Drive said...

Twenty Major, It's not that more guns are the answer. It is that a gun in just one responsible hand could have stopped this shooting incident before 50 people were shot.

As for gun laws;

A long time ago there was a Presidential Election Convention in Chicago. People rioted there and guns were apparently in short supply. They dropped cinder blocks, bricks and bottles from the tops of multi-story buildings. No less lethal than firearms, merely harder to aim accurately.

I watched grainy movies from Poland in which the Poles filled bottles with fuel and lit them to throw at Soviet tanks in their cities.

I confiscated .22 caliber "Zip-guns" made with rubber bands a nail and a car antenna that kids were carrying in the sixties.

People with a need for a weapon will buy what they can, steal what they can or improvise what they cannot buy or steal.

Google "zipgun" to see the extent of the problem.

Any creep on the street can get or make a gun. All I want is to see someone able to stop him if he gets stupid with it.

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