Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst.”     Robert A. Heinlein,    Starship Troopers

April 16, 2007

A Monumental Tragedy At Virginia Tech

by Doug Mataconis

By now it’s all over the news, and the news just keeps getting worse:

Thirty-two people have reportedly been killed and more than two dozen others injured during a shooting rampage this morning at Virginia Tech, making it the deadliest shooting spree in U.S. history, according to law enforcement sources.

This is all that will be talked about on the news tonight, and probably discussed here and elsewhere in the days to come I’m sure. There is an obvious gun control/right to keep and bear arms discussion that will probably develop out of this story, but, for now, I would like it if everyone just followed Radley Balko’s advice:

I guess all I have to say is that what happened at Virginia Tech today is horrible and heartbreaking. Now’s not the time for debates about gun control or campus access, or security. Now’s the time for sympathy and grieving. What a terrible story.

There will be enough grieving across Virginia, and across the nation, in the days to come. Let’s leave the political debate for another time.

For those interested, I’m updating when I can with information from Virginia bloggers over at Below The Beltway.

Update: Similar thoughts from Rick Moran:

In a perfect world, gun control laws would have kept the weapons out of the shooter’s hands. Also in a perfect world, one of his potential victims would have been armed and cut short his quest for glory. Despite the fact we don’t live in a perfect world and there’s no sign of one emerging any time soon, we can count on the idiots in Congress and the media to start the political posturing, dying to make speeches and write columns telling us about how wrong the opposition is and how this shooting proves this or that about America, or Americans with guns, or violence in America, or how our schools are screwed up, or even blame the victims for not dodging the bullet that killed them.

I’m not near a television right now, and don’t have access to CNN, Fox or MSNBC, I’m sure that’s what’s happening already and that, tonight, Anderson Cooper, Larry King, Nancy Grace, Bill O’Reilly, Keith Olberman, and Sean Hannity, will all be using this tragedy to advance their particular positions.

I’m not saying that there isn’t a time and a place for a gun control debate, I’m just saying that perhaps we should wait for more than a day to pass before it starts.


Permalink || Comments (10) || Categories: Look About
TrackBack URI: http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2007/04/16/a-monumental-tragedy-at-virginia-tech/trackback/
Read more posts from
• • •

10 Comments

  1. What is the matter with the world today? No today should not be about gun control and all the other stuff that is going to cause debates. We need to pray for the families and victims of this horrible event.

    Comment by Alexandria White — April 16, 2007 @ 2:51 pm
  2. When I was a freshman at Purdue, something similar (but much smaller in scope) occurred. It was a student the floor above me, who I had actually met and played cards with once. He got caught with drugs by his counselor, took off, and came back the next day with a shotgun, killing his counselor and then himself.

    For those people at VT, I can tell you, normal doesn’t exist after something like this. The best you can hope for is to accept it and move on.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 16, 2007 @ 3:29 pm
  3. I had this happen in high school. A vietnamese kid who had been tormented endlessly by some of the somewhat prejudiced kids finally lost it. He came to school with weapons, got in a confrontation with them again, and killed two of them with a pistol. It happened outside the window of my classroom, we all watched it happen.

    It’s going to be rough for everyone involved to deal with. I still remember it vividly, 3 decades later.

    Comment by Adam Selene — April 16, 2007 @ 3:39 pm
  4. And the latest that I’ve seen indicates that this may have all started when a guy (the shooter) found his girlfriend in bed with another guy.

    Comment by Doug Mataconis — April 16, 2007 @ 3:44 pm
  5. When I was a freshman at Purdue, something similar (but much smaller in scope) occurred. It was a student the floor above me, who I had actually met and played cards with once. He got caught with drugs by his counselor, took off, and came back the next day with a shotgun, killing his counselor and then himself.

    For those people at VT, I can tell you, normal doesn’t exist after something like this. The best you can hope for is to accept it and move on.

    Wow, Brad. Tragically small world.

    I’m sure we’re thinking of the same person – that student’s fiance left Purdue after the tragedy, came to my alma mater, and became a strength coach for the track team. I came to know her well. She participated in several panels and discussions regarding gun violence.

    The victims and their families will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by trav.is — April 16, 2007 @ 5:10 pm
  6. travis,

    Click on over to my link, I gave the whole story there.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — April 16, 2007 @ 5:19 pm
  7. My heart goes out to the victims and their families in another senseless act of violence. While I have very strong views on violence in America, my focus here is to foster a sense of spiritual comfort. My heart holds so much pain for all those involved and I send my prayers to them and a nation so obviously in pain. Let’s all try and make this a better place and please pay closer attention to those so disconnected that it renders them capable of such a horrific act.

    Comment by Pat Mines — April 17, 2007 @ 10:32 am
  8. We do a lot of weeping in this country over horrors like this. There has been senseless murder since Cain killed Able. The difference now is the hardware. We now know the shooter had a 19 bullet clip which were illegal in the 90′s when there were controls on semi-automatics. Would this ban had stopped this crime? No. Would the kill rate have been less? Most likely.
    Crying and not talking about it when the reality is fresh is the wrong thing to do. We have got to face this or we’ll just be having the same horror over and over again.

    Comment by Mike — April 17, 2007 @ 10:54 am
  9. Changing gun laws won’t change anything. Take weapons away from the good guys and bad guys still have guns. The bad guys will always have guns. Additionally, it always saddens me that it takes something like this for Americans to wake up. In the Middle East for years (and still today) you had to worry about suicide bombers everywhere. In Iraq, students study with explosions and gunfire nearby. We Americans are ignorant. Tragedies (as many call this) will continue to happen and it is part of the world we live in. Make no mistake, what this individual did was wrong and tragic yet thousands die around the world everyday even of starvation in Africa and we (Americans) do nothing. As soon as a handful of people die in an act of random violence we decide to stop everything and for what? Our world is messed up and we should all be aware of what could happen in our lives. Life is a constant struggle for survival. What makes the shooting death of 33 people more significant and tragic than an 18 year old marine dying in Iraq, a person dying in a DUI crash, or any other death where some outside force played a factor? Again sad and pathetic not just the event but our reaction to it…..

    Comment by Jevon — April 17, 2007 @ 12:35 pm
  10. Yeah we’re all really shocked by the recent shootings at Virginia Tech. We don’t know if the immediate response by the administration was sufficient to contain the threat, and it’s unclear what exactly motivated the killer. Now all we can do is mourn for the victims…

    Comment by Virginia Tech student — April 17, 2007 @ 11:51 pm

Comments RSS

Subscribe without commenting

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by: WordPress • Template by: Eric • Banner #1, #3, #4 by Stephen Macklin • Banner #2 by Mark RaynerXML