April 19, 2007

Waiting For The Reload

Imagine, if you can...

... the following historical personages uttering the phrase "Well, we just don't know what we'd do under the circumstances..." and meaning it:

1. Benjamin Franklin 2. Abe Lincoln 3. Winston Churchill 4. Joan of Arc 4. Some olden days Scottish peasant

OK, so they were exceptional people, except for the last guy. So: now can you imagine a crowd of unexceptional people NOT responding by throwing rocks at the speaker's head, then?

We have to START knowing what we'd do or else we're just adding more K-Y to that slippery slope straight to handbasket hell.

A caller to local talk radio today mentioned that she was trying to do her part to protect her children by teaching them to fear guns.

As someone who first picked up a BB gun at 10 and tagged a deer by 16, my first reaction was "that's the wrong word, damn it.".

Fear paralyzes. Fear is fatal when there are no avenues of escape.

The proper word is "respect". Respect for firearms is something that cannot be simply bestowed through a parent's lecture. It must be earned through knowledge and experience. And it's hard to imagine a class of young adults with the experience of both the destructive power and limitations of handguns lining up obediently for a single executioner.

Vietnam vet (and author) Jim Hume writes via email on the consequences of the Oprahization of America;

According to news reports, the VT shooter used a Glock 9mm pistol.

That means he had to reload at least three times in the process of murdering thirty people.

Wait a minute. Think about that. Sometime during the massacre, the killer had to stop, eject a magazine, fumble for a fresh one, slam it into place and work the action of his weapon. How long did that take? Eight seconds? Ten?

Why didn't one of the huddled sheep attack the guy while he was reloading? Why didn't every person in the room attack? We hear of a single professor attempting to shield his class. We hear of a couple students blocking a door to deny the shooter entry. Those people are called heroes. Somehow, given his background, I doubt if the professor thought of himself as heroic -- he acted in self-defense and in defense of his students because he knew the penalty of non-action, of just giving up. The people who blocked the door acted out of self-defense, but they were only doing what any rational adult would have done. However, after the killer went on to find other victims, those same people failed to do anything remotely heroic. They huddled in their sanctuary and listened as others died. Why?

I submit that our movement toward a nanny-state has gone further than we suspect, especially on campuses across the country. Schools pass rules designating a 'weapon-free zone' in the smug conceit that killers pay attention to such drivel. Then when some nutcase slaughters people within the weapon-free zone, these same clueless morons blame the weapon, a so-called 'gun culture', conservative lawmakers -- anyone except the killer -- and themselves, for creating a shooting gallery full of unarmed people.

But were those people unarmed? Were there not chairs, books, backpacks, lab equipment, hot coffee, or ANYTHING suitable for throwing at the killer? Why wasn't he met with a hail of objects and a pack of unwilling victims? Why wasn't he beaten to death by an angry mob?

In one sense the people in that building WERE unarmed. They lacked knowledge of guns and they lacked the will to defend themselves and their fellow students and teachers. Anyone who understood pistols would have known that the murderer would be vulnerable at times. Similarly, anyone who hadn't had their spine removed by years of immersion in a non-confrontational, liberal, pansy-ass societal and school environment, would have snarled deep in their throat and leaped at the shooter.

Leap and slay -- or die. Our ancestors understood the concepts of honor and dignity. They knew that cowering in a corner, waiting for death and hoping for rescue was tantamount to suicide.

Where did we lose our ability to defend ourselves? More important, where did we lose the sense of responsibility that would lead us to risk all in defense of our friends and acquaintances? Have we lost all sense of self-worth? Are we willing to abdicate all rights and responsibility and allow Big Brother to keep us safe and warm and not have to worry about or cope with life?

More thoughts here on how educators have their hands tied by "student rights" - "Consider that Britain’s national experiment with gun-free living is proving to be a disaster, with violent and gun crime rates soaring. In other words, most of the broad social “lessons” we are being told we must learn from the Virginia Tech shootings have little to do with what allowed the horrors to occur. This is about evil, and about how our universities are able to deal with it as a literary subject but not as a fact of life."

Rights, schmights. I keep asking how this semi-literate English major hadn't flunked out.

(note: post was edited and re-timestamped, as an early draft was posted in error)

More thoughts at Cjunk - Fight, flight or Freeze?

Posted by Kate at April 19, 2007 2:26 PM

He had two guns. He only had to reload one at a time and keep a few bullets in the one he isn't reloading.

Two guns are a problem for this scenario. Distance between victim and gunman is also a problem. Hallways and classrooms are perfect environments for shooters. You can keep track of your peripherals much easier and deal with any reaction to your killing before the victims even get close.

Add the element of surprise/shock and you will realize that few people's minds would go through the scenario in which they found themselves before it was too late to act.

It isn't as easy as courage to succeed. You need opportunity as well. It isn't fair to look down the end of your nose at people for not being able to stop the killing and it's too easy to criticize from the couch when it isn't you who are getting shot at.

Posted by: Warwick at April 19, 2007 1:32 PM


If any black woman deserves to be called a nappy headed ho, it is that friggin douche bag.

These idiots bleat on about cowboys and pitched gun battles by vigilantes....and dying on your knees execution style with 31 other terrified sheep is a better alternative?

Do us all a favour Oprah.

You first.

Posted by: Jim at April 19, 2007 1:33 PM

Mark Steyn,

The cost of a “protected” society of eternal “children” is too high. Every December 6th, my own unmanned Dominion lowers its flags to half-mast and tries to saddle Canadian manhood in general with the blame for the “Montreal massacre,” the 14 female students of the Ecole Polytechnique murdered by Marc Lepine (born Gamil Gharbi, the son of an Algerian Muslim wife-beater, though you’d never know that from the press coverage). As I wrote up north a few years ago:

Yet the defining image of contemporary Canadian maleness is not M Lepine/Gharbi but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, meekly did so, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate — an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history. The “men” stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing. And, when it was over and Gharbi walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing. Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone.

(I didn't know that these so-called 'men' in attendance acted this way. It is the most vile, cowardly act I have heard. These 'men' should be outed. But then, they have to live with their cowardly selves. Another stain on Canada to be absolutely ashamed of)

I have always believed America is different. Certainly on September 11th we understood. The only good news of the day came from the passengers who didn’t meekly follow the obsolescent 1970s hijack procedures but who used their wits and acted as free-born individuals. And a few months later as Richard Reid bent down and tried to light his shoe in that critical split-second even the French guys leapt up and pounded the bejasus out of him.

We do our children a disservice to raise them to entrust all to officialdom’s security blanket. Geraldo-like “protection” is a delusion: when something goes awry — whether on a September morning flight out of Logan or on a peaceful college campus — the state won’t be there to protect you. You’ll be the fellow on the scene who has to make the decision. As my distinguished compatriot Kathy Shaidle says:

When we say “we don’t know what we’d do under the same circumstances”, we make cowardice the default position.

I’d prefer to say that the default position is a terrible enervating passivity. Murderous misfit loners are mercifully rare. But this awful corrosive passivity is far more pervasive, and, unlike the psycho killer, is an existential threat to a functioning society.

Posted by: irwin daisy at April 19, 2007 1:38 PM

Not to insult any of the male victims that were there, because we will never know how all of them responded...but what happenned to chivalry? The Romanian prof. showed that he was a 'real man'.
I believe there is a book out and this little statement is the theme of the writing.(Feminists shudder to think there is a difference)
Real men:shun passivity,accept responsibilty,lead courageously and look to the greater reward.
Kate you are so correct: fear paralyses.

Posted by: vf at April 19, 2007 1:41 PM

Got a link for that Jim Hume excerpt, Kate? Sounds like a good read.

Posted by: mark peters at April 19, 2007 1:47 PM

Yes, and if you're really familiar with shooting a handgun you'd recognize the sound right away - many in the nearby classrooms initially thought it was just construction noise.

You'd also know how hard it is to hit a moving target with a handgun, even at close range. The Last Amazon recounts a story of her husband lunging successfully at a guy with a gun: Scary, but possible.

But I can't really fault most of these people. It sounds like several classes did indeed block the doors and that was a rational reaction. It's hard to fault anyone for not going looking for him.

Posted by: Kevin Jaeger at April 19, 2007 1:53 PM

"A caller to local talk radio today mentioned that she was trying to do her part to protect her children by teaching them to fear guns."
And did the host ask her why she had such a low regard for her children?

Posted by: OMMAG at April 19, 2007 2:01 PM

One gun, two guns -- makes no difference. At some point he had to stop and reload. It's very difficult, though not impossible, to reload a pistol with one hand. There were windows of opportunity, for anyone not paralyzed by fear.

Fear is an excellent survival tool, but these people were immobilized partly by the contagious aspect of panic and by an unreasonable fear of GUNS. Hollywood and the Left would have us believe guns are the equivalent to personal nukes in their lethality.

I hope, if I had been in one of those rooms, that I could have taken action BEFORE the shooter arrived to at least make an attempt at self defense.

I sent the posted text to Kate via email, so it isn't an excerpt. I asked her not to use my email address, but if I'm going to put my opinions out in the light of day, I suppose it's only fair to let folks know how to reach me.

When not furious over the state of our decline, I write books and stuff. Check out the website.


Posted by: Jim Hume at April 19, 2007 2:02 PM

The fact of two pistols is not necessarily an argument - they both have to be reloaded. Its actually quicker to reload and use one, then keep two in action. There are ways to do tactical reloads while keeping both guns going, but that takes dexterity gained from repetitive practice and training. Given the length of time he owned the guns, that scenario is not very likely. There would have been definite windows of opportunity, but it takes the ability to realize your action may get you killed, and still act. We breed that out of people these days. Even police have had to rethink that strategy. Decisive results requires decisive action, the kind that carries a cost.

But kids need to be taught that your sole defence can't be hope. The hope has to be coupled with a means make it a reality.

Posted by: Skip at April 19, 2007 2:03 PM

Um Warwick, unless the shooter had three hands i am not sure how he would reload and keep a gun trained on any potential resistors. Granted though it would take a lot less than "8-10 seconds" to pull the back up gun out of his belt if he were rushed but there still would have been openings for a brave person(s).

Also, the guy is not criticizing from the couch. He was a Vietnam vet and likely knew what it was like to have a bullet fly past his head.

A factor not covered yet that i have seen has been the paralysis of false hope. The person thinks along the lines of: "this isn't happening, maybe he'll stop before he gets to me, maybe he'll leave, maybe he won't notice me." what paralyzed was likely a combination of fear and a false hope that this couldn't happen to "me." Plus when it is clear that the gunman is coming for you and you have no escape there may have been a capitulation to utter hopelessness and the thought that somehow that you'll survive the wounds.

Posted by: matt at April 19, 2007 2:04 PM

EEK. Jim and I are NOT siamesed, despite the rumours...

Posted by: Skip at April 19, 2007 2:04 PM

I am puzzled also by the lack of any action by anyone.Even though he had 2 guns I don't think you can reload with one hand.Plus the reports indicate the victims were shot at close range up to 3 rounds each why weren't the others jumping on the creep?
The most cowardly award though really goes to the police forces that day.They show up in bullet proof vests with machine guns plus an armoured vehicle but they hide behind their cars and behind trees while the carnage goes on.
They had just waited 2 hrs securing a building at the previous crime scene with no apparent success so they figured "let's do the same thing gere".
I guess modern police tactics are all about securing buildings not people.

Posted by: Helene at April 19, 2007 2:09 PM

Helene said: "...why weren't the others jumping on the creep?"

To be fair to the victims, given that most if not all, had little to no prior exposure to firearms, a handgun going off in an enclosed space is loud and shocking. Dealing with the concussive shock of the loud noise (much louder than in the movies) and gathering the presence of mind to close the distance with the shooter is not a skill set any of them would have had. The missing piece here is the lack of education with regard to firearms. Simply put, everyone should have a basic comfort level with firearsm, whether they chose to use them or not.

Posted by: Skip at April 19, 2007 2:19 PM

Speaking of self-defence, can I just pre-emptively weigh in here before the ad homs begin and confirm that, yes, I am a "short, ugly, big-ass middle aged woman who needs to get laid"?

Thank you.

Oh, and a racist.

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at April 19, 2007 2:20 PM

"Sometime during the massacre, the killer had to stop, eject a magazine,
fumble for a fresh one, slam it into place and work the action of his weapon.
How long did that take? Eight seconds? Ten?"

actually, he was new to guns... i'm guessing he ran them dry, one at a time...
which locks the slide back, so... push button to drop mag... slam in the
fresh one you've got in your hand... hit slide release... you're good to go.

two seconds max... double that if you're a dufus.

if he counted his shots, he could drop an empty mag and leave one up the pipe,
ready to go while reloading.

let's recognise that most cops wouldn't have gone up against this guy alone...
standard procedure... which, of course, means dead victims.

i'd like to know how many of the commentators here have ever even held a gun,
never mind wrestle one away from a lunatic.

better to go down fighting, i agree... but everyone's a hero... from hindsight.


Posted by: neo at April 19, 2007 2:22 PM

Yeah, and you've got a mean streak too. :)

Posted by: Skip at April 19, 2007 2:22 PM

8-10 seconds to reach for a gun? put your hand over you head and start to count. reach down to your belt, pause one second and raise your hand to firing position. Done quick, it ain't 8 seconds.

I'm not saying that no one had the possibility to do something. I'm just saying that there is no factual information to suggest there was a possibility.

Ever driven and talked on cell phone? I do it with a standard around corners. I don't have a gun but I bet it's possible to load with both hands but with a second gun in the hand that holds the clip.

It just seems harsh to condemn people for dying. How do you know that some of the dead didn't die trying to rush the shooter?

I'd love to think I'd go 1/2 Rambo and 1/2 medeavil on the somnabitch's hind quarters with extreme prejedice. But if you're 25 feet away from the shooter that may not be an option.

The vet you refer to has something the victims of this shooting did not have: experience and training.

You have to be trained to attack instead of withdraw. You have to be conditioned to think through this sort of scenario in the limited time you have. Why do you think we bother to train armies instead of just handing a gun to a conscript 10 minutes before you put him on the front line?

You can't fault people for not having the tools to be able to get a job done. If you had 15 second to learn nuclear physics to disarm a suitcase nuke you'd be dead. Soldiering's a skilled trade.

Posted by: Warwick at April 19, 2007 2:22 PM

Wendy Cukier's getting PLENTY of airtime on CTV today! Big surprise.

Posted by: OMMAG at April 19, 2007 2:28 PM

Warwick said: "...I don't have a gun but I bet it's possible to load with both hands but with a second gun in the hand that holds the clip."

I do, several, and its not easy to keep two in action and reload at the same time - would be virtually impossible for a newbie. He didn't need to reload while shooting - he hit four rooms - reload while you're changing rooms, repeat.

Posted by: Skip at April 19, 2007 2:30 PM

"two seconds max... double that if you're a dufus."

i should add, it's one of the larger reasons cops gave up
their wheelguns and went to large capacity nine-millimetre...
you're 2 seconds away from a fresh mag.

the disadvantage is, you get a stovepipe... (the brass case
jams in the ejection port, stopping the slide and obscuring
your sight picture like, well... a stovepipe)
during an
adrenalin soaked, a$$hole puckering gunfight... most
people panic and fall to pieces.

smoother, lighter trigger pull on the glocks too.

just my 2 cents.


Posted by: neo at April 19, 2007 2:36 PM

"I don't have a gun but I bet it's possible to load with both hands
but with a second gun in the hand that holds the clip."

not a gunowner... no sh!t.

more than one way to reload i suppose, but 2 guns at a time is a
good way to shoot your b@lls off.

and i'm not kidding.


Posted by: neo at April 19, 2007 2:42 PM

"Two guns are a problem for this scenario. Distance between victim and gunman is also a problem. Hallways and classrooms are perfect environments for shooters. You can keep track of your peripherals much easier and deal with any reaction to your killing before the victims even get close."

You can be carrying a pair of Kalashnikovs, but it's not going to do you much good if 20 people in a classroom are also packing heat and have their guns out waiting for you after hearing your first shots.

This wouldn't have gotten past four or five casualties if the majority of students on campus had been exercising their right to bear arms.

Or if an entire classroom had thrown their desks/chairs at the bastard and then charged him before he could recover.

"Oh, and a racist."

AND you have a Jewish sounding last name. Can't forget that, either. :-|

Posted by: Sean at April 19, 2007 2:44 PM

you try to kill the asshole before he kills you

Posted by: jmorrison at April 19, 2007 2:45 PM

The bigger reason was that a revolver in any meaningful calibre only hold 6 rounds, against a normal magazine in a 9mm Glock of 17. Standard police belt fare in revolver days was 6 in the gun and 3 speedloaders (sometimes only 2) on the belt. A trained officer can load a revolver with a speedloader as fast as a mag change, but in the end, he's still out gunned. Max carry of 24 rounds (more than plenty in any normal situation) but in a shoot out for the same number of reloads, the Glock is going with 68. More than you wanted to know, I bet.

Posted by: Skip at April 19, 2007 2:47 PM

The lockdown mentality is what got some of these people killed - Like 9/11, those that stood around waiting for "instructions" didn't get their butts out of the towers in time - those that said,"screw you, I'm outa here", many survived...

Posted by: Skip at April 19, 2007 2:51 PM

Two handguns, only two hands, how is this guy reloading in 2 seconds? Not likely.

Anybody shoots at you with a handgun, you MOVE! Movement is your friend. It's difficult for a newbie to hit a stationary target at 25 feet with both hands, let alone a moving target with a single-handed grip.

Posted by: tom at April 19, 2007 2:52 PM

Of course, Sean, how could I forget? Steyn quoting me is all part of the (Not Actually Jewish But Sound Like They Might Be) Conspiracy!

About our culture of victimhood:

Did anyone bring himself to listen to the killer's rantings? A litany of "I'm a victim" resentments. Most criminals think of themselves as bigger victims than their actual victims.


Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at April 19, 2007 2:59 PM

While I'm not one to swagger around saying I would turn the tables on an attacker in shooting rampage, I aspire to the clear thinking and courage of the professor who blocked the entrance to his classroom.

On the other hand, the pinky brains over at the Daily Kos and Pandagon seem to think that the best course of action is to flee. What is the point of being a liberal if your first response is to abandon other people in a time of genuine crisis?

Posted by: Mark at April 19, 2007 3:17 PM

It's all about attitude and conditioning. I'll get back to that in due course but first I'de like to relate a personal experience.

A number of years ago I was riding the C-train home late at night. Ironically enough I was returning from facilitating a court mandated Anger Management program.

At the time the south C-Train line terminated at Anderson station and would switch tracks as it pulled into the station. I boarded the train at 39th ave and sat across from an edlerly asian lady, across the aisle a group of youths dressed in military fatigues and adorned with various facial piercings, dog collars and chains were raising hell. The grandma across from me was obviously scared and kept her eyes firmly fixed on the floor. I thought of saying something to these assholes but decided the best bet was to just let it go.

As we pulled into Anderson I stood and grabbed the overhead handrail as did the punks across the way. When the train swung over to the northbound tracks one of the punk's jacket swung open to reveal a machette tucked into the inside pocket of his army trenchcoat. We made eye contact and he knew I'de seen his weapon.

He looked straight at me and snarled "If you saw that I'll have to kill you."

I grabbed him by the windpipe with my left and buried the thumb of my right under his ribs and elbowed the machette away from his body so he couldn't grab it.

The elderly asian woman scurried by us and off the train as we locked eyes and I told him that if he made a move I'de take the machette out and stick it right up his...well you get it.

One of the three other punks said "I think he means it". I waltzed him sideways and pushed him out the doors and onto the platform as hard as I could. The other three exited the train and the punk with the machette pulled it out and started screaming at me.

I swung my backpack off, held it up in front of me and agressively exited the train going straight at him. He backpeddled down the platform and eventually turned and ran along with his buddies.

The train engineer was just exiting the cockpit and asked me if there was a problem. I told him not to worry about it.

Now I admit a machette is not a 9mm. I also admit that these pricks were possers. What is common is that in a crisis situation decisiveness is paramount.

Back to attitude and conditioning. I'll deal with attitude first. Being in my 40's I was raised by children of the dirty thirties. Hard scrabble is as hard scrabble does. I learned that in a street fight you go first, go hard and go fast.

Now conditioning.

The femininization/liberalization/politically correct doctrine of our education system dictates that anger is bad, that when bullied our kids should report it to the "authorities".

In short others are responsible for our personal safety.

Bullshit. Anybody who remotely understands the physiology of anger knows that it is a primordial response. Adrenylyn, cortisone and epinephrine are released immediatly and in massive amounts in response to percieved danger. Fight or flight.

Given the conditioning at least two generations have recieved, the third option is freeze.

Which brings to mind the question. Are we mice or men?

Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light


Posted by: Syncrodox at April 19, 2007 3:18 PM

I can't reload a pistol in 2 seconds, though I don't doubt that a practiced handgun user could do so. If the murderer was using two guns I can't see him doing it that quick, but, because it seems no one bothered him as he stalked the halls, he probably did some reloading between episodes.

Makes no difference. People could have acted. They should have acted. We're being really, really unfair to the dead, of course. Too bad they had to learn that life can actually suck in such a final way. Too bad we didn't teach them of the monsters among us.

In Vietnam I was not a combat soldier. Let's get that straight first thing. Mind you, I dodged a few bullets and took an unwilling part in a hell of a lot of mortar attacks.

When mortared, you duck into a bunker -- provided one is close enough. If not, you select the nearest large object and curl up next to or under it. Several times, I found myself some distance from possible cover and spent the duration of the attack lying flat, face pressed into the dirt, butt muscles tight. God and I exchanged a few comments during these times.

When the first mortar round hits, and if cover isn't handy, you have a choice: run for shelter or lie flat. Correct answer? Lie flat. A bursting mortar round throws shrapnel in a cone-shaped blast. My closest encounter was within about 8 feet. I wasn't hurt, though I won't discuss the state of my hearing and the wet spot on my fatigues.

When someone got killed in a mortar attack, it was almost always because they were ignoring basic survival rules. We always discussed these deaths and often weren't very understanding of the guy who got himself blown away by being stupid.

Unfair? You bet. Callous? Sure. But those discussions saved lives.

Someone should have been so unfair to a few folks in those classrooms; some of those 30 people might be alive to talk about it.

Our guide in these situations should be the ordinary people on Flight 93. True, they had a few minutes to plan. A short time to begin thinking, to act in concert.

Maybe the dead at VT didn't have that time. But, I'm thinking of the ones in the barricaded classroom. I wonder if they discussed taking action after the killer walked away?


Posted by: Jim Hume at April 19, 2007 3:30 PM

Let's be clear about something - I'm not blaming the victims for not acting in their own self defence, no matter how desperate. I think the point has been well made that they were conditioned not to.

But there's something about having used a gun and killed something with it that takes the mystery away. Part of that is finding out how hard it is to kill soemthing big with one shot when it's moving - or when 10 of them are moving. That's the knowledge I was speaking of. It's knowledge you can apply in a situation. This guy used control to accomplish his aims as much as he did bullets.

When he was faced with resistance - the body of an unarmed 77 year old, he failed. He killed one instead of 30. Isn't it better for half a room of intended victims to come out alive than none?

Those are the choices the trapped were facing. Fight and some die, or submit and everyone die. They chose to submit. That's the lesson we have to take from this. Flee when you can, fight when you must. Learn the tell the difference.

Posted by: Kate at April 19, 2007 3:40 PM


I've had some dealings with the school systen regarding my sons adopting the same attitude I display.

I went to a parent/teacher meeting and thought that the teacher was picking my second sons ass based on the behaviour of my first son. I said my piece and told second he would have to deal with the reality.

Sometimes life sucks. But then realizing that fact is a part of growing up.


Posted by: Syncrodox at April 19, 2007 3:42 PM

Sorry, but I have to stir the pot.

There are many people criticising those who didn't act directly against the attacker. Some of those people should know better.

Can an ordinary person, with an ordinary upbringing, march/run directly into enemy fire, unarmed, unarmoured, knowing that the dead bodies of his compatriots litter the area? Can an ordinary person organize a human wave attack with other ordinary people on an armed attacker? In a few seconds? Except in cases involving exceptional individuals, doubtful.

There are those few people in society who inherently have the self-confidence, the determination, the will, something other than their normal state (extreme rage, extreme fear), to inspire them to perform heroic acts of courage. Most people are not capable without preparation.

Normal response to unexpected danger (fight or flight) is flight. Not heroic, just natural instinct. When cornered, fight would be more expected.

Training of any kind is the preparation required to react. Weapons training, to ensure automatic correct use of weapons. Organizational training, to ensure correct team cooperation and develop trust in teammates. Personal training, to develop combat skills and increase self-confidence. Psycological training, to instill the will to perform in an illogical manner and to enter, not flee, a dangerous situation.

A soldier should know that ordinary people can't instantly rise to the occasion and act against a violent attacker. Combat soldiers have been through intense preparation, so that when the first shot is fired, they don't need to think about how to move, how to handle their weapon, to obsess over wounding or death, all the things that would leave an ordinary person paralyzed with indecision.

What is the chance that, within seconds, a) someone in a random group of students would react immediately to the sound of gunfire and assume a leadership position, b) establish a plan of action, c) rally the willing in the room to participate in a human wave attack against the attacker, d) initiate the action with a sufficent majority of the supposedly willing to carry out the action to a successful conclusion? Unless that random group of students were not ex-military?

Alternately, what are the chances that someone would at most shut the door and then go out the nearest window.

We have been told by everyone around us to let the police handle violent events. In some cases, people who do react are charged with a criminal act. All in all, individual reaction is discouraged.

Anyone who thinks clearly about personal safety for even a few seconds realizes that we must all be responsible for our own safety, that the police can only clean up the mess afterward and keep the bad guy from doing it again, maybe (short sentences and early release really help in tht regard). And that all takes some sort of training, practice, and the confidence that we actually can protect ourselves.

We are not allowed to protect ourselves because that implies that we NEED to protect ourselves, and that questions the effectiveness of the new and improved social polices so dear to the leftist.

The leftist agenda is firmly in control.

Posted by: foobius at April 19, 2007 3:57 PM


Not only killing it but dealing with the aftermath.

Skinning, gutting, hanging, butchering and wraping.

The first moose I shot was a exhilarating, humbling and saddening experience.

A combined loss of innocence and transition into resposnibility.


Posted by: Syncrodox at April 19, 2007 4:01 PM

Besides the obvious undertone here that the immigrants are here to destroy us? The fact of the matter is that the president of this university is incompetent and the students cowards. There are many tactics to stop a guy like this, one being misdirection and distraction. Being alone he has to control 350 degrees around him, difficult to do when greatly outnumbered. Chickens.

Posted by: Real Conservative at April 19, 2007 4:20 PM

Foobius, what you say all makes perfect sense.

Here's what I'm wondering, and perhaps not expressing as well as I should:

What makes some ordinary untrained people, like the Professor, or the Amish girl who said "shoot me first" or Your Favourite Example Here act like that while other ordinary untrained people do not?

As I said at my blog: righteous gentiles who hid Jews during WW2 hadn't taken "Jew Hiding Seminars" beforehand.

I happen to think, due to both to early religious instruction and a daily reading of the news, that most people are born bad and are only good thanks to societal pressure and the grace of God.

Contra the modern liberal belief that everyone is born good and corrupted by Vague, Uncontrollable Circumstances.

And I also feel that the seemingly enlighted and compassionate assumption that "everyone is basically decent" has the potential to unleash great mischief and suffering, as folks refuse to believe the worst about a crazy person until it is too late.

"We never know how we'd react" is tightly connected in my mind to "all people are basically good" and "I never thought it would happen here/to me."

I have spent most of my time since the age of 4 convinced that "it" would happen to me, and that I'd better be ready when "it" did. when "It" has happened, sometimes I've reacted in a way I was proud of and sometimes not. But the option of Not Reacting At All or not planning for the eventuality never occured to me.

No, not everyone is me. And hooray. I'm just saying, is all.

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at April 19, 2007 4:29 PM

"Can an ordinary person, with an ordinary upbringing, march/run directly into enemy fire, unarmed, unarmoured, knowing that the dead bodies of his compatriots litter the area? "

Frankly, they can now. That is the object lesson from Virginia Tech.

The Romanian demonstrated what it is to be a man. All the pussified men in our society better pay attention.

Posted by: geothermal at April 19, 2007 4:31 PM

I was surprised to learn the weapon he used; when i first heard of this i assumed he had a full auto.
And i spent considerable time wondering what i would do, particularly as i spend time in classrooms.
I don't have the right to guarantee it, but i think i would have done something. I stress this is not because i think i'm so brave; quite the opposite. i just dont i would be able to wait for it.It's been apparent for several years there will be no hostages or negotiation. Might just as well get it over with, and maybe you can do something positive in the attempt.
Also, something else: if you live and others die, particularly students, how are you going to live with that?
Again, i'm not claiming bravery or criticizing others who were there, maybe i'm just fatalistic.

Posted by: slick mixolydian at April 19, 2007 4:36 PM

The nanny-state is to blame for the lack of a reaction from the victims. We've been raised to never fight back, the authorities will protect us.
Everytime I see a "citizen" fight back against a criminal, there is the inevitable statement from the police that "it is not advisable to confront a criminal, just call the police"
I don't blame the victims at VT for not fighting back, I blame 30 years of nanny-state, non-judgemental, just-give-em-hug bullsh*t.

Posted by: ScottInRMH at April 19, 2007 4:37 PM

If the shooter had been attacked, hurt, injured, or heaven help us killed, and had not shot anyone other than the first two, what kind of trouble would the attackers be in today. The media would be all over them, with comments, how do you know he was going to shoot anyone. How do you know he killed two people. Everyone would be feeling very sorry for this poor misunderstood visible minority, who just happened to hate the world. I imagine before long we will hear of 3 suicides, mother, father and sister.
Just maybe, if more time was spent teaching safety, how to defend oneself in case of danger, proper gun handling, instead of it is ok to have two mommies or daddies, don't offend anyone, our young generation would get some facts of life. Wonder if any of those men in Quebec have grown up to be liberal supporters. Many of those involved as survivors of VT will live the rest of their lives with guilt, realizing that they should/could have done something. Next time, maybe students will fight back.

Posted by: mary T. at April 19, 2007 4:38 PM

15 years ago, I was running for a Seabus when I came upon two men beating a prostrate man on the platform. In an instant, without thinking, I grabbed the worst offender from behind with a headlock. His partner started after me and I yelled for help from the 20 or so men on the platform. Not one came to my assistance. Just blank cowardly stares. Before it got horrible, police arrived. They arrested me. Without a word, those men got on the Seabus and left me to my fate.

We live in a very dangerous society, because large swaths of men have given up their manhood.

Posted by: geothermal at April 19, 2007 4:45 PM

For another horror show,waiting to Max Karson.I caught Gunney Bob,on 850 KOA out of Colorado in middle of nite,talking about this freak!He is a student of Ward Churchill,his Dad is a U.of Denver,and backs the kid all the way,on his 'right of free speech'..the beloved ACLU has been involved in protection of this ass*ole.In class following the Virginia tragedy,sweet Max basically said he could understand why it happened,and threatened female classmate.He publishes a paper he distributes on campus..The Yeti,that is full of vile,sexual,anti-everything,and has said he loves the attention.Got hauled off to jail finally..but I'm sure ACLU,Churchill,and Daddy will rescue once again.Check out the links,blogs etc.that mention him,and wonder as I do,WHY this freak is so protected.What a sick world.

Posted by: Sammy at April 19, 2007 4:52 PM

Neo, I'm sorry about your balls being shot off but now I understand why you write in such a high pitched tone.

Students pushing away tables and chairs and charging the shooter is infeasible in some classrooms where the chairs with flip writing spaces are anchored to the floor. If the rooms were amphitheater style with anchored rows of chairs, a group assault on someone at the top of the classroom becomes impossible.

Posted by: AltaInd at April 19, 2007 5:00 PM

Attitude is non-negotiable. Guts are rare.
That said..What is normal? Gutlessness? Fear?
Incompotenence? Correctness?

Define normal. I breathlesly await.


Posted by: Syncrodox at April 19, 2007 5:19 PM

After reading a lot of comments on the inter-web, I think this one's an easy call. We can, with certainty, divide humanity into two broad groups: the heroic commenters -- who are more numerous -- and the cowardly-pussy commenters. The heroic commenters, to a man and woman, would have averted or minimized the tragedy by charging the gunman. The cowardly-pussy commenters would have held their disabled classmates in front of them as a shield while mewling like little girls; afterwards, they would be praising the heroic-commenters for saving their lives, and for their comments.

Given the existence of these two groups, it's clear that this tragedy happened because of a sheer statistical improbability: not one single heroic commenter was present during the shootings, and every single murdered student happened to be a cowardly commenter. This can only be described as a freak occurance, like being dealt pocket aces in thirty-six consecutive poker hands. It happens.

Seriously, though: in my earlier, scrappier days, I couldn't help but notice really notice -- that there is no real correlation between other people's utterances regarding their own character when in danger and their actual behaviour. Now, if the current discussion is about whether there's been a pussification of our culture, I would weigh in on the "definitely" side. But in the case of the VT shootings it seems the debate is about whether to step into the heroic word-pile or the helpless, fetal-position shooting-victim wordpile.

Here are some good points to consider, some drawn from comments elsewhere:

1. It doesn't take 8 to 10 seconds to change a clip, especially when you're wide-eyed and perky, and furthermore it's likely that buddy reloaded in an empty hallway -- go figure -- out of sprinting range of any students.

2. NOBODY knows that none of the murdered students in an attempt to stop the gunman, so isn't it a bit early, and almost pre-emptively desecrating, to imply that their deaths, and the scale of the massacre, are an extension of moral and physical cowardice?

3. The Gamil Gharbi (Lepine) incident in Montreal was a completely different situation; he strode in, in full sight, went to the front of the class and announced his intentions (more or less) at which point the male students filed out neatly as per his request. He was in plain sight, and had not yet discharged his weapon; if half of the male students -- or even five or six -- had rushed him, he would have been overpowered, with the loss of one or two lives, maybe. We don't know that anyone at VT had such an opportunity.

If you're in a classroom, and you hear screams and gunshots outside the room, there's no way of knowing a) how many shooters there are b) the identity or location of the gunman/gunmen, and c) whether the hell audibly breaking loose is an indiscriminate massacre, or a gang-related targeting of a particular individual or individuals.

If an heroic commenter were to see a pop-a-cap turf battle going on in, say, Jane and Finch, would he/she rush the gunman?

The Virginia Tech students were, in the original and most non-perjorative sense, actual victims of someone who, as Kathy noted, considered himself the biggest victim. It's too easy to admix the tragic -- being mowed down by a loser with a gun -- with the odious -- being a whining, knock-kneed pussy who demands compensation -- simply because both involve the word "victim". One is both a claim and a self-fulfilling prophecy, the other is an after-the-fact and accurate description.

My condolences to the families of the VT students.

Posted by: EBD at April 19, 2007 5:20 PM


The point is the frame of live or die in a self determined way.

I'll decide.


Posted by: Syncrodox at April 19, 2007 5:43 PM


The point is the frame of live or die in a self determined way.

I'll decide.


Posted by: Syncrodox at April 19, 2007 5:44 PM

"A trained officer can load a revolver with a speedloader
as fast as a mag change, but in the end, he's still out gunned"

not sure how many cops even carry wheelguns any more, but
getting a speedloader off your belt, lining up the six bullets
with the chambers and not twisting the knob and spilling rounds
on the floor... oh yeah, add in swinging out the chamber and
dumping brass before... and closing the chamber after...
is way
more complicated than slamming a bevel-top mag into the
double-stack hole in the handle of a glock 19.

unlike some of the commentators here, who seem to get their
gun smarts from hbo... i've done both.

no cop chooses a revolver nowadays... the high-cap nine millimetre
is god's own hammer of death.

one more thing... hitting anything with a handgun is hard... especially
in a pressure situation, you know, like... indiscriminate slaughter
in a public venue.

whoever said to duck and weave and run was giving good advice.

if this a$$hole was shooting two guns at once, he had to be walking
up to people and sticking it in their ear.

it ain't like on tv where arnold blows bad guys away from
the next neighbourhood.


Posted by: neo at April 19, 2007 5:47 PM

A version of the primate monoamine oxidase-A gene has been referred to as the warrior gene, initially in monkeys then in humans. Several different versions of the gene are found in different individuals, although a functional gene is present in most humans (except in a few individuals with Brunner syndrome)[1].
In 2006, a New Zealand researcher, Dr Rod Lea said that this variant (or genotype) of monoamine oxidase-A was over-represented in a small sample of current Māori. This supported earlier studies that there are different proportions of variants in different ethnic groups. This is the case for many genetic variants, with 33% White/Non-Hispanic, 61% Asian/Pacific Islanders having the shorter promoter variant of the MAO-A gene[2].
See also:

A New Zealand researcher claims there is an over-representation of the "warrior" gene, which has been linked to aggressive behaviour, in Maori men.
Dr Lea said today he believed the influence of the gene, which appeared to feature in about 60 per cent of Maori men compared with 30 per cent of European men, could be small.

"I believe this gene has an influence on behaviour of humans in general, but I also believe that the influence is rather small," he said on National Radio.

What percentage of the victims were on MAOIs or related drugs designed to extinguish the warrior gene? My guess is half.

Posted by: Bob at April 19, 2007 5:57 PM

The thing I find most appalling is that not one of the students attempted to help Prof Librescu. A doorway is a great place for an ambush, but instead of trying to stop the gunman they all fled at the high port leaving a 70 year old man to fend for himself.

Posted by: Alex at April 19, 2007 6:03 PM

I mostly agree with EDB. I certainly agree with Kathy that people are born bad and only rarely become truly good, but we're not talking about truisms about man in the abstract here, we're talking about 32 specific individuals (or rather 31, since everyone agrees Librescu was a hero), and we need to know exactly what happened and how before we fling out accusations that the dead will be unable to defend themselves against on this side of Judgment Day.
Alex: Some reports (possibly self-serving or false, of course) say Librescu insisted every student leave.
Kathy: I've seen you on TV. You're reasonably attractive, or at least average. You are undoubtedly short, but some men prefer petit woman. The wallowing in self-abasement that comes with your pre-emptive declaration that you are short and ugly (which you did on at least two different sites today!) is a lot more annoying than a delusive belief that you are gorgeous would be, and is more likely to turn people off your opinions than the opinions themselves are likely to do.

Posted by: James Kabala at April 19, 2007 6:20 PM

When you are shooting at a charging target roughly 12% will be hits. The only way to get a killing hit is to strike the triangle area at the bridge of the nose (a very difficult shot, even more difficult if the target is charging you). If you hit in a vital area (heart, kidney, lungs) it will still take 10 to 12 seconds for the person to fall to the ground.
So if only 1 person is rushing the shooter he has only a 12% chance of getting hit and even less of getting killed. The percentages drop even more if more people rush them. On top of this, almost all of these mass killers are cowards and if even one person stands up to them they will melt.
The police are now adopting the "Active Shooter" program where the officers (min 3-4) will rush the building and engage the shooter as soon as possible. This is why the Dawson College attack only resulted in one death. As soon as the shooter was engage by police he hid in a corner and shot himself.
My kids are taught to fight if threatened with deadly force. If they are kidnapped they are to fight, if they are caught in an active shooter scenario they are to grab a weapon (knife, pen, book-bag, cup of hot coffee, anything)and defend themselves.
The only way that the person at VT killed so many people is that they crowded or cowwed like sheep in a corner and he shot them down.

Posted by: Don at April 19, 2007 6:22 PM

James, my self-abasement may annoy you, but perhaps you've missed the years of ad homs thrown my way at sites like this one. I've recently adopted a new strategy of beating those commenters to the punch, and it's been working a treat so far!

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at April 19, 2007 6:51 PM

Neo: you said:not sure how many cops even carry wheelguns any more, but getting a speedloader off your belt, lining up the six bulletswith the chambers and not twisting the knob and spilling rounds on the floor... oh yeah, add in swinging out the chamber and dumping brass before... and closing the chamber after... is way more complicated than slamming a bevel-top mag into the double-stack hole in the handle of a glock 19.

If this is your experience with a wheelgun then you are not competent. A competent handler of a revolver CAN approach a semi in loading speed, without the experiences you describe.

All of this is beside the point. In Canada, the only services still using revolvers are money carriers.

Posted by: Skip at April 19, 2007 6:52 PM

Well, not being there kinds of neutralizes most of "if it was me" theories but one does have to ask why nobody did anything especially if the shooter started to off person #1 then #2, etc. Why wasn't there a Flight 93 moment wher you decide to go down swinging? Also, there are reports of the wounded being shot up to three times so 30 dead plus 22 wounded makes for a lot of reloading.

I also find it sad that the same bunch are in the MSM, etc crying about the gun control thing or why he wasn't locked up in the looney bin. These are the unpleasant side effects of a free society. His angry rants and play were scary but a lot of people write that stuff and that is as far as it goes, getting it off their chest. If you lock me up for writing an angry essay then who is next? It is that slippery slope thing, I guess. Doesn't the movie Minority Report expand on this guilty before you even do anything wrong theme?

BTW, Just as I'd refrain from Sheila Copps cuzzie jokes, I'll leave Kathie Shaidle's love life (or lack there of) alone. Nice pre-emptive strike though girl.

Posted by: Texas Canuck at April 19, 2007 7:05 PM

"Besides the obvious undertone here that the immigrants are here to destroy us? The fact of the matter is that the president of this university is incompetent and the students cowards... Chickens."

He is a Real Conservative!

Posted by: Forain at April 19, 2007 7:06 PM

Hey Kathy, if I wasnt married I ask you out.

Posted by: FREE at April 19, 2007 8:08 PM

VT happens when a society "normalizes" an attitude of acquiesence vs one of defense of oneself, property and individual rights.

Our "liberal" education system is completely stamping out instinct and self-preservation from our children. The students were completely unaware of their environment and totally ignorant of the danger within their midst. They seem to have no ability to "read" people and situations.

It was shocking to see how little anyone questioned the shooters bizarre behaviors. Where the hell was their "spidey sense"? Most students were helpless, paralyzed and unable to muster any defense. And, they enabled the shooter to just pick them off!!

Posted by: Gypsy at April 19, 2007 8:39 PM

Hey everything about me is true except the "need to get laid" part. That's a dig always, and I mean always, aimed at me by (male) commenters. Should have used those "sarcasm" tags :-)

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at April 19, 2007 8:41 PM

Texas Canuck - you're point is well taken, at what point in a civil society we can lock people up? It's what psych people deal with every day. The laws are very specific "clear, imminent, present danger to self or others with an intention/plan/means". Being a sullen loner screwball just won't and shouldn't put you indefinately in a state hospital involuntarily.

Having said that, if this guy was an employee in a private corporate, a behavioral problem and underperforming, he would have been off of their payroll in short order. He was kicked out of normal classes and being tutored at the end, ominous reports were piling up, my question, what earthly reason did VT have in not terminating their relationship with him?

Posted by: penny at April 19, 2007 8:59 PM

We might at this point remember the truth of the Montreal Massacre rather than the official lies.

All of these facts are available in the official Coroner's Report.

In 1989, the police arrived at the scene of the Montreal massacre some 12 minutes after the shooting started. At that time, they were clearly aware that people were being shot in the building, this information had been relayed to them prior to their arrival and they could hear shots being fired in the building. Students, some wounded, were coming out of the building informing them where the gunman was and that he was continuing to murder students. The police spent the next 15 minutes standing outside the building without taking any action to actually deal with the murderer. It was only after the murder committed suicide that they entered the building.

The official Coroners report stated, “Throughout all that time, the police actions consisted of securing a security perimeter and evacuating the crowd. At the point when it was announced that the suspect had killed himself, there was a very large number of police officers on the scene ... When it was announced that the suspect had killed himself, therefore, the police were waiting for reinforcements. At that point, no intervention operation was underway and none was in the process of being executed, or even being formulated.” The Coroners report goes on to note that the rifle used had little relevance to the tragedy stating that “With the unlimited ammunition and time that Marc Lépine had available to him (author’s note: 60 rounds were found), he would probably have been able to achieve similar results even with a conventional hunting weapon, which itself is readily accessible.”

These facts raised a number of issues the government of the day did not want to discuss, much less debate. It has been a settled part of government policy to discourage self-defence, often to the point of legally harassing people who defend themselves, especially if they defend themselves with a weapon. It is illegal to carry a “weapon” of any kind for self-defence, people are instructed to passively obey violent criminals rather than resist. Gun storage laws are now specifically structured to make guns unavailable for defense. All of these policies are justified by the assertion that self-defense is no longer required since the police protect us. The actions of the police in Montreal brought all of these policies and the official assertion of police protection into dispute. We can also note that the tragedy highlighted the fact that the police have no legal duty to protect anyone, nor are they legally required to even attempt to protect anyone. The result of these policies is that the government has severely curtailed the right (and ability) of citizens to protect themselves without taking any legal responsibility for their protection. Diverting the debate onto guns was a way around these issues.

Posted by: Bruce at April 19, 2007 9:03 PM

Hey, I thought the ideas behind this post were pretty good. Not easy to jump a mentaly ill nutjob with two weapons, however there must have been heavy objects people could pick up and toss during a pause.

Men at least should assume leadership and bark out constructive orders like, *everyone, pick up something to throw, but don*t expose youself to the shooter* and then * get ready *. . . *toss everything now and rush him.

OK, theory is easy here at the keyboard, yet it seems as though everyone is a follower these days. Adrenalin is supposed to help people think on a higher plane. None of the guys were *Lets roll types* I guess. = TG

PS: I realize both genders are capable of a power move, like when a mom can intimidate a Grizzly to release her youngster. [Banf]

Posted by: TG at April 19, 2007 9:17 PM

If you google Target Focus Training in Las Vegas Nevada you'll come up with Tim Larkin. He's the real deal and if only one of those people on that campus had that kind of training the shooter would have been dead long before 33 others did.

Posted by: Farmer Ben at April 19, 2007 9:28 PM

"I hope, if I had been in one of those rooms, that I could have taken action BEFORE the shooter arrived to at least make an attempt at self defense."

And if you hadn't, somebody on the Internet would be critiquing your performance like you were on American Idol or something. Hey, let's go to the funerals and hold up numbered signs so the mourners know how they did. Then maybe offer some constructive criticism on how WE'D have thrown the dirt on the coffin.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at April 19, 2007 9:57 PM

The National Post reports the maniac had time to send a video to NBC while the police did.. nothing. Two hours between shootings, and there was no notification to students? I'm normally a supporter of the police, but these guys really dropped the ball.

Posted by: KevinB at April 19, 2007 10:14 PM


actually, he was new to guns... i'm guessing he ran them dry, one at a time...
which locks the slide back, so... push button to drop mag... slam in the
fresh one you've got in your hand... hit slide release... you're good to go.

two seconds max... double that if you're a dufus.

if he counted his shots, he could drop an empty mag and leave one up the pipe,
ready to go while reloading.

let's recognise that most cops wouldn't have gone up against this guy alone...
standard procedure... which, of course, means dead victims.

i'd like to know how many of the commentators here have ever even held a gun,
never mind wrestle one away from a lunatic.

better to go down fighting, i agree... but everyone's a hero... from hindsight.


well said

and he may have practiced clip changes for a week before , as well he may have READ up on how to conduct himself

and if he only cornered 15 people at a time and had 20 bullits and CHAINED doors (which I read he did chain doors) then it may have been practically impossible to interceed

also most of the victums were still young, I don't know if I would have done anything at their age

Posted by: GYM at April 19, 2007 10:15 PM

A survivor's account in the National Post Thursday....

"I think I heard him reload three times, I think it was the sound of reloading - they were long pauses."

Posted by: Robert in Calgary at April 19, 2007 10:32 PM

WOW- This comments section really tells a lot about a lot of SDA visitors. You seem to like to fantasize that you have a vast knowledge and experience in small arms use and SWAT type takedowns of short-circuited rampaging adolescents.

Particularly comedic are those comments that describe how the commenter would reload if he were a homicidal maniac.

Particularly maddening are the ones that seem to think they could have avoided getting dead had they been sitting in one of those classrooms by some sort of quick thinking tactic to take the killer down.

I imagine most of these commenters posing in front of a mirror practicing what they'd say and imagining how they'd take him down. Kind of like Deniro in Taxi Driver or maybe how like Cho Seung-Hui looked on the cover of every newspaper on the continent.

Posted by: kmelrose at April 19, 2007 10:39 PM

"skip said... A competent handler of a revolver CAN approach a semi in loading speed,
without the experiences you describe."

that's not the experiences, skipper... that's what's involved.


lemme reiterate... thumb mag release to drop empty magazine, off-hand puts new one in,
thumb slide release (only if you run gun dry), note gun hand is always on grip.

-- versus --


use two hands to point gun barrel up while opening cylinder, push ejector rod to eject
cases, now point barrel down, grab speedloader by knob without twisting it prematurely
and dropping bullets, align bullets with chambers, insert, now twist knob, drop speedloader,
again using two hands close cylinder, get a firing grip and you still have a stiff double
action trigger-pull to contend with.

note with revolver... weak hand holds chamber open, while strong hand reaches for

skip... you're talkin out yer a$$.


Posted by: neo at April 19, 2007 10:46 PM

you all have commented, so many of you should look at yourselfs and ask am i a coward, quite a few if you really belive some of the bullshit you have puked. there must have been someway that bastard could have been stopped. christ north america is screwed.

Posted by: pete at April 19, 2007 11:00 PM

WOW- This comments section really tells a lot about kmelrose. He/she seems to like to fantasize that he/she is superior to other human beings

Particularly comedic are the comments that describe how the commenter thinks guns are not useful tools, for farmers, hunters, or law enforcement officers, but simply penile substitutes.


Posted by: neo at April 19, 2007 11:00 PM

When our so-called liberated women started resenting men who held doors open for them about thirt of so years ago .. ETCETERA!, They also forfeited the luxury of men defending them when they are threatened.

When the formerly fairer sex decided they wanted equality with men, perhaps they should have negotiated that protecting them should remain part of the deal. They did not.

Our educational system (largely run by women and efeminate men) have decided that competitive sport and rough play was uncivilized so the we now have a couple of generations of "girly men" and they aren't about to rise to the manly challenge of protecting women.

That still doesn't make it right, but you are reaping what you have sown ladies.

Fathers and sons who allowed this to happen are getting it in the eye too. Perhaps the courage to stand up against the feminization and emasculation of the men in our society would have been the first brave thing to do.

Men have been denuded of their masculinity down to sissy status so what the hell does anyone expect when they are faced with a physycal threat but to cower with the women.

Perhaps it's time to have classroom marshals installed in all schools so that there will at least be one armed and ready person to protect the rest of the pitiful sheep and their teachers. But where would find enough to go around.

Posted by: Yanni at April 19, 2007 11:05 PM

Kathy Shaidle:

"Speaking of self-defence, can I just pre-emptively weigh in here before the ad homs begin and confirm that, yes, I am a "short, ugly, big-ass middle aged woman who needs to get laid"?

Thank you.

Oh, and a racist."

Kathy, this is a bizarre statement which invites more of the personal attacks you claim to want to avoid. Why the need for self-flagellation?

Way too much info for those of us interested in the topic at hand.

Posted by: Gypsy at April 20, 2007 12:16 AM

Guns are available in all areas of the world. You cannot put this genie back in the bottle no matter what restrictive laws you enact. Bad people are going to get access to firearms or even more dangerous weapons. If you think you can stop them you are dreaming. Fortunatly these attacks are rare, although even one is too many. We must educate people about the capabilities and limitations of firearms. Knowledge is a weapon. These kids had no chance because the lacked knowledge as much as anything.(That and a .38) Our society teaches us to blindly fear guns. As Kate says, fear will freeze you. Would more knowledge have helped in this case? It certainly would not have made it worse. An excellent book on this subject: No Second Chance-Disarming The Armed Assailant by Bradley J. Steiner. A realistict look at unarmed self defence.

Posted by: Bazoo at April 20, 2007 12:24 AM

For what it's worth. I've shot a lot of handguns, from revolvers to semi-autos. One thing I can say with utter confidence ... an average shooter, faced with three terror crazed but survival driven kids, would likely ... and that's likely, only hit one. More than likely he'd freeze or miss, or get two wild shots off.

Firing into a running target, even an approaching one, is a difficult thing until that target is at point blank range. Only very good shots can hit a target moving rapidly at any cross angle.

The result of a charge would be one or more struck victims, at best, and one brutally killed shooter.

The wait to reload notion is not possible under the circumstances ... it takes too much thinking; those who just want to go down fighting would simply attack ... period, and if only three or so did it, they'd likely take the man down.

Fear, when reinforced by years of victim training, as our society does, acts as a freezing agent. Fear, in the hands of a more natural person, creates "fight" or "flight". Nobody thinks in situations like this, and the only guiding tool is instinct and what's been ingrained previously.

Many small children have saved themselved from preditory attacks by going into automatic mode, and doing as daddy had instructed time again ... fighting like hell.

Humans who've had it said to them, on many occasions, don't go down without a fight, are far more apt to kick into "fight" mode ...

In "progressia" though, we are told again and again never to fight, not even to flee, just trust "Nanny". And we die.

Posted by: Cjunk at April 20, 2007 12:29 AM

One of the easier ways to affect a two second semi-auto pistol magazine change, is for the shooter to be aware of his ammunition expediture and when one or two rounds are left in the loaded magazine, he ejects it from the pistol by using his right hand (thumb), lets the magazine fall to the ground and immediately inserts a fresh magazine into the pistol butt with his left hand. The shooter's master (shooting) hand never has to leave the butt of the pistol and a round remains chambered with the pistol in safe battery until the fresh magazine is fully inserted (most pistols cannot be fired if the magazine is removed). Once the magazine is inserted into the pistol butt, battery is automatically restored. The shooter maintains situational awareness and target acquistion throughout. Note, if done in this manner, the shooter is able to carry on shooting without having to worry about working the pistol slide or tripping a slide locking lever to chamber a new round in order to return the pistol to battery.

To those who made comment concerning the lack of aggressive response by the victims of this monster I would remind one and all that these victims were untrained civilians. My immediate response in this situation would be to get all the weapons I could get my hands on, chairs, garbage cans, cell phones (everyone these days owns one - especially students) and use them as missiles the moment this maniac poked his head through the door. Anything to distract him or cause a minor injury so as to allow me and others to get within his pistol arc and then beat him to death with our hands and feet. That would be my response but I have 31 years experience and training as an infantry soldier. As I understand it, these unfortunate souls did not. As such, their actions were regretable and understandable.

My background - I am a retired Canadian Armed Forces Infantry Chief Warrant Officer. I am Small Arms Instructor qualified and am also an Army Technical Warrant Officer with five years practical experience in the testing of Army equipment.

Posted by: B Veysey at April 20, 2007 12:32 AM

Reading the rebuttals of those who insist that it was "not possible" for trapped students to fight for their own lives, I would remind you that for years, women were told it was best to submit to a rapist - in order to increase the likelihood of survival.

A lot of women died believing that. And today, the advice is to fight.

Posted by: Kate at April 20, 2007 12:49 AM

If ten people had thrown chairs at this guy they could have stopped him. Does that mean that they all would have survived? Of course not. We have raised generations of kids - now adults - who have no conception of the fact that someday, they may need to take care of themselves. Someday, they may find that the police are a long way off. (Or they are right outside, manning the perimeter as they did at Columbine, but in any event they are not riding to your rescue.)

People could have done a lot of things. The one thing they couldn't have done is shoot the bastard, since guns are not allowed on the VT campus - this to make everyone "feel" safe.

So while they may have believed they were safe on Friday, last, they know differently today.

Your home, your school, your job exists in the real world. And in the real world sometimes people do monstrous things, often with little or no warning. (Sometimes with enough warning that restraining orders are in place) You can either choose to recognize this fact or pretend that those kinds of things happen to other kinds of people in other kinds of places. But it is just pretend. In the real world it takes time to call 911, it takes time for 911 to answer and determine do you need fire or police. In the real world the police are not right outside your door, they are minutes (sometimes many minutes) away. When faced with a monster, you are likely going to be on your own for a long time. It may only be 10 minutes, but a lot of bad things can happen in 10 minutes. (Those 10 minutes may turn into "the rest of your life.")

But we (in the US at least) for the most part resist the idea that the nanny state can't take care of our every need, can't arrest every criminal, can't find every maniac before the rampage. But it can't. Even when a restraining order is in place, in too many instances the state is helpless to prevent assault or murder.

You can't solve all the problems before they happen. You can only meet a problem as it presents itself. And yes, you may die no matter what you do. I'll tell you a secret, you're going to die eventually no matter what happens. I keep a fire extinguisher in my kitchen, that doesn't mean a fire won't spread. I wear seatbelts when driving. That doesn't mean I am invincible in any car crash. I have a plan for dealing with the average urban-goblin (whether at home or away). That is no guarantee I will survive the encounter. But I do have a plan. Do you?

And fear of death should not be all encompassing in your life. Sure, a certain fear of death is healthy, but people who will do anything - absolutely anything - to stay alive are the people who become concentration camp guards in places like Dachau. Me I would rather die fighting than cowering. You are free to make a different choice.

Posted by: Zendo Deb at April 20, 2007 1:51 AM

I am sure that allowing responsible law abiding adults to carry heat on that campus would have saved at least some lives.There isnt much talk about about this fact in the liberal media.In fact any talk is almost always condesending

Posted by: adrian smits at April 20, 2007 4:55 AM

I read most of the comments and I thought that I would say a couple of things:

1. I am sure that this guy had been planning this revenge stuff for years so he was thinking of all the angles and scenaries as to how he would carry this out.

2. I think that the responsibility for dealing with bullies and people (or nuts) out to get you - belongs with the parents - and unfortunately we have moved this to teachers and agencies.
I used to get beat up all the time going and coming from school when I was a kid. I never told my teachers but I eventually told my parents. My parents told me (and actually sent me to judo classes) that I had to confront this. We came up with a plan to isolate these guys and take them one at a time - I ended up in a couple of fights - and I was never phyically bullied again. The important thing was that my parents supported me and having that support makes the difference - you can be bullied and tramatized in many ways - but you realize that it is not so important when your parents take the time to care about you.

Posted by: cconn at April 20, 2007 6:41 AM

Gypsy, I take it that the concept of humour in general and sarcasm in particular is completely foreign to you. Also that you're new around here. Talk less, read more.

Posted by: Kathy Shaidle at April 20, 2007 9:48 AM

As usial these knee-jerk liberals prefer to blame guns rather then the person i mean why dont someone sue VT for its stupid gun ban which cuased all those deaths i say GUN CONTROL is resposnble

Posted by: spurwing plover at April 20, 2007 10:01 AM

The standard anti-gun mantra has always stated that "if you use a gun for self-defense, the attacker will likely take it away from you."

Well then, why didn't anyone simply take it away from Cho as the antis always so blithely state?

Because their statement is false. And stupid. That's why. Funny how bad guys always keep their guns, and good guys always lose their guns.

Posted by: tom at April 20, 2007 10:20 AM


For the record, according to eyewitness testimony on NPR last night, in the French class at VT, the teacher saw the gunman in the hall, closed the door and told her class to get down on the floor. She's Canadian BTW.

Cho came in and calmly walked around to most desks and put a couple shots into each person. He left the room (probably to reload) for a couple minutes and then came back and started again. He was firing from point blank range. He left the room a second time and killed himself. Those who survived did so because 1. they remained frozen and Cho thought they were already dead and 2. Cho was such a bad shot that while standing over top people prostrate on the floor, he stil only managed to injure or miss entirely (once again from the testimony).

This is why the dead-to-injured ratio was so high at VT. Compared to most shootings, such as at Dawson College, potential victims run off in all directions or someone intervenes with force.

Cho never told the students to get on the floor. The teacher did. Now half of them are dead.

Posted by: PlaidShirt at April 20, 2007 6:50 PM

Say what you will, but you're all still here speculating on how you'd overtake the shooter.

Fact is that you'd all be just as dead as those school kids are, except maybe for the CWO, if the circumstances were favourable, like if he'd had a gun.

What I'm getting at is that it's starting to sound a bit kooky in here with all the 'gun experts' and their wouldashouldacoulda's

Posted by: kmelrose at April 20, 2007 10:08 PM

Not all men are born with a dominant instinct to freeze, or run. Many men are born with a distinctive instinct to fight. What is statistically interesting about Virginia Tech is that given the number of male students exposed to this madman, some must have been born with the instinct to fight. It is more than possible that those that were had their natural disposition to meet violence with violence trained right out of them.

I suppose we can't blame them. From an early age, anyone younger than 25 or so has been constantly advised that violence in any form is unacceptable. Teachers advise students to rat on anyone who bullies or fights. Police constantly counsel citizens not to fight an agressor. The societal training of these students and the messages they received for their entire lives on how to act in the face of violence overroad all male students. Even those born with an instinct to act.

Posted by: geothermal at April 21, 2007 12:53 AM


I suggest you follow your own advice.

Your attempt at humor highlights your massive insecurity.

Been around here a long time, but don't have the same urge as you to publicly degrade myself.

Posted by: Gypsy at April 22, 2007 1:31 PM

You sniveling pussies who whine and throw tantrums by the hour about terrorism, 9/11 and being afwaid of the big bad wibawals are lecturing people about fear and being afraid? Gimme a freakin break you chicken-little pansies! You shoot unarmed animals because thats all your smart enough to do! I don't agree with gun control because you retarded, redneck, red-state hicks shoot each other all the time when your out in the woods and not currently playing Brokeback Mountain. Been hunting with Dick Cheney lately? Fun stuff! hicks! Oklahoma City Fed hicks! Johnson Space hicks! So VA Tech was performed by a Korean kid. Thats the first killng rampage NOT performed by a red-state hick even though it was still performed in red-state hick country. Y'all keep on killing each other and its great!

Posted by: Syntax at April 23, 2007 4:48 AM