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Fallout April 17, 2007

Posted by fitsnews in Uncategorized.
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virginia tech fallout

GUNS, VIOLENCE AND VIRGINIA TECH – FOUR LESSONS

FITSNews – April 17, 2007 – We couldn’t even finish typing up our list of lessons from yesterday’s Virginia Tech Massacre before the No. 1 lesson on our list was ignored – authorities in Blacksburg today released the name of the “alleged” mass murderer.

After considerable internal deliberation, we’re not going to publish this individual’s name here on FITSNews. Why not? Because f*ck him, that’s why. You know, British rocker Morrissey once presciently sang “in our lifetime those who kill, the news world hands them stardom,” and for our part we’re not going to lend a helping hand to anybody’s mass murder martyrdom.

Which is Lesson #1Don’t Hand These Sociopaths International Stardom. There ought to be a simple rule if you kill a bunch of people or assassinate somebody famous – you don’t get to become famous yourself as a result of it. Ted Bundy, James Earl Ray, The Family of Charles Manson, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jeffrey Dahmer, Sirhan Sirhan, Mohammed Atta and the 9/11 hijackers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, Charles Whitman – all of these names are permanently etched into the annals of American history. But who remembers Roy Dell Schmidt, an electrician who was one of seventeen people shot to death during the University of Texas massacre thirty years ago? Or Matt La Porte, a college freshman who was one of the thirty-two victims of yesterday’s tragedy?

Lesson #2We Need More Guns, Not Fewer Guns. The Commonwealth of Virginia has a liberal firearms carrying law, but its public universities (including Virginia Tech) have strict regulations which ban the carrying of guns on campus. As a result, we’ll never know how many lives might have been saved had a responsible student or teacher been armed and able to shoot down the assailant at the beginning of his rampage. True, this is always going to be a classic chicken v. egg argument, but the fact remains that a gun is no more or less dangerous than a toaster until you put it into the hands of a crazy person. And guns or no guns, crazy people are still going to find ways to kill. In fact, guns help the good guys stop them sooner.

Lesson #3 The Press Is Way Too Morbid. This is another chicken v. egg argument – is the media morbidly fascinated because its customers are? Or are we morbidly fascinated because the media makes us that way? “If it bleeds, it leads,” is the old expression in the news business – and if it bleeds a lot, it tends to lead for days and days on end. There’s something seriously wrong with that, but until we get a handle on why people enjoy devouring death’s disturbing details so much, nothing’s going to break that cycle.

Lesson #4 Colleges Need Better Security. An eighty year-old Elmer Fudd Rent-A-Cop holding a can of pepper spray just ain’t going to cut it anymore. America’s public colleges and universities need professional, armed security personnel on their campuses, and students and teachers must receive crisis training from these professionals.

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Comments»

1. …the life and times… - April 17, 2007

[…] what can be said about it? Will’s got some pretty solid points over at FITS, and Kristin has hit my emotional side over at vintage journalizations… and it’s all […]

2. Don Johnson - April 17, 2007

If I might add Lesson #5:

At some point, we need to dispassionately sit down and discuss if anything reasonable might be done to our gun laws in this country. I’m a die-hard supporter of the Second Amendment, but it would do everyone some good if we could gather, without reflexive angst, to see if there are ways we can keep guns out of the hands of crazy people while ensuring your Second Amendment rights.

When we start these discussions, there are the “hands off my damned guns” and the “ban all guns” and the people on each side think the other side is crazy, so a real discussion never starts.

The “ban all guns” discussion is starting again. I can understand why people feel that today, but it is not the answer. Guns are no more dangerous than a toaster, as Will eloquently pointed out. But are there any ways to keep them from being dangerous in the hands of crazy South Korean nationals? I don’t know, and there probably isn’t a reasonable answer to that unfortunately.

3. Kristin - April 18, 2007

Amen, Will.

4. Rob W. - April 20, 2007

“Why the Bombings (or Shootings) Mean That We Must Support My Politics”

Many people will use this terrible tragedy as an excuse to put through a political agenda other than my own. This tawdry abuse of human suffering for political gain sickens me to the core of my being. Those people who have different political views from me ought to be ashamed of themselves for thinking of cheap partisan point-scoring at a time like this. In any case, what this tragedy really shows us is that, so far from putting into practice political views other than my own, it is precisely my political agenda which ought to be advanced.

Not only are my political views vindicated by this terrible tragedy, but also the status of my profession. Furthermore, it is only in the context of a national and international tragedy like this that we are reminded of the very special status of my hobby, and its particular claim to legislative protection. My religious and spiritual views also have much to teach us about the appropriate reaction to these truly terrible events.

Lifted from BoingBoing.net

5. Newspaper Hack - April 20, 2007

Seriously, more guns? Did the NRA sponsor your latest bender? More guns didn’t work for the Wild West, and it’s not going to work here. And, as someone who usually is offended by very little, that’s pretty goddamn offensive.

6. Kristen - April 20, 2007

I am totally with you Will! Why should we give that sorry excuse of a human being his 5 mins of martyrdom?!? Love the site! Take care


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