Virginia: how to say this without sounding like a dick…

… hmm, guess I can’t, but here goes.

The killings at Virginia Tech were nothing to do with me. To the best of my knowledge, I didn’t know anybody on campus. The closest thing to a personal connection I have are that I kind of know someone who studied there, and I’ve read a book or two by the father of one of the victims.

That’s the extent of my connection. The victim’s (and perpetrator’s) families have my sympathies, for what that’s worth, but I’d be lying if I pretended to be deeply saddened. Many more people will be dying around the world due to poverty, war, bad drivers, faulty equipment, etc today than died in Virginia Tech that day, and I could not function as a human being if I tried to take the burden of feeling for every one of those. And frankly, it wouldn’t do anyone any good if I did. The only difference is that in Virginia tech, they died in one go at the hands of one person.

Meanwhile, politicians worldwide, with far more blood on their hands than the shooter, express regrets and want to look like they’re “doing something” about it.

Guys, it’s not about you.

Also, (and thanks to Brad Hicks here), it’s only peripherally a gun control issue. And please, please read both Brads current posts on this.

Finally, to be a TOTAL contradictory dick, I do have some advice on how to prevent future tragedies… treat everyone you know well. Heck, treat strangers well, too. It can prevent bank robberies, maybe it can prevent folks feeling so completely alienated that killing a bunch of guys seems like a reasonable response.

Because, guns or no guns, bombs or no bombs, knives or no knives, folks who have been treated well, I believe*, tend to be less likely to shoot, bomb or stab people.

*I have done no research on this. Call it a wild hunch of mine.

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4 thoughts on “Virginia: how to say this without sounding like a dick…

  1. Because, guns or no guns, bombs or no bombs, knives or no knives, folks who have been treated well, I believe*, tend to be less likely to shoot, bomb or stab people. You know, I think you just may be onto something.

  2. I have done research on this including having read the Cullen enquiry cover to cover, been a handgun owner and a professional user of firearms back in the day. The simple fact is that most “school massacres” and the like are committed with legally held weapons. The more difficult it is to obtain those weapons legally the less likely it is that the maniac will commit their suicide fantasy but not impossible. This does not prevent firearms being used for regular criminal purposes, these are invariably illegal weapons, obtained through criminal means. Trying to state that the same crime could have been committed using a knife or machete is an absolute fallacy. Take the attack on a Wolverhampton nursery in 96 by a machete wielding maniac. The attack, described by police as frenzied, left no deaths and 4 injured. The wounds were horrific but saveable. I’ve only attended 3 shooting incidents in my current career, that saw 3 dead and one seriously injured. I’ve seen countless near fatal stabbings (some die but not before they get to hospital) but they are all a lot less damaging than the mess the cavitation of a high velocity bullet makes. Trying to compare use of machetes in Rwanda is way off base too as the victims were herded in at gunpoint before the massacres began. The comparison to Iraq is dumb too. They have the equivalent to Blacksburg on a daily basis but the mediia call them insurgents or suicide bombers. It’s just that the cracked loners have an outlet to vent their anger against the coalition; Sunni’s; Shi’ites; whomever. And as to his estimate of one mentally ill person going off the deep end every eight years or so, try one a week. Just not all of them have access to guns, knives, explosives or the mass concentration of victims required for a massacre. Trust me on this, I see lethal assaults committed by hand every weekend, these are not well balanced individuals. And what about his Ulster bullshit (or British occupied Ireland as he called It- fuckwit). He has ZERO knowledge of that situation. The vast majority of deaths and injuries in Ulster were from firearms, initially stolen police and army weapons and a few pre WW2 holdouts, latterly US and Libyan imports (per the CAIN sutton study). Incidentally, of 32 years of troubles, only in eleven years did the death toll for the year exceed 100 from all terrorist activities. Compare that to the yearly death toll from vioent crime from most US cities and you’ll be shocked. In a similar 32 year period the US suffered an average of 31000 deaths per year from guns (Centre for Disease Control study of 62-94). The per capita is slightly less than The Troubles but not by much He may be full of shit but Brad has one thing right though, love one another, learn basic first aid (not for gunshot wounds, that’s going to save no-one, but the countless other injuries and ailments found in daily life) and generally treat people the way you’d expect you or your family to be treated.

  3. A slip and twist of fate, and it could have been any one of us with a gun, and 30 people to kill. School wasnt always a bed of roses, and I left several schools with a hefty deathwish list. Now Im too old to give a fuck.

    1. You know, I have to write a piece on the public school system and Zimbardo’s work on dehumanization. Good way to pick schools for your children, which I think matches your experiences: how closely does the school resemble the Stanford Prison experiment? Desirability varies inversely.

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