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View Diary: When May I Shoot a Student? (238 comments)

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  •  That you can't understand (0+ / 0-)

    the concept of firing back through a door at someone firing at you from the other side of said door is complete and absolute evidence that you should probably not opine on matters you are incompetent to envision.

    •  sigh (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      don't pull intellectual rank with me, cowboy. i promise you, you ain't got the stripes.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Fri Feb 28, 2014 at 09:19:27 PM PST

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    •  that you think every blow must be returned.... (0+ / 0-)

      is sad too.  I think Mr Librescu chose to live unarmed and made a moral choice to do so.  While no one would say you don't have a right to self defense, it is a long stretch to say it is immoral not to carry a firearm about with you everywhere in case you need it.  And how else should he have defended himself in the manner you envision without that forethought?

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 03:40:21 AM PST

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      •  How the heck would you know (0+ / 0-)

        that Librescu "made a moral choice" to live unarmed? In reality, carrying of weapons at Virginia Polytech was prohibited, so I'd call that a condition of employment. How about doing your research before you opine?

        As for returning blows: when a patronizing fool makes OT personal remarks to which he is in no way entitled, I think I'm well within bounds to call him on it.

        In my case, I'm a university teacher of philosophy, which just might denote an intellectual stripe or two. In addition, I live with a system put in place after the Virginia shootings in which panic phones were installed in classrooms, an emergency text message system was put into effect, and protocols for lockdown in case of similar problems were circulated. Campus security is unarmed, however, and police response to that kind of emergency would be, as in VA, too little, too late. I'd happily see armed students and faculty.

    •  Did you expect him to have his gun on him? (0+ / 0-)

      This was a teaching situation.  I wouldn't expect my engineering professor to have a shoulder holster.  I would be more nervous if he did.

      Even in the scenario you say (fire back through the door), it is dangerous at best, and irresponsible at worst.  Were there other people in the hall who could have been hit?  Would he even have gotten a shot off (do you know that the first shot through the door didn't incapacitate or kill the Professor)?  

      Would a gun possessing professor have blocked the door with his body and gotten his students out, or opened the door to confront the shooter?  If he opened the door, and lost the gun battle (in a hallway of a University campus, with potential bystanders), does the attacker then have access to the rest of the students?  Is he in a better or worse position to protect his students that way?

      I don't think your position is as well thought through as you opine.  

      •  On the contrary (0+ / 0-)

        If it were the case that the shooter understood that he was likely to run up against equally armed citizens, quite possibly he would never have set foot on the campus to begin with.

        I agree that there are dangers that go along with firearms. But there are even more clearly dangers that go along with their absence. And FWIW, I very much doubt that anyone who recognized the sound of gunfire outside a classroom door, let alone who experienced bullets coming through the door, would open that door in order to fight a gun battle in the corridor.

        So, I don't think your analysis is as well thought-through as you imagine.

        •  You assume the attacker is acting rationally. (0+ / 0-)

          He knew there were campus police.  He knew there were armed individuals.  This did not stop him.

          It doesn't stop a lot of these shootings.  You act as if they are after college campuses and high schools because they are easy targets, as opposed to having highly personal reasons for their targets and locations.  

          Who said there was 'gunfire outside the classroom'?

          •  You assume the attacker is entirely irrational (0+ / 0-)

            So I propose an experiment: we authorize firearms carry on some campuses and not on others. After 10 years, we check back to see whether one sort of campus proves more vulnerable than the other. Of course, despite the alarmist publicity, these sorts of attacks are fairly rare occurrences, so maybe we'll want to run the experiment for 20 years. Sounds like good social science to me.

            As for gunfire in the corridor, please reread. That was a hypothetical, not a description of what happened in VA.

            •  Your hypothetical changed your case. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              That was the point of the question.  It would change what someone would do in either case (armed or not).

              Your 'experiment' is ongoing, but I would say, as rare as it is, it happens with much higher frequency in the US than in other places.  Something in our culture allows for this to happen.  One of the variables is the ownership and prevalence of firearms, as well as people's willingness to both brandish and use them.  It is something that needs to be considered, if not changed.  

              Also, you assume, even in your experiment, that allowance of guns on campus is a major determining factor for the location of these sprees.  I doubt that is so (my rationality argument earlier).  Also, as mentioned in other comments, the fear is even less that kind of high-profile scenario, and more the many incidents of 'gun-fail' or accidental shootings, discharges, etc that are more prevalent with more guns around (of course) especially given the population (college students, away from home for the first time, in a less stable living arrangements (often) than in other phases of life and other communities).  Accidents happen.  Accidents with guns are potentially much more dangerous.

      •  I agree, it's a little ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

        If he did block the door, it would be crazy to just start shooting through it, and the first shot through it by the shooter could have disabled him.

        These fantasies by guns everywhere advocates are disconnected from reality. The statistically likely outcome of lots of guns on campus is more people getting shot including plenty of innocent bystanders as fistfights escalate to gunfights, etc.

        "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

        by orrg1 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:09:26 AM PST

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        •  Statistics (0+ / 0-)

          So, all you need to do now is to let us know the source of your statistically likely outcome. My own understanding is that the number of licensed gun owners who get into gunfights is vanishingly small, but perhaps you have other sources. What is certainly the case is that in recent years gun sales have soared as gun crime has plummeted. Quite possibly even more guns will make for even less crime. Worth exploring.

          Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.

          According to DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. gun-related homicides dropped 39 percent over the course of 18 years, from 18,253 during 1993, to 11,101 in 2011. During the same period, non-fatal firearm crimes decreased even more, a whopping 69 percent. The majority of those declines in both categories occurred during the first 10 years of that time frame. Firearm homicides declined from 1993 to 1999, rose through 2006, and then declined again through 2011. Non-fatal firearm violence declined from 1993 through 2004, then fluctuated in the mid-to-late 2000s.

          •  Correlation is not causation. (0+ / 0-)

            You seem to be arguing that more guns has contributed to lower rates of gun violence.  

            I disagree.  Though there is historical correlation, I doubt it is the cause.  The number you cite don't demonstrate a causal link.  I would bet education and poverty reduction have heled that cause as well, to a greater degree.  I bet increased racial tolerance (not that racism is dead, but it is lessened from the 60s and before) have helped as well.  

            I still think less guns would lead to even less gun violence. The numbers might not be there in terms of criminal acts (all you seem to worry about) but I can't imagine a scenario in which higher prevalence of guns doesn't lead to more accidental firings, injuries and deaths.  Those are mostly, if not wholly, preventable by limiting access to guns.  This is perhaps even more likely in the specific instance of college campuses.

            •  As you say (0+ / 0-)

              your numbers aren't there, and you are imagining the scenario you decided you preferred in absence of evidence. However, the flip side of your argument then is that the one thing you absolutely cannot put forward is any correlation or cause linking increased numbers of firearms to any rise in gun violence. That alone should be cause for a modest reticence on your part.

              •  The increase in guns comes at a decrease in owners (0+ / 0-)

                There are more guns in the hands of fewer people.  


                The number of households owning guns has declined from almost 50% in 1973 to just over 32% in 2010, according to a 2011 study produced by The University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center. The number of gun owners has gone down almost 10% over the same period, the report found
                This explains, in part, how you can tout more guns and less violence.  

                I still claim (and you haven't responded to) that more guns means more chances for accidental shootings, injuries and deaths.  Fewer guns means fewer kids shot by other kids, people shot while cleaning their weapons, and people shot through the wall of their apartment because someone else mishandled a firearm.  

                •  So (0+ / 0-)

                  No matter how many people have guns, there are more guns. Along with that fact, there is less gun violence. Minimal conclusion: more guns does not correlate with or cause more gun violence.

                  Turning to accidents, there are surely many, although the statistics are poor see here:. There is no evidence that I can find demonstrating that any form of gun control has led to fewer accidental shootings, injuries and deaths. Have you got something?

                  There are already plenty of laws about how to treat weapons; I am skeptical that any more legislation would be of great benefit. That said, just as we try to teach people to drive safely, I don't suppose there could be much objection to trying to teach people more about gun safety. Can't be any less effective than public safety campaigns to stop texting while driving and just saying no.

            •  While correlation is not causation, (0+ / 0-)

              The fact that a large decrease in gun homicides occurred over the same time period as an increase in gun sales and higher total ownership, indicates that the causation for more guns to result in more gun homicides is very weak if it exists at all.

              The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

              by nextstep on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 10:42:34 AM PST

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    •  The comment by Iberian is obvious snark n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

      by orrg1 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 06:03:36 AM PST

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