Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Virginia Tech news update and thought provoking interview

Over the festive season I had some news bookmarked that I was going to use for the blog.
One of the stories I had saved got lost in the shuffle and I was looking at it yesterday pondering, delete or keep? I kept it and I am so glad I did because I suddenly found a most interesting interview with author Peter Levenda ( another interview on his trilogy of books here) on the subject of my saved news story.
Note to Peter @ ECBS: Synchronicity?

The story and interview are on the Virginia Tech shooting
Surprise, surprise-some oddities?
-Virginia Tech officials locked down some administrative offices and warned their own families more than an hour and a half before the rest of the campus was alerted
-Students who were initially locked down at West Ambler Johnston residence hall, where the first two victims were killed, were later released from the building by the police and allowed to attend their 9 a.m. classes. Two of those students then went to class in Norris Hall, where they were killed by the gunman.
-University officials failed to contact the family of the gunman’s first victim, Emily Hilscher, until after she had died, even though Ms. Hilscher survived for three hours and was taken to two hospitals before her death. (I can't even imagine how her family feels about that)
-The timeline in the new report suggests that officials were reluctant to spread the news about the first two shootings. (odd)
Examples given- At 8:45 a.m. on the day of the shootings, the report says, “A Policy Group member e-mails a Richmond colleague saying one student is dead and another critically wounded. ‘Gunman on the loose,’ he says, adding, ‘This is not releasable yet.’ ”
-At 8:49, the report adds, “The same Policy Group member reminds his Richmond colleague, ‘Just try to make sure it doesn’t get out.’ ”

There is more, you can read it all at the link to the original story.
Onto the interview;
Give it a listen. I found it most interesting. The analysis of the shooter and of course criticism of the media coverage and some stuff I had no idea of.

 "Simply put, Peter is as bothered by certain details of the Virginia Tech massacre as we are, and he’s concerned that the major media’s superficial analysis of the case is leading us to accept Cho Seung-Hui as nothing more than the latest in a long line of lone gunmen."
P.I.D. Radio 4/29/07: Peter Levenda — What Made Cho Kill?

As always share your thoughts!


  1. Hi Penny,
    Happy New Year!

    What's shocking for me in the whole business, the regular, ongoing gun massacres in the U.S. is what seems to me clear & simple (though I know that's only because I look at it from a non-American viewpoint). No guns=no gun massacres. Yes, people can be killed with knives, but so much more difficult, slower, and, the numbers show, far less likely.

    In Australia, after the Port Arthur massacres in Tasmania, the then PM John Howard, brought in more restrictive gun laws (and that is the only good thing he did, as I see it). Even in Australia, where the gun culture is much less apparent and less popular, parties like "The Shooter's Party" barter their support of governments/oppositions by extracting greater "freedoms" for people to go out & shoot 'em up. However, the problem is immense in the US with the idea of "a right" to own a gun. Right to live, right to healthcare, right to opportunity, yes! Right to shoot 'em up? I can't follow.

  2. Hi Qotn!
    Happy New Year to you also!

    I understand the point of view you speak of, and I am not entirely sure it is that simple of a solution.

    In the US the founding fathers enshrined the arming of the populace for a very good reason. To overthrow tyrannical governments.

    I think the problem at this time is more of a disjointed society, with to much crime and to much disparity..

  3. Queenofthenile, gun control has always worked for the tyrants of the world. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol-Pot and any other dictator first must take away all the guns before they begin depopulation operations.

    If you want to live in a crime free environment, then you must find an environment where everyone has guns. Then everyone is on equal footing and no one gets taken advantage of. Crime practically disappears. Crime goes up when citizens are disarmed. Then citizens become easy pickings for criminals.

    Many many crimes are stopped by honest citizens that carry weapons, there was even another attempted shooting like this in Texas, I believe. One of the students just shot the guy.

    Its a mistake to give up our weapons and depend on the privately owned corporate police to defend us. When mass shootings like this happen, the police don't just rush in and shoot the guy, they stand around outside waiting for orders from the Feds.

    The Feds want these sort of massacres because it makes people demand that gov take away their guns (while the criminals never give up theirs) in the mistaken belief that the government is here to protect you.

    Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nf1OgV449g

    There is another side to the gun control argument and its backed by not only common sense, but mountains of evidence. Gun control is pure government propaganda.

    Here is a place where you can get started learning about the other side:http://gunowners.org/just-for-skeptics/

  4. The problem with gun 'laws' is that the criminals won't abide by them. As Doug pointed out, then we have an unarmed populace who is soley dependent on the police to keep them safe... and we all know how well that works out.

  5. Switzerland. Everyone has a gun. In fact, its got the greatest gun ownership per capita in the world. That's because of national service (where everyone learns to use a gun) and the fact that you 'must' keep your gun after you leave national service.

    As for gun crime.... 2006 figures records 34 killings or attempted killings using firearms, opposed to 69 cases involving blades.

    do a wiki search for "gun politics in switzerland"

    Now I'll be the first to admit that the Swiss are an ambiguous lot, but I do believe the fact everyone has a gun makes people less inclined to raise arms over small matters. Makes it easy to see how they can maintain a 'neutral' position in times of war... who'd be mad enough to try and send ground troops to a country where every civilian can shoot, and more importantly, has Sig550 assault rifles....?

  6. I know my understanding of U.S. culture is rudimentary and the ideas I stated re guns are a simplistic response to a very complex problem. U.S. history enshrines the right to bear arms: I understand that. But if we look at the numbers of people killed by guns around the world--the numbers of murders--there are more of them where people have guns, except for places like Switzerland--I'll take your word for that Magdelena--but I'm not sure why Switzerland is such an anomaly. I think there may be other factors in play, there, such as government regulations, perhaps. I'm guessing.

    In the U.S. guns proliferate. And I have read U.S. stats which show that gun owners are far more likely to be killed by a gun than those who don't own one. In Australia, it's easy to identify criminals, because they're the ones who own guns.

    (I'm oversimplifying here. Just trying to show the difference between a culture where guns proliferate and one where they don't.) In Australia, some farmers own guns as do members of gun clubs, but generally guns are not very common possessions.

    I'm happy to live in a society in which people are very unlikely to own a gun. I feel safer. I don't like walking past people (police, army, etc.) carrying guns. In the U.S. more guns means more likelihood of being shot. I think I'm stating something obvious.

    However, I'm aware that the culture and history in the U.S. is different from the culture here. I don't know what the solution is for the U.S. In Australia, I think we need to keep vigilant so that we don't fall into the dangerous situation where guns proliferate and there is no way back.

  7. imho, the prog gun argument often heard in the US is that of defence against crime. The inherent flaw of this argument is that it doesn't address the cause but only the symptoms. High crime rates are a symptom of a disfunctional society. That's the big difference between Switzerland where most people are wealthy enough to not to have to worry about what their children will eat tomorrow and the US where the differences are extreme. You can observe a related phenomenon if you go to places in the 3rd world. When I was in Africa I noticed that the crime rate (with violence) is very high but gun ownership is rather low.

  8. gallier2, I agree with your points, but I must ask you, why do you think leaders of other countries such as Iraq can stand in front of a crowd that has loaded weapons.

    Our leaders ensure that no one anywhere near them has a gun, except for the black uniforms.

    I suggest that if we had a more gun oriented culture, we wouldn't see the level of corruption and degree of robbery that we currently see. The law profession in this country would operate very differently, its unbelievable how corrupt they are. This corrupts the courts and shapes the laws of the land in favour of the unjust.

    What came first, the chicken or the egg ?

  9. Doug said:

    I suggest that if we had a more gun oriented culture, we wouldn't see the level of corruption and degree of robbery that we currently see. The law profession in this country would operate very differently, its (sic) unbelievable how corrupt they are. This corrupts the courts and shapes the laws of the land in favour of the unjust.

    We can see how it works so well in the US ;-)