Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu said in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. "Students started opening windows and jumping out."

So, I'm not some gun nut, but I do support the right to bear arms, especially by law-abiding citizens who also happen to be sane. I understand the fundamental theory that no guns equal no shootings. However, I don't buy it. I think gun control is something we can all come to an agreement on. No guns for criminals, no guns for the mentally ill. In exchange, no restrictions on the rest of us who simply want to protect our home and our family. I think that's reasonable. Why is it so difficult?

Personally, if I'm a teacher in Anywhere, USA, then I'm getting a carrying permit and I'm packing heat to class every day. I'd tote my gun to class in my briefcase, right next to that stack of spelling papers that I need to grade. Deterrent....D-E-T-E-R-R-E-N-T....deterrent. I think that maybe if every teacher had the option of arming themselves in class, and every student knew that their teachers may or may not be packing heat, then there'd likely be a lot fewer of these senseless shootings. After all, these maniacs committ suicide, which means they are cowards by nature, so they certainly aren't going to risk going up against someone of equal strength.

Remember Joel Myrick? No? He was the Pearl, Mississippi High School principle who arrived one morning to find Luke Woodham, a student, shooting his schoolmates one 1997 morning. This was the first of many in a rash of school shootings that have spread across the nation. Just as Woodham was packing up his stuff to head to Pearl Junior High and continue his rampage on younger students, he found himself face to face with Myrick's .45 pistol. Woodham surrendered and sits in jail today.

How many lives did Joel Myrick and his evil gun save that day? What if there was a Joel Myrick at Columbine?

But that's not the big issue of the Virginia shooting. The big issue centers around a key question that no one seems to be asking...Why didn't someone try to stop this guy?

This nut bag attacked those people with two handguns. We're not exactly talking about a fully automatic weapon capable of cutting down a small forest. These are pistols. They fire one round with each trigger pull. They hold 15 rounds each. This idiot discharged over 100 rounds into dozens of people, which means that he had to stop and reload multiple times, all in the presence of young, capable, college-aged students. This lunatic was Korean, about half the size of the average college-aged American male. You know where I'm going with this.

Now, I'm not here to bash victims. It's not my style. I see this shooting, in many ways, as a metaphor for much of American society. Let me continue.

I find it stunning that while this maniac is carrying on with his random killings, the need to take action only came to one man. This brave soul was named Liviu Librescu. He was a 76 year old Engineering professor who, by the way, also survived the holocaust and escaped communist oppression in Romania. Yes, this man had seen evil before. And when evil came knocking on his classroom door, he moved toward it...as many of his generation had done before. He barricaded his classroom door to protect his students, and was shot dead in the process.

While he was making the ultimate sacrifice, his students - 1/4th his age with 4 times his strength - dove under their desks and out the windows. Again, the metaphor speaks volumes.

It appears to me as though the legacy of the greatest generation - that of freeing the world from oppression - was passed to a perpetually selfish baby boomer generation and on to a generation that knows nothing of self-sacrifice. Again, I'm not bashing the victims. I'm bashing the generation they belong to. If this is who will inherit our country, then America is doomed.

Yes, I know that there are thousands of this generation dying every day in Iraq. But these aren't typical. In fact, the soldiers of our youth are the ones who are looked down upon by their peers. At one time, a soldier was respected and honored. Now, they are greeted with a "better-you-than-me" sneer, and treated as though they have somehow been duped by the government to serve, while it's the college elites who are too wise to fall for such ploys. Silly, foolish soldiers.

It's obvious to me that if Flight 93 had been full of coed spring breakers heading to Daytona Beach, we'd be rebuilding the US Capitol right now. Can anyone honestly dispute that?

Don't believe me? Then answer this: If a psychopathic self-pitying Korean maniac knocks on your child's door with a 9mm Glock, who would you want standing beside your child -- the 76 year old holocaust survivor or the 20 year old metrosexual college jock with his favorite Starbucks beverage who can't find Normandy beach on a map but can name every cast member from Real World 8? It's a no-brainer for me, and was even before this massacre in Virginia.

So one day in the future America will be confronted by evil as we have many times before. It will be today's college students facing that evil. What will happen? My fear is that they will dive under their desks and hope for evil to pass them by. One thing is brutally clear. If tomorrow's generation doesn't pull their pants above their ass-crack and flip their upside-down golf visors around soon - or, basically, act like men - then this country is doomed to fall. There are many more homicidal maniacs out there, and some will come with more than a couple of pistols.


Dan Trabue said...

I agree with you that reasonable gun controls ought to be in place and don't have much of a problem in theory with others having the option of packing heat.

I disagree with you where you say, "I'm not here to bash the victims" and then proceed to do so. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

I'm leaning towards Dan on this one, John. You mention two different times that you're not here to bash the victims but if not, why mention it twice? Those were scared, unarmed, college kids going up against an armed psychopathe.

If they had any forewarning that a gunman was on the loose from the two hours between shootings, maybe others would've responded differently. --Deano

John Washburn said...

I mention a point worthy of discussion and bring attention to a simple fact - that is, that no one other than a 76 year old man tried to stop this gunman - and I ask why? Neither one of you choose to engage the debate but rather criticize me for pointing out the facts. Is that all you have to bring to the table? I know it's typical for progressives to criticize the messenger when they have no response to the message. Is that what's going on here?

Dean, many scared kids this age have died in our history fighting for and defending either their families, their lives, their homes or their country. There isn't a single one who wasn't scared in the process.

And it's interesting how you take such offense at my criticism of this, yet are perfectly OK with calling Iraq a lost cause or an illegal war - never mind those who died for that cause. I guess some things are sacred to you guys as long as it doesn't involve the US military.

John Washburn said...

"Those were scared, unarmed, college kids going up against an armed psychopathe"

Dean, tell me, is it OK to allow evil people to do evil things because you are scared and too afraid to confront them? Or because you may be overmatched? Is it OK to allow that?

The answer to this may give me a lot of insight about how the Left views the war on terror.

Allisoni Balloni said...

The only solution that I saw you propose is to be armed. That isn't legal. Let's watch YOU be caught in the middle of a shooting rampage with no real way to defend yourself or anyone else. It's easy to sit behind a computer and criticize people you don't even know. It's easy to sit behind a computer be pro-war and pro-guns, and never have to actually get your hands dirty and make a difference yourself.

John Washburn said...

For the record, I am currently active duty US Air Force and have been for the past 6 years. It's not much, especially compared to what others do, but it is (in my opinion) service. I may not get my hands dirty much, but I do serve.

At least I respect those who do "get their hands dirty". At least I respect the effort they're trying to put forth without doing what I can to undermine it.

Let's see you stand a post in Baghdad while US Senators strengthen your enemy by calling your cause "lost". Let's see you mingle with the Iraqis while protestors back home validate the enemy's claim that you represent an oil-hungry imperialist crusade.

It's easy to sit behind a computer and be anti-war and anti-gun. It's easy to call the war illegal without regard for those who died fighting it.

What's this have to do with the Virginia shooting? Evil is evil. You criticize for confronting it abroad, and give a pass for not confronting it at home. Do you people have any interest in protecting what's precious to you? That's the whole point of this post. Evil people are going to do evil things. Either we hide under our desks and wait for our turn or we fight back - is there any other choice when the moment comes? By the comments here, I'm finding which way you all would go.

And I suppose, by your statement, you would support disarming all Americans. Then who would protect people like you and your "right" to criticize people like me when the bad guys show up fully armed and you're hiding under your desk?

When evil knocks on your door, Allison, who do want standing beside you? Me or Dean?

Allisoni Balloni said...

My comment was completely about the shootings at Virginia Tech. My point was that until you are in that situation and are the miraculous heroic one standing up to the killer, you do not have any place criticizing those who did not. I completely honor those who have died fighting in this war. More importantly, I support bringing them home so that no more of them have to die. You will argue that that is not supporting them, but do you know any military families that value the outcome of the war more than they value the life of their loved one? I know several families and I can guarantee that not losing life is more important to them.

I do not support disarming all people, but I definitely do not support arming teachers as you suggest.

Dan Trabue said...

"Dean, tell me, is it OK to allow evil people to do evil things because you are scared and too afraid to confront them? Or because you may be overmatched?"

No one - no one - has suggested that. In fact, quite the opposite. We must always always always stand opposed to evil.

What I and I think the others are saying is that, to criticize the dead and the survivors for a lack of heroism in a case like this is gauche - in poor taste. No one knows for sure what they'd do in a situation like this.

If you were there, maybe you'd have only wet your pants and cried like a baby, you don't really know 'til you get in a given situation. But it would be rude and awful of me to tease you for having wet your pants (if that's what you did) after the fact.

Can we not praise the teacher for his heroism without damning the dead and survivors?

Anonymous said...

The answer to your question is no. It is not okay to allow evil acts to be done by evil people. If the gunman hadn't offed himself, he would've been held accountable for his actions. And a message of "mission accomplished" would not have been exclaimed until THOSE WHO WERE RESPONSIBLE for the evil acts had been arrested.--Deano

John Washburn said...

Again, no one seems to have an answer for the question I posed. I'm asking the same thing the families are asking, if not to the media then certainly to themselves. Why didn't someone try to stop him?

The only thing I hear from you is that the kids were scared. Fair enough. My answer is that today's college generation lacks the fortitude to confront evil. This has nothing to do with Virginia Tech, nor its students. I feel the same thing would have happened at Georgia Tech, Cal Tech or even Texas Tech. You take issue with my conclusion. Fine. But I have brought up a profound issue that I feel deserves discussion, not criticism for the fact that I brought it up.

And Dean, if it's not OK to allow evil people to do evil things then why attack me for taking issue with it in this scenario. Are you not taking the same position I am? How about if your child were there? Would you not be asking the very same questions I'm asking?

Allisoni Balloni said...

Who was supposed to stop him? The students did not know what was going on until people were already dead. It is also not the job of the students to take down security threats. Certainly if someone steps up, amazing, good for them. But the mentality in this type of situation is to save yourself and survive--it's natural instinct. For those who are brave ans selfless enough to make a difference, great. But in a life or death situation I don't know how you can put any blame on the students.

Do you have children? Would you advise them to confront an armed murderer if the same thing were to happen on their campus?

Anonymous said...

Okay, John, I understand now. How about this...let's incorporate all college campuses into the city they inhabit. Then, the local police department (and state officers if needed)can patrol and enforce the law on campus rather than some two-bit campus cops who lack the experience, training, and resources when compared to the police department.

Thay way, the officers employed would be certified with law enforcement academy standards specifically designed for these types of situations rather than some criminal justice student getting a few work study hours as a campus cop. I believe the response time would have been much more efficient under that plan instead of informing everyone AFTER the shootings occurred that there was a gunman on the loose.

That may require some political wrangling but it's been my opinion for many years. How's that?

Anonymous said...

Allisoni, a while back you said we shouldn't be armed 'cause it isn't "legal." I've said this before when arguing about guns. I don't CARE what's legal. I'd rather be alive and have broken a law by shooting a psychopath in self-defense than be dead because I followed a stupid law.

Allisoni Balloni said...

Well Robert, not everyone thinks that way. I am going to be a teacher, I have always wanted to be a teacher, and I will not ever be armed in my classroom. The problem is not that teachers are not armed, the problem is that bad people do bad things, such as what happened at V.T. So many people say, well if this were the case, or if that were the case...the fact is that everyone was doing just what they were supposed to be doing and a tragedy occurred. Unfortunately, that's the world we live in.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the problem is that bad people do bad things. And those bad people are armed, and the good ones are not. And it's because those good people follow the law. And the law says no guns. So the good people die. Is that justice?