Monday, April 16, 2007

Not the Perp, Says Internet Figure

A Virginia Tech student who Internet rumor pegged as a suspect in the shooting comes out and denies he is the man lying dead on campus. He posts on his website:

Coming out. I am not the shooter. Through this experience, I have received numerous death threats, slanderous accusations, and my phone is out of charge from the barrage of calls. Local police have been notified of the situation.

My original intention was to wait until I got AdSense on my site and donating all the proceeds to Charity. However, this situation has now spiraled out of control. I am now confirming that I am not the shooter. I will be available for interview by a news agency to clear my name, talk about the experience, and give my opinion on how the situation could have turned out better if other students were allowed to be armed. I will only speak with individuals who are interested in donating to charities resulting from today's events. Please e-mail all correspondence to


From the looks of this person's site the shooter would have had a tough time going up against him had he been among the students and armed.


Blogger Red River said...

Mr Maximus may have some shiny toys, but I would not want him behind me.

That pic on his site with his finger on the trigger of his H&K USC while he is looking at the camera says it all.

4/16/2007 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger jane said...

Calling 911, answering an operator’s questions, and then waiting (and waiting) for the police or "security" to come and remedy a “situation” is like outsourcing personal defense to Indian tele-subcontractors half-way ‘round the world. Go to the shooting range often and put that concealed carry permit next on your list of to-dos. I have.

Is the secondary lesson not to send your kid to college? You spend a lot of money for your kids to undergo leftist PC indoctrination and excessive drink, drugs, sex and enforced system passivity-- apologies to the few contented university parents. But some of us are starting to realize the university has become a bourgeois trap to fund the salaries of less-abled thinkers and waste the early-adult formative years of our kids.

4/16/2007 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

AJ Strata speculates on whether this was a "lone gunman" or a conspiracy.

4/16/2007 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Wretchard should have listened to brother d-day. Why did you erase all the comments from the last thread?

4/16/2007 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

You know, I would rather have one armed wannabe in class(who would fight bravely and likely die quickly), than the situation at Virginia Tech. Even one packing soccer mom would be preferable. Bullets don't listen to reason.

4/16/2007 11:09:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The problem with conspiracy theories is that people are not required to prove them. The result is rejecting the real world facts and simplest explanation, and inventing an imaginary one instead.

This criminologist says that the killer was following a well known pattern [no conspiracy needed]:

Premeditative and Selective

For Jack Levin, a leading authority on mass killings and those who commit them, the story emerging out of Virginia already has many sadly familiar hallmarks...

NEWSWEEK: You’ve studied mass shootings for more than 20 years. What’s the first thing you think of when a story like this starts unfolding?

Jack Levin: I can talk in general terms about this and I’m probably going to be right. In almost every case the motive is revenge. Usually the killer is on a suicidal rampage—he sets out to take his own life but first he takes his revenge on all the people he believes to be responsible for his miseries. Usually the killer has suffered from some catastrophic loss; it could be a girlfriend, a loss of a place in the university—assuming he’s a student or faculty. Either way, in his eyes, it’s catastrophic. It’s the trigger, the catalyst, what pushes him over the edge...

Almost every one of these shootings is premeditative and selective. It’s very rare to see a mass killer in a school or workplace or family target random victims. He’ll more likely step around those he doesn’t see as part of the conspiracy. I bet that happens here. At the same time this looks like a family annihilation where a husband-father wants to get even with his wife because he blames her for all his misery, but does so by killing everything associated with her, everything she loved. I’ve seen things in [the] postal service, where [the attacker] will kill his supervisor, the one who laid him off, and then target everyone else at the post office. This killer may have been setting out to kill the college. I’d like to know who his first victim was.

I would imagine many younger people don’t also quite have the same sense of the value of life either.
There are teenagers I would call “temporary sociopaths.” They’ll commit a hideous act, such as the taking of human life with impunity, when they’re 16 or 19. They wouldn’t dream of doing the same thing when they’re 30

4/16/2007 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The killer was reportedly armed with only two small caliber pistols. If that's true, he could have been disarmed even if the other students didn't have guns, if they knew what to do. I support second amendment rights, but guns are only one part of self-defense. People in lots of areas of our country are not going to carry a gun every day of their life because of the chance they might run into a psycho one time.

4/16/2007 11:25:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

A little .25 auto weighs nothing, is the size of a pack of smokes, hardly even makes noise when it fires --but it has center-fire reliability, will hit a target across a room, and lethality-wise is a lot of insurance for such an easy-carry.

4/16/2007 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Still, these happenings are so infrequent, no one will tote a pistol around just on spec. But school staff could sure have a few salted around. Just ask for volunteers, get 'em trained and permitted, and let the word out that 'some' staff is armed.

One staffer in ten armed, would be worlds better than none (tho I can see situations where a backfire could happen).

4/16/2007 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

I have no problem with teachers being armed, but it ends up being a needle in a hay stack situation. On a huge campus with hundreds of buildings, the killer does most of the shooting within a minute or two of entering a room. In fact the first thing this killer did in one class room was shoot the professor, the one who would have been armed. To really have a good chance of reducing the casualty count there would need to be multiple people with weapons inside each class room.

4/17/2007 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Having a flashback to the DC Sniper affair. Before the identity of the shooters was known all the "experts" and know-it-alls were quick to state in no uncertain terms that the shooter had to be a white sociopath, some loner Johnnie redneck with rage issues who focused too much on his guns and pickup, and played too many violent video games. And everyone nodded in agreement. The truth was something completely different: two black muslims. But since the preps didn't fit the media's narrative for the terrorism, err crime, spree once they were fingered they were quick forgotten. I suspect that we will find out in the next day or two that the truth is going to be something entirely different. That the "jilted Asian boyfriend" narrative of the VT story simply was a result of nothing more than rumors and media speculation, just as was the case here with this young man's webpage.

Something about the shootings in the classrooms doesn't pass the smell test to me.

1.) The two plus hours between the murders in the dorm and the shootings in the classrooms.
2.) The chains the prep brought along to barracade the doors to the Engineering building.
3.) The vest (bulletproof?) reported by witnesses.
4.) The "banderillos" of ammo clips reported by witnesses.
5.) The prior bomb threats.
6.) No ID and taking care to "erase" his face with a final shot to his face.
7.) No suicide note

Smacks of a carefully planned "hit". It is possible that the gunman in the Engineering building saw a target of opportunity with the police focus on the double homicide in the dorm earlier in the morning. The police chief in the last press conference refused to rule out the possibility of two shooters in front of the press.

Finally there was this:

Published: 04.17.07, 07:09 / Israel News

An Israeli citizen, Prof. Liviu Librescu, is among those killed in the shooting attack at Virginian Tech Monday, Ynet has learned.

Librescu has been living in the United States for several years. His family was notified of his death

A paraphased line from Pirate of the Caribbean springs to mind,"

"Everyone's thinking it. I'm just saying it. Terrorists!"

America's Beslan?

4/17/2007 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

>That the "jilted Asian boyfriend" narrative of the VT story simply was a result of nothing more than rumors and media speculation,

Like everything you posted was pure speculation, and it contradicts all the known facts.

A single student using two small caliber handguns to shoot some class mates is a crime, not terrorism. There is no claim of responsibility, and no political angle at all.

4/17/2007 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...


I did listen to BrotherD-day and hence killed the comments thread where speculation might have tended to impugn a certain gentleman. Brother D-day and Red River especially made convincing arguments about an hour before the gentleman in question set the world straight for the record.

But in the hour or so while I was hot on the subject I was on IM with associates who were making phone calls, running searches, etc. in the course of which we figured out his real name, where his family comes from, where he lived. We did call, but the listed phone number was disconnected. I tracked down his last employer of record and called, but it was closed for the day.

When Brother D-day and Red River came on, I said, "yeah", and pulled the plug. An hour later, his website runs the message that all see.

4/17/2007 02:24:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Fred Phelps will preach at the funerals of the Virginia Tech dead.

You describe this as monumental horror, but you know nothing of horror -- yet. Your bloody tyrant Bush says he is 'horrified' by it all. You know nothing of horror -- yet. Your true horror is coming. "They shall also gird themselves with sackloth, and horror shall cover them; and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all their heads" (Eze. 7:18).

Why did this happen, you ask? It's simple. Your military chose to shoot at the servants of God today, and all they got for their effort was terror. Then, the LORD your God sent a crazed madman to shoot at your children. Was God asleep while this took place? Was He on vacation? Of course not. He willed this to happen to punish you for assailing His servants.

4/17/2007 02:36:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Fred Phelps on Saddam Hussein:

In 2003, before the fall of Saddam Hussein during the Iraq War, Phelps wrote Hussein a letter praising his regime for being, in his opinion, "the only Muslim state that allows the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be freely and openly preached on the streets." Furthermore, he stated that he would like to send a delegation to Baghdad to "preach the Gospel" for one week. Hussein granted permission, and a group of WBC congregants traveled to Iraq to protest against the U.S. The WBC members stood on the streets of Baghdad holding signs condemning Bill and Hillary Clinton and anal sex. After Saddam was hanged, Phelps released a video commentary that stated that both Saddam Hussein and Gerald Ford (who had died the same week) were now in Hell.

Fred Phelps: a real prince among men.

4/17/2007 03:03:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...and armed."

VT is a "gun-free zone". Students with proper VA concealed carry permits are not allowed to carry there.

The people in that classroom building were trained to be sheep. This is what can happen when sheep status is accepted. Query: What is the responsibility of the people who trained the dead, and others, to be sheep?

4/17/2007 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Tyler said...

Wretchard said:
"But in the hour or so while I was hot on the subject I was on IM with associates who were making phone calls, running searches, etc. in the course of which we figured out his real name, where his family comes from, where he lived. We did call, but the listed phone number was disconnected. I tracked down his last employer of record and called, but it was closed for the day"

I've always wondered how Wretchard produces such high quality posts while having a job and a life in addition. My fiancee thinks that there isn't just one Wretchard, but it's good to hear that there are associates to help out with this site.

I can just picture the command room full of associates calling on behalf of the Belmont Club with a large map of the world on the wall and blinking lights in Sydney, the Phillipines, the middle east, and a red blinking light in Virginia. Gates of Fire, The Shield of Achilles, The Art of War and hundreds of other books are busily being bookmarked and annotated for the massive pipeline of posts. Hundreds of computer screens flicker constantly and illuminate the piles of take out food needed to feed this army of associates. These willing worker bees have to work in 12 hour shifts 7 days a week to keep up the quality of the content.

Thanks for all your work.

4/17/2007 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger CW said...

This incident should be compared to the U. Texas sniper of some 40 years ago. At that time, students took rifles from their car trunks and helped police shoot down the sniper. Individual and collective self-defense are concepts which most of the media have forgotten.


4/17/2007 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The killer was said to be from our ally, South Korea. Should we nuke them? If instead the killer had been a Muslim, there might have been an argument this proves that all Muslims are out to get us, so we should get them first.

Gunman identified

We now know the identity of the killer at Virginia Tech.

He is Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old resident alien of the United States, as first reported by ABC News.

Cho is a South Korean national, a Virginia Tech senior majoring in English and the man who killed 33 people — inlcuding himself — on the Virginia Tech campus Monday.

Sources tell ABC News that Cho killed two people in a dorm room, returned to his own dorm room where he re-armed and left a "disturbing note" before entering a classroom building on the other side of campus to continue his rampage.

Cho's identity has been confirmed with a positive fingerprint match on the guns used in the rampage and with immigration materials.

"Lab results confirm that one of the two weapons seized in Norris Hall was used in both shootings," Virigina Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said at a press conference Tuesday morning.

At this time, police are not looking for a second shooter, however, they did not rule out the possibility that an accomplice may have been involved. Sources say Cho was carrying a backpack that contained receipts for a March purchase of a Glock 9 mm pistol. Witnesses had also told authorities that the shooter was carrying a backpack. Police also Cho had a .22 caliber pistol. Sections of chain similar to those used to lock the main doors at Norris Hall, the site of the second shooting that left 31 dead, were also found inside a Virginia Tech dormitory, sources confirmed to ABC News.

4/17/2007 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

While the BBC investigates the "possible" Zionist murder of its reporter, it might have a look at this Zionist, whose selflessness saved his students at Virginia Tech, yesterday.

H/T Blackfive

Professor Liviu Librescu

Israeli professor killed in US attack

"Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter when the man attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, "but all the students lived - because of him," Virginia Tech student Asael Arad - also an Israeli - told Army Radio.

"'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.'"

4/17/2007 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The question I'm having is where was the kid in the two hours between the dorm shooting and the classroom shooting half-mile away.

Campuses normally are landscaped and manicured, and don't have a lot of undergrowth to super-commando your way through.

So Mr. Cho strolls around for two hours, wearing some kind of a vest and carrying TWO guns ... and no one notices? Forget walking up and asking him what he's doing ... no one thinks to call Campus Security and report that there is a Bruce Lee wannabe walking by the student union?

Where was he hiding for those two hours and how did he get from the one scene to the other ... AND WHY DIDN'T ANYONE NOTICE HIM?

4/17/2007 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Herr Wui is flagellating but there probably isn't a person in the USA who didn't consider the possibility of Islamic violence. It's not for nothing that the number of Islamic related mass murders of unarmed civilians over the past few years numbers in the thousands of incidents worldwide.

Even here in the US, and although the MSM will not report on them, we know that the DC sniper, the NC car murderer, and a more than a few other mass murder incidents have been Islamic related. The belief is that these incidents were personal jihadis rather than organizational hits but I am not sure there is much difference. The dementia feeds on the same roots.

In the 5,000 years of so of recorded human history nobody has yet figured out how to prevent individual acts of either premeditated or random violence. I do believe, however, that an armed populace is more likely to be able to at least cut short continuing acts of violence. I would like to see upperclassman ROTC members with carry permits and packing 24/7 on every college campus in the USA. ROTC would instantly provide the best trained, most qualified group among the college population to provide on-the-spot protection and deterrence.

4/17/2007 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Where did the shooter go between the killings? Back to his dorm room to reload. This is from the section I quoted before:

Sources tell ABC News that Cho killed two people in a dorm room, returned to his own dorm room where he re-armed and left a "disturbing note" before entering a classroom building on the other side of campus to continue his rampage.

4/17/2007 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/17/2007 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

There is even a nice little comic included in the link.

A mass shooting at school, yet again


"A gunman's rampage that took at least 32 lives yesterday at Virginia Tech University was not an aberration. Mass shootings at schools in the United States have become frighteningly common. The U.S. Secret Service even collaborated on a detailed study with the federal Department of Education on how to prevent them. Too bad that changing lax gun laws was beyond the study's purview.

How common are school-based shootings in the United States? Between 1994 and 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta documented 220 separate incidents, accounting for 253 deaths. Leaving aside summer and holidays, that's nearly one homicidal incident a week over six years at schools. Yet the CDC called the incidents rare -- perhaps because 15 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 are killed each day, on average, in the United States. The mass school shootings are but a small percentage of this frightening total."

4/17/2007 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I wonder what Ward Churchill has to say about the massacre at Virginia Tech.

Were the students at Virginia Tech a bunch of "little Eichmanns"? Was Cho Seung-Hui "pushing back" against American imperialism?

One Virginia Tech alumnus from the Daily Kos is already using the massacre as a pretext to rage against President Bush, accusing him of "transforming tragedy into carefully crafted political theater". (Am I supposed to believe that President Clinton's presence in Oklahoma City was not?)

I suppose one should be thankful the "Kos" crowd isn't actively celebrating the Virginia Tech massacre as a "push back" by a downtrodden Korean against the capitalist system of American imperialism. Well, at least not yet.

4/17/2007 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

ABC News

The Virginia Tech shooter and his parents live in Alexandria, Virginia where he also attended high school. TV news reports suggested that he had recently arrived here from South Korea. I would like to know what he did and where he went when he was home in Alexandria.

4/17/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

His Taurus belies his thinking. Gold plated slide locks and such bling show that the author is flaunting his status as sheep dog.

Fox News suggested that the early reports of the first incident identified a white guy with greasy hair driving a pick up truck… sound like the home schooling Christian redneck that the authorities have been warning us about. I hope this isn’t another case of state sponsored racism.

4/17/2007 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The guns were purchased recently but the serial numbers on both were reported to be filed off.

Sources tell ABC News Cho bought his first gun, a Glock 9 millimeter handgun, on March 13; they say he bought his second weapon, a .22 caliber pistol, within the last week. The serial numbers on both guns had been filed off, they said.

4/17/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

The evidence is there, and the truth is simple: the killer was merely a lunatic who has been slipping into insanity for a long time.

Article quotes below:

Sources: College gunman left note

The suspected gunman in the Virginia Tech shooting rampage, Cho Seung-Hui, was a troubled 23-year-old senior from South Korea who investigators believe left an invective-filled note in his dorm room, sources say.

The note included a rambling list of grievances, according to sources. They said Cho also died with the words "Ismail Ax" in red ink on the inside of one of his arms.

Cho had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior, according to an investigative source, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women.

A note believed to have been written by Cho was found in his dorm room that railed against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on campus.

Cho was an English major whose creative writing was so disturbing that he was referred to the school's counseling service, the Associated Press reported.

Professor Carolyn Rude, chairwoman of the university's English department, said she did not personally know the gunman. But she said she spoke with Lucinda Roy, the department's director of creative writing, who had Cho in one of her classes and described him as "troubled."

"There was some concern about him," Rude said. "Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it's creative or if they're describing things, if they're imagining things or just how real it might be. But we're all alert to not ignore things like this."

She said Cho was referred to the counseling service, but she said she did not know when, or what the outcome was...

Investigators believe Cho at some point had been taking medication for depression. They are examining Cho's computer for more evidence...

He was very quiet, always by himself," neighbor Abdul Shash said of the gunman. Shash said the gunman spent a lot of his free time playing basketball, and wouldn't respond if someone greeted him. He described the family as quiet...

According to court records, Virginia Tech Police issued a speeding ticket to Cho on April 7 for going 44 mph in a 25 mph zone, and he had a court date set for May 23.

4/17/2007 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Just heard on the radio that the legislature of Virginia turned down a bill that would have allowed those with concealed carry permits to carry their firearms on college campuses.

I am often struck by the apparent ease with which non-citizens purchase firearms in the U.S. I would have thought that it would be illegal but it certainly seems to happen. For example, circa 1979 near Los Angeles, an Iranian student was found to be doing target practice with a .22 rifle, using a paper target propped up in the open window of his apartment; the people using the golf course accross the street were not amused. I am fairly certain that the people who argue for strong gun control also support liberal immigration policies; I guess the two are linked.

Latest info seems to be that the shooter came from South Korea as a child with his parents and grew up here. But he never became a U.S. Citizen. He should not have been able to purchase a gun, in my opinion.

"All men" may have been created equal but the 2nd Amendment should only apply to U.S. Citizens. Otherwise, we would have to invade, say, Great Britain and Australia, and impose a 2nd Amendment there.

4/17/2007 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Eric said...


Cho wasn't an American citizen, but he's not foreign. Given Cho has lived in the US since he was 8 or 9 years old, grew up in the DC suburbs, has a sister who's a Princeton grad, and had enough grasp of the culture/language to be a English major as a 2nd semester senior, he's American except on paper.

What does "Ismael Ax" mean? It was important enough to leave behind as his last statement; of course, given Cho's creative academic background and probable mental state, the phrase could mean a lot of things not readily apparent.

There are Korean Muslims, but I haven't seen anything yet to imply this was a jihad-type act.

This strikes me as a psychological issue, not a cultural, religious or sociological one. It sounds to me like mental illness. The phrases in media reports that are quoted from his "disburbing note" remind me of a middle and HS classmate of mine who had disruptive public outbursts in college with very similar themes and language. It turned out that she was bipolar. Like Cho, she didn't have an obvious track record as a violent person. She was a quiet loner who, at least in middle school and HS, few people knew well before her bipolar disease manifested in college. However, or luckily, her mental illness led her to shocking, unprovoked verbal outbursts during classes, not mass murder. She got treatment and as far as I know, she's functioning fine today.

It seems like Cho had been headed down this path for some time as evidenced by his acquisition of weapons, ammo, and the other items he used. Even so, there may not have been an actual coherent plan. If he was acting impulsively according to his mental illness, I don't know how many obvious signs existed before he killed.

The description of Cho as serious and calm while killing classmates and professors is chilling evidence of how controlled a psychopath can be when possessed by his demons.

The university's emergency reaction to instruct staff and students to hole up - especially as it seems as though at least some of the classroom doors couldn't be locked - was worse than advice to staff and students to attack, overwhelm and disarm the gunman. However, I imagine advice to students and staff to attack and disarm Cho would probably have encouraged some casualties on the part of the admin, whereas telling everyone to hole up until police arrived with hopes that there are no additional casualties, was the less (legally and publicly) liable advice. I wonder, what kind of criticism would the VT admin be taking now if they had encouraged individual actions so that only, say, 2-5 students and staff were killed before Cho was overwhelmed and disarmed? My cynical guess is that VT President Steger and others would be fired and held responsible for fewer deaths if they had given aggressive guidance, while they won't be held liable for their passive guidance that contributed to 33 deaths.

Sheep vs sheepdogs. In this case, I don't believe students and/or staff with guns were the only solution to stopping Cho, or at least stopping him before he killed so many people. The problem on the victims' part is a mindset and a reaction where hundreds of otherwise strong and healthy people remained passive and allowed Cho to continue killing without counter-attack. From one account, Cho was actually stepping into the classrooms to shoot. Putting aside a rush into the hallway, once it became apparent that someone was shooting up classes, Cho should have been tackled or struck by an object in the next classroom he entered. But that action requires an individual or individuals thinking the right thoughts and placing themselves at extra risk.

For Cho, I blame psychology - his mental illness. For many of the victims and the rest of our society, I blame a culture that is insidiously teaching us to be sheep rather than sheepdogs when facing wolves.

4/17/2007 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...


If we gave you a really, really, long list of US citizens who have killed people with guns would it change your mind about the efficacy of citizenship in this matter?

4/17/2007 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

> In this case, I don't believe students and/or staff with guns were the only solution to stopping Cho, or at least stopping him before he killed so many people. The problem on the victims' part is a mindset and a reaction where hundreds of otherwise strong and healthy people remained passive and allowed Cho to continue killing without counter-attack <

That's a good point. After every killing like this the two sides of the gun control debate say "those people died because the killer(s) had guns" and "those people died because they didn't have guns to defend themselves". Sometimes I think those arguments make people forget that a group of brave people can defend themselves against someone with a gun, or at least try. Discussion of this type are often shut down by "How can you judge them (the victims) by saying they should have fought back when you weren't there?"

It is probably also fear of lawsuits, as was mentioned. The risks of trying to disarm an attacker in that case are so high that they can't recommend it.

Maybe they should put baseball bats in a glass case "Use in case of emergency", and let nature take its course. If the victims had tools to fight back with, some of them would.

4/17/2007 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"Use in case of emergency"

I have absolutely frozen in place every time I have been near someone who has pulled a weapon. Then you begin the calculus of "can I tackle this bastard" without getting shot? By then, unless you see a clear opportunity to strike, you are a mute witness to the events at hand.

4/17/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

See this for the Ismael Ax reference.

4/17/2007 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Wretchard, thanks for the update. All understandable.

4/17/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

"The killer was reportedly armed with only two small caliber pistols. If that's true, he could have been disarmed even if the other students didn't have guns, if they knew what to do."

No, that is not true. A 9mm SA is a very dangerous weapon. If had not drawn, then given 20 feet you might be able to get him, but if he is drawn, then you will get shot, and within 5 feet he most certainly will shoot you in the head.

Besides barricading and escape, or coming at him unseeen is to pull a 45 from a bookbag and to shoot from cover.

4/17/2007 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

"I have absolutely frozen in place every time I have been near someone who has pulled a weapon. Then you begin the calculus of "can I tackle this bastard" without getting shot? "

You have to react automatically without thinking.

A shooter is one or no handed once someone gets with arms length of them. If they don't execute a retention drill and back away, then they are at a disadvantage.

Your options then expand once you have their shooting arm - eject the mag, force the weapon to fire, turn into them, use your weak elbow into their face, push them back, wrap your feet in theirs, and then fall on them. Then keep hitting their face with your elbow.

The other option is to run. Most people cannot hit a mansize target out past 25 yards. Past 40 yards, you are safe.

Even if you are carrying concealed, your best option is to move away and seek cover while drawing your pistol, then making a decision to engage.

Worst case, you are stuck between 3 and 10 yards and they have the pistol on you. at this point, you have to have a line drawn in your mind as to what you will and will not do.

For me, its not getting into car, not letting my hands be bound and not kneeling down. Somewhere in here I will act like I am going to do it and then I will react.

4/17/2007 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Cho's literary efforts can be sampled here. His short story features fear of pedophilia and contains depictions of chainsaws and deadly violence.

4/17/2007 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

> A 9mm SA is a very dangerous weapon.

Whatever guns he had, he wasn't even able to shoot through a wooden door, according to witnesses. That gives would-be victims something to work with.

Also, the fact is that some of those school shooters have been disarmed by other students, students who didn't have guns.

Regardless of the gun involved though, the point is that these school killers are not trained military professionals, they are not soldiers who know the correct thing to do in any situation and have the experience to keep cool.

These killers are insane kids who have never shot anyone before in their lives, and have decided they will commit suicide as soon as they seem to be losing control of the situation by encountering resistance.

So I am not talking about a textbook approach to disarming James Bond while he's looking at me and has the gun pointed at me. It's more like a desperate student, or group of students, who are have a high risk of being killed anyway, of hitting the killer over the head with something, throwing something in his eyes, etc. perhaps while he's rounding a corner or is running away.

4/17/2007 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Partially maybe it comes down to the difference between a human being and an animal. "Live free or die". If the lone killer is leaving my classroom without shooting me, and is heading down the hall way to shoot another dozen people, do I try to do something or just lay there in fear listening to the screams of others getting killed. The difference is that he doesn't have the gun pointed at me anymore, so I have some freedom of action.

The passengers of flight 93 said "Let's roll" and stopped the terrorists. It's possible to resist.

Even considering self-defense, not helping others, I think it would be a big, big mistake to tell people that they have no chance of defending themselves against an armed attacker. It simply is not true, and people chained into a building with a maniac may sometimes have the best chance of survival by resisting. It's something only they can decide, on the spot, but no one should take that option away from them.

4/17/2007 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Speaking of this specific rampage, the students and faculty had time to react because they heard him shooting in other classrooms down the hall way. Some of them barricaded the doors or jumped out windows.

Let's say the psycho walks into a room, the lights suddenly turn on, and the female students, who have taken off their clothes, jump and shout at the top of their lungs. Would that distract the killer enough for the two or three men waiting with metal rods they tore off the wall to smash the killer's head? Or at least to get inside on him, so he can be swarmed?

One is the loneliest number.

4/17/2007 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"the female students, who have taken off their clothes, jump and shout at the top of their lungs"

I'll try organizing this the next chance I get.

I know a 3rd degree black belt who teaches Navy Seals hand to hand combat and armed combatant take down techniques. I also remembered talking to him after he was robbed at gun point at a restaurant in San Diego with a shot gun. Apparently he valued his life more than practicing his art. Maybe red river could have shown him how it was supposed to be done. Immediate reactions need to be decided in advance.

4/17/2007 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Here's a quote about how the gunman "tried to come back in [our classroom] and we were able to hold him off."

A psycho with a gun is not invincible.

Gunman identified

About 10 minutes later, the door, which had no window, opened again and the shooter fired first at the professor, and then began methodically shooting the students, beginning with those in the front row. The gunman then left but tried to return, managing to open the door a few inches as students inside pushed back.

“Derek, who is my classmate, he was shot in the arm and it was just amazing to me that he was still up and leaning against the door,” Mr. Perkins said. “The guy tried to come back in and we were able to hold him off. “

4/17/2007 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Eisler said...

Latest info seems to be that the shooter came from South Korea as a child with his parents and grew up here. But he never became a U.S. Citizen. He should not have been able to purchase a gun, in my opinion.

Like the shooter, I'm a green card holder with kids born in the USA. I shouldn't be allowed to own a weapon to defend my kids?

Your response is as knee jerk as any calling for gun control. Most shooters are American citizens. Most gun owners are law abiding citizens (or residents) of the USA.

FWIW, I don't own a weapon.

4/17/2007 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Well it just goes to show:

Guns are dangerous.
Not having a gun is dangerous.
That multiculturalism is dangerous.
That english majors are dangerous.

Foreign born gun toting english majors with a penchant for bad prose are extremely dangerous.

4/17/2007 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Here's what one of those who blocked the door said. He describes it perfectly:

Petkewicz described his state of mind unabashedly: "I was completely scared out of my mind originally, just went into a cowering position, and then just realized you have got to do something."

So here we have someone who was actually there, and who realized his best chance of survival was to resist. And he survived to prove it. By blocking the door, he and others prevented the killer from coming back in and killing them.

They out smarted the killer, as quoted below. He shot at them and failed; the gun is not almighty. The other students used a cinder-block wall as protection, and listened to sounds like hearing a weapons clip drop to the floor in order to decide when to act.

Resistance is not futile.

"He came to our door, tried the handle and couldn't get in because we were pushing up against it -- and tried to force his way in and got the door to open up about 6 inches -- and then we just lunged at it and closed it back up and that's when he backed up and shot twice into the middle of the door, thinking we were up against it trying to get him out."

But Petkewicz said that instead he and the other students had placed themselves in front of the cinder-block walls, where they listened to what was going on out of sight a few inches away.

"I just heard his clip drop to the ground, and he reloaded and I thought he was coming back for a second round to try to get his way in there. He didn't say a word, and he just turned and kept firing down the hall and didn't try to get back in."

As the drama was unfolding, Petkewicz said, other classmates were on their cell phones with 911 operators, who told them police were on their way.

Soon, "I could hear police shouting all around the building. They were there really fast, it was just a matter of getting up and getting to us and getting this guy out of the picture."

Student saves lives

4/17/2007 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

Soooo it appears that most people agree that either you defend yourself or die. The oft-hallowed SWAT team will show up to help clean up the mess.

I wonder how often the police show up in time to prevent carnage? I'm sure the tools of the media slant this, but it seems as though the cops always show up too late.

I wonder how many people will miss the fact that the students were disarmed?

4/17/2007 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

From what little MOUT training I got in the Army lo these many years ago, I was taught that room clearing was more dangerous than the kind of combat training we did in the woods, fields, etc, because of blind spots, the need to react quickly, and cover multiple, close-distance 'threat' areas in a short amount of time. Other factors. That's why you do things like throw in flashbangs or even frags before going inside a room on a room-clearing - the guy entering the room, Cho in this case, is definitely vulnerable.

The Army also taught me that the best defense is a good offense, assuming you've got the ability to hit back - covering fire and closing with the target aggressively.

Granted, these students and professors were not carrying firearms. But my guess is they had objects they could have thrown or clubbed with. And, agreed - once the situation reached the point that Cho had entered a classroom with everyone taking cover, and trying to move away from him rather than close the distance, at that point, it became a shooting gallery. After Cho was inside a classroom and established control of the space, at that point, rushing the shooter across, say, 5 yards is a lot like suicide.

Going back to MOUT, the students and staff had the one chance when Cho was right outside the door and coming in, when he was vulnerable and blind. Students could have been lined up next to the door waiting to close the distance and hit him the second he crossed the doorwary. Rush Cho at that point, and one strong guy could have taken him down ... and certainly, there should be a group of students and staff counter-attacking the shooter. Or maybe even let him get inside the room, then throw things (books, shoes, laptops, phones, etc) at him to distract him just enough to allow the second or two it takes for a group of students and staff to close the distance with the shooter.

A handgun is an effective close quarters weapon, but it's not magic and it doesn't work well if the distance is closed enough so that the action becomes hand-2-hand. There's still a limited, vulnerable human being holding the handgun. Especially as it seems that the classroom doors were opaque (wood?), ensuring a moment of blindness when the shooter entered each classroom, the victims following the 1st classroom seem to have had possible counter-attack options.

Agreed ... that's too much to ask of the Va Tech victims, even in hindsight. But for future reference, I hope all of us adopt a better mindset, and in a similar situation, potential victims will automatically come together with aggressiveness and counter-attack the immediate threat. It requires a collective aggressive mindset, fast fluid decision-making, and rapid coordination under split-second combat conditions. We all need to learn how to be guardians again.

4/17/2007 07:21:00 PM  

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