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Posts Tagged ‘school shootings’

Training kids to be school shooters

Posted by Richard on August 8, 2018

It started out as a sad, but not terribly important, news story. Authorities raided a squalid “compound” in New Mexico, just south of the Colorado border last Friday looking for a young boy kidnapped by his father. They found 11 children, ages 1 to 15, malnourished and living in terrible conditions. They arrested three women, believed to be the children’s mothers, and two men. And they found the body of a child, most likely Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, the boy they were searching for and the son of Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, one of the men arrested. Sad, but still not terribly important.

Then came news making it much more important. According to prosecutors, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj was training some of the children to commit mass shootings at schools. That link is to the story aired on Next on 9News. Mind you, I like Kyle Clark and Next on 9News, a refreshingly different and generally thoughtful and fair-minded local newscast. But in that clip, they go out of their way to reassure us that an outburst of “Allahu akbar” in the courtroom could be totally innocuous and no different than a Baptist shouting “praise the Lord.” Nonsense.

Siraj Wahhaj is the son of an infamous imam, also named Siraj Wahhaj, of the radical Masjid At-Taqwa mosque. The elder Wahhaj was an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a “character witness” for Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the notorious “blind sheik” convicted of plotting terrorist attacks in the US.

Shouting “Allahu akbar” was innocuous, my ass. It was the war cry of a radical Islamist who won’t rest until every infidel converts, submits, or dies.

I guess we should have expected that radical Islamists would target our schools as a way of terrorizing us. Schools were one of their targets of choice in Israel until the Israelis ensured that every school had armed guards. Do you have kids in school? Have any of the staff at that school undergone FASTER training?

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The bizarre Amy Bishop story

Posted by Richard on February 18, 2010

UPDATE: Corrected the four instances, including the title, where I somehow managed to rename Ms. Bishop "Hunt." My only explanation is that I had "Hunt" on my mind due to the convergence of Huntsville and Delahunt — that, and my Old-timer's Disease.

For those of you who haven't kept up with the story of Amy Bishop, the sociopathic professor who shot three fellow faculty members at the University of Alabama at Huntsville last Friday, James Taranto has a nice summary of her bizarre history. (Read the rest of the post, too. Like most of his Best of the Web Today articles, there's some interesting and very funny stuff.)

For additional details about Bishop's earlier shooting of her brother (and the pass she was given on that, apparently by the about-to-retire Representative Bill Delahunt), check this JammieWearingFool post. For much more about Bishop, check the links at Beltway Blips

For a classic example of leftist spinning, check out this Mediaelites post. It begins by dismissing the characterization of Bishop as a socialist by claiming that it's based on "one lone, anonymous comment left on Dr. Amy Bishop’s profile." Well, it's not the only evidence that she's a hard-core leftist (sorry, I've lost the link, but the Beltway Blips link or a Google search should turn up some of the other evidence). But before dissing the source, Mediaelites might note that this "lone, anonymous comment" praises her class and is by far the most positive assessment of the five you posted. So it's not like this "lone, anonymous comment" was an attack or criticism — shouldn't that be a factor in considering whether its a "right-wing smear" or not? 

Mediaelites then proceeds to quote from Bishop's husband's complaint about something to the FTC (no context is provided):

The government is not allowed to intrude on us without a court order. These companies (often foreign or foreign owned) should not have more rights to us than our own Government. The Constitution protects us from the Government, what protects us from these voyeurs?

High priced lobbyists are not a replacement for democracy. Our privacy needs armor plated protection.

“By the people … for the people …”
“Buy the people … for the Corporations …”

And based on that, Mediaelites argues that maybe Bishop and her husband aren't socialists, but right-wing libertarians! 

They’re much more in line with the beliefs of the libertarians who currently support that Frankenstein of Bircher and Reaganite ideologies, the Tea Party Movement.

Um, yeah, right. Because everyone knows that people who rail against corporations (in some context Medialites declines to provide) are more likely to be libertarians than socialists. And libertarians, being so generally illiterate and ignorant of the meaning of "rights," are inclined to use such absurd phrases as "more rights to us than our own Government." 

Nice try, dumbass. 

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Paternalism and passivity

Posted by Richard on April 21, 2007

(The first part of this post is a slightly edited version of a comment I originally added to Whither the Warrior Spirit?)

On Tuesday, I caught part of ABC's Nightline coverage of the Virginia Tech killings. They interviewed three students in Professor Liviu Librescu's class. Librescu was the 76-year-old Holocaust survivor who held his classroom door shut while his students fled out the windows. He was shot through the door and killed. Read about him at The Jerusalem Post.

The three students were males and looked reasonably fit. One seemed on the small side (maybe 5'8"), one was in between, and the third looked like a football player — over six feet, muscular, over 200 pounds.

They described the sound of gunfire, the fear and panic, the screaming from adjacent rooms. They talked about how they opened the windows, lined up, climbed out, and dropped to the ground. They described seeing Professor Librescu at the classroom door holding it shut.

None of these three strapping young men explained how and why they left a 76-year-old man to guard the door against a homicidal maniac while they fled to safety. None felt any need to explain or apologize or mention the moral quandary they faced at all. They weren't asked. It just never came up. Apparently, it never occurred to them (or their interviewer) that there was a moral quandary. 

How can this be? These three men thanked Professor Librescu. But it never even occurred to them to apologize to him and his family. How can this possibly be?

Admittedly, three is a small sample — but it disturbs me that these three gentlemen felt not an iota of shame or doubt. What kind of people are these that they won't even acknowledge the possibility of their own cowardice? That they don't even realize they had alternative courses of action? That they seem incapable even of self-examination?

With that as an introduction, I commend to you Mark Steyn's column, A Culture of Passivity:

On Monday night, Geraldo was all over Fox News saying we have to accept that, in this horrible world we live in, our “children” need to be “protected.”

Point one: They’re not “children.” The students at Virginia Tech were grown women and — if you’ll forgive the expression — men. They would be regarded as adults by any other society in the history of our planet. Granted, we live in a selectively infantilized culture where twentysomethings are “children” if they’re serving in the Third Infantry Division in Ramadi but grown-ups making rational choices if they drop to the broadloom in President Clinton’s Oval Office. Nonetheless, it’s deeply damaging to portray fit fully formed adults as children who need to be protected. We should be raising them to understand that there will be moments in life when you need to protect yourself — and, in a “horrible” world, there may come moments when you have to choose between protecting yourself or others. It is a poor reflection on us that, in those first critical seconds where one has to make a decision, only an elderly Holocaust survivor, Professor Librescu, understood instinctively the obligation to act.

Steyn illustrated his point two by recounting a Montreal mass murder with which I wasn't familiar, a story that left my jaw agape and chilled me to the bone. Go. Read.

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Fame and glory

Posted by Richard on April 19, 2007

Thank you, NBC, for fulfilling a very deranged man's sick desire for fame and glory after his death. And thanks to every other network and local affiliate for jumping on the bandwagon and repeatedly airing every Cho picture and video clip you can get your hands on. After all, you can't let squeamishness or worries about copycats or respect for the victims' families stand in the way of ratings points, can you?

Go ahead, bombard the viewing public day after day, newscast after newscast, with Cho's posed photos designed to make him look powerful and scary and "cool" so that other disturbed youths will view him with admiration and awe, the way he viewed Klebold and Harris. 

Just one thing: After 9/11, not a single news organization ever again showed Americans jumping from the Twin Towers because those images were judged "too disturbing" and "inflammatory." Would someone please explain to me why, with complete unanimity, our media leaders have been so sensitive and concerned about the impact of 9/11 images, but couldn't wait until the bodies were buried to exploit the images and rantings of Cho?

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Whither the Warrior Spirit?

Posted by Richard on April 17, 2007

It's a touchy thing, second-guessing how people responded in a crisis. I wasn't there in that Virginia Tech classroom building, and I can't say for certain how I would have reacted had I been there. But there have been news reports that some of the victims were lined up and executed. At least one student survivor reported that the gunman burst into the classroom and started shooting, and they all "hit the floor" and waited for their bullet. This deeply saddens me.

Libercontrarian had a similar reaction, and some apropos comments:

For the mad dog who is only interested in slaughter, only three things can make him quit: suicide, attack by an organized security force, and disarmament by the pool of as-yet uninjured victims. The first two have the annoying tendency of coming well after the terminus of the event, thus resulting in the highest casualties. The last is what stops cold the attack, but requires the will to not be like the citizens of Babi-Yar, who marched nervously to the unending hammering of the machine guns, telling themselves that the Germans were giving them delousing showers. This perhaps requires the greatest courage: to take the chance that by risking more, personally, you may end the affair before it reaches the originator's intent. That is the Warrior Spirit.

I am not sure that there is an answer here. I would, however, prefer to be armed if I was to be locked into a room with a crazed gunman. I would hope for a bit of the Warrior Spirit to rely upon in any case – I could conceive no worse end than pleading with some twisted individual, on my knees, living my last several moments knowing that I was unable to prevent my death because of my fear of losing the opportunity to get away without confronting the evil that has revealed itself before me.

But the definitive articulation of what Libercontrarian and I felt came from LawDog (HT: FreedomSight):

There are reports — granted unconfirmed at this time — that several students were forced to line up, kneeling, and executed from behind.

I pray to the old gods — the gods of war and blood and thunder — that this is not the case.

I pray that some students went down fighting.

Because as bad as this is — and this is a horror — as bad as this is, if fifty some-odd people were injured and killed by one person whilst on their knees begging like so many Eloi, like a herd of sheep — if no one stood up and fought back, then this is becomes an example of evil.

Not the evil that allows a man to kill other men — although that is here in abundance. No, I am speaking of the putrescent evil which convinces good men not to fight back; the sordid filth of the soul which allows one bad man to prevail against fifty — or 25,000 — good men because good men have been systematically denied the mindset required to meet with, engage and defeat evil — even if all you have is fingernails and rage.

I beg you to go read the rest. I dare you to not be moved. 


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Feeling safer vs. being safer

Posted by Richard on April 16, 2007

VT flag at half-mastVirginia blogger Doug Mataconis appropriately noted that "Today, We’re All Hokies." But in an update to his earlier post about the shootings, he linked to a Roanoke Times article from earlier this year about the death of a campus self-defense rights bill in the Virginia legislature (emphasis added):

A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly.

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

Apparently, a similar bill was defeated last year, too. Last August, the Student Center at VT was evacuated during a manhunt for a murderer. Dymphna at Gates of Vienna has excerpts from two contrasting commentaries in the wake of that incident. One was by Bradford B. Wiles, a graduate student who was evacuated. Wiles had a carry permit, but was unarmed while on campus because of the university's anti-gun policy (emphasis added):

Of all of the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head that morning, the most overwhelming one was of helplessness.

That feeling of helplessness has been difficult to reconcile because I knew I would have been safer with a proper means to defend myself.

I would also like to point out that when I mentioned to a professor that I would feel safer with my gun, this is what she said to me, "I would feel safer if you had your gun."

Commenter Amy Kovak rejected Wiles' argument (emphasis added):

At the risk of being accused of being a member of the liberal media, I'll put it out there that I don't particularly feel safe knowing that people can carry guns around me — even if those people have licenses to do so.

I suppose everyone wants to feel safer. Many people want to feel safer so badly that they fool themselves into believing the most nonsensical things. Apparently, Larry Hincker and Amy Kovak believed that prohibiting guns on campus would automatically prevent people from carrying guns on campus, thus making them safer.

Brad Wiles and his professor friend wanted to feel safer, too. Wiles didn't just want to feel safer, though — he wanted to be safer. Would being armed have made him so on that day? Maybe, maybe not. Guns aren't any more magical and foolproof than gun bans. But there's a lot more reason, logic, and evidence backing Wiles than there is behind the wishful thinking of Hincker and Kovak.

I wonder if Wiles was on the VT campus today, and if he was still disarmed and helpless. I wonder if Hincker and Kovak were on campus. If so, I wonder when exactly they stopped feeling safe in their gun-ban cocoon.

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Cordite and Cooper

Posted by Richard on October 2, 2006

I just found out today that Col. Jeff Cooper died last week. Cooper, known as “the gunner’s guru,” was a larger than life figure whose impact on the shooting sports, combat and self-defense shooting, and related matters is inestimable. Cooper almost single-handedly created what’s thought of as the modern “conventional wisdom” regarding handgun shooting, gun safety, and combat and self-defense techniques.

Cooper was 86 and in poor health, but he continued to write prolifically and with old-fashioned elegance and charm — albeit, at times with a rather sharp tongue. I always looked forward to his monthly column in Guns & Ammo — it wasn’t really a column, but a collection of brief anecdotes, opinions, and observations on a remarkably broad range of subjects. Here are a couple of examples from the August issue:

We are annoyed by the assumption on the part of certain public figures that the citiizen should be able to prove the need for the citizen to acquire a means of protecting himself. The citizen’s personal needs are no business of the state. Liberty, when in place, grants the right of the citizen to do what he chooses, as long as he does not stamp on the rights of others. Nobody needs caviar, or a pleasure boat or opera tickets. Whether he wants these things is no business of the state. On this side of the prayer rug, the Jihadis do not see it that way. That seems to be the main reason they have declared war upon us.

Is it that the pronoun “whom” has been abandoned? Perhaps it is that the English language is too ornate for the common people.

I learned of Cooper’s death via Spank That Donkey, where Chris led off Carnival of Cordite #74 with Michael Bane’s eulogy, which you should read. Check out the many other fine posts, too — most are quite a bit less somber. They range from fun stuff to gun stuff to politics. There are a couple of serious commentaries on the Bailey, CO, school shooting — one of them mine.

Which brings me to the (apparently copycat) deadly attack on the Pennsylvania Amish school. We really didn’t need more empirical evidence that a “gun-free” designation — even with a stiff prison sentence to back it up — is about as effective at protecting our children as the casting of a magic spell over the doorway. I don’t know what more to say, except that my heart goes out to the families of those little girls.

I think I’ll close with another Cooper quote, this one posted at Michael Bane’s place by a commenter. After thinking about the terrible deeds some men are capable of, Cooper’s point seems somehow appropriate — and comforting:

The rifle is a weapon. Let there be no mistake about that. It is a tool of power, and thus dependent completely upon the moral stature of its user. It is equally useful in securing meat for the table, destroying group enemies on the battlefield, and resisting tyranny. In fact, it is the only means of resisting tyranny, since a citizenry armed with rifles simply cannot be tyrannized.

The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.

—Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle

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Safer schools

Posted by Richard on September 28, 2006

Yesterday’s school shooting in Bailey, an idyllic mountain community 40 miles southwest of Denver, has people talking about school safety again. CBS4Denver did a news segment entitled "Why Aren’t Our Schools Safer?" The only concrete suggestions were: (1) put in lots of security cameras; (2) have only one entrance, with "watchful eyes" on it.

In the Bailey incident, a stranger walked in off the street, gun drawn, and fired warning shots. How would it have helped to have an extra video camera or an unarmed, defenseless person watching the gunman as he entered?

Years ago, the Israelis had a problem with Paleostinian gunmen attacking schoolchildren. They armed the teachers and staff, and the attacks on schools stopped. In fact, the Paleostinians largely gave up attacking civilians with small arms when it became standard practice for the intended victims to shoot back.

The Paleostinians developed the tactic of suicide bombing as an alternative. It’s unlikely to become popular with people other than the crazed Jihadists who "love death."

One big safety problem with our schools is their designation as "gun-free zones." This ensures any criminal or madman bent on violence that all the law-abiding people inside are unarmed and helpless. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, somehow the liberals — and even many conservatives — have managed to convince themselves that a "No Guns Allowed" sign has some sort of magical power to deter a sociopath who’s prepared to commit mayhem, rape, and murder.

If you’re a non-gun-owner, listen to me carefully: You are not safer in a "gun-free zone" — you are less safe. Always. Even if you don’t choose to arm yourself ever. The "gun-free" designation cannot and will not protect you from violent predators or reckless and irresponsible people. But it can prevent honest, responsible, concerned people from coming to your defense.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not claiming that more guns are a panacea. There are no panaceas, and utopia is not an option. I’m simply saying that it’s foolish and irresponsible to pretend you can remove all guns when you can only remove those that are least likely to do harm and most likely to do good.

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