As the saying goes, “when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.”
From Capt. Tracy W. Price at the Washington Times:
Oct. 16, 1991, Killeen, Texas — 24 killed when a man drove his truck through a window of a Luby’s Cafeteria and walked around the restaurant shooting people as they hid underneath their tables.
n April 20, 1999, Littleton, Colo. — 13 killed when at Columbine High School.
n Aug. 10, 1999, Granada Hills, Calif. — five wounded when a white supremacist fires 70 rounds into a Jewish community and day-care center.
n Oct. 2, 2006, Nickel Mines, Pa. — five killed when a milk-truck driver entered an Amish schoolhouse, ordered all the boys to leave and began shooting the girls.
The above list is a tiny sampling of the growing number of multiple-victim shootings, including at least 39 school shootings in the United States. What do all of the above have in common? Each occurred in a “gun-free zone.” The recent killing of 32 innocent students and teachers at Virginia Tech adds another tragic chapter to this horrible book of violence and death. I, like many fathers, consider this reality when I send my sons off to school each morning.
The response to gun violence has been predictable and consistent. We’ve held candlelight vigils, worn ribbons and heard speeches, all properly intended to make us feel better. We’ve passed laws forbidding guns within 1,000 feet of a school and the manufacturing of “assault weapons.” Now, in the wake of the Blacksburg shootings, calls for stiffer gun-control laws have become louder and more strident.
What has not been tried is the obvious: The time has come for us to defend our children and ourselves, and take steps that will drastically reduce the number of attempted mass shootings and provide for a defense of the innocent when they do occur.
The phrase “gun-free zone” is the ultimate delusion. A more accurate expression would be “defenseless zone.” Like most mass murderers, the Virginia shooter was smart enough to choose victims who could not fight back. The Virginia Tech “defenseless zone” policy that made bringing a gun on campus an expellable offense was like a neon welcome sign to him, offering very high probability that he could achieve a high body count. The threat of expulsion or firing was effective in preventing law-abiding students and faculty from bringing a gun to school to defend themselves, but it did not deter the perpetrator. That’s the insanity of gun-control laws; the only ones who abide by them are the law-abiding citizens.
Well-intentioned people argue that we should restrict access to guns. However, scientific research has consistently shown that restrictions on gun purchases and carriage cause large increases in violent crimes like rape, murder and multiple-victim public shootings.
In fact, research by economist and author John Lott and Bill Landes shows that states that allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns enjoy a 60 percent decrease in multiple-victim public shootings and a 78 percent decrease in victims per attack. The Commonwealth of Virginia allows concealed carriage of handguns (except in “defenseless zones”) after a criminal background check, and we have lower crime rates overall than nearby states with more restrictive gun laws. In a state like Virginia, where law-abiding citizens can legally purchase guns and carry them concealed, it is no surprise the Virginia Tech killer chose one of Virginia’s “defenseless zones” for his attack.
As an airline pilot, I knew pilots who carried guns in their flight bags prior to 1987, when the Federal Aviation Administration effectively disarmed all pilots. I did not own guns then, and I thoughtlessly bought into the conventional wisdom that airliners should really be “gun-free zones.” The September 11 attacks jarred my perspective, and I quickly came to realize that I had been living in a fool’s paradise. I became a leader in the effort to arm airline pilots. Dire predictions of arguments turning into gunfights, accidental shootings and degradation of safety proved to be completely false. Instead, we have provided an essential layer of security as a deterrent to terrorists.
Similarly, the Virginia Tech massacre must be a wake-up call for all of us. Our undefended school campuses are a tempting target for cowardly mass killers and terrorist groups alike. We’ll never be able to have a police officer in every school or every classroom, but we can take down the flashing “defenseless zone” sign that attracts killers. We must insist that our state legislators resist the calls for more gun-control laws and instead pass legislation allowing law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits to carry guns on school campuses.
There was legislation last year in the Virginia House of Delegates that would have allowed concealed guns on college campuses. When it was defeated, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said, “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.” Did any of the victims of the massacre in their final moments feel secure, appreciative and safe knowing that guns were not allowed on campus? Or were they more likely praying that some fellow student or teacher had broken the rules and put a gun in their backpack?
Leftist Roger Ebert, what a fool he is, and people actually still read his drivel?
We’ve Seen This Movie Before — NYT, Roger Ebert
JAMES HOLMES, who opened fire before the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises,” could not have seen the movie. Like many whose misery is reflected in violence, he may simply have been drawn to a highly publicized event with a big crowd. In cynical terms, he was seeking a publicity tie-in. He was like one of those goofballs waving in the background when a TV reporter does a stand-up at a big story. [...]
I’m not sure there is an easy link between movies and gun violence. I think the link is between the violence and the publicity. Those like James Holmes, who feel the need to arm themselves, may also feel a deep, inchoate insecurity and a need for validation. Whenever a tragedy like this takes place, it is assigned catchphrases and theme music, and the same fragmentary TV footage of the shooter is cycled again and again. Somewhere in the night, among those watching, will be another angry, aggrieved loner who is uncoiling toward action. The cinematic prototype is Travis Bickle of “Taxi Driver.” I don’t know if James Holmes cared deeply about Batman. I suspect he cared deeply about seeing himself on the news.
Should this young man — whose nature was apparently so obvious to his mother that, when a ABC News reporter called, she said “You have the right person” — have been able to buy guns, ammunition and explosives? The gun lobby will say yes. And the endless gun control debate will begin again, and the lobbyists of the National Rifle Association will go to work, and the op-ed thinkers will have their usual thoughts, and the right wing will issue alarms, and nothing will change. And there will be another mass murder.
That James Holmes is insane, few may doubt. Our gun laws are also insane, but many refuse to make the connection. The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands. In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended.
Jesse Jackson with no class or dignity to his name or position, rushes into the fray!
A recent sightseeing trip off the coast of Greenland turned into a harrowing experience for Jens Møllerand a few friends. While filming an iceberg in the distance, a giant piece separated and fell into the water, unleashing a freak tsunami that quickly made its way towards the group’s boat. They managed to escape the brunt of the waves, but the brush with death made for some haunting comments from Møller:
I’ve never been this close to dying. I have never been this close to dying before.
It’s 2400 clams a month.
MoarkDave Update: Wanna read some passages from the roommate’s daffodil covered diary? Read here
Geesh, let’s not let anyone know if we have successes!
Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano is not a fan of a key provision of the federal program that allows state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws — but until Thursday her department’s website hadn’t gotten the message.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the part of her agency that handles the so-called “287(g) agreements” with states and localities, had a Web page dedicated to success stories from the program, pointing to the many dangerous criminal aliens who had been taken off the streets after local authorities nabbed them for another offense.
But after Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, pointed out the contradiction during a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, Ms. Napolitano wasted little time in removing it.
“I would tell the people who are working on the website, take it down,” she said during the hearing. And even before the hearing gaveled to a close, the page was gone.
The 287(g) program has two parts: task-force agreements, which give state and local police the power to process suspects for immigration violations; and the jail model, which only gets local authorities involved after someone has been booked into a jail or prison.
Ms. Napolitano said the task-force model costs 10 times as much per deportation as does the jail model or “Secure Communities,” another program designed to check prison populations for potentially deportable immigrants.
Hours after the Supreme Court last month upheld the part of Arizona’s law empowering local police to question immigration status of those they believe to be in the country illegally, Ms. Napolitano canceled the seven task-force agreements her department had with Arizona law enforcement agencies.
At Thursday’s hearing, Mr. Goodlatte tried to find out why — and pointed to the list of success stories on ICE’s website.
“Why are you touting them if they’re success stories in a program that you think is otherwise flawed?” he said, adding that the program has proved to be popular with departments in his own state of Virginia.
“There may be some success stories,” Ms. Napolitano replied, but said they were switching to the more cost-effective models.
This photo of an endangered whale shark was snapped by adventure photographer Shawn Heinrichs. Heinrichs, who is an international advisory board member for WildAid, is an avid scuba diver and shark conservationist. This photo is one of many taken during an outing with one of the ocean’s largest — and most docile — creatures.
A Republican donor featured prominently on President Obama’s “enemies list” is facing intense scrutiny from federal authorities, the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel reports.
Just chicago politics in action!
Chicago, IL July 20, 2012 – Criminal battery charges have been filed against top aides to Mayor Rahm Emanuel in Chicago.