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Author Topic: Massacre in Blacksburg  (Read 9836 times)
Zapranoth
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« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2007, 09:27:47 AM »

Heh.  I remember Robin Williams (imitating a bobby) saying, "Stop!  Or... I'll say 'stop' again!!"

Seriously.. I don't like the back and forth, ineffectual level of debate that this brings up, too.
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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2007, 11:23:26 AM »

Not being native to the U.S.,  it does seem like guns are too easily accessible in the United States not that a psycho might not find a way to get their hands on one, or indeed some other weapon, even with stricter laws but some discouragement may be better than none. The idea of arming more security guard strikes me as a frightening prospect. I mean wouldn't that actually increase the number of guns available for use? Gun battles in the streets?
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« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2007, 12:50:54 PM »


I thought this pretty much summed up the cycle of these tragedies:

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« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2007, 01:17:01 PM »

What gets me is these reporters keep asking why wasn't the guy allowed to return to school after he was believed to have mental issues. Mental health professionals probably see hundreds if not thousands of people every year who have similar issues, but they don't end up going on a shooting rampage.
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flackbait
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« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2007, 06:48:57 PM »

I think that cartoon really does sum up the whole blame game.
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JaseSF
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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2007, 06:50:40 PM »

There is a growing problem in today's society. Just paying a visit to most local shopping centres show that. One time, people had and showed proper respect for the elderly, for the sick, for those in need. Sadly I don't see this as much any more. Respect was given to police officers, ministers, etc.. and to other people as well. Sadly I don't see this as much any more. Nowadays I see many people, and not only kids mind you, running around looking for items, satisfying their own selfish desires with little regard for anyone else. Everyone is in a great hurry to get to nowhere to do nothing at least nothing that truly makes them happy.  I talked to my parents about this and they said years ago people talked to each other more in public places, made more time for small talk and the simple joys of daily living. People seemed more polite, patient, courteous and happy.  Moral values also used to be more predominant on television as many shows from years back had a real message for viewers and many of them without being overly preachy about it either (right was always embraced and championed over wrong too)...nowadays we get mindless junk like reality TV and on the idiot box in general is something generally dumb, violent, twisted and mostly lacking in terms of any redeeming qualities whatsoever.  Now it's made to seem cool to be rude, vulgar and offensive, to not show proper respect, to spit in the face of authority. Should this be so?
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Jim H
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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2007, 07:57:51 PM »


I don't know about others, but coming from a country with fairly strict gun laws [compared to the US] it does seem like it's out of control.  I mean, we have a mass killing here at Port Arthur which prompts a very big crackdown on what types of guns can be sold etc.  There's a mass killing in the States and nothing seemingly happens to prevent these things.  It's almost like nobody is learning.

I mean, it just seems ridiculous to me, that as soon as these things happen that gun lobbyists were saying that 'if everyone had a gun, then this wouldn't have happened'.  Makes you angry to think that there's so many security crackdowns in so many areas to prevent things like terrorism, and all this talk of pre-emptive strikes, and preparedness etc. yet a person can apparently go up to a counter and buy an assault rifle with almost no hassle.  Sure 90% of gun owners may do the right thing, but I suppose it's a matter of wieghing up if that 10% gap is worth the worry.

I think.  Sure, I may be getting facts mixed up but the point still stands.  Sure some people are evil, some aren't, I'm just sick of all the policital rhetoric and bullocky around it all.  Either do something about it, or quit complaining.

An assault rifle is technically a rifle with some degree of automatic functions (burst or full).  They've pointlessly expanded the definition in many places, but that's what one is.  And they're a huge pain in the ass to get in the USA and extremely expensive (the guy who owns the shooting range by me says he paid $8000 for his Uzi, and getting it transferred required the personal signature approval of the county sheriff), and the stock of guns is slowly falling since new auto weapons can't be added to the existing civilian stock anymore, not since the mid 80s.

Aside from that, long arms just require a background check.  Things that block you from getting a gun include felony convictions, being under 18, certain types of institutional commitments, stuff like that.  Handguns require a license, you have to be at least 21, and then a background check is still done when you buy it. 

Long guns are restricted in the US by power and total length (minimum of 18" barrel if I recall correctly), though no longer by capacity or external features.  Handguns are restricted by power only, as far as I know, though in practical terms a handgun will never exceed the power limit (it's extremely high, considering BMG rounds are civilian legal everywhere except California).  It always seems silly to me that you can legally get a handgun, but a rifle as short as a very large handgun is illegal.  I never did understand that one.  I'm curious if a handgun with an accessory stock is considered a short barrelled rifle?

Some states and counties and cities have differing restrictions.  Many of the major cities severely restrict guns, for example.  This leads to much criticism by the NRA and other gun advocates, as major cities are where the vast, vast majority of gun violence occurs - people who illegally have guns, and the NRA likes to point out the civilians of these cities can't defend themselves well enough. 

Quote
Sure 90% of gun owners may do the right thing, but I suppose it's a matter of wieghing up if that 10% gap is worth the

With about half of US households having guns, if it was 10% it would be REALLY REALLY REALLY bad.  That would mean something like 5% of the entire US population (about 15 million people) were using their guns in ways you consider 'bad'. 

It's also not just a matter of a tiny percentage doing wrong - the question is do the others do right?  If someone saves lives by use of a gun in self defense, doesn't this offset any of the lives lost? 

BTW, I am not neccassarily against some forms of stronger gun control.  I'm just really unsure of how to do it best.  I wouldn't mind a few extra things added to stuff which flags you as unable to purchase the guns.  The Virginia Tech shooter had been briefly institutionalized under court order, and was considered at least somewhat dangerous. 

It seems to me that, at the very least, he should have had to get some kind of approval that his treatment had succeeded before he shoudl be able to buy guns - even if only to reduce the chance of him committing suicide.
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Andrew
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« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2007, 08:24:20 PM »

My experience is that someone who wants a weapon to do something bad will get it in some manner.  I've seen plenty of people who "could never purchase a firearm" use one in another crime, because they wanted to use a firearm and obtained one.

Also, if I run into this sort of situation, my goal is going to be killing or inflicting mobility-restricting damage to them, even if they manage to kill me.  Hearing shots nearby, I can say that I would be improvising a weapon.  A torn off desk leg, chair, or metal stand will do a lot of damage when you hit someone with it.  Once I get a chance to get in on them, I can do more damage - including damaging or removing their eyesight.

Yes, I might be different than the average person, but a lot of people serve in the military for a short period and then return to civilian life.  Certainly, some of them must have the same thought process:  The buck stops here.  Kill the bad guy, somehow. 

The critical factor is the person, not the tool.
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Andrew Borntreger
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« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2007, 08:34:08 PM »

Quote
It always seems silly to me that you can legally get a handgun, but a rifle as short as a very large handgun is illegal.  I never did understand that one.
Andrew they might be referring to sawn off shotguns(yes I know a shotgun isn't a rifle but it is a long arm).
I'm sure ya know the damage those things can do up close.
And if you did shorten a rifle down to a 18 in. barrel it would be extremely impractical due to lack of accuracy and recoil (except maybe a .22 cal). But if you were desperate enough you could use it at short range. But that would defeat the whole purpose of a rifle since they are made to be used at long range.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 08:36:16 PM by flackbait » Logged
ulthar
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« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2007, 11:17:42 PM »

Quote
It always seems silly to me that you can legally get a handgun, but a rifle as short as a very large handgun is illegal.  I never did understand that one.
Andrew they might be referring to sawn off shotguns(yes I know a shotgun isn't a rifle but it is a long arm).
I'm sure ya know the damage those things can do up close.
And if you did shorten a rifle down to a 18 in. barrel it would be extremely impractical due to lack of accuracy and recoil (except maybe a .22 cal). But if you were desperate enough you could use it at short range. But that would defeat the whole purpose of a rifle since they are made to be used at long range.

This is WAY off topic of this thread, but have you guys heard of the Thompson Contender? It is basically a handgun with interchangable barrels.  You can get barrels in rifle calibrations - including some woppers like 45-70 Govt.  I *THINK* the barrels are in the ballpark of 14 inches.  They are both powerful and accurate (though single shot).

There is no restriction, legal or practical, on putting rifle calibers into a handgun frame.

As for the gun control discussion relevant to the VT shooting - I have to whole heartedly agree with every point Andrew made.  Having worked in Law Enforcement, I KNOW first hand that bad-guys get guns if they want 'em.  The gun laws are meaningless to them.

As for Andrew's second point, I'll only add that I find it incredibly sad that our nation, once full of spit-n-vinegar, is now overrun with folks whose motto, nay AGENDA, seems to be  "run, don't fight."  Where would we be if EVERYBODY took that attitude?

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
 (Edmund Burke)

Sometimes the good guys get hurt, but it is the FIGHT that is important.  At least that's what I believe.
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dean
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« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2007, 12:06:59 AM »


Sometimes the good guys get hurt, but it is the FIGHT that is important.  At least that's what I believe.

Damn right. 
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flackbait
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« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2007, 12:11:47 AM »

Quote
Having worked in Law Enforcement, I KNOW first hand that bad-guys get guns if they want 'em.
That's the problem with gun laws. Not obeying the laws is one of the main job requirements of criminals.
But I am for some forms of gun control. You can't just have anybody walking around with any kind of gun.
The last thing we need is a hothead walking around downtown with a concealed weapon.
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Jim H
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« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2007, 04:30:31 AM »



Lance Henriksen using a Thompson Contender in Hard Target.  Mad Dog uses one in Hard-Boiled.

Another gun which uses a modified rifle cartridge is the Wildey .475...



Most people here should be familiar with it. 

Quote
Sometimes the good guys get hurt, but it is the FIGHT that is important.  At least that's what I believe.


I agree. 

Quote

Yes, I might be different than the average person, but a lot of people serve in the military for a short period and then return to civilian life.  Certainly, some of them must have the same thought process:  The buck stops here.  Kill the bad guy, somehow.


I'm amazed stuff like that doesn't happen more often actually.  Most of the time shooting sprees happen so abruptly people are taken aback and totally stunned, that seems to be the jist of it.  In America, I'm only aware of one instance of something like this where someone really stepped in, and that was where a man showed up at a courthouse to kill his wife and son, and someone with a CCW permit ended up shooting it out with the guy (the CCW holder died, turned out the killer was wearing body armor, but him delaying the killer probably saved the son's life).
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JaseSF
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« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2007, 12:34:10 PM »

Maybe there should be some specially trained security guard force equipped to deal with threats like this?  It's an idea anyway.

Another thing I do wonder about is whether police today aren't a little too restricted in terms of what they can do to stop an armed assailant as they often seem taken to task for quickly taking someone out in such a fashion.
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« Reply #44 on: April 22, 2007, 12:44:48 PM »

Maybe there should be some specially trained security guard force equipped to deal with threats like this?  It's an idea anyway.

Another thing I do wonder about is whether police today aren't a little too restricted in terms of what they can do to stop an armed assailant as they often seem taken to task for quickly taking someone out in such a fashion.

Look, I'm sorry if this is not the "right answer," but it seems to me that WE ALL are that 'security force.'  We are all citizens, and we are all ultimately responsible for our own safety.

Why is everyone so quick to make others responsible for themselves?

The Police have no restrictions on what they can do with someone actively engaged in killing others.  The questions of the Police using deadly force were answered in 1985 by The Supreme Court of the United States in TENNESSEE VS. GARNER.  In that case, the Police killed an unarmed, fleeing suspect.  The case ultimately brought to the court when is it okay to use deadly force and when is it not okay.

Short Version:  ANYTIME lives are in imminent danger, deadly force is justified.  And you know what?  That goes for ALL OF US.  Every citizen of the United States has the moral (and legal) right to defend themselves AND OTHERS.
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