Tuesday, April 17, 2007

32 of 90

My brother got his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech, and I visited the place a few times when he was there, as he graduated from high school two years before I did. I was raised in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but Blacksburg was still quite a haul down Interstate 81. The place is REALLY BIG. 100 buildings on 2,600 acres.

This will permanently harm Virginia Tech's reputation. When something random like this happens, people remember it forever. Everyone remembers Austin Texas. Hell, everyone remembers Kent State.

It's a sad thing. Definitely sad. But I fear the overreaction. The politicking has already started. The gun nuts are saying "If there were more guns it would have prevented the problem." The anti-gun nuts are saying "If there were fewer guns it would have prevented the problem."

Of course they're both wrong, and they're both gross for exploiting the situation for their political agenda.

The US averages 90 shooting deaths per day. Statistically, this is just barely a blip. An above average day. Slightly.

It's tremendously sad and a horrible event, but it's just a consequence of the society that we've built. The attempts at social engineering that will come from this scare me far more than the chance I'll get shot down by some random killer.

11 comments:

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I've got to say -- and you apparently don't agree with this from your post -- that I am left thinking that there is just too much too-easy access to guns in today's America. I don't give a cripe about politics and I fervently defend and support Americans' right to have guns for protection purposes, but when things like this happen I just can't help but think it is just too easy for people to get their hands on violent weapons in this country.

The more crap I see about people saying that more guns would solve problems like this, the more scared I get for this country. Yeah, just what I want. A bunch of kids who party like I partied in college, who know as much about life as I knew in college, toting around loaded guns with them. Uh huh.

mcSey said...

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm

The statistics don't agree with you. They almost do if you add in suicides, but that's bad logic.

11,250 gun homicides in 2004 works out to 30 per day. The guy killed more by himself yesterday than die in an average day from gunshot homicides. With suicides and accidents included it jumps to 70.8 per day (with accidents happening at about 2 per day).

DuggleBogey said...

How does that in any way invalidate my point?

JL514 said...

I'm not sure it's meant to invalidate your point, but referring to something as terrible as what happened at VaTech yesterday as "just another blip" will certainly piss people off.

I for one went to high school with a girl who was shot and killed yesterday, and trust me, this is more than "just another blip."

See if statistics make you feel better when someone you know gets shot and killed in a campus shooting or the like.

AlCantHang said...

I get what you're saying and they seem to missing, and so does the VA governor...

"Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine said he wasn't interested in arguments about gun control.

"People who want to take this within 24 hours of the event and make it their political hobby horse to ride, I've got nothing but loathing for them," Kaine said at a Tuesday evening news conference.

"To those who want to try to make this into some little crusade, I say: Take that elsewhere. Let this community deal with grieving individuals and be sensitive to those needs."

DuggleBogey said...

Statistics definitely make me feel better....

I had a coworker that was killed on vacation in Chicago when she drove by a building that was under construction and a scaffolding collapsed and crushed her car and killed her.

Yes it was horrible and very sad, but my first thought was not, "We have to stop making buildings."

It was a freak occurrence and freak occurrences are going to happen. The overreaction to freak occurrences are more often harmful than they are helpful.

Dan said...

"This will permanently harm Virginia Tech's reputation. When something random like this happens, people remember it forever. Everyone remembers Austin Texas."

Yup. That University of Texas sure has a hard time filling its classrooms. I heard the shooting from 40 years ago is the reason why Kevin Durant is going pro. He's can't walk around campus without looking up.

actyper said...

Actually I think that is why he's only doing 1 yr there. He figured he'd already beat the odds by surviving that first year

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Never even heard of anything happening in Austin, Texas.

Guess that means people will not in fact "always remember it". As far as I can tell, nobody remembers it.

DuggleBogey said...

You've never heard of the Texas Tower Sniper? When Charles Whitman climbed the tower and shot 46 people?

For God's sake, it happened in 1966, two years before I was born, and I and EVERYONE I KNOW has heard of it.

Do you know about the Kent State shootings? They happened in 1970. Even Kevin Smith in his "Evening With Kevin Smith" videos talks about it. They'll never shake it.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I know about Kent State because I thought that was politically motivated event. I've not only never heard of the Texas town whatever, but I don't know anyone who's ever mentioned it (or heard of it, to my knowledge) either.

Virginia Tech's reputation will be fine given some time. I guarantee it.