Massacre at Virginia Tech

The reported toll is now 32 people killed and dozens wounded in a shooting spree at a dorm and an engineering building at Virginia Tech. Officials say the shooter is dead.

Some witnesses say the killer was a young Asian man and that he was looking for his girlfriend. These early reports often are unreliable, so don’t jump to any conclusions.

About Joanne


  1. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Even with the two pistols he is said to have, he had to stop a few times to reload. The victims should have charged him rather than submit to slaughter. You can not outrun a bullet. It is getting more difficult for me to accept any advice to submit.

  2. The reloading thing was exactly the question my students had. One of the guys in my afternoon class (bless him) said, “Well, couldn’t a bunch of the students have just risen up and swarmed him when he was reloading? That’s what I would have tried to do. It’s better to die fighting than to die like a rabbit.” (That’s the kind of person I want in my classroom if that kind of crap ever goes down here)

    That said…I don’t know what I would have done in a similar situation. I suspect it’s hard to know what to do when you’re confronted with the barrel of a gun and you’ve already seen a bunch of your friends killed.

  3. wayne martin says:

    > The victims should have charged him

    It would take a certain amount of military training (or many team sports like football) to reasonably expect this reaction. Some revolvers come with fast reload clips (all six bullets go into the gun with a single movement of the shooters hand. There might not be that much time if the shooter was at all skilful.

  4. Bill Leonard says:

    This creep had a pair of semi-autos. You would have to be mighty fast and mighty well-trained, as well as in fairly close proximity to the shooter to wrestle him down while he was dropping one magazine from the pistol and inserting another — a feat that might take as much as 5 seconds or so, if the creep knew what he was doing with the firearm.

  5. With a pair of semi-autos, it would be very easy for him to ensure no one was unwounded and in position to tackle him while he changed magazines.

  6. Not to mention, it’s easy to say, “Well, *I* would have rushed him!” when you’re safe & sound in front of your own computers. It’s quite another thing to actually do it. I suspect that most of the would-be rushers would have reacted just like the majority of students.

  7. Besides my home and family, Va Tech and Blacksburg are the most special places in the world to me.

    The outpouring of support has been incredible. Believe me, it’s greatly appreciated.

    Now, if I could just stop crying…

  8. I have witnessed our local school system carefully train our children in passivity when threatened. I believe this approach is widespread in the US, with the exception of Texas. If there’s an intruder, close the door, turn out the lights, and hide under a desk.

    Wait to be shot.

  9. Walter E. Wallis says:

    A math problem -“If you have a 5% chance of surviving by attacking a shooter and a 0% chance of surviving if you do not, what is the better choice?”

  10. wayne martin says:

    > I have witnessed our local school system carefully train
    > our children in passivity when threatened.

    Listening to some of the Emergency Management experts who were interviewed yesterday, it was clear that trying to deal with this sort of thing in an educational environment is very difficult. I didn’t sense any agreement among the interviewees on key responses when danger is first detected.

    This issue is far more important with our having to deal with terrorists, who will sooner or later see schools as prime targets. Universities have for too long ignored the question of security. It’s high time they began to look at the issue.

    Some schools have “panic buttons” in remote areas of the campus, but what might well be needed are some sort of “panic button” that can be found in every building that provides campus security an alert to a problem that requires a “SWAT” response. Surveillance cameras which are not easily disabled should be installed campus-wide.

    And of course .. this needs to be done in all of the nations 94,000 public schools, in addition to the 3,300 (or so) universities/colleges.

    Financially .. billions are going to be needed to secure our institutions of learning from terrorism and murderous individuals.

  11. Nicksmama says:

    I’m convinced that if the school wasn’t advertised as a “gun-free” zone, there would have been a few less bodies. Guns give psycho’s such as this shooter full control over his victims and he knows these good people wouldn’t be law breakers and wouldn’t be armed. Only when the armed police showed up did he stop his carnage.

  12. wayne martin says:

    Found this in an article on the shootings:

    > She said Cho was referred to the counseling service,
    > but she said she did not know when, or what the outcome was.
    > Rude refused to release any of his writings or his grades,
    > citing privacy laws

    Hopefully privacy laws can be changed so that at times like these schools can not protect the guilt at the expense of the innocent.

  13. “A math problem -”If you have a 5% chance of surviving by attacking a shooter and a 0% chance of surviving if you do not, what is the better choice?””

    Because we all know that it’s oh-so-easy to calculate the odds logically when in a life-or-death situation!

    Hell, if I were in that situation, I’d probably forget what 2+2 is.

    A few students apparently played dead, a tactic that worked. So if I really did manage to calculate the odds:

    0% chance by reenacting a deer in headlights
    5% chance by attacking
    10% chance by playing dead (and yes, I think playing dead probably had a higher chance of survival than attacking–especially if you were attacking on your own)

    I’ll go with the third option, thank you.

  14. Walter E. Wallis says:

    You know what your life is worth better than I do. Playing dead might work for you, but it does nothing for the others, whereas an attack benefits all if it succeeds or distracts the attacker. Put on your dress and get into the lifeboat. Who will know?

  15. Dr.Avram Yushan says:

    Hats off to the Romanian Prof……… shows the tremendous courage and care for other human beings……he reminds me alot about my late father Prof. Avram who got his phd degree in Jerusalem some 40 years ago teaching martial art and late mother Valeria who was a Holocaust Survivor as well.. May his soul rest in peace he is a TRUE HERO and the university shall make an everlasting statue of him on the premises… heart goes out as well to all the other victims and families ……
    Trimit sincerele mele condolescence la familia lui