Some observations on the Virginia Tech shootings

April 16, 2007 § 5 Comments

America, meet World

I just watched an interview with Jamal Albarghouti, the Virginia Tech graduate student who captured today’s shootings on his cell phone camera.  Toward the end of the interview, the always hyperbolic Wolf Blitzer asked if he had “ever imagined” that he would experience such terrible violence.

To this, Albarghouti responded that he was a Palestinian from the West Bank who lived for many years in Saudi Arabia, where he witnessed the bombing of the Interior Ministry in Riyadh.  He then politely added that he never imagined that he would see such violence while living in the United States.

What is it with Engineering departments?

At this point, little is known about the person responsible for the killings, who turned his gun on himself after the rampage.  What is known is that he shot two individuals two hours before setting off for the Engineering building, one of whom was reportedly his ex-girlfriend.  According to Fox News, university administrators did not order a lockdown of the campus because they believed that the incident was “only” a domestic dispute.

Listen up, kids

According to various reports, some Virginia Tech students wandered dangerously close to the shooting scene, even as SWAT team personnel screamed at them to run for cover.  The reason: they could not hear the repeated bursts of gunfire over the music on their iPods.

Nice touch

At thirty-three confirmed deaths, the Virginia Tech killings stand as the worst mass shooting in American history.  In a statement from the White House, President Bush extended his condolences to the victims’ families, then reaffirmed the right of American citizens to bear arms.

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§ 5 Responses to Some observations on the Virginia Tech shootings

  • Nick says:

    In a statement from the White House, President Bush extended his condolences to the victims’ families, then affirmed the right of American citizens to bear arms.

    Isn’t it amazing? Oddly enough, today I was reading an old interview with Kurt Vonnegut from the 1970s, and he had this to say:

    Q: Doesn’t Mark David Chapman (John Lennon’s murderer) claim to have been inspired by Catcher in the Rye?

    A: He was more inspired by the National Rifle Association, wasn’t he? Talk about perversity. They regularly misstate the Second Amendment, which concerns the right to bear arms. They don’t invite people to read that amendment for themselves. There’s a dependent clause in it: in order to provide a well-regulated militia, the right to bear arms shall not be infringed.
    So some cooked-up woman who goes to a sporting goods store and purchases a .357 magnum to blow her husband away is part of a “well-regulated militia!”

  • […] of local blogger reaction to this morning’s shootings in Virginia, including some more criticism of how the […]

  • tornwordo says:

    Yes, maybe there would have been less bloodshed had everyone been packing heat. He actually insinuated that.

  • erwin1 says:

    SERIOUSLY THOUGH on what planet does anyone, living in a non-war zone, need an automatic or semi-automatic weapon..?

    do you think this has something to do with a culture of American dick-swinging machismo..cowboys, trigger-happpy militaries, gangs, militias, the Wild West…unconstrained, abusive power..

    you don’t see women running around shooting off automatic weapons..
    and you also don’t see Canadians running around playing fast and loose with guns (not that our Canadian men aren’t macho or anything ;p)

  • Vila H. says:

    Being fair, Erwin, we did have Marc Lépine at École Polytechinque and Kimveer Gill at Dawson, so Canadians are by no means immune to gun violence.

    Having said this, I was struck that the first comment from the White House included a blatantly political statement about the Second Amendment. Whatever your position on guns, it was not the time.

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