JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2007/04/right-to-feel-safe.html (37 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1176787447-562882  Cindi at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 05:24:07 +0000

So they want 'their right to feel safe'. Fine, they have it, they can 'feel' anything they want.

I not only have the same right to 'feel safe', I have the right to be armed, which does indeed make me 'feel' safe. Two birds, one stone.

Magical thinking individuals drive me to drink.

jsid-1176796025-562884  Gregg at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 07:47:05 +0000

The thing is, unless I'm armed I DON'T FEEL safe. Sadly, I am just not a very trusting person. I do not believe that there will magically be a protector at exactly the moment I need one. Heck the goblins choose to attack where the protectors are not.

So, why are MY feelings never taken into consideration?

jsid-1176815217-562886  cmblake6 at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 13:06:57 +0000

Go ahead, "feel" as safe as you wish. But open your eyes and realise you aren't safe unless you make it so. Idiots, sheeple. Be herded into the nanny area with the "gun free" signs. Then, when some loonytoon decides to ignore that sign, at least he/she won't have to look far or hunt hard. The toon will know right where to go to enjoy his/her power over helpless victims.

jsid-1176826297-562896  emdfl at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 16:11:37 +0000

Isn't it interesting that this happens as good old HR-1022 is sitting in the congressional hopper?

jsid-1176828462-562900  Henry Bowman at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 16:47:42 +0000

I posted this on Kim's site in the comments, but it's worth repeating: Just last year, a grad student at VA Tech, who is also a concealed-carry holder, wrote a column (link below) on how helpless he felt on the VA Tech campus. The comparison with yesterday's events is remarkable.


jsid-1176829466-562901  Kevin Baker at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 17:04:26 +0000

Yes, Henry, that is an interesting piece.

I wonder if that will receive any MSM coverage.

jsid-1176831497-562902  DirtCrashr at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 17:38:17 +0000

Article IV. of the Constitution says, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects"... not feel secure.
Feelings are overamplified and a distraction from reality - not reality itself, and as usual Feinstein is attempting to impose a distraction-and-substitution in her argument.

jsid-1176833136-562903  Markadelphia at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 18:05:36 +0000


Very well written piece. OK, so let's say that everyone can carry a gun anywhere. And just to make it simple, let's make it any gun, anywhere, anytime. Would all of you feel safer? Would you feel like your rights were now full granted?

Now suppose you are a student, you are in class, you have your gun, and shots are being fired in another room. You get your gun out and go investigate. You walk in and see five students with guns. Who is the bad guy? Quick, you only have one second to decide!

I believe in this mythical world I have created where all guns are fine anywhere we still miss the point. Why did this guy go and kill everyone? Why? Saying he was "crazy" oversimplifies it. There must have been warning signs and NO ONE did anything. Talk about a complete lack of prevention. Talk about a complete failure on this institution to let someone as mentally disturbed as this to slip through the cracks...a complete educational and sociological failure. Do any of you honestly think that someone who has this many problems is going to "stop and think twice" because every other student has a gun?

And, believe me, I am not saying there isn't any truth to what most of you are adovocating. A weapon in the right hands could have prevented this...but could it prevent these things all the time? The answer is no because we have to look at more than just guns for solutions.

jsid-1176835745-562904  FabioC. at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 18:49:05 +0000

The nanny was distracted and the poor troubled child made a mess, that's the gist of it.

jsid-1176836236-562905  Stephen Rider at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 18:57:16 +0000

Hi Kevin. Thought you'd like this....


jsid-1176836731-562907  Henry Bowman at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 19:05:31 +0000


The scenario you provide is not credible, of course. However, the simple answer to your question ('Do any of you honestly think that someone who has this many problems is going to "stop and think twice" because every other student has a gun?') is that the shooter would have killed some people, likely, but would not have been able to kill nearly as many as he did, for very likely someone would have stopped him with force.

Reportedly, the shooter was recognized as disturbed by his Creative Writing instructor. What is the instructor to do, other than what he or she did do, which was to recommend to the fellow that he get aid? Should he be forced to undergo psychiatric analysis? I think not, though others I'm sure will disagree.

In cases such as these, it is true that one can, in hindsight, always find reasons for recognizing that a particular person is too disturbed to be trusted with firearms. But that's hindsight; in practice, some will always be missed: in such an event, the means of self-defense should not be denied to others.

jsid-1176836833-562908  Rick B at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 19:07:13 +0000


Now suppose you are a student, you are in class, you have your gun, and shots are being fired in another room. You get your gun out and go investigate. You walk in and see five students with guns. Who is the bad guy? Quick, you only have one second to decide!

Simple, the one on the ground with the holes in him. If we are allowed to defend ourselves, and not wait for others to do it for us, we would have gotten this one correct 32 times at Virginia Tech.

jsid-1176837795-562910  DJ at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 19:23:15 +0000

Now suppose you are a student, you are in class, you have your gun, and someone walks into your class and begins firing. Do you line up against the wall as a willing victim or do you draw your gun and defend yourself?

Quickly, Mark, you only have one second to decide!

This my scenario in which to ask the question. Why isn't it yours?

jsid-1176844687-562913  Kevin Baker at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 21:18:07 +0000


Unsurprisingly, you missed the point of the piece.

The emphasis of society is protecting "the right to feel safe," thus avoiding the unpleasant reality that there is no right to be safe - and the corollary that in order to defend ones safety, some concrete action on the part of the individual is required, even if it's just recognition of the fact. (Facing an assailant repeating "I can't believe this is happening!" is the end result of avoiding the realities. Having an escape plan could be the end result of accepting reality. Or something else.)

It is not necessary for everyone or even a majority to be armed. It is just necessary that we not disarm the small percentage of law-abiding citizens willing to protect themselves and others.

We recognize the need for armed (good) individuals by arming our police forces, but we neglect (or refuse) to recognize that the police cannot be everywhere, all the time, and if they were we'd be living in a de facto police state.

We have insisted on disarming everyone that isn't drawing a government paycheck, as though that alone is the qualifying criterion for carrying a defensive firearm. Doing so, we as a society deliberately avoid acknowledging that laws that disarm the law-abiding create "disarmed victim zones" - and even worse, we convince ourselves that these zones make us safe(er).

This is magical thinking.

I do not now, nor ever have I advocated "a pistol on every hip." In a free society, people get to choose, and most people (when free to choose) choose not to. That's OK. But if 1% of the population on the campus of Virginia Tech had been armed, the death toll might have been lower.

No matter what, it wouldn't have been zero.

Hand-wringing over why the shooter "slipped through the cracks" after the fact isn't really all that helpful. Recognizing that people will slip through the cracks, and planning for that eventuality might be.

jsid-1176845230-562914  Sarah at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 21:27:10 +0000

With the hundreds of millions of privately-owned guns in this country coupled with the fact that there are lots of angry, unhinged people out there, one wonders: why don't massacres like this happen all the time? Look at what the VT massacre is compared to in the media: the Columbine massacre in 1999, Killeen in 1991, and UT in 1966. Perhaps it's crass to point this out, but isn't it a marvel that massacres happen so infrequently in the U.S.? Especially when you consider that in other parts of the world they are a daily occurrence.

jsid-1176847019-562915  Markadelphia at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 21:56:59 +0000

Sarah, nice comment. That is true. One thing I noticed about the latest round of media coverage is the number of school massacres in other countries was a lot higher than I thought.

Kevin, thanks for straigtening out my misinterpretation of your point. What you are saying makes complete sense but I still maintain, in addition to allowing conceal and carry, there needs to be an "attack" if you will on the prevention side. As an educator, I am appalled that VT staff did nothing to help this clearly troubled youth. He had been behaving this way for years and no one did anything.

Another question for you, how did a non resident get a gun?

Rick B, what if there isn't anyone on the ground with holes in him? What if they are all pointing their gun, John Woo style, at each other? How do you decide?

DJ, if I had a gun, I would defend myself. But not every situation is going to be the same. Not every person can be trusted with a firearm. Do your trust everyone with a firearm?

jsid-1176848497-562916  ben at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:21:37 +0000

Mark, he wasn't a non-resident. He was a non-citizen. Resident aliens are not barred from possession of firearms at the federal level. Some states have extra requirements for non-citizens, such as my home state of Washington, which requires that legal resident aliens must obtain an alien firearm permit.

jsid-1176849633-562917  DJ at Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:40:33 +0000

Mark, I don't trust everyone with anything. But I utterly reject the mush-headed illogic that Sarah pointed out quite well, namely that of substituting possibility for probability and prohibiting people from owning or possessing objects because they might do something bad with those objects. Such prohibitions ought to apply to those who have misused such objects, but not to those who haven't but might.

A case in point: I have carried a folding pocket knife nearly every day since my fifth birthday. I carried it nearly every day I attended school over 16 years. I used it in class many times, and what is amazing by today's standards is that my teachers often borrowed it from me and used it in class. Yes, it happened even in grade school.

I was raised up and educated long before the country lost its senses. Now, just talking about a knife is an expellable offense.

The world cannot be so arranged that nobody can hurt other people, and it is phonomenally irrational thinking to try to remove all deterrence of those who would and all defences of those who are left. The massacre at Virginia Tech illustrates that all too well.

I think you've missed my point. If I were a student in that building at Virginia Tech, I would not face the scenario you describe: You walk in and see five students with guns. Who is the bad guy? Quick, you only have one second to decide! I don't think any other student or instructor would, either.

The more accurate scenario is that I would do my damndest to barricade the door and arrange things in that room so that I would have the advantage over anyone who comes in. Now just who would force his way in with a weapon in hand and wearing street clothes? A law enforcement officer? No, he would not enter without announcing himself and then satisfying a challenge I would damned sure make. Another student or instructor? No, I would not expect any other student or instructor to go find the bad guy and save us all.

I would do what I would expect anyone else who is armed in that same situation to do. I would stay put, gun in hand and pointed at the doorknob, laser on. Identifying the bad guy among the good guys is not a problem I would face. I would expect that such a decision would either not arise or I would find it easy to make in an instant. And, you can bet everything you own that I would make it.

jsid-1176858171-562920  Henry Bowman at Wed, 18 Apr 2007 01:02:51 +0000


It turns out it is not true that none of the instructors did anything. Apparently his Creative Writing instructor was so disturbed by his writings that she went to the police -- they told her, of course, that because he had not actually done anything, there was nothing they could do. She also advised him to get psychological help, but he likely didn't follow that suggestion (though I do not think we really know at present).

jsid-1176865499-562925  Ed at Wed, 18 Apr 2007 03:04:59 +0000

If complete justice was possible in this world, those responsible for creating Virginia Tech's disarmed victims zone would be required to personally visit the family of every one of the victims and apologize for forcing them to be defenseless in the face of such monstrous evil. Then they would be charged with accessory to murder.

Unfortunately, I doubt it will ever happen even though they are actually guilty of making it possible for this madman to kill and wound so many people.

jsid-1176906815-562942  DJ at Wed, 18 Apr 2007 14:33:35 +0000

Neal Boortz is a mite irritated with the left. Go see http://boortz.com/nuze/200704/04182007.html#thoughts

How far have we advanced in the wussification of America? I am now under attack by the left for wondering aloud why these students did so little to defend themselves. It seems that standing in terror waiting for your turn to be executed was the right thing to do, and any questions as to why 25 students didn't try to rush and overpower Cho Seung-Hui are just examples of right wing maniacal bias. Surrender -- comply -- adjust. The doctrine of the left.

Amazing, isn't it? Even the suggestion that young adults should actually engage in an act of self defense brings howls of protest.

Boggles the mind, doesn't it? What kind of mental putrefaction champions the notion that self-defense is wrong?

jsid-1176912545-562945  DirtCrashr at Wed, 18 Apr 2007 16:09:05 +0000

What about Beslan? This guy was just a single bad-brain - at Beslan there was a troop of them, a whole cadre. The massacres that occur elsewhere in the world and with greater frequency are most often an example of that "group activity" - and done by a specific type. That they have not yet occurred here, that is to wonder.

The kind of mentality which champions the notion of self-defense as wrong is one which also seeks to preserve the delicacy of sheltered childhood well into and beyond adulthood, bypassing it. It is an effort to preserve and promoting pure, youthful, idealism without the dangerous association with actual consequences and against the adult's mirror of responsibility.
Boys and girls attending college grow old without growing up. College is little more than an extension of High School for the affluent, protected enclaves perpetuating youth, feeding them enough knowledge to be productive in the Workplace Campus - a third extension, tunneling into the future without going up to the surface. They get what stimulation they need from TV, the opiate of the masses.

jsid-1176919156-562947  Markadelphia at Wed, 18 Apr 2007 17:59:16 +0000

Something that has not been brought up here yet....psychotropic drugs. It came out late yesterday that Cho was on drugs for depression. Do you know who else was taking these drugs? Eric Harris and Dylan Kleibold. Do you know who else was? Nearly every "rampager" in the last ten years. I say "nearly" only because there were a couple of them where I couldn't find any mention of drugs which doesn't necessarily mean that they weren't on them.

Ironically, as I was perusing the coverage in the paper's coverage of the tragedy, a small article caught my eye on the other page:


I find this completely unacceptable. While I think there are some kids who need to have drugs to function, there are many parents who just plain lazy and don't want to discipline or help their kids. So they put them on drugs. Great...

But hey, who is going to say anything? Drugs are a billion dollar industry in this country...

jsid-1176923554-562951  Markadelphia at Wed, 18 Apr 2007 19:12:34 +0000

Here is a great link and article which detail the things I was talking about above...


jsid-1176929647-562953  Kevin Baker at Wed, 18 Apr 2007 20:54:07 +0000

Sarah has written here about that topic. It's the skeleton in the closet that no one seems to want to touch. What's different now that so many people seem to be willing to kill random strangers before committing suicide? It's not "gun availablity." It seems to be the use of psychotropic drugs.

Maybe now this topic will get some attention?

Nah. Didn't think so.

jsid-1176932697-562956  FabioC. at Wed, 18 Apr 2007 21:44:57 +0000

Or, if it will, Big Pharma will get most of the blame. While the fact that drugging overactive (and sometimes troublesome) kids into submission is a result of foolish social/educational schemes won't be touched.

jsid-1176935155-562958  DJ at Wed, 18 Apr 2007 22:25:55 +0000

This method http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=1936384255 worked when I was in grade school. I'll bet it still would, and it's drug free!

jsid-1176942596-562961  DJ at Thu, 19 Apr 2007 00:29:56 +0000

It appears that Michelle Malkin has suddenly learned to write well, think clearly, tell the truth, and, well, still have an opinion: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/column.aspx?UrlTitle=wanted_a_culture_of_self-defense&ns=MichelleMalkin&dt=04/18/2007&page=2

The money quote:

Enough is enough, indeed. Enough of intellectual disarmament. Enough of physical disarmament. You want a safer campus? It begins with renewing a culture of self-defense -- mind, spirit and body. It begins with two words: Fight back.

Damned right.

jsid-1176972916-503098  Trackback at Thu, 19 Apr 2007 08:55:16 +0000

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jsid-1176989349-562970  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 19 Apr 2007 13:29:09 +0000


It looks like Joss Whedon was on to something when he wrote Serenity. I guess that explains why someone at Fox made sure that Firefly "failed."

jsid-1177025969-562993  Sarah at Thu, 19 Apr 2007 23:39:29 +0000

The reason drugs facilitate extreme behavior is that they don't treat the underlying cause, but rather temporarily mask the symptoms. This allows whatever is causing the depression in the first place to continue and build until no amount of drug can quash the symptoms, and the patient goes bersker.

Like Ed pointed out, Serenity was on to something. Many people on "calming" drugs become lifeless slugs, but a minority go in the complete opposite direction and you get rampaging maniacs.

It's clear from this that drugs are not the answer.

However, something that a particular researcher at the University of British Colubmia discovered was that at any given time the general population will consist of about 1% psychopaths. These people are hard-wired to be this way from birth. In other words, it isn't society's fault, etc., and there is not much you can do about them until it's probably too late. Danger is built into the system, if you will. When people let go of the illusion of a perfect society and accept this fact, we have a reasonable shot at mitigating the effects.

jsid-1177026027-562994  Sarah at Thu, 19 Apr 2007 23:40:27 +0000

Oops, that was supposed to be "berserk" not "bersker." :P

jsid-1177028542-562997  DJ at Fri, 20 Apr 2007 00:22:22 +0000

I think "berserker" is actually a bit more accurate, and certainly more descriptive.

jsid-1177029583-562999  Thomas Jackson at Fri, 20 Apr 2007 00:39:43 +0000

Let the lawsuits begin. So much for the millions the taxpayers will have to pay because of the delusions of the gun control crowd.

jsid-1177261084-563071  sf at Sun, 22 Apr 2007 16:58:04 +0000

Markadelphia wrote:

suppose you are a student, you are in class, you have your gun, and shots are fired in another room. You get your gun and investigate. You walk in and see five students with guns. Who is the bad guy? Quick, you only have one second to decide!
Of course the guys on the SWAT team have exactly the same problem, do they not? You seem comfortable enough with that (or would you prefer even the *cops* take no lethal action?).

Would armed civilians sometimes make a mistake? Of course. Do cops make mistakes? What do you think?

Do any of you think someone who has [serious mental] problems is going to "stop and think twice" because every other student has a gun?
Not at all--any more than we believe a crazy person or determined killer would avoid bringing guns onto a campus just because it bans guns. Leftists can't explain that last paradox, so they just ignore it. But seriously, if a crazy person is determined to kill, would he be deterred by a rule barring bringing a gun to campus (or anywhere else)?

Getting the picture yet? This is why gun bans and similar gun-control laws are so utterly stupid: Neither criminals nor crazy people are deterred one scintilla by them.

When a nutter or coldly rational killer starts shooting, the time for persuasion is past: The purpose of having guns in other hands isn't to make him "think twice"--it's to either kill or convincingly incapacitate him so he'll *stop killing people*! Why do nanny-state advocates not understand this simple concept?

I'm not saying there isn't any truth to what most of you are advocating. A weapon in the right hands could have prevented this... *but* could it prevent these things all the time?

This is a classic political dodge: If a disliked proposal doesn't solve all problems in every case, it must be rejected--eventually leaving no solution except that advocated by the speaker. Certainly having lots of armed citizens won't prevent every nutter or cold-rational killer from killing one or two victims. Indeed, the only time *any* armed good guy-- whether cop or civilian--is likely to know a gremlin is loose is after the guy's already shot somebody. But at least we wouldn't see 32 victims.

jsid-1178204047-563472  cmblake6 at Thu, 03 May 2007 14:54:07 +0000

Again, it wouldn't have saved everybody, but it could well have saved a lot. And if the whole reactive attitude is to be cowering and hoping, he could have walked along with a screwdriver and stabbed people to death. There will be more of these. There will. Too simple, there will be more. If not with a gun, with a chainsaw. Should we just stick our heads in the sand and leave our ass in the air?

jsid-1179760043-510318  Trackback at Mon, 21 May 2007 15:07:23 +0000

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