Words fail me. Read Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred for what I wish I had been able to write.
- Evil is a real problem. People with evil intentions and plans search out weakness and prey on it. If they are convinced that some group of people won’t fight them, then they will treat those people as their prey. Combine this with the idealism common on almost all university campuses, where wishful feelings that the world is harmless, or can be made harmless by decreeing a gun free zone, displace the urge to know that everything has been done to protect the campus from harm. As part of the ivory tower fantasy life, wishful thinking is preferred over a difficult plan for dealing with evil. Pacifism in the face of the evil that Cho wrought resulted in dead pacifists. Action and survival, and if necessary an honorable martyrdom, is greatly to be preferred to inaction and death.
The instructors tell students to throw their books, book bags, desk and chairs using everything and anything to disrupt and take down a gunman. Robin Browne, a major with the British Army, helped design the training course and says it is necessary for students and teachers to throw themselves into the line of fire.
“This is not a burglar. This is not a bank robber,” Browne said. “This is someone who has come onto school property with the express intention of using a deadly weapon to hurt and dominate people who cannot necessarily defend themselves.” A person who enters a school, Browne said, “is in the same category as serial killers.”
“We are dealing with a predator here and a predator, when he is offered prey and the prey gives in will take advantage of that prey,” he said. “What we are teaching here is for the children to not allow the predator to take control. … They actually become the superior the dominant party in the room, and it is actually the gunman who becomes the prey.” […]
Browne says waiting for police to take control is a deadly mistake and says that 15 people who died and 24 were injured at Columbine as police struggled to take control. By the time police responded the hostage at the Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Penn., students and school officials had lost control and ultimately, five girls died and the gunman, Charles Roberts, killed himself.
Malkin is right. Gun Control is not the answer, no matter how right the answer feels when you let feelings and emotions overbalance rational thought. As Hurricane Katrina proved, the authorities don’t arrive in time, and they have too few resources to help at first. This will always be true in a free society. Citizens need to be ready and willing and help themselves.
- Dennis Miller said something very interesting on the O’Reilly Factor today. I will riff on it. As Ryan Seligman proved at Duke, it is possible to tie together digital video and photographs from surveillance and provide an entire time-line to blow malicious, false criminal accusations out of the water.
The VT police made a few understandable mistakes in investigating the first killing at 7:30AM. But there is one simple resource they didn’t have that they should have had. If they had access to video footage that showed Cho Seung-Hui walking out of his victims’ dorm room, footage of him leaving the dorm and footage of him entering his own dorm, they could have located and arrested him before he left for the post office to mail his package to NBC. They could have caught him before he got to the classroom building and killed thirty more. There is no good reason why university campuses, and other areas that are self-disarmed and target rich, should not be filled with plenty of digital video cameras to record everything. Combined with face recognition software like that used at air terminals, it would make it possible for campus security to locate dangerous people much more quickly than would be possible otherwise.
Privacy in public places is pretty much obsolete already, with camera cell phones, ATM cameras, and general surveillance cameras. I know this seems like a big step toward Big Brother, but the missing and most important piece of that nightmare scenario is the totalitarian government.
- Finally, and also mentioned by Dennis Miller, the revelation that Cho had been referred to a state mental facility for observation in 2005, and that his very disturbed behavior and diagnosis hadn’t appeared on the two background checks he had to pass to buy his two guns, sound just like the CIA and the FBI and the Gorelick wall of separation that left the US vulnerable to 9/11. The gun background check bureaucracy doesn’t talk with the mental health bureaucracy, at least as much as they should. And the university apparently didn’t hear from either, though the English department’s cluelessness about his violent streak could have resulted from administrative privacy concerns.