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another school shooting
January 27, 2002 12:07 PM   Subscribe

another school shooting -- but this one was stopped by armed students.
posted by zerolucid (36 comments total)

 
but you wouldn't know that from reading most of the mainstream media...
posted by zerolucid at 12:13 PM on January 27, 2002


i don't think they should have guns in their cars
posted by corpse at 12:29 PM on January 27, 2002


In other news: Headless Body in Topless Bar.
posted by swift at 12:33 PM on January 27, 2002


I think that if we simply armed everyone and made gun-saftety training very compulsory and very serious at a young enough age to make an impression, violence with guns wouldn't happen. Say someone pulls a gun to accentuate a dispute, say, in a classroom at a high school... the sound of 29 other actions being cocked would make ME think twice before I did anything rash.
</exaggeration>
posted by SpecialK at 12:37 PM on January 27, 2002


(Subnote: I truly do beleive, though, that gun control is a bad thing... if we didn't want guns, we shouldn't have invented them. I think that the school scenario is exaggeration, but I don't think that it should take me weeks to buy a handgun.)
posted by SpecialK at 12:38 PM on January 27, 2002


"More Guns, Less Crime" - the name of the author's book. And also one of the least logical ways to put words together in the history of the world. You have got to be either blind to facts, or American, to believe it.
posted by edlundart at 1:01 PM on January 27, 2002


"More Guns, Less Crime" - the name of the author's book.[...]You have got to be either blind to facts, or American, to believe it.

I don't suppose you've bothered to look into the actual argument of the book, or the methods he uses to make the argument. I must admit, it does sound like someone's blind to the facts.


posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:06 PM on January 27, 2002


but you wouldn't know that from reading most of the mainstream media...

That's weird. When I do a search for "Odighizuwa" on Google, all I get is a load of links to gun advocates.
posted by dlewis at 1:07 PM on January 27, 2002


Jeez, less than 2% of news stories they searched mentioned the way the incident ended. Even if there's no agenda behind it (ha!), that's some sloppy reporting.
posted by Potsy at 1:10 PM on January 27, 2002


if we didn't want guns, we shouldn't have invented them. - SpecialK

You're kidding, right? I don't wish to offend you, but that is one of the more naive statements I've heard lately. Could you say that about nuclear armaments? Manufactured diseases? Anthrax? How about a disastrous relationship? It must be what you wanted, right? What about when you get shot to death? It must be what you wanted......

Anyway, I'm all for gun control. It seems to work in the majority of countries that have it. It could even work in America.
posted by ashbury at 1:17 PM on January 27, 2002


OK, technically this was a school shooting, but the pros/cons of ADULTS having guns is a very different issue than kids having guns. Two men (students, yes, but law school students) ran to their cars to get their weapons to disarm the psycho. How on earth does this NOT support gun control? Minimize the availability of weapons to unbalanced people and still enable others to carry them.
posted by dness2 at 1:27 PM on January 27, 2002


Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, whatever you think of the film (I liked it personally) was an interesting take on what our society would be like if everyone was : a) highly religious, and b) carrying a gun.
posted by Stuart_R at 1:34 PM on January 27, 2002


I don't suppose you've bothered to look into the actual argument of the book, or the methods he uses to make the argument. I must admit, it does sound like someone's blind to the facts.

True, I haven't read his book. His article clearly suggests his agenda, however.

I don't know his methods, but the conclusion mirrored in his book title is wrong. No matter how you look at it, you can't escape the statistical facts of countries around the world, as ashbury points out above. If you want less crime, you don't increase the number of guns.

Anyway, I'm too busy for this discussion; I'm trying to lose weight, so I'm going to McDonald's for a few double cheeseburgers.
posted by edlundart at 1:37 PM on January 27, 2002


So the increase in violent crimes involving guns in the UK since they rounded up all the guns is a statistical anomaly?
posted by Mick at 1:48 PM on January 27, 2002


This article makes way too much stew from a single oyster. Don't get me wrong, those two guys did a brave thing, but the story could just as easily ended with "Several more died because two irresponsible students pulled guns on the attacker," or even "Two students pulled guns on the attacker, only to wound innocent bystanders trying to shoot him." Just because this case turned out well, that doesn't make it an argument in favor of guns. A very small change in the circumstances, and it would have been an even bigger tragedy.
posted by RylandDotNet at 1:50 PM on January 27, 2002


Ryland: True, single instances rarely provide smoking guns for general arguments, but the article is quite interesting for the media's portrayal (i.e. lack thereof) of the gun-toting students. Personally I had no idea armed students were involved until this post.

Further, while nothing should be concluded based on individual instances (or book titles), they do tend to be quite useful in illustrating abstract points to the other side. The "guns are always bad" crowd can be shown an example where "guns are sometimes useful", leading to the conclusion: "the issue is complicated". < /massive simplification>

The article isn't a powerful argument in favor of guns, nor is it an argument in favor of gun control. If anything, it's both. The sane may have a part to play in crime prevention, and the less-than-sane maybe shouldn't be packing heat.
posted by apostasy at 2:14 PM on January 27, 2002


Minimize the availability of weapons to unbalanced people and still enable others to carry them. -dness2

If there were no guns, or realistically, guns were issued to a very select few groups, with strict regulations surrounding the circumstances in which guns are allowed to used, you wouldn't have anybody getting shot/killed.

no access=no accidents/abuse/unnecessary death
posted by ashbury at 2:23 PM on January 27, 2002


Mick: So the increase in violent crimes involving guns in the UK since they rounded up all the guns is a statistical anomaly?

Yikes, not this again. Last year in the UK, 42 people died from gunshot wounds. That from a population of 60 million.

In the US about 30,000 people each year are killed by guns. From a population of 280 million.

Now I know that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. But my calculator tells me you're 153 times more likely to die of a gunshot wound in the US than in the UK. So let's start quoting the above anomaly in the correct context, shall we?
posted by dlewis at 2:24 PM on January 27, 2002


once the suspect began shooting, tracey bridges quickly evacuated the students in the classroom through the back stairwell, along with ted besen. they spotted peter in the parking lot, and they stopped at mr. bridges car to retrieve his handgun. mr. bridges pointed his gun at the suspect, who subsequently dropped his own weapon.

mr. bridges acted quickly and courageously, and is an american hero, not in the ironic sense, but in the true sense of the word.

mr. bridges is also a policeman. source (video, halfway down the page)

but you don't see that in the ny post, do you?
posted by lescour at 2:32 PM on January 27, 2002


(the video interview with mr. bridges implies mikael gross is also a policeman, but i am unable to substatiate this one way or another)
posted by lescour at 2:38 PM on January 27, 2002


ashbury: This does, of course, presuppose that we actually have the ability to eliminate all the guns in America and/or to strictly control who they go to. It is rather doubtful this could be achieved.

10 print "War on Drugs"
20 goto 10

lescour: Thank you for that. Let it never be said the NYPost is a bastion of great investigative journalism.
posted by apostasy at 2:44 PM on January 27, 2002


lescour: Just for completeness, this article states that Ted Besen was also a police officer.
posted by dlewis at 2:45 PM on January 27, 2002


an interesting take on what our society would be like if everyone was : a) highly religious, and b) carrying a gun

isn't that america already?

it always seems to me when this old argument comes up that it's a clear case of 'the cat's out of the bag'.

give everyone a toy that they really like, then tell them they can't have it because it'll hurt somebody. what's the response? "no! you can't take my toy away! i like it!"
posted by titboy at 2:49 PM on January 27, 2002


Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a student goes to his car to get a gun to settle an argument, one student is killed, four are wounded and a shootout with security ensues.

I'm sure that we'll never be rid of guns in the US, and to be honest I'm not entirely comfortable with the idea of only the police and criminals having access to ownership. But surely there's more to be done in terms of gun control. My father owns two handguns, which he has a permit to carry and he and my mother have liscences...both guns also have locks on them. Is it too much to ask that people who purchase guns need to be liscenced, or need permits in order to purchase them, with a waiting period? Check here to see what your state requires in order to purchase a gun...most states only require that you get a permit only if you plan on carrying a concealed weapon. Here's a list of the six federal laws regulating both retail and purchase. If you'd like to own something that could kill someone in an instant, it seems reasonable that there are some hoops you have to jump through to get it.

For those interested in doing more in-depth reading, the Jurist site on gun laws, rights and control (both sides of the issue).
posted by kittyloop at 3:29 PM on January 27, 2002


I found this thread so interesting. It really illustrates how often people distort facts in order to further an agenda. First it seems the media neglected to mention the fact that students with guns stopped the killer because of a pro-gun control bias. Then, someone mentions England's rise in gun murders...only to be completely smacked down with the actual facts of the situation. Later, turns out they weren't just citizen gun owners who stopped the killer, but trained law enforcement agents. Which the Post conveniently didn't mention.

(Sorry for the recap....but I just really dug the whole thing)
posted by Doug at 3:41 PM on January 27, 2002


There was a similar situation in 1997 with a school shooting in Pearl, Mississippi. Assistant principal Joel Myrick used a combination a gun to subdue the shooter.

And in that case, just as this one, it is also very difficult to get the full facts.

This CNN story makes no mention of the gun, but it claims that "an assistant principal rammed his car into Woodham's mother's vehicle to stop him". With the exception of this Time article, I found no mainstream news reference to the gun.

Then, as now, John Lott was writing articles complaining about the lack of reporting of the gun. But he failed to mention the car-ramming. And if you do a Google search, you can find all sorts of anti-gun control websites that mention the gun but not the car.

But, if you look at the reprints of news articles here you'll see some mention of the shooter ramming his car into a tree, and the assistant principal coming up on foot and pointing his gun at the shooter while he was still in his car. (But then again, few of the URLs listed in that text file seem to work, so who knows if any of those news stories are real.)

Putting it all together, I honestly can't figure out the sequence of events in that case, due to all the sloppy reporting. Did the assistant principal ram his car into the shooter's? Did the shooter ram his car into a tree? Did the assistant principal approach the shooter on foot or in his car? It's impossible to discern.
posted by Potsy at 4:27 PM on January 27, 2002


(Sorry, the words "a combination" should not be there in the second sentence. That's a leftover from me editing that post a whole bunch of times.)
posted by Potsy at 4:29 PM on January 27, 2002


it always seems to me when this old argument comes up that it's a clear case of 'the cat's out of the bag'.

yep. No one seems to mind that you have to take lessons and then complete written and performance tests, to get a license to handle a car - admittedly a potentially very dangerous machine, but also not one which has the intended purpose of killing human beings.

I guess the evolution from musket to glock was smoother than horse-n-buggy to car, and cars came into general use at a time when we expected more gov't regulation (small communities were less able to "self-regulate" as populations grew etc).

Of course, guns were directly tied into the war for our freedom, so have a sort of sanctity that make people scared of changing anything about the rules on them. This doesn't really make sense though, as there's a great difference between making someone get a license to handle a dangerous machine, and not allowing them access to the machine at all. Also, if it were just about people wanting to make sure they could hold a revolution against a future gov't, you'd think there'd be more concern over people's right to bear nuclear arms, for instance, since the gov't has that right - etc. The world has changed a lot in the last couple hundred years.
posted by mdn at 5:04 PM on January 27, 2002




Mick: No shit. You think the criminals get the handguns legally? The legitimate owners are forced to turn over their guns; the criminals acquire them illegally? What's left? A bunch of criminals with handguns. There's the 40% rise. "He said the rise was largely [due] to successful smuggling of illegal guns into the country." The headline is laughable.
posted by bloggboy at 5:41 PM on January 27, 2002


From Mick's link:

Examples of illegally manufactured guns include screwdrivers being adapted to fire off one round, he said.

What the... ? Screwdrivers? If people can pull off that conversion then I don't see much hope for ever eliminating guns from society.
posted by MUD at 5:45 PM on January 27, 2002


What the... ? Screwdrivers? If people can pull off that conversion then I don't see much hope for ever eliminating guns from society.

you hit the nail on the head right there, MUD. So instead of curtailing the rights of responsible gun owners even further, we should use the ample laws we already have to keep them out of the hands of criminals and psychos.
posted by jonmc at 8:04 PM on January 27, 2002


From the BBC story:

It also said there was no link between high levels of gun crime and areas where there were still high levels of lawful gun possession.

So the fact that lots of people still had guns in some areas did not have a statistical impact on the number of gun crimes in those areas. Hmmmm.... could it be that there is another explanation then, for the total rise?

Also the article mentions all that screwdriver nonsense, and the battlefield trophies brought back by soldiers, the illegal conversion of replica firearms including blank firing pistols and the reactivation of weapons which had been deactivated.

This is quite interesting to me: It seems that these guns hardly, if ever, go off in the commission of a crime. Sure, they're violent crimes, and they're commited with guns, but nobody gets killed, because the criminals have WWII Walther PPKs covered in cobwebs...

posted by zpousman at 8:48 PM on January 27, 2002


Doh! strategically placed italic tag missing.
posted by zpousman at 8:49 PM on January 27, 2002


I am uncomfortable with guns being in existence. However, they are. Faced with that reality, I am very comfortable with guns only being in the hands of people who will take the time to jump through legal hoops and otherwise do what's necessary to competently wield firearms. I don't want guns in the hands of just everybody.

A fully armed society may be a polite one, but it's also a fearful and chaotic one. Criminals will not take the time to go through the legalities, so those who are on the side of the law (be they professional law enforcement or law-abiding citizen) must be better trained in order to successfully compete with lawbreakers. I only want people armed who are intimately aware of the power behind that trigger. Criminals learn that lesson one way or the other, either for purposes of self-preservation, or by being felled by someone more on the ball.

I like things pretty much as they are. Too much gun control? Not enough? I'm with little baby bear - things are just right.

Someone shouldn't purchase an airplane unless they know how to fly. Car owners should always be required to know how to drive safely. This is just common sense. I don't think anyone should own a gun unless they can prove they know how to use it, and understand the ramifications and consequences of abuse. Complex and often stupid gun control laws on the books make it difficult for just anybody to walk around with a bulge under their coat.

As it should be. What's the problem?
posted by ZachsMind at 8:13 AM on January 28, 2002


dlewis -- your comments on gun deaths in the UK are well placed, but....

Violent crime can be committed without the use of a gun. Violence in the UK is on the rise, not only from criminals with guns, but from enraged soccer fans with fists, upset wives with sharp pointy things (just couldn't bear to write wives with knives...sounded too trite), neighbors with bats and construction lumber, etc....

In Australia, the total violent crime has stayed level or risen after the reduction of access to firearms (depending on which measure they use to report the violent crime; a shift in reporting makes the numbers look flat, when in fact they seem to be on the rise. Contrarywise, the UK changed reporting that makes it look like a massive spike in 1997. Go figure).

The weapon of choice in Australia tends to be something other than a firearms now that arms and ammunition has become contraband. While it is true that, if people want to kill each other, they'll use a gun, iIf a gun isn't handy they'll just use something else. The objective is not to shoot someone to death, but to cause death by any means necessary.

There is a mistaken thought that people, without access to firearms, have to think harder to decide to kill. This is only true in defensive actions, where it is really hard to beat someone to death with a baseball bat in self-defense (can be done, mind you, but it isn't trivial). Those that pick murder will find a way. Remember, the worst case of mass slaughter of students in the United States involved no firearms at all (guy blew up the boiler, taking out the school).

People are industrious, and will always find a way to circumvent inconvenient law.
posted by dwivian at 9:31 AM on January 28, 2002


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