the worst school massacre in American history: not Virginia Tech

Bath Consolidated School

No, it was not yesterday’s attacks at Virginia Tech. It was Andrew Kehoe‘s murderous rampage in Bath, Michigan, in 1928. Of course, the Clock Tower Sniper had been famous for killing the most as well, but his total of 15 didn’t hold the real record, either. Alas.

Thinking over the whole phenomenon of mass murder in North America, it’s clear that schools of all kinds are particularly favoured targets. From Columbine to Dawson College, from Texas University to Montreal University, students in particular have been targeted for slaughter in a way that no other group has been.

Why is that?

Is it a crime of convenience? Most crimes of violence are committed by young men, it’s true, and surely schools are full of young men. No; the mass murders are not generally carried out by those attending the institutions. Think of some famous examples: Kimveer Gill never attended Dawson College, nor did he single out authority figures; he shot indiscriminately, killing only Anastasia deSousa, putting the lie to his claims to “fight the bullies.”  Charles Carl Roberts was well past the age of gradeschool and had never attended an Amish school; he was just looking for a place he could be sure of finding little girls. Charles Whitman was a grown man and ex-Marine when he went up that clock tower and began shooting; he’d already killed his mother and his wife.

No, it’s not revenge because of what happens to the students in the schools, and it’s not latent violent tendencies manifesting in the throes of a testosterone surge; I suggest it’s because these murders are carried out by those who wish to take out the largest number of the most helpless victims, so they choose schools because while they are bound to be full of people at certain times, it’s unlikely that any of those people are going to be armed or physically intimidating enough to put up a fight (yet another reason to target women, who tend to be smaller) and they are trained en masse to obey adults. Mass murderers are psychopaths, remember: doing this kind of cold math comes naturally to them. You never hear about anyone just happening to attempt to run amok in Bull’s Eye Gun Supply do you?

Do I think the solution is to arm the innocents, turning them into potential killers? No, I think the solution is to disarm the perpetrators. There are only so many people you can kill by hitting them with a big rock. And these mass murders are not, let me point out, conducted by career criminals; they are committed by tightly-wound people with clean records and easy access to powerful weapons.

You can’t buy certain kinds of music in WalMart, but you can buy guns.

Andrew Kehoe was one such tightly-wound man.

Bath Consolidated School, side view

From The Bath School Disaster, by Monty J. Ellsworth

“He never farmed it as other farmers do and he tried to do everything with his tractor. He was in the height of his glory when fixing machinery or tinkering. He was always trying new methods in his work, for instance, hitching two mowers behind his tractor. This method at different times did not work and he would just leave the hay standing. He also put four sections of drag and two rollers at once behind his tractor. He spent so much time tinkering that he didn’t prosper.”

And from the Crime Library:

Over time, Kehoe gained a reputation in the town for thriftiness. That trait helped get him elected to the school board in Bath in 1926.On the board, Kehoe campaigned endlessly for lower taxes which, he claimed, were causing him financial hardship. His creditors tried to work out an agreement with Kehoe but were unsuccessful. Soon, he stopped paying his mortgage altogether. To complicate matters, his wife Nellie was chronically ill with an undiagnosed illness. She required frequent hospital stays, which depleted the family savings further. Kehoe envisioned losing his farm and plunging into debt. In his mind, he blamed higher taxes for all his financial woes. He couldn’t understand the need for bigger and better schools. He saw many of the town expenditures as wasteful and ill conceived. But above all and without respite, without any valid reason or logic, he blamed the Bath Consolidated School for his troubles.

Read the tale of the Bath School Disaster which left 45 people dead and 58 injured; Kehoe had no WalMart, he had no automatic pistols, but he did have a persecution complex, an enormous, fragile ego, an obsessive need for control and low competence for exercising it, and several tons of dynamite and pyrotol.

Any way you mix them, it’s an explosive combination.

(here are some additional thoughts on the relationship between the zeta male, mass murders and cyberspace)

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170 thoughts on “the worst school massacre in American history: not Virginia Tech

  1. Indeed. You wonder if some intervention, earlier in the lives of these monsters, could have turned them away from that path. You ask a million questions. But where are the answers?

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  3. Virginia Tech is still the worst school shooting in the US. But also remember that something like 30 days ago there were campus bombings in Iraq that killed 60.

  4. This morning, amidst the reports on how “the healing has begun in Virginia” (following the requisite news-cycle mourning period of at least twenty-four hours, or roughly 40 minutes per corpse), it was reported that four near-simultaneous car bombs killed roughly 120 people.

    Imagine, four of those massacres happening in your neighbourhood–and it’s just a blip in the day-to-day background violence.

  5. What I was thinking was, “finally they’re reporting the deaths of people, not just the deaths of Americans.” Now, they say “120 people died” instead of “4 Americans and dozens of Iraqis” or just “4 Americans were among the dead”.

  6. What gets my goat is that Dubya comes to Blacksburg to offer sympathy and healing, yet I still haven’t seen him do the same thing for more than 3,000 other U.S. families. and thousands of Iraqi families.

  7. “You wonder if some intervention, earlier in the lives of these monsters, could have turned them away from that path”

    As much as I would like to wish that were so, I am afraid it is doubtful. Every study (admittedly they are limited in number) has never been able to show that youthful offenders have a higher rehabilitation rate than regular old convicts (the non-youthful kind). The first time I read that in law school I was shocked and astounded. I read more, and was quite disconcerted to find it true (haven’t done research on it since 2003, so maybe more studies have been done).

    I think there is no way to study or account for evil in this world. In addition, some people are just seriously emotionally (and behaviorally) impaired in a non-repairable way (unless you consider putting them into a coma or locking them away for life repairing them). As a society we demand that there must be a cure, there must be a fix. Sadly, because we hope that a fix might exist, doesn’t mean there is one.

  8. I believe the study, but as I said, these people generally have no substantial criminal records: a few angry shouting matches with neighbors, etc, but they are anything but career criminals. So could some different approach have helped them develop safety valves to let out the pressure before it becomes too much? That would be heavy psychology; perhaps there are studies, but how do you measure that? You’d need a control group large enough that some of them would go out and do something like this. It’s impossible to measure.

    I am trying to resist the impulse to fall back on “they’re all mentally ill.” I think that some are, but I also think that some are just evil. Either way, we need to find ways to minimize the harm that they can do, even if it means restricting access to schools.

  9. You stated : “Do I think the solution is to arm the innocents, turning them into potential killers? No, I think the solution is to disarm the perpetrators. There are only so many people you can kill by hitting them with a big rock.”

    Now you have turned this into a political argument about gun control..

    Essentially you are disagreeing with the framers of the constitution who guaranteed the right of citizens to bear arms. For what purpose? For hunting, yes, for self defense, yes!

    If you make guns illegal, then who will end up having them? Only the criminals.. does that simple logic not make sense to you?

  10. “Either way, we need to find ways to minimize the harm that they can do, even if it means restricting access to schools.”

    Good luck restricting access to a several thousand acre campus with 25 thousand plus students. Unless you want to build colleges like prisons that solution isn’t very likely- nor is it palatable.

  11. Aside from the entire issue of gun control, I think there’s a lot to be said from shifting away from glamourizing / celebritizing criminals. Look at the sheer amount of attention put on this guy: copycats want the attention.

  12. “Look at the sheer amount of attention put on this guy: copycats want the attention.”

    –Unfortunately, Copycat killers do feed off of this kind of media frenzy…

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  14. Guns are very prevalent in Canada as well, a place not very far from the US and they don’t have the per capita problem with gun violence that the US does.

    The no gun solution doesn’t seem to identify the real problem.

  15. This was my first thought when I heard them say “worst school shooting in U.S. history” then I remembered in the Bath incident wasn’t just shooting, it was all kinds of horrors. It’s sad that most people don’t know this story.

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

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  17. Interesting and informative post. My question is this: what do you propose as the best way to disarm the perpetrators? My point is this: criminals will always be able to obtain guns as long as there is a black market for guns. They can obtain them illegally. I fear that anti-gun lobbyists will vigorously push to have guns outlawed while doing nothing to eliminate the black market. To me this is counter-productive.

    A good counter example is Switzerland, where everyone is *required* to own a gun and know how to use it. And what is their crime rate? Almost nothing. See also the crime rate in Kennesaw, GA, where gun ownership is mandatory. I think we should not limit the issue to students.

  18. In nomine Patris, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti.

    For the truth of love and compassion to embrace those who are in most need of your mercy; for the light of redemption and rescue to pierce the darkness of all who suffer; and for your sweet presence in our times of pain and bitterness. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

    For the wounded healers who come to our aid as bearers of grace; for the faith walkers who travel for us via prayers; and for soul doctors who guide us to the threshold of miracles. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

    Give us all quiet wisdom when explanations and excuses minimize our pain and our need for holy grace. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

    Remind us of your presence when we find ourselves in crowded lonely places. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

    Nourish our hearts with fruits of the spirit during times of violence, plague, and famine. Press us to give to each other through the abundance of divine grace. Take away our fears of poverty, prejudice, and injustice through the awareness that you, alone, know the secrets of our hearts. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

    When violence strikes us and those we love, give us peace that overcomes our need for revenge. Curb the injurious impulses we think we are entitled to act out. Keep us true to the One who was crucified and yet uttered “Father, forgive them.” Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

    We confess our sins and pray for the waters of forgiveness to cleanse our hearts and renew our faith. Create forgiving spirits in us and make us vessels of peace and compassion. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

    Give rest to your servants with your saints and everlasting light to those who have crossed over into your kingdom. Bless the spirits in constant vigil and unceasing prayer above us and who whisper the mysteries of grace to the consciousness of our being. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

    Lord, be present now and forever.

    Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

  19. THe human race is a hard, fast ball… rolling farther and farther, then realizing we went to far when we hit a rock, going back, and finding another route… to the same tragedy. We all need to realize nothing we can do can stop this from happening again… And here, I must say, is an unfortunate and terrible example.

  20. I fear that “disarming the perpetrators” might prove difficult.

    After an event like this, the focus is always on security and emergency response; it isn’t on the national mind set, gun culture, social values, support systems, or mental health and social services.

    This was the National Riffle Association “hurray” press release before the tragedy (quote from the NRA):

    Virginia Right-to-Carry permit holders are no longer subject to the state’s one-gun-a-month restriction, thanks to a law effective July 1. Fifteen additional pro-gun laws go on the books helping to improve the Second Amendment rights of Virginians. All new statutes — supported by the National Rifle Association (NRA) — were passed by the Virginia General Assembly and signed by Governor Mark Warner.

    “This has been a landmark year for the Second Amendment in the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. “Today Virginia’s law-abiding gun owners have more rights after strong support from the Virginia General Assembly, Governor Warner and citizens across the state.”

    One positive change to Virginia statute excludes holders of valid Right-to-Carry permits from the limitation of buying only one handgun a month. The law, originally sponsored by Delegate Bill Janis (HB 404), also exempts purchases made by collectors for the purposes of improving their collection.

    Other measures, sponsored respectively by Delegate Bob McDonnell and Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (HB 1144 and HB 1302), make needed improvements to the laws governing firearm purchases by removing unnecessary restrictions on residents of the Commonwealth. Four additional statutes strengthen preemption laws and eliminate onerous local firearm ordinances. And, Virginia broadly expanded the number of states whose Right-to-Carry permits it will recognize.

    “Not only did 16 pro-gun bills become law, but numerous anti-gun proposals were soundly defeated this legislative session,” added Cox.

    “NRA commends Virginia for taking a giant step forward in protecting our Second Amendment freedom.”

    White House reaction:

    “A final insult came from the White House: “”The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed,” spokeswoman Dana Perino said.”

    Probably the dumbest statement one could make about 200 million firearms.

    The carnage will never stop in America, it’s a day-by-day ongoing struggle with countless victims.

  21. To put it in terms the NRA will understand:

    “If you won’t take away the guns from the honest citizens, you support the right of any criminal who wants one to have a gun.”

    To say gun control isn’t a solution is nothing less than specious at best. If this person had had to go around clubbing his victims, he’d have been stopped at one. He was determined enough to wait a month for his second gun, so perhaps he’d have found his local illegal gun store and bought them there–but then why didn’t he do that in the first place and skip the waiting period?

    The Swiss gun ownership rate is roughly the same as the Canadian. The highest estimates are 3 million guns distributed through about 30% of households. Swiss citizens may keep their service weapons after their discharge from the armed forces. That’s hardly “mandatory”.

    US citizens own 220 million firearms across 40% of homes–roughly 30% of the world’s total; in a theoretically peaceable country. For some strange reason it also has the most gun deaths in any country.

    More guns equals more corpses. Period.

    Oh–and where does one find an “illegal gun” store? Most “illegal guns” in the US started life as a Wal-Mart special.

    It’s time the US tried gun control. Just two decades. If it doesn’t work, if gun killings don’t drop, then fine, you re-open Free-Fire Zone America and I’ll shut up.

    As for the “how”, well the tinfoil-hat brigade will bury them in their backyards when they hear their gum’mint is comin’ fer their weapons. Which is fine too.

    I served seven years in the forces, and I watched the way people worked with firearms. I wouldn’t trust half the people I worked with to have the temper control not to use a weapon they had handy. And you ask me to believe that arming the general population is the solution?


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  23. That’s a lot of people. Whether the Virginia Tech shooting episode was the deadliest in history or not is not the issue. One of the real issues was that the school knew about it, but did nothing. Because he was over 18, they couldn’t notify his parents, suspend him, or expell him without his knowledge and without definite proof. But they had nothing. I’m wondering why two girls who were stalked by him and reported it to the police, why didn’t they press charges?

  24. I agree that stalking and other such precursor behavior should be taken much, much more seriously than it is. And that if someone is eighteen, so that you can’t ask their parents to control them, you must take that person’s behavior up with that person; a responsible civil society cannot let instances like that pass. Abusive controllers don’t become mellow citizens without compelling intervention, if event hen. Institutions and individuals are far too terrified of lawsuits nowadays; they permit crimes for fear of civil cases arising if they lay charges. That is literally obscene and, as we can see here, potentially deadly.

    I welcome all prayers and thoughtful comments on all sides of every aspect of this issue. If any of us had the whole answer would we not have solved this by now?

    For the record, I live in Canada, in Vancouver, and used to go door to door for Greenpeace. Doing so, I came into contact with a lot of hunters and naturally we got talking about guns. Let me tell you that they were horrified by some of these weapons, weapons like the ones used at Virginia Tech. The only reason for those, they said, was to kill people with. They were appalled. Yes, a lot of those weapons may only be used by collectors on firing ranges, but if that’s the case, why not insist that they keep the guns secured at the range, rather than hanging around the house? A hunter once showed me his gun, which he didn’t keep loaded although he lived in the worst part of town, where a serial killer was operating at the time. He said, “The maximum number of people I can kill with this before reloading is two. Why would you ever legitimately need to have the ability to kill more than two people at once?” If more deadly weapons had been secured on ranges and at gun clubs, Kimveer Gill would have killed no-one.

    I’ve also sat on a stool at Starbucks next to some teenagers who were talking about their weekend: they drove down to Seattle and bought some pistols, which they smuggled back across the border under their girlfriend’s dresses. It’s not as easy to buy this stuff in Canada as it is in the US, not at all. In 1989, the number of deaths from gunshot wounds in King County, Washington (essentially Greater Seattle) was greater than the number of deaths from gunshot wounds for all of Canada. Gun control has proven to directly and significantly lower the number of gun fatalities.

    Let’s look again at the point I made about who actually commits schoolyard massacres: these are not career criminals. They are exactly the kind of law-abiding citizens who would be prevented from owning powerful weapons by such laws as I propose the US adopt. Would that prevent the mafiosos from packing heat? No, but the mafiosos do not walk into schoolyards and start slaughtering children. Not only would gun control have prevented this slaughter at Virginia Tech, it would have (flip side) prevented Cho from becoming a murderer. He’d have been a mentally unstable, evil man, perhaps, but he would not have crossed that line.

  25. Do I think the solution is to arm the innocents, turning them into potential killers? No, I think the solution is to disarm the perpetrators.

    How do you disarm a psycho who is undiagnosed as such?
    How will you find him? Conduct interviews with everyone?

    Why would he care about the law? Remember, a psycho
    doesn’t know right from wrong.

  26. We seem to forget as time goes on, that there have been many times of tragedy in this world, not just this nation. Americans for decades if not centuries, have turned a blind eye to the carnage that human kind will provide.Some say, what is to happen, will happen, no matter what you do to stop it. What are we to do as civilized people within this world? There is no right or wrong answer, in my opinion. We are not safe, but we should not live in fear. The fear makes us weak, but then again aren’t all nations weak when there are these type of killers among us?

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  28. Someone has to think of something on how to prevent these in the future. It seems it has become too easy for wound up people to vent their murderous rage on the populace.

  29. If there is no right or wrong answer, what is the point in asking the question? If there is no meaning, there is no point. I believe that there is meaning, there is a right answer, there is a way to reach these people before they become mass murderers. Do I have proof? No. I have only hope.

    jomama, I would disarm everyone except on-duty military personnel and police. They have reasons to carry weapons like these; as the hunters taught me, even if you believe in a gun for self-defence, anything more than a double-barrelled shotgun is overkill. No-one other than those who threaten force as a part of their jobs (ie cops and the military) has a legitimate reason to need these weapons. I’m willing to compromise for enthusiasts in that they should be able to use them on firing ranges and at gun clubs, but that they should not be permitted to take them off the premises.

    Kimveer Gill was wasted when he went on his rampage. If he’d showed up at a gun club to access his weapons, they’d have turned him away and he’d have passed out on his bed like always, no harm done.

    As I said before, these murders aren’t committed by career criminals who’d buy a gun through the black market. They’re committed by tightly-wound, egotistical failures who pride themselves on being right all the time. They would no more buy a black market Midnight Special than they would wear a hoodie.

    I remind you that the US constitution guarantees people the right to bear arms conditionally: as part of a militia against the British.

  30. I’m sure you’ve heard the news by now about how the killer had “Ismael Ax” scribbled on his arm and he sent a package to NBC News with the return address (i.e. his address) bearing the name “A. Ishmail” — Why associate himself (a Korean whose name is Cho Seung-Hui) with Ishmael? Obviously he was cryptically indicating that he is a Muslim terrorist. Obviously “Ismael Ax” is broken foreign mangled English for Axe of Ishmael, and he is claiming to be Ishmael’s Axe or in other words, a Muslim executioner. He also made references to “martyrs” in his notes to NBC. But although NBC released the facts of what was scribbled on his arm and what the return address of his package is, they are too PC to mention what it indicates and what this means–America has been attacked again, by Islam. This is 911 all over again, but this time Bush and the media together will sweep it under the rug and make it all about gun control rather than Islam.

  31. Do not trivialize this and do not descend into knee-jerk fingerpointing. The issue is too important.

    America hasn’t been attacked by Islam again. The murderer was probably just trying to eke out his 15 minutes by associating himself with a movement larger and scarier than he, himself.

    There have been no, repeat NO reports of him even attending a mosque. As far as Islamic activities go, this is the first in his entire life, if it was even actually motivated by Islam. And if he were Islamic, don’t you think he’d have written it properly, in Arabic? He didn’t know Arabic, and he couldn’t even spell it properly in English.

  32. One can only wonder how much a person like the VT shooter has to motivate himself before finally being able to carry out such a horrific act. In the end, he wanted to do such a thing. And, given the amount of show that went along with it (video tapes, 20-something pages of notes), it’s clear that he thought long and hard about the act. Which is scarier: the fact that there are people who agonize and agonize only to finally decide to carry out murderous acts, or that there are powder kegs just waiting to explode, who will kill without thinking? Yeah, there are those who can be helped and those who can’t be helped. There are those who have high probabilities of being able to be turned back from their transformations into killers and some with extremely low ones. Thinking that either all troubled people can be saved if an intervention is done at the right time, or that some people are just too troubled to be helped is ridiculous. It’s not just one case or the other. There’s a range of probablilities that determines just how possible it is to help such troubled individuals.

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  34. For the past three years, the controversy over antidepressants has largely centered on exploring links between the pills and suicidal behavior, particularly in youngsters. But there has also been considerable chatter about homicidal thoughts.

    Several killings around the country have prompted defense lawyers to blame an antidepressant for a killing. Most famously, this occurred in South Carolina, where 12-year-old Chris Pittman claimed Pfizer’s Zoloft prompted him to kill his grandparents. And one of the Columbine killers was prescribed Luvox.

    Drugmakers deny such links. And antidepressants remain popular, because psychiatrists say depression can lead to suicide, possibly masking the affects one of these pills may have. And despite FDA black box warnings, many simply feel a potential benefit outweighs a potential risk.

    Now, though, the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho Seung-Hui, may cause drugmakers a new round of grief over the antidepressants as reports surface that he was being treated for depression and had been prescribed a medication for psychological problems.

    Coincidentally, this tragedy occurs just as JAMA releases a study saying the pills may not be as closely linked to teenage suicide as some say. For drugmakers, this is welcome news. And for the moment, the full details of the Virginia Tech shooting remain unclear and speculative.

    However, any indication that the shooter was, indeed, taking an antidepressant while on his rampage is going to reignite the debate over these drugs. And drugmakers should be prepared. Despite the JAMA report, which downplayed the risks, any sign one of these pills may have contributed to the shooter’s mindset could open a whole new chapter on the controversy.

    Report on Cho Seung-Hui in The New York Times (registration required);
    This week’s JAMA study (subscription required);
    Report on Pittman case and Zoloft;
    Report on Columbine killer;

  35. One of the worst massacres in US University.

    They said that only one person who was Korean, did this, its really hard to accept that a korean student, did this all shooting, and he shooted around for 3 hrs. How this is possible that a student shoot for 3 hrs, and a country like US, where everything is being monitored by security cameras, Guards, Police, and no one interrupt him. If he could shoot out in a class, and shoot at one spot, it may be digest able, but he continues his shooting for 3 hrs, and no one interrupt him. It’s really hard to accept this US Media version story.

    Another side of the story may be, and many other doubts, that it was political clash b/w republic and democrats, and they are hiding this story.

    Hard to say anything before the actual news will be discloses.

    What do you think? Any Comments?

  36. I get an enormous angry jolt from listening to CNN these past few days when I hear news commentors or anchormen and women calling this tragic event “the worst massacre in U.S. history.” Some have chosen to exercise a little restraint and use the words “college massacre,” or “school massacre,” but most are following suit and just doing what they normally do: sensationalize an event that doesn’t need any help. The 4th estate (which doesn’t even deserve to be called that anymore) has lost all credibility anymore serving their precious advertisers more than the public trust.

    This event is tragic and my heart goes out to the families and friends of our slain bretheren, unfortunatly the media at large is tripping over itself to get the scoop at a time when I think America would rather grieve than watch news careers being furthered.

    I think one of America’s greatest problems to date related to the television is the lack of responsibility exercised by the 4th estate.

  37. I’m opposed to shooting the messengers here. They are trying to get the news out, trying to provide information to a world looking for answers. I haven’t seen many examples of sensationalization on the mainstream media; I have certainly seen them in the blogosphere, though. I’m a big proponent of “more info is better” and of course one always has the option of changing the channel or turning off the tv.

    wajahatabbas, it makes perfect sense to me that this could happen. They had already detained a suspect after the first shooting, which led them to think they’d solved the problem. It wasn’t until reports of the second shooting more than two hours later that they realized they hadn’t. And SWAT team responses are not speedy. There’s an article I linked to in the post which looks at the Texas U shooting and the response time and how much longer it is now because we don’t take the risks that those people did. The cops could easily have all died; nowadays, things move much slower, which is unfortunate for those locked inside with the killer.

  38. Here is a different perspective for you to think about. (Posted on another blog)

    (Remember don’t shoot the messenger ;-)

    Every day countless of human beings die and get slaughtered from wars, disease, starvation, genocide, and other methods of mass murder and yet where is the outcry ? Where is the outrage ?

    “Every year, FDA approved drugs kill twice as many people as the total number of U.S. deaths from the Vietnam War.” That’s over a hundred thousand dead each year people…

    “There are between 900,000 and 1.4 million children who are homeless each year here, in the richest nation in the world.”

    Cause and Effect.

    Cho’s statements:

    “You have vandalized my heart, raped my soul and torched my conscience,” he said into the camera, looking down occasionally to read from his manifesto. “You thought it was one pathetic boy’s life you were extinguishing. Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people.”

    “You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today,” he said. “But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.”

    “Your Mercedes wasn’t enough, you brats,” he said. “Your golden necklaces weren’t enough you snobs. Your trust funds wasn’t enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn’t enough. All your debaucheries weren’t enough. Those weren’t enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything.”

    What happened here, i believe, ( conspiracy theories aside ), is a case of extreme bullying by the rich and wealthy towards the less fortunate.

    Imagine yourself each day being humiliated, psychologically assaulted, being an emotional pushing bag. Despite all the material luxury’s those “rich kids” had, still being unfulfilled, they resorted to try and kill Cho’s character or spirit to make themselves feel better.

    I personally have no sympathy with those that got killed because they probably caused this hell for themselves. They also take part and become the system, feeding their ego, believing the lie and delusions, buying into the deceptions that rape the earth and oppresses fellow human beings.


  39. “Do I think the solution is to arm the innocents, turning them into potential killers? No, I think the solution is to disarm the perpetrators.”

    I agree with you COMPLETELY here. Last night I saw some posts related to the VT shooting and a lot of the comments from people were saying that this wouldn’t have happened if people were able to defend themselves. If more of those people on campus had guns less people would have died. I don’t believe that to be true at all. You were right disarming the perpetrators IS the only solution. Less guns, less bullets, less death. How can anyone argue that?

  40. Eliminating domestic production and ownership of guns is not necessarily going to solve this problem, unfortunately. The Columbine boys had pipe bombs (thankfully they didn’t make them well). Any moron with $15 can make a backpack full of molotov cocktails, which actually could produce a fantastically higher body count – or you could just chain shut the doors of a lecture hall and pour gas around the building and set it on fire. Anybody over the age of 16 has ready access to several tons of vehicular weaponry. You can buy propane tanks at most grocery stores. Take away the firearms and most sporting goods stores still have archery equipment, baseball bats, hunting knives, etc.

    You can hijack a school bus with a knife, kill the driver, and drive it off a cliff. You can run it into a giant propane tank. You can rent a van and drive through a farmers market. You could build an IED and blow up a ferry in San Francisco Bay.

    Anyone who is this disturbed is going to find a way to act out in the most garish, violent, public way possible. In one sense, the availability of guns may actually work to everyone’s benefit -> they limit the creative thought of the truly psychotic to the immediate gratification of the gun, instead of requiring devilish cunning that could produce even greater horror.

  41. You could do all those things, but statistically people don’t. They don’t even buy guns on the black market. Most of the weaponry used in these massacres was obtained legally or through lax enforcement of gun control.

    Reducing general access to deadly weapons reduces mass murders; this is a statistical fact.

    And there’s no evidence he was bullied. There’s plenty that he was consumed by envy and bitterness and had chosen to give himself over to malevolence. It’s not as if they stole the Mercedes that was rightfully his, but his writings show pretty clearly that HE felt they had.

    It seems the VTech murderer was in fact raised Christian. engtech makes an interesting point about the so-called Islamic connection possibly being nothing more than a screen name for some online game.

    I have been thinking, putting the profile of these mass murderers together with my theory of the popularity among so-called Zeta Males of Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other such virtual life forums. They fit very well together, but what are the effects?

    Does participation in a community such as Second Life give such people (ego-driven failures, basically) enough gratification and recognition that it reduces their inclination to turn to violence in the real world?

    Now that, if I say so myself, is an interesting question.

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  43. Actually, I think the Second Life theory misses something broader: all sorts of psychopaths, sociopaths and other mentally unstable types have been able to create rather functional, frightening and horribly real ‘second lives.’ I give you Messrs. Hitler, Goering, Goebbels, Roehm, Himmler et al as one example of a banding together of pretty much the general range of human failings and mental imbalances into something self-feeding and rather well-organized as those kinds of associations go.

    The white supremacist movement in America and western Europe is another example of a second life which becomes horribly real.

    I submit to you that Cho represents an eternal fact of life – some people stay relatively safe and compartmentalized in their psyschological basement, but some ferment into something truly evil. Other than a lack of long-term resources and following, what makes him different from a Hitler, a Stalin, an Alexander the Great, a Genghis Khan or any other megalomaniac or anyone else?

  44. I disagree with voiiceofreason and those who claim he was an “islamic terrorist”. He was mentally ill. Period. Why do you want to spin this into another set of political propoganda?

    Everytime something goes wrong, whaddya do? Either blame the Jews or the Muslims. Pathetic.

    The name Ishmael pre-dates Islam and in the Quran, the sacrifice never went through.

    ^^ directed to the islamophobes.

  45. FFE, I have to disagree. Hitler’s accomplishments were all too real. He wanted to build something here and he was well on his way to doing it when he was killed. But yes, he does fit into the zeta male profile; what if he’d never found his gift for motivating mobs?

    theboing, not to mention that he was raised a Christian, never attended a mosque, and referenced the crucifixion and called on Jesus in his final statements sent to NBC.

  46. This is true. I recall reading about Kehoe when I was doing reseach for a novel I was writing. It makes for chilling reading. Like Charles Whitman, he started out by killing his wife. By this time, he’d already planted the dynamite in the school (they let him do the electrical wiring for free even after he’d made his feelings known about the new school). Then he went on a rampage like something out of a splatter movie.

    All because of higher property taxes to fund the school. It’s amazing what sets people off.

  47. raincoaster : Exactly. If he was a Muslim on a suicide mission, he would have mentioned Islam in his rant. And no Muslim alive believes that Jesus was crucifed.

  48. Satan’s out to steal, kill and destroy. For those that don’t know the saving power of Jesus Christ, life can be extremely difficult and confusing-especially if they haven’t received proper nurturing and encouragement in their childhood years. Satan will use those unprotected and weak souls to carry out devastation and terror. We need to mentor, encourage, educate and pray for our youth before they become troubled. Let them know that they are loved and have worth and equip them with spiritual weapons for spiritual warfare-God’s Word (Bible), prayer and the armor of God.

  49. “called on Jesus in his final statements sent to NBC”

    I saw him reference dying like Jesus and suffering, but never heard him call on Jesus. Although, I am waiting for the full tape to be disclosed.

    “If he was a Muslim on a suicide mission, he would have mentioned Islam in his rant. And no Muslim alive believes that Jesus was crucifed.”

    That’s right. He was a psychotic, and psychotics are usually obsessed with (and ramble about) religious and sexual topics.

    Also, while muslims don’t believe the “real” Jesus was crucified, they do believe that a fake Jesus (another man who was made to look like Christ by either the power of Allah or Jesus- I can’t remember which at this time) was crucified in his place. According to Islam Christ is in some kind of state of suspended animation and will return with the 12th Iman to conquer us westerners.

  50. But that begs the question, what if Cho had found his audience, and what if Hitler hadn’t found his sudience. Hitler lucked out – otherwise, he was a painter of minimal talent and an otherwise uninspiring figure with a less than stunning personality. Stalin was a sullen bank robber with a bum arm. Genghis Khan was a wife-beater . . . .

  51. I don’t actually know if the man was psychotic. I believe that society has a need to alienate those which it deems to be dangerous, to make them Other, to exaggerate the differences between them and other people, and I believe that is largely a trap and a fallacy. I personally know a serial killer, and in my opinion the man is not insane; the man is evil.

    What IF Cho had found his audience? That’s the entire point to my discussion of online life. If they can get their needs for attention and accomplishment met, they could actually turn out to be effective members of society. IF they also exercise the will to choose good rather than evil. As I’ve shown, it’s generally the lack of recognition that turns them this way in the first place. If Hitler had gotten respect as a youth, it’s possible that he’d have turned out differently. Do you really believe our fates are sealed at birth?

    What I’m talking about is basically a bait and switch: maybe they want to destroy the world. Fine, okay. Take away their guns and let them engage in flamewars, try to put together a team to go after treasure, and generally let the internet kick their asses for a couple of years. That’s all it would take. You’d get ten years of life lessons in eighteen months. And maybe whatever gifts you have would rise to the surface and be recognized. You’d be crowned Emperor of the Universe or whatever. And maybe you wouldn’t feel so bad about yourself that you spend two months getting together the firepower to kill 33 people.

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  53. Rain – This is a great discussion, and it comes down to two essential points: you’re somewhat optimistic about this and I’m somewhat pessimistic. My pessimism comes from being a history major and taking Santayana to heart, and that’s not necessarily a correct position on my part.

  54. And I’m a comparative lit major, and haven’t even read Santayana, so I have the benefit of Beginner’s Mind. I have read Rousseau and Blake, though I’m not sure I believe them.

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  56. Call me guilty of distilling this all down to one point: is this a competition? What do comparatives like ‘ worst ‘ ever really mean to the victims, survivors & families. One senseless loss is one too many. After that it’s all just names & numbers.

    The VA Tech killer was sexually repressed & conflicted. He obviously felt both attracted to & repulsed by the social success of his peers. Add to that his cultural & possible religious background, it was a Petrie dish of imbalanced desires. He longed to connect to the group but could not. So he found a way to do so. He was a student, not an outsider. WE all know what Freud would’ve made of the gun, you don’t need Psych 101.

    People driven to homicidal acts don’t need guns, though enabling somebody to easily procure multiple weapons opens that route. Video being the choice of communication for everyone from first graders to Islamic extremists, anybody buying a gun should have to go on record in the store as to the purpose for this purchase: vid equipment is now affordable. This video record should be submitted for review to a gun control board.

    If the would be buyer refuses, that individual should be red flagged using the store vidcam records, which they should be required to have running for every purchase. No one thing stops madness, but it can impede, slow & create a greater chance for the human error to be made by that individual & observed BEFORE the act.

    AS for giving this type of person a controlled venue to focus & vent potential anti-social rage. I agree 110%. It should be done.

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  58. Totaltransformation : In Islam, the man who betrayed Jesus was the one who was “transformed” to look like him. Strangely though, in the Quran there is no mention of this traitor’s name so I’m guessing it’s Judas. And I think you’re refering to the Iman Mahdi.

    Raincoaster : “. Do you really believe our fates are sealed at birth?”

    Nature vs Nurture?

    I think some people are born as such. We can’t really change who we inherently are. We can supress those urges but.. we’re only human. Obviously Cho needed help but then again, a lot of us do as well. We’re just better at keeping it under covers. That’s my thoughts anyway.

  59. I like the idea of a video audition for guns. Yes, it would give an advantage to the pretty, but studies have shown that people with access to video are more accurate at telling whether or not they’re being lied to than people with access only to audio. And remember the Nixon-Kennedy debate. Those who listened on radio thought Nixon was better; those who watched on tv thought Nixon looked shifty and they didn’t trust him. They supported Kennedy.

  60. I agree.Lowering the supply of guns, and making it much harder to buy guns, may help some. Your comment about WalMart hit the nail on the head. Your analysis of why schools are targeted makes sense too. As a mother, I see how tender these young people are.

  61. I am sure that Cho didn’t mean to do all this because in an interview he said: “I’m sorry that you were all exposed to these images”. So I personally think he has a psychotic reason not for religion reasons because every religion is based upon the teachings of Holy Books, so we should not refer to any particular religion. In this case, fighting is not for God, but for personal reasons. So we should not blame Islam as we always do.
    I believe in this quote:
    “if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people”

  62. The problem with the latest disaster, i see stems back to the the constitution. Right to bare arms. If he had no access to buy a gun from a local store and it was regulated properly (i.e you need a proper license to have a gun which is issued by the police) then he would have been forced to head to the rough area of the city to buy a gun under the table.

    This being said, if he really wanted one he could get one, but is a student like Cho going to have the balls to go and get one from a gangster or gun runner.

    No one will ever know. But the question remains should the constituion be changed.

    I doubt he would have managed to stab 33 people before stabbing himself to death?

  63. There are only three major religions based upon books: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Most religions in the world don’t have holy books as these do. Besides, he was Christian, not Muslim. My theory is he used an Islamic-sounding name to try to attach his actions to something larger than himself, so he’d be listed by some people as a martyr. An attempt to stretch out his 15 minutes of fame, nothing more.

    People like Cho (and Gill, and Kehoe) do not buy weapons from the black market. They simply don’t. They buy them from regular stores. In Cho’s case, he did break the law by lying on his application, but should there not be any fact-checking mechanism in place? Surely an inventory of mental patients exists somewhere and could be checked against gun applicants. And yes, I think the US Constitution should be changed; it is now more dangerous to Americans than to anyone else. That clause was put in there to allow the people to protect themselves from a government that would force itself upon them (in that case, the British). The events of the past ten years have shown that there is no amount of abuse that America will not take from its own government, so there’s no point allowing them all to carry guns. They only use them on each other.

  64. Don’t take this as an anti- or pro-gun control stance, but there are people out there who will go off the deep end and find ways to inflict their inner pain and turmoil on others. Some ‘luck out’ and bring millions with them. Some end up like George Metesky or Cho or Kehoe. But they find a way to do it, whether it be firearm, explosives or mass movement. And no matter what we as a society or community do to find and somehow prevent these individuals from doing these things, there’s always one of them motivated enough, isolated enough or in the company of those apathetic enough to allow them to commit such acts.

    And one factor that I think has allowed such things to happen is our collective views on individual freedom versus the community. These people exist on the very edge of that debate and show just how undefined the debate is and what our fears are as humans. Should we defend individual freedom to the point that we have to fear things that go bump in the psycholigical night? Should we relent on that freedom in order to get a little security, even if it means that any of us who acts even a little odd suffer for that oddity?

    So much for neat little definitions and solutions . . . .

  65. From Wikipedia;

    Because the name and story of Ishmael is so tied up with class and gender and the sins of the parent, kind of rhetoric I feel this guy saw himself as a vigilante of the underpriviledged classes of the world. Perhaps he identified with jihadists, but he seems to have a deeply Christianised view and grasp of biblical history.

    (a good book on a futuristic look at the biblical story of Hagar is the hand maiden tale by Margaret Atwood)

    on the name Ishmael from wikipedia

    The word Yishm’e’l existed in various ancient Semitic cultures. It literally meaning “God has hearkened”, suggesting that “a child so named was regarded as the fulfillment of a divine promise.”[1]


    There is a very long religion of the “book(s)” history of the name Ismael. Its a tragic horrible story, and suggests to me there may be something with regards to his mother behind the whole shebang. And I don’t mean the old lets blame the mother stand by’s. I mean the biblical stories reflect a woman and her unborn being turned out of the community because of the jealousy and wrath of the ruler’s wife. by his words, and chosen alias, it seems he related to the divine wrathful child thing and his wrath was turned against fellow students at a prominant center of US Study and culture a society he seems to not have identified with but rather identified as the cause of all his problems.

    I need to learn more about why he was not apprehended earlier with all the warning signs he presented.

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  69. There are blog posts, social commentaries in online news publications, and expert opinions everywhere on the net concerning the causes of incidents like the VT massacre. You can point to causes all you want, but we all know by now that there are plenty of powder keg types out there. A certain percentage of them will explode and attempt (successfully and unsuccessfully) to cause harm to others. Knowing this, and still allowing average citizens to have access to weapons that can cause severe or fatal damage to scores of people in short periods of time is ridiculous and shows how unevolved so many of us really are. It’s not because Americans are violent. I live in Japan and firmly believe that, if the average Japanese citizen was allowed access to firearms as easily as Americans are, the murder rate here would skyrocket.

    It seems like so many people are concerned with spouting off opinions about causes and not many are interested in taking steps to quickly eliminate access to what we all know are responsible for killings of lots of people easily with little effort – guns. Particularly handguns.

    You don’t need a gun. I mean, really, tell me why you need one? You need to defend your family and property, you say? How often do successful protections of law-abiding people’s homes and families with guns happen compared to senseless killings with guns purchased legally? You can say that high crime areas are dangerous and law-abiding citizens living in those areas are definitely in need of guns that can be purchased legally, but even in these areas I doubt the ratio mentioned above has ever favored law-abiding citizens.

    America was born in the throes of a violent upheaval. The American gun culture has been around since the birth of the nation. It’s been around so long that many Americans believe that being American means having a gun. Isn’t it time to advance our thinking, put down the guns, trade in our gas-guzzling, super-polluting SUVs and trucks, and start thinking about people other than just ourselves?

  70. @ raincoaster

    In the interests of full disclosure, I do not own a gun, I am not a member of the NRA, and I find that most of the arguments in favor of an armed populace rely on rather dubious logic and horribly biased statistical analsys. However, I also find that most of the arguments in favor of an unarmed populace are likewise dependent upon a laughably discriminatory approach both to statistical analysis and suffer the same rampant use of fallacy in construction of logical arguments.

    In other words, I’m not attempting to argue that guns ought to be legal, or that access to guns is a net social good.

    > You could do all those things, but statistically people don’t. They don’t even buy guns on the
    > black market. Most of the weaponry used in these massacres was obtained legally or through
    > lax enforcement of gun control.

    You’re making a classical error in statistical analysis and you’re conflating correlation with causality. Yes, it is true that virtually all of the weaponry used in these events comes from the class of firearms. It is also true that virtually all of the weaponry is obtained through legal channels. That does not imply in any way that the acquisition of firearms is a necessary precondition for mass murder to occur, only mass shootings (because by definition you need a gun to shoot people, duh). Remember that you’re talking about “school shootings”, so of course all the violence concerns guns. If, however, you examine “mass murder” as a class of activity, you can include: shooting sprees (such as VA), bombing sprees (unabomber), mass poisonings (tylenol event), suicide bombs and singular bombing events designed to kill large numbers of people, serial killers, etc. You could even realistically make a case for including arson, since a large number of people are killed by intentionally set fires, if you’re not bothering to talk about perpetrator intent, but that’s an aside. Under this definition, statistically, shooting sprees and poisoning are a negligible number of deaths, essentially statistical anomolies. Bombings and incendiary events have a staggering advantage in body count.

    > Reducing general access to deadly weapons reduces mass murders; this is a statistical fact.

    I’ll have to say this is a dubious statement at best, and is certainly not fact, statistical or otherwise. I would like a citation on this, please. I imagine that you’re referring to the fact that Australia had a series of spree shootings which dropped off after gun control legislation. Again, you’re conflating correlation with causality, you’re completely ignoring the largest class of mass murders (bombings), and you’re ignoring the copycat effect. Mass murder events are so uncommon, statistically speaking, that it’s pretty easy to correlate them with just about anything.

    Statistical analysis is great for predicting mass events. It’s even pretty useful for predicting anomolies -> you can say, for example, with reasonable clarity that there *will* be events that occur within a given time period that represent a major discrepancy from the social norm. It is absolutely the wrong tool to use to try and quantify those anomolies, however. This requires behavioral analysis.

  71. You, my friend, are throwing everything you have into this and simply clouding the issue. It’s patently obvious that a Unabomber style of attack is different from a school mass murder, which is what I’m talking about here. Before you conflate things out of all reality, recognize that we are talking specifically about attacks on schools by these kinds of people. They are a recognized pattern in psychology and law enforcement, and they differ substantially from other patterns such as politically motivated terrorism (domestic or otherwise). To say, “Oh well Charles Manson was really different, and so were the attacks in Darfur and you’re not taking those into account” is to simply attempt a cheap diversion.

    As for the statistics, I have already quoted at least one in this thread. Read more slowly: in 1989, King County Washington had more deaths from gunshot wounds than all of Canada did, and King County’s population (Greater Seattle) was substantially smaller than Canada’s. Metro has also noted some very interesting stats on his blog over at

    Edited to add: Welcome to Pottersville has an interesting post on the subject, with input from some experts.

    At no point have I implied that having guns or explosives caused these people to act as they did. Having guns or explosives allowed them to act as they did. I speak as one who is a very good reason to keep gun control in Canada strong. If I’d have had a gun, I’d have used it on someone by now.

    I am not concerned with the emotional state of any particular individual. I don’t really care if they live their lives consumed with bitterness and rage. Nor do I think it’s the business of a just society to poke around in people’s heads. I am only concerned with the actions that people perpetrate upon one another. Without guns, Cho could even now be wandering around campus, swearing at people under his breath and brooding. And no harm done.

  72. @ southofreality

    > You can point to causes all you want, but we all know by now that there are plenty of
    > powder keg types out there. A certain percentage of them will explode and attempt
    > (successfully and unsuccessfully) to cause harm to others.

    This is actually completely and totally backwards, and is a perfect example of how people are horribly bad at recognizing risk. The truth is that there are a *vanishingly small number* of powder keg types out there. People on the whole are remarkably stable individuals.

    Murder alone is a *tiny percentage of death* in the United States (see the FBI crime statistics at In 2005, 5.6 people per 100,000 were the victim of murder or non-negligent manslaughter. The rate has been under 6 per 100,000 since 1999.

    According to the CIA factbook, the 2007 population of the US is estimated 301,139,947. Assuming the murder rate stays at about 6, that means that approximately 16,864 people are expected to be the victim of murder or non-negligent homicide. Now, this includes drunk driving victims, spousal murder, etc. Powder-keg types represent a teeeeeeeeny tiiiiiiiiiiny number of these events.

    > Knowing this, and still allowing average citizens to have access to weapons that can cause
    > severe or fatal damage to scores of people in short periods of time is ridiculous and shows
    > how unevolved so many of us really are.

    I reiterate, you cannot, in any way, shape, or form, prevent these people from having access to weapons that can cause severe or fatal damage to scores of people. To think that you can represents a massive lack of imagination. Prohibit gun ownership, they’ll make bombs. Then what are you going to do? Prohibit the sale of home cleaning supplies? Someone is eventually going to freak out and drive his car (I’ll use the masculine pronoun here without fear of accusation of sexual bias, because spree killers are uniformly male) through crowds of people. Prohibit personal driving? Require psychological tests to allow people to get a license? How often do you renew?

    In a meta analysis, security is a trade off between liberty and risk. The United States has taken an approach to the social contract that liberty should be the defining characteristic in this tradeoff equation. In order for U.S. citizens to give up a liberty, there should be a *CLEAR* and *SIGNIFICANT* advantage in reducing risk. Prohibiting gun ownership does not provide either a clear or significant advantage in reducing risk… the risk is insignificant to begin with.

  73. You won’t sell any of that in Virginia, nor to the families of the 30,000 Americans killed each year by guns. The assumption that relatively free access to guns is a fundamental human right is incorrect and injust, that’s the problem. And it’s also, as we’ve seen, highly impractical.

  74. @ raincoaster

    > You, my friend, are throwing everything you have into this and simply clouding the issue.

    No, I’m not, I’m attempting to get you to see the forest instead of the tree you’re staring at so intently.

    > It’s patently obvious that a Unabomber style of attack is different from a school mass murder,
    > which is what I’m talking about here.

    On the contrary. “Mentally disturbed person commits acts of violence on irrationally targeted people resulting in death” is what I’m talking about. Isn’t that what we’re trying to prevent?

    If you’re limiting your discussion to “school shootings”, then what you’re talking about is a closed argument. “Guns are required for school shootings, ergo take away guns and you’ll have no more school shootings, QED.” Well, uh, duh. This is a circular argument, reprensents nothing in the way of intellectual interest, and is begging the question… your alternative thread about secondlife (or other “acting out” stress relievers) would be a better discussion to have, that’s an open argument.

    > Before you conflate things out of all reality, recognize that we are talking specifically about
    > attacks on schools by these kinds of people.

    I don’t understand why you’re limiting the situational context. From a behavioral analysis standpoint, classifying mass murder events by the target population is interesting. But you’re not talking (entirely) about trying to gain insight as to why these events are occuring, you’re also talking about trying to establish policy to prevent it.

    If your earlier (insightful) premise is true, that this particular class of psychotic chooses schools as the outlet for his aberrant behavior because of the target population, then what you have is an insurmountable problem. When someone who is this abnormal hits the threshold of sane behavior and acts out, he is going to target groups of children. You’re talking about the WHAT here, but suddendly you’re drawing conclusions based upon your observations of the WHAT as to how to affect the HOW. That’s inconsistent.

    If you accept that these people exist, and that they have a threshold of sanity before they break, then irrespective of what means they have to act out, they are going to act out. Removal of firearms from the equation is at best a temporary measure of reducing the severity. People this crazy want to make a statement, and the one-upsmanship nature of “statement making” means that if you take away one mechanism for violence, they’ll just find another.

    > Having guns or explosives allowed them to act as they did.

    I’m seeing a fundamentall disconnect here between what I’m saying and what you’re saying. I agree with this version of that statement: “Having access to weapons allowed them to act as they did.”

    > Without guns, Cho could even now be wandering around campus, swearing at people under
    > his breath and brooding. And no harm done.

    I doubt that this is true, but this is of course impossible to prove or disprove authoritatively, becuase you can’t undo the past. Based upon what has come out about Cho, in comparison to the studies of other spree killers, it seems a foregone conclusion that he was experiencing a psychotic break with reality and at some point he was going to commit an act of mass murder. Remember, as well, that spree killing occurred before firearms (google “going amok”, or do a little research into why the U.S. Marines are called “leathernecks” and why the U.S. military moved to using the .45 round), so it’s certainly true that spree killing, as a phenomena, does not depend upon the presence of guns, or bombs, or any other particular mechanism of violence.

    It only depends upon the existence of the spree killer.

  75. @ raincoaster

    > You won’t sell any of that in Virginia, nor to the families of the 30,000 Americans killed each
    > year by guns.

    Again, this is bad risk analysis. I’m not trying to “sell” anything to the people in Virginia (and by the way, there are a large number of people in Virginia who would be mortally insulted to be included in this statement, including quite a few people I saw interviewed in the last couple of days).

    2,487,416 people (give or take) are going to die in 2007, based upon the projected death rate and the estimated population. Almost half of them will die from cancer, heart attack, or stroke… that’s roughly 40 TIMES the number of people who will be killed each year by guns.

    Do we therefore pass laws to require people to have a balanced diet, work out? Smoking is still legal, it kills off tens of thousands more people than guns in the U.S. Alcohol is complicit in tens of thousands more deaths than guns. No more fatty foods, no more liquor! No more TV, it contributes to sitting on your rear end instead of getting out and reducing your likelihood of type 2 diabetes! Vehicular accidents are an astoundingly common cause of death in the US, compared to firearm deaths, why do we not force regulators in cars that prohibit you from driving faster than 70 miles per hour, and front sensors that prohibit you from travelling closer than 1 car length per 10 miles an hour? They would be doing nothing more than enforcing (technically) the laws that we have now on the books, and therefore wouldn’t be too much of an imposition on our liberties, right?

    More to the point, 3,000 people (give or take) will be accidentally shot by police officers this year. That’s 100 times the number of people Cho killed…. and almost 1/5 the number of people who will be MURDERED THIS YEAR. Well, we must disarm the police, then, they’re almost as dangerous as the people they’re supposedly protecting us from…

  76. I should elaborate on my Be Franklin quote earlier… a one liner like that leaves a lot of room for interpretation…

    Raincoaster’s comment – “The events of the past ten years have shown that there is no amount of abuse that America will not take from its own government, so there’s no point allowing them all to carry guns. They only use them on each other.” – is what inspired my quote of good ol’ Ben.

    So, I’m not some pro-gun fanatic… but I am pro-liberty… you can call me a fanatic if you want.

    I would assume we all agree that people who are mentally ill and people who are “truly” evil, will probably find a way to accomplished their plans no matter what restrictions we attempt to put in place. Maybe we don’t all agree with this point, maybe that’s the kernel that deserves a deeper debate.

    But if you do agree that mentally ill people and evil people, will move mountains to accomplish their killing sprees, then considering further restrictions on the rest of us, doesn’t really give us the security we think we are getting.

    I think the “past 10 years” have shown us that we’ve given up way to much control to our government… and things like the Duke lacrosse team scandal should remind us all that when government is given too much power… then innocent people pay the price.

    This killing spree, like any killing spree, is a sad sad thing… we as a nation need to look inside ourselves and try to understand why these things happen. I personally don’t think it’s the guns, although I wouldn’t mind seeing fewer guns in the US… I think we live in a culture of fear… and what’s fear got to do with it?

    “Everything! Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you. ” – Yoda (another smart dude!)

  77. What about the responsibility the parents should bear? Should the families of all those inocent victims be allowed to hear why this nut job’s parents weren’t more attentive, observant or concerned? If not for their own son’s sake; what about everyone else’s? They should be made to answer some questions about what made this kid tick?
    And, what about the gun shop owner? Shouldn’t he share some blame here? I think that any kid who comes in looking for a pistol should have to answer more than a few simple questions and produce a few IDs.
    What about the roomates? Was the change in appearance/actions no clue that something was up? Where did this kid make his videos/photos/long written rantings/ and where were those kept along with guns and ammo in the days leading up to this massacre?

  78. Interesting. Many good points about the mindset of people bent on killing. It is funny how we are repulsed but intrigued by murder.

    Regarding weapons: We now have restrictions and checks on the sale of ingredients for explosives. Nothing can completely prevent violence but it can be mitigated. Greater checks on firearms will not irradicate shooting deaths but will for sure help.

    Life is so much less stressful when you are not worried about getting shot.

  79. The only media reporting that the Bath Disaster is the largest mass killing in US history is talk radio. The Nets keep touting VT as the worst, simply ignoring the truth. Why? First, I think they are propping up their agenda to give aid to the gun ban advocates. By reporting the Bath disaster they would be proving that different instruments other than guns can dole out death when they are in the wrong hands. The most common example I can cite is 9/11. But don’t forget Andrea Yates, the Houston mother who drowned all of her children (i think it was 5) in the bathtub. Second, I think that the Nets don’t give two hoots about the truth. I considered journalism for a career until I realized how unethical many reporters are. This was an extremely well-written post. It was very informative. It is likely that you and I do not agree on the gun debate but you do have skills.

  80. Raincoaster,

    I hope I didn’t sound rude. I apologize if you thought I was. I just am trying to understand this and feel better.

    I’m a student in college in the US and I know I’d be terrified if I was in a situation like that. And I’m also a Chinese American. I don’t know if you’ve seen my latest entries on this, but I’m trying to find closure by coming to some sort of conclusion about this.

    In 1989, I lived in King County in Bellevue.

  81. Hmmm…interesting post. Clearly it has nothing to do with guns. Someone who wants to hurt people will find a way.

  82. As is clear from my post, I disagree. We had cranky failures before gunpowder, and yes, they ran amok, but they killed far fewer people because they didn’t have access to this kind of weaponry; it’s that simple.

    What’s most appalling to me is that Cho was not legally entitled to purchase those guns at all; if the laws of the state of Virginia had been adhered to in an effective manner, this would not have happened (look at him; how much damage could a guy like that do before some gym rat snapped him in two?). He had been in a mental institution and simply lied about it on the form. He was three years too young.


  83. How many deaths and injuries must we endure before our nation’s elected officials act to end gun violence? We must ask our leaders: “What are you going to do about it?” What are you going to do to make our schools, workplaces, and communities safe from gun violence?
    President George W. Bush said yesterday that schools should be a place of “safety and sanctuary for every student,” but he and other national leaders do nothing to ensure that safety. They provide condolences, and then do nothing to stop future tragedies.
    Eight years ago this week, we watched in horror as students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado fled a mass shooting. Twelve students and one teacher were killed. Just seven months ago, five girls were gunned down in a school in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
    These aren’t isolated incidents. February 12, 2007, Salt Lake City: A teen opens fire in a mall killing five and wounding four. On the same day in Philadelphia: Three men fatally shot and a fourth wounded at a board meeting. January 11, 2007, Indianapolis: A man shoots four fellow employees. The list goes on and on.
    There are common threads in all of these tragedies — it is much too easy for the wrong people to get high-powered, deadly weapons and our leaders fail to do anything about the problem.
    It is urgent that you email or call your elected officials today.
    They must hear that you want action to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
    Please make as many of these phone calls as you can:
    President George W. Bush 202-456-1414
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi 202-225-0100
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid 202-224-5556
    The message for all three calls is simple:
    It is much too easy for the wrong people to get deadly weapons in this country. It is time for you to take steps to end gun violence to prevent tragedies like the one at Virginia Tech.
    If you can’t make the calls, you can click here to send an email, which will go to the President, the Speaker, the Majority Leader, as well as your U.S. Senators and Representative. One click will email all six of them.
    The Brady Campaign is working nonstop to get the message out that there are solutions to gun violence. We can ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips that make it so easy to kill quickly . . . we can require Brady background checks for all gun sales, including at gun shows . . . we can stop large-volume gun sales that supply illegal gun traffickers. These are just some of the steps we can take to make it harder for the wrong people to get guns.
    Gun Control Does Help.

  84. Pingback: More about school shootings and stereotypes « Diane Vera

  85. One of the biggest problems is that we have made gun support or abolition a party line thing. This should be divorced from politics. Of course, the best solution is that people should vote their best judement not their politics. But politics does rule for too many.
    If guns were restricted there is no doubt that there would be less debts. But guns make money for a lot of people and they are putting a lot of that money into protecting their business. It comes down to money, make no mistake about it.

  86. Money and symbolism. Frankly, the citizens of the United States have been on their knees to the government of the United States ever since 9/11. Wise men who want to retain control try to convince the multitudes that, because they can carry guns, they are free. They cannot photograph the hotel Dick Cheney is staying in or they’ll be thrown in jail and, indeed, most wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing. But they can carry guns.

    It’s a strange kind of cold steel teddy bear.

  87. It’s clear that some people disagree with me, I can understand that. It’s also clear that some people simply refuse to listent to what I’m saying, about which I’m not so keen.

    @ raincoaster

    I disagree with your contention that taking away firearms will do anything to reduce the impact of these events. I’ve made (I think) a pretty logical argument that removing guns from society (which, as I’ve said before, I’m not necessarily against) will have little effect on these events, because the primary motivators (to get attention, kill as many people as possible) will not be lessened or removed by simply removing a class of weapon… the perpetrators will simply move on to another method of mass violence. You’ve as yet said nothing to convince me that this isn’t the case. Of course, you do have some evidence to support your position, but given the extreme rarity of these events and the difficulty of doing any sort of meaningful statistical analysis, I simply don’t find your evidence compelling.

    However, we can agree to disagree on this point, and a quick glance at the rest of your blog leads me to believe that you and I would agree on a lot of other topics, so I’ll just close out my particpation in this particular thread and move on to where we can actually try to sway each other’s opinion :)

  88. Pingback: Monday's Tragedy at VTI - Mental Illness and Violence « Worldly Inquiring Mind “iWIM” :D

  89. This may be slightly off-topic, but I’m still trying to figure out how the origin of the term ‘leatherneck’ has anything to do with this discussion. I do know that th eterm originated from leather neck protectors that the colonial-era Marines wore to protect them from cutlass strikes during boarding parties.

  90. padraic, I look forward to seeing you around the blog. Yes, looks like we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. You must have a much more even temper than I do, because if I’d had a gun, I would definitely have used it on someone more than once. That I can guarantee.

    FFE, as is not uncommon I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

  91. It’s the gun-rights advocates that usually rally around simple slogans such as “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Gun control advocates usually don’t think about it in such simplistic terms. What gun control advocate goes around saying “people don’t kill people, guns kill people”? Only an idiot would. The fact of the matter is, yes, guns don’t kill people without a person behind the trigger. But, people do kill people very efficiently with guns. Much more so than knives or baseball bats. Yeah, if there weren’t any guns, maybe some psychos would find other ways of carrying out mass carnage, but in the States certainly there are very few ways to go from 0 to kill in 2 seconds and then take out a score of people in a very short time span with little or no preparation, than with a gun. If you can prove (statistically or otherwise) that the benefits of gun ownership in the U.S. outweigh the tragedies that have resulted because of such ownership, please do so. Otherwise you’re just using unimaginative arguments (”guns don’t kill people, people do”) and have no capacity for critical thought. You just want to protect your right to own your cowboy toys. I’ll generalize here: when we, as Americans, start thinking about protecting all human life, and not just our own, we’ll become part of a much better society.

  92. Before even reading the link, I can tell you the reason for the .45’s rise was that the Army’s standard .38 round was pretty inneffective in close combat against Phillipine tribesmen in 1900.

    I’d never heard the anti-beheading story from the Moro ‘rebellion’

    As for all the sides on the gun-control debate in this post, I would heartily recommend Ellis’ “A Social History of the Machine Gun” to illustrate the point that a gun culture is not just an American phenomenon but one with uniquely American and European characteristics depending on the time and side of the pond.

    One anecdote that I think shows how Americans have taken a pragmatic, industrial view of weaponry is the U.S. use of shotguns during the First World War. While shotguns were prohibited under the Hague Convention as inhumane , U.S. troops and Marines used them quite frequently as ‘trench brooms.’ While I have no immediate proof for or against, it would be interesting to see if the B.E.F. issued or at least condoned shotguns as part of unit tables of equipment.

  93. Not a particularly compelling answer, though. Cho WAS a Christian. Obviously simply participating in religion doesn’t solve the problem; and what you’re suggesting is more or less what HE was saying in his final statements.

    Who brought this evil into the world? Paris Hilton didn’t. Cho did. It was not the doing of the degenerates, it was the doing of one man who chose evil. One man who was Christian, but who was not prevented from this action by his religion.

  94. Bill:

    One of the things I’m realizing with regard to this debate is that the people who are being allowed to frame it are the wrong kind of people entirely for the job.

    Consider, in the current context, the NRA. These are people who spend considerable money and time on their weapons. And they’re invested in other ways. For many of them, guns are a seamless part of their identity.

    To be parted from even the most harmful of their guns fills them with fear–even those who aren’t actually afraid that the guv’mint is after them.

    So when people enter the debate and say “We need Canadian/Swiss/Somali-style gun control,” they will always react by screaming NO NO NO!

    Unfortunately these people have a lot of history on their side, more money, and a Constitution which some regard as Scripture, despite the fact that it had to be amended to permit them to own the weapons they are so desperate to protect.

    Think about this: for many of them, the fear of being parted from their weapons is such a deep rooted issue that they will allow it to choose their political leadership for them.

    But, like most other gun-control advocates, while I’d support a total ban on all firearms, I’m pragmatic enough to realize there’s no sense in insisting on it. It’s never going to happen. Why shouldn’t hunters own weapons suited to the purpose of killing something? Honest answer: to level the playing field. Let ’em strap on a set of sharpened antlers and try to take out a deer–but I digress.

    What most proponents of gun control want is a national strategy that demands a thorough background check and the banning of certain types of weapon. I mean, can anyone think of a rational reason that a private citizen needs a Tec 9, or anything else that can throw lead at half-a-mile per second at a rate of 15 rounds per second?

    (If your opponents have the kind of firepower that makes such self-defence necessary I have two words for you: witness protection.)

    So the trouble now is that, if we approach the pro-gunners with a rational idea like saying: “Let’s get rid of the 20-mm cannon as a sidearm,” the reply is:

    NO NO NO! (Jumps up and down, sticks fingers in ears yelling “Guns don’t kill people …”)

    It’s very difficult to have a rational discussion when your opponent insists on treating the subject irrationally.

  95. And actually, I think it’s no co-incidence this all happened as Paris Hilton was about to appear in court for parole violations. Has anyone gone over her alibi?

  96. Pingback: blackroses » Worst school massacre in US history: Bath Consolidated, not Virginia Tech

  97. My Friend
    No one knows what time of hour
    life can suddenly change to what
    seems so sour.
    Unanswered questions remain to be
    until we take a good look at eternity.
    The courage and the faith to meet God’s
    purpose, to have great hope in God’s
    ultimate challenge.
    You are a light unto the world and an
    inspiration to many. You have something
    manifested within you, that no one
    could steal away even if they tried.
    God bless you as you stay
    strong in him and allow his love to
    shine thru you in a very special way.

    Wisdom Cries
    Wisdom cries so desperately
    Only to be understood
    It cannot be compared to anything
    Because prudence stands alone
    When pride, envy, greed and hate
    Show their ugly face
    Knowledge says please receive me
    Wisdom cries just to be heard
    Arrogance does not listen
    Rather this is our choice
    Discretion is your helpmate
    If you listen to her voice
    Wisdom cries so desperately
    Only to be understood
    Wise counsel is yours for the asking
    Your heart will speak strong
    Please listen, understand me
    Wisdom cries so desperately
    Dear God, now let us pray

    Copyright ©2007 Donald Dwight Tietig

  98. Ever now and again, you gotta.

    Besides, I’m damned if somebody other than rc is dropping copyright notices on my blog without my permission, dammit.

  99. Pingback: the fifth wall

  100. You immediately make the correct assessment, i.e., soft targets, unarmed kids. But then you go on to a conclusion that is completely counter to your own assessment.

    Imagine the story if it played out like this: “After killing four students, another student carrying a licensed pistol was able to wound Cho and hold him until authorities arrived.”

    Imagine the message it would send to wannabe monsters throughout the country. Instead, the monsters know that the chances of meeting any armed resistance are almost zero. Plus they have NBC to immortalize them when they are gone.

    What should happen is that parents around the country should send their kids to six months of required training in safe, legal, firearms handling. It should be as much of a rite of passage as drivers education (which incidentally, kill far more kids than guns do).

  101. “Imagine the story if…”

    I can- but then it hardly would have been a story. That is the problem with taking real action. When you solve the problem before it gets out of hand you can’t say “Hey look I just prevented 31 deaths!” When a principal in Mississippi stopped an armed student from killing more of his classmate it barely made a blip on the T.V. screen. Why? Because there were only a few people dead. If he hadn’t ran to his car and retrieved his gun and 15 more people had died, you would have heard 100 times more media coverage about that school shooting.

    And such isn’t due to a liberal bias or political motives- it is just the reality that you can’t prove how bad something might have been. Sad reality is that large numbers of casualties headline national news programs, a few murdered barely takes a ten second spot on the local news.

  102. “As Cho began firing, three other students drew their concealed pistols.

    Unfortunately, one of the three was only able to see the other two, whom he thought were engaged in a firefight. He wounded one of them critically and killed the second before a fourth student entered the room and shot him in turn.

    Cho took advantage of the subsequent confusion to collect the dead students’ weapons and make his way to another building, where he killed twelve more students and three faculty members before running out of ammunition.”

    –From the Fanatasian Times, right-to-carry bullshit edition.

    The solution is not to arm everyone.

    It is indeed a sad tragedy, and we always want to think about how to prevent it. But Raincoaster had been deteriorating for some time, and referring to herself in the third person is better than many of the things she might otherwise have done.

  103. You mention that while Walmart doesn’t sell certain types of music, they do sell guns. You’re right, of course. What you fail to mention is that the music they choose not to sell influences listeners to commit heinous crimes with those guns. A child listening to a song with intensely violent lyrics is much more dangerous than a hunter with a gun. According to the American Psychological Association, violent lyrics do increase aggression. The child who is repeatedly exposed to those lyrics is more likely to be aggressive without provocation. This in itself is much more dangerous than guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens.

    Furthermore, in the wake of such a tragedy, do we really need to focus on gun-control before the bodies have even been buried?

  104. Yes we damn well do.

    I’m tired of hearing NRA apologists blame mass shootings on video games, rap/metal/rock music, fluoride in the water and £µ©λing sunspots.

    The cause of mass shootings, it seems, is everything but the guns.

    The NRA and its enablers willfully, deliberately, and childishly ignore the slow-motion VT massacre that is taking place every single day across the United States.

    So why not try a little experiment:
    Take the guns away.

    Presumably if the guns aren’t a problem, then the violence will not diminish, and people will continue to die in similar quantity. At that point I’ll shut up and let you get on with blaming the media, electromagnetic radiation, and iambic pentameter.

    By the way–if you want to expand the discussion to mass murder in general: what sort of music was Kehoe listening to when he blew up Bath in 1928?

    Marilyn Manson?
    The Doors?
    Black Flag?
    Violent Femmes?
    Dayglo Abortions?
    John Lennon?

    Hank Williams Sr?

    Was Timothy McVeigh particularly fond of Ozzy, d’you think?
    Did the Air India bombers get off on the Sex Pistols?
    Jim Jones musta liked his Judas Priest, no?

    The man single-handedly responsible for more mass death this century than any other, by the way, is a big country music fan.

  105. “Unfortunately, one of the three was only able to see the other two, whom he thought were engaged in a firefight.”

    And there still would have been over twenty fewer dead people.

    “The solution is not to arm everyone.”

    No one said it was. Nor is the solution to disarm everyone, as people like Bloomberg would do. Carrying should require people to go through a three month course of safe, legal, responsible firearms handling.

    The laws that anti-gun advocates propose mainly will only make responsible, law abiding citizens hesitant to carry guns. It will have no affect on the monsters.

    ~ “If if wasn’t for the Second Amendment, there wouldn’t be a First.”

  106. I cannot believe that people are objecting to gun control propositions in comments that don’t express their outrage at the deaths in the first place. Let’s get our priorities straight, people.

    There were gun control regulations in effect when and where Cho bought his guns. They were not abided by: he lied, nobody checked. Can we focus on enforcing the laws that exist and maybe give them a try to see if they work? Cho would have been prevented from buying a gun in a store in most of the United States, and as I’ve said numerous times, he wasn’t the type to make a black market connection over a bar in a seedy part of town. It’s just possible that he would have been prevented from acting on his impulses. Again, neither I nor anyone else gives a rat’s ass about his feelings; we really just want to prevent people from killing each other.

    If listening to Tupac gets you riled up, so fucking what? If you get a gun and start shooting people because your mind snapped, that’s an issue.

    Priorities, people.

  107. Every time I see a new school shooting like Virginia Tech, I think of the true worst school shooting massacre in American history:

    Remember it, we now have VIETRAQ WAR, & the only reason college campuses aren’t being shut down by protests against the Iraq War Crime, is that there is NO DRAFT.

    Just wait, kids, there will be!

  108. Quite possibly, especially if you get another Republican in the White House. No way can they maintain troop levels they’ve already committed to, let alone go into Iran or North Korea or anywhere in Africa. And they’re almost out of desperate poor people who sign up willingly, so it’s time to recruit from the bottom end of the middle class. Forcibly.

  109. Actually, I’ve got some new neighbors, one of whom is a deserter who simply walked away rather than go back for his FOURTH deployment to Iraq. At this point, they’re positively selecting for crazy.

  110. People think deserters are cowards and maybe in one sense they are, but you have to realize how hard it is to walk away from your own homeland.

  111. How’s that going in Iraq? Yes, fourth deployment.

    As someone raised in a military family, I certainly am not pro-desertion, but in this case we’re talking about people who have been flat-out lied to when they signed up. People have been promised (on tape!) that they won’t be sent to Iraq, they’ve been told they won’t be deployed there more than once, and on and on. A military you can’t trust is nothing more than a group of armed men and women.

  112. Now you know why it’s hard for us to give up our second amendment rights. We’re a paranoid bunch and rightfully so (these days).

  113. I was really surprised when I found out about this.
    Im doing a project on school violence and this was in an article that nobody knows aobut, but it was so sad and scary that someone would do that.

  114. Two days ago came a report from Iraq that they’d found bombs built into the walls of a brand-new girl’s school there. So somebody is STILL doing this kind of horrible thing.

  115. i cant believe someone would do that iam so shocked there are sucjh loonatices in this world. i feel like smacking that dude right now. iam so pissed

  116. Turn it to the light. See if you can find a violence-prevention program around and maybe get the police to come in and give your school a talk on school violence or something.

  117. Pingback: Bonnie’s Blog of Crime This Day in History: Bath School Massacre 1927 Bath, MI «

  118. I can’t believe how easily weapons can be placed into the hands of irresponsible people these days. It’s just absolutely mental!! Who here has heard about the 10 month old boy that has a gun licence and his own .22 rifle?? My god! He can’t even walk yet but is still legally allowed to own a weapon. Think about it, people don’t just go out and start killing for the heck of it. There has to be a major turning point in these people’s lives that has driven them to do it. How many of you can say that you have never had a problem in your life? Nobody… And how many of you can say that your family is perfect? Nobody is perfect. But we don’t go out and start killing people. It comes down to the genes their parents have passed down and how well they can recept and respond to them.
    We are all humans and we all have the same feelings. We all make mistakes and we all have the same senses. Everybody should pull together and help one another. Not judge others for the way they look, their sexuality, their colour skin, disabilities, what they wear, how they talk, walk and act. Everybody has a right to be themselves. Because that’s all that they can be.

  119. Marian Markham, Donald Huffman, Bob Dickinson is the only three injured victims left. The Record has been unbroken since Kemal Ataturk’s Turkish presidency, Calvin Coolidge’s presidency, William Howard Taft’s time in the U. S. Supreme Court.

  120. can ya’ll all just shut up!! diz stuff happens all tha tyme! there iz sick fucking people out there! dont be shocked over something like thiz!! itz gonna get worser and worser! we just need to watch ourselfs and our children!! thiz world iz “horrible!”

  121. Emory Huyck is the distant cousin of the eighth President of the United States Martin Van Buren and his wife Hannah Hoes.

  122. Hi,
    I am looking for print quality, historically accurate pictures of the Bath School tragedy, and woul dlike to know if I could use the image posted above (will full credit), or where the source of the image is so that I might request from there,

    Many thanks,

  123. I hope an ancestor of a bomber should apologize on behalf of the victims (living and dead) some day and their ancestors.

  124. I read that there are only 7 living survivors of Bath School Massacre.Can anybody tell me who they are? Thanks.

  125. Cho shot them all with a gun capable of satisfying his mass-murder tendencies. The Chinese who murder school children do it with a knife, BECAUSE THEY DON’t HAVE GUNS!!!!! so they only kill a few. I live in a country which has 250 million people, and only 5,000 civillians have guns, and most of these are retired army generals. The criminals DO NOT CARRY GUNS! There are no mass murders carried out with guns! All Americans should turn in all their guns. If someone wants to hunt, they can learn to shoot an arrow from a bow. My brother has done this successfully for years.
    To do it gradually, just raise the age for people to legally buy guns 5 years per year, and when people die, confiscate their guns from the estate. After 15 years, the gun problem will be mostly solved.

  126. Family members do not shoot each other in fits of rage, only to regret it all later when they’ve had a chance to settle down. In this country of 250 million people, where there are no guns, there is a lot more universal peace than in gun-toting America.

  127. I disagree. I think that the amount of peace is equally distributed in areas of similar population, but the opportunity for murder is not. That opportunity varies with the distribution of weaponry, not the distribution of population. It’s a mistake to think that people without guns are peaceful. They’re just less lethal.

  128. @ Johnny: Re: ‘I read that there are only 7 living survivors of Bath School Massacre.Can anybody tell me who they are? Thanks.’

    In a comment written by Tom Horton in 1999 while reviewing the the book, ‘Mayday: History of a Village Holocaust’:

    ‘For more than seventy years the survivors of the disaster have met in the Spring of each year to continue their survival bonding with each other. ‘

    This is probably no longer the case as there are now just seven living survivors as of 2012. There were nine, but two passed away earlier this year. The survivors are in their 90s or older now. the tragedy occurred 85 years ago. In just a few years there will be no survivors remaining of America’s first domestic terror attack.

    Here is an interview that NPR did with two of the survivors three years ago:

    Both the survivors interviewed for the NPR story have since passed away.

  129. This is the most complete info site for the Bath School Disaster as it is known locally in the place it happened. If you are researching this topic there are lots and lots of details about what actually happened.

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