October 02, 2006

Hell Is For Children

A Pat Benatar song that deals with child abuse. Again not exactly spot on as far as the song's content goes but the title sums up things pretty well for this post.

I was at a friend's the other day & one of the crew there mentioned that her little girl (a mid teenager if I recall) had just went through a "lock down" on Friday at her high school. The lady was a bit surprised that it took them that long to go through such a drill since that scumbag shot & killed a girl (after assaulting several) only a few days before. I could have kept my mouth shut but I abstained from that particular virtue. I said it'd have been better if they hadn't practiced a "lock down" so maybe a few people would not follow that idiotic practice. She asked what was wrong with it so I explained that if someone wanted to kill people randomly then having them all cordoned off into rooms with little or no means of escape was his/her dream come true. It also makes finding a specific individual a little easier as you just search each room till you find whoever you're looking for. It took her a moment but she started to agree & opined that everyone getting the hell out of the school seemed to make more sense.

I could have left it alone but...

I told her she was partially right. That the students (assuming a high school or other basic education facility) should run like hell under the current circumstances but the best plan would be to have armed teachers. It would not only end these types of things much quicker but it'd also serve as a decent deterrent against these kinds of things happening in the first place.

At that point I was on my own. No one in the room saw arming teachers as a good idea or one that would happen anytime soon. The latter I'm afraid I can understand, but that's because too many folks wrongly believe the former.

I was a student once. I knew several of my teachers pretty well. As I grew older I had friends that were teachers & I even have teachers in my family. I really understand the reservations that some have about some teachers being given care of a reasonably sharp Yo-Yo. But then the question becomes "what the hell are they doing teaching in the first place?"

A firearm is a relatively simple device. It's much simpler than a car in design (ever try to take down most models of cars without tools? :D ), operation & purpose. A firearm is merely a machine used to propel a projectile. It does so via a lever & has guides on the top to see where the projectile will be propelled. Some (I daresay most) firearms have some sort of safety which you must disengage before operating it.

Compare that to a car. It has keys. restraints, two to three different pedals, levers, rotating knobs, gauges, lights, mirrors, etc.

So can someone explain to me why a person with a college education (presumably at the masters' level) who can operate a car in traffic is somehow incapable of safely possessing &/or using a firearm? More so, why would you trust such a person to teach your kids anything?

Wikipedia has a page devoted to school massacres. Something of interest is that the worst incident of murders at a government school in America occurred in Bath Township, Michigan in 1927. The weapon was not a firearm, but explosives & the perpetrator was a member of the school board.

What I was hoping to find there was this link to a page about Luke Woodham. Woodham started off the day by beating & stabbing his mother to death & then went to school where he killed 2 girls & wounded 7 other people. He was stopped by the assistant principal Joe Myrick who ran to his car (parked off school grounds to comply with an unconstitutional law) & grabbed a pistol which he used to subdue Woodham.

At Appalachian Law School in Virginia three students (two of which had retrieved their sidearms from their cars) stopped a mass murder in progress. John Lott has a page devoted to the media's coverage of the situation.

So far we've just been talking about seemingly random acts by deranged & twisted people. But there's another consideration: terrorism.

In Israel in 1974 there was the Ma'alot massacre. 100 people (mostly children & a few teachers) were taken hostage. By the time it was over 26 were dead & 60 wounded.

In Beslan, Russia 1200 people (students & teachers) were taken hostage. 344 people were killed, 186 of those were children & the wounded counted in the hundreds.

Any incident of murder at a government run school is tragic but perhaps not nearly as common as most folks are led to believe. I'll admit that the odds of a terrorist attack using a school are slim. But it's not implausible & the solution to stop the random deranged murderer will work equally well to stop the terrorist.

Arm the damn teachers.

I don't care if only 10% of the teachers in any given school are packing at any given time it'd be a damn sire better than none. Implementing a basic program of safe handling & use shouldn't be that big a deal. Hell a CCW course would probably cover most if not all of what would be required.

I wouldn't require that every teacher be armed especially if that teacher had some sort of objection to carrying. But since there are a few training programs that folks have to go through despite their objections I'd require every teacher to receive the training whether they carried or not.

I guaran-damn-teeya that once such a program was implemented that such events as we saw here in Colorado last week would either be abandoned, redirected or at the very most short lived. Does anyone care to argue that a good "lock down" will do anything except find stationary targets? Has anyone heard of a school massacre plan being abandoned because of the effectiveness of the school's "lock down" policy? Or can anyone at least argue that a kid who goes through years of "lock down" training won't see his/her proper role in society as a helpless sheep?

But our Republican governor insisted that any concealed carry bill he'd sign had to have a provision proscribing firearms in schools. That was his response to Columbine. & it seemed a popular response as no one raised too much hell about it aside from a few very adamant right-to-Arms groups such as the GOA & RMGO.

The best action to take to deter or prevent school shootings would be to arm the teachers since they are responsible for caring for your child in your absence (that would include protecting your child from danger). But it likely won't be the action taken. It's sad that more parents seem to take solace in their children being trained to be easy targets than they would in their children's teachers being capable of actually protecting them. Odds are that most will never have occasion to regret that lapse in reason. Those that don't beat the odds will be pitiful. In any case I doubt things will change anytime soon. Whether it be on the heels of a deliberate terrorist act as happened in Beslan or just some individual who is too twisted to be talked about in polite company as we had here in Colorado last week very few people will seriously discuss arming the teachers as a solution.

Posted by Publicola at October 2, 2006 06:04 AM | TrackBack

"Or can anyone at least argue that a kid who goes through years of "lock down" training won't see his/her proper role in society as a helpless sheep?"

That's exactly why they do it. It's exactly what they want.

Posted by: Jay G at October 3, 2006 12:24 PM

Hey, what are a few dozen kids lives worth compared to Pub's God-given right to own 47 firearms?

I'm always amazed at gunloons reactions to the inevitable school shootings; Pubs hits most of the excuses: teachers should be armed, there have been worse school tragedies, it's Bill Clinton's fault, fluoridation in the water, etc.

All of which are the rhetorical equivalent of Hey! Look over there---it's a..unicorn!!!

Pubs rails against lockdowns; his advice run like hell. Of course, Pubs fails to mention that technique is preferred by Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Goldman.

Of course, Pubs doesn't understand how a school lockdown is properly executed.

Pubs also cites John Lott (are there folks who really believe Lott has any credibility?); he cites the shootings at Appalachian Law School. Of course, Lott lies about the facts in that case. Gun-toting students did nothing to stop a killer's rampage. The killer had run out of ammo and was putting down his gun when two off-duty cops --who were students--tackled him.

Arm teachers? Yeah, sure---let Pubs explain his theory to the parents of the first kid who gets shot by a teacher.

Posted by: Jadegold at October 3, 2006 04:56 PM

You do shock me at times. I never imagined you'd take the view you seem to take, let alone do it in such a sophmoric way. /sarcasm

For starters whatever happen sin schools, especially government run schools does not effect me. So it's a non-sequitor to start off by comparing the lives in school kids to my owning firearms. It's emotional bullshit & might be effective on anyone who values emotion over reason.

Sercondly I don't recall mentioning clinton or flouride in or out of water.. Which brings us back to that reading comprehension thing again. really; community colleges all over the country offer english lit courses. Check into one & look upon a whole new world.

Third - do you even understand your own damn points? The murderers you linked about hit a fire alarm. That same technique would still work today despite a school's policy on lock downs.

The "running like hell" strategy (for lack of a trendier description) should be coupled with armed teachers ready to give cover. Or a modified lock down policy where two armed adults in each room make damn sure some punk doesn't treat each room as a known distance target range. But barring armed teachers running like hell away from the gunshots is always a better strategy than hiding.

But please, explain to me how a school lock down is proeprly executed. All I see is it's a method for ensuring proper executions, but I'm always up for enlightenment.

& care to provide proof that Lott lied about the Appalacian Law School shootings? A few newspapers seem to have fallen for it so tell me how'd he dupe them, oh great literari of the net?

Jade i don't expect much from you. Emotional bs, hyperbole & misdirection (with the occassional ad hominem) are the ways you try to prove whatever points you're trying to make. But surprise me. Provide an informed response backed up with facts or at least a logical thought process that can be followed without a crystal ball. start off with your proof that Lott lied about the Appalchian Law School shootings.

Posted by: Publicola at October 4, 2006 12:20 AM

Let's see who is using emotion over reason, shall we? For starters whatever happen sin schools, especially government run schools does not effect me.

Hmmmm. Supporting policies that make it blissfully easy for whackjobs to obtain weapons to kill kids? Doesn't bother Pubs 'cuz kids in schools doesn't "effect" him.

& care to provide proof that Lott lied about the Appalacian Law School shootings?

My pleasure.

As I'm sure you're aware, Lott published an op/ed in several papers that highlighted the murders at Appalachian Law School. There are a number of lies in Lott's piece but I'll ignore the peripheral ones (e.g., Lott's claims about media bias and the like) and concentrate on this specific lie:

attack was stopped by two students who had guns in their cars.

The fast responses of two male students, Mikael Gross, 34, and Tracy Bridges, 25, undoubtedly saved multiple lives.

Mikael was outside the law school and just returning from lunch when Peter Odighizuwa started his attack. Tracy was in a classroom waiting for class to start.

When the shots rang out, utter chaos erupted. Mikael said, “People were running everywhere. They were jumping behind cars, running out in front of traffic, trying to get away.”

Mikael and Tracy did something quite different: Both immediately ran to their cars and got their guns. Mikael had to run about 100 yards to get to his car. Along with Ted Besen (who was unarmed), they approached Peter from different sides.

As Tracy explained it, “I aimed my gun at him, and Peter tossed his gun down. Ted approached Peter, and Peter hit Ted in the jaw. Ted pushed him back and we all jumped on.”

Emphasis mine.

Lott goes on to opine that ordinary gun-toting citizens are the solution for random violence of this kind.

Of course, what Lott neglects to tell his readers the truth. First, the gun-toting students were off-duty cops. They had firearms in their cars and one even had a bullet-proof vest and handcuffs.

I'm certain even Pubs sees the lie here: Lott is claiming being armed is the best defense when, in fact, these students were not just ordinary citizens--they were police officers. They were trained not just in the handling of firearms but in emergency situations.

Second, the notions these students/cops stopped the attack is false. From the Kansas City Star:

The Star recently interviewed two students involved—Bridges and Besen. They gave differing accounts. Bridges repeated that he pointed his weapon at Odighizuwa and ordered the suspect to put his own down, which he did.

According to Besen, the first student to tackle the suspect, nothing of the sort happened. He said Odighizuwa set down the gun and raised his arms—”like he was mocking everyone: ha, ha, what are you going to do now?”—before the students confronted him.

The two armed students had not yet arrived at the scene, Besen said: “Peter had no knowledge anyone had a gun.”

Virginia State Police confirmed Odighizuwa’s weapon was empty by then.

Police spokesman Stater said the armed students did assist after Besen and another student, Todd Ross, tackled the gunman. Bridges sat on the suspect while Gross, also armed, provided handcuffs he had gotten from his car.

But to Stater’s view, the biggest heroes were Besen and Ross—the unarmed men who lunged at Odighizuwa.

Alas, they weren’t the focus of attention when a writer and photographer for an NRA magazine came to the campus to interview the armed students.

Bridges said they took his picture; NRA spokesman Gregory said, “It was nobody from our staff.”

It’s all gotten way too political for Besen.

“I’m a gun advocate, but it really irritates me that people are trying to use this as a (political) plug,” he said. “The NRA is minimizing the tragedy that happened here. I don’t appreciate it.”

Again, what is clear is that the student/cops helped to apprehend the shooter but they did not stop the shooter as claimed by Lott.

Posted by: Jadegold at October 4, 2006 03:57 PM

First thing. You may call me Pub or Publicola.

Now, I see you read Tim Lambert. Yet another shocker. I am sure you are aware of Lott's take on the KC Star article. If not it may be found at the following link http://johnrlott.tripod DOT com/postsbyday/9-11-03.html (replace the "DOT" with "." as my spam filter is giving me problems & I'm unable to put it in as a hot link)

What it boils down to is one interview conflicting with Lott's account. You're obviously going to dismiss Lott's version out of hand & hang on to lambert's cite to back up your assertions. So what we'll have is a disagreement on facts & that will make any discussion about those facts difficult to say the least.

So let me address some other things you said.

"Let's see who is using emotion over reason, shall we? 'For starters whatever happen sin schools, especially government run schools does not effect me'."

"Hmmmm. Supporting policies that make it blissfully easy for whackjobs to obtain weapons to kill kids? Doesn't bother Pubs 'cuz kids in schools doesn't "effect" him."

My point was that since I am not in school or have occassion to visit a school then most policies enacted concerning guns & school would not materially effect my in my life. Again, most policies would not effect anyone that did not cross school grounds.

But the line about making it easier for whackjobs to obtain weapons? Puh- friggin-lease. Short of an outright total ban with an immediete death sentence for violation nothing is going to make it difficult for those with ill intent to obtain weapons. even if your fantasy became real & guns vanished there'd still be plenty of implements & devices that people could use for no good end.

& claiming that the students in question were cops made a difference? I see this going back to an elitist view - that only certain people with certain training & state approval are trustworthy enough to have arms, let alone be able to use them for a good purpose.

Whether they were cops or firemen or plumbers they were still citizens. Odds are they had less training than most folks who've been to Gunsite or one of the other defensive arms schools.

But I should point out the school shooting in pearl, Mississippi where an assistant vice principal stopped the attack with a firearm. & also there was a shooting at a courthouse in Texas about a year back where a citizen who wasn't a cop engaged the murderer in question. (he lost his life but bought enough time for the cops to get their act together).

Training is a plus I'll grant, but your insinuation is that only those properly trained as cops can be of any use in such cirucmstances. I strongly disagree with that notion.

So to wrap up - you disbelieve Lott based on lambert's citation of one story. You think the occupation of the students involved makes this a special circumstance. You also think that tougher gun control laws would keep people from having the means to commit these types of acts. & finally that armed citizens - individuals - would not be effective at reducing the number or severity of these incidents & would in fact add to the danger present in such enviroments.

Does that about sum it up on your end?

Posted by: Publicola at October 4, 2006 10:09 PM

Pub. You're arguing with Jade Gold, Famed Blogroach. *g*

Put down the keyboard and back away slowly before you enter any farther into The Futility Zone. ;]

The only reasonable course when confronted with Jade's ingrained bubble of thoughtlessness is: [Delete Comment, Ban IP].

Posted by: Ironbear at October 6, 2006 02:32 PM


Sure, I'm a big fan of Lambert's. I guess John Lott isn't given the fact Lambert's caught him a number of times doing and saying dishonest things. But, ultimately, nobody--save Lott--is responsible for Mary Rosh, cited 'studies' that never happened, etc.--except for John Lott.

In reality, a number of stories and interviews conflict with Lott's Appalachian Law School story.

Have ordinary citizens stopped crimes using firearms? Sure. But the instances where ordinary citizens have used firearms to accidently or negligently or deliberately kill or wound innocent parties dwarfs these rare occasions.

The problem here is that you and your fellow travellers tend to engage in binary splitting; that is, everything is black or white--no shades of gray. You opt to have third-world gun violence levels in the most wealthy country in the world because you're unwilling to take a few simple measures which would mitigate gun violence.

IOW, you're willing to make good the enemy of perfect. No, we'll never fully eliminate gun violence but we can put a serious dent in it.

I suspect I know why this is the case. Right now, any gun loon can pretend he is expert in the use of firearms; he doesn't have to prove it--he merely says it. Of course, a lot of folks in a bar at 1AM think they could whip Mike Tyson, too.

Posted by: Jadegold at October 8, 2006 02:15 PM

"I see this going back to an elitist view - that only certain people with certain training & state approval are trustworthy enough to have arms, let alone be able to use them for a good purpose."

That's NOT an elitist view, it's a cowards, a lazy cowards and the thing that really sickens me is this kind of asshat is the same type that would sue if someone else wasn't there to protect him/her/it.

Posted by: Tom at October 9, 2006 09:06 AM


A small suggestion: since you can't support your views--other than by bluster and insult--why not quote the Jack Nicholson character from A Few Good Men instead? You know--the part where he talks about 'men with guns on walls' and the like.

It won't help your case any but it'll be entertaining.

The facts are plain; tens of thousands of US citizens are killed each year as a result of gun violence. Hundreds of thousands are wounded. Yet, there are fewer than 300 instances where guns are used in legitimate self-defense/crime prevention annually.

Posted by: Jadegold at October 9, 2006 10:20 AM

I dislike statistical arguments. No matter hwo the stats line up that isn't compelling enough reason to diminish my options as far as defending myself is concerned.

However I must point out (as I'm sure you're aware) that the figures for annual self defense use of firearms in this country range from 80,000 to 2,000,000 a year. So I think saying the low hundred thousands is a reasonable assumption.

Let me guess - since the reasearchers aren't saying that guns are bad their work is not credible? :) Or that because there aren't 80,000 to 2,000,000 bodies the numbers cannot be right? I'm all alfitter at the direction your refutation will take.

Posted by: Publicola at October 9, 2006 01:23 PM

We need rough men with guns on walls to protect us from authoritarian fascists right here at home

What case? I have no case, I have the God given right of being able to own a gun, a couple guns, 47 guns even for my defense and the defense of the nation that recognized that right was not something that they could touch. Sadly with communists rats like yourself and corrupt fat cats in Washington running things, that right is being incrementally nibbled away.

"The facts are plain; tens of thousands of US citizens are killed each year as a result of gun violence. Hundreds of thousands are wounded. Yet, there are fewer than 300 instances where guns are used in legitimate self-defense/crime prevention annually"

How many people die or are injured as a result of alcohol violence, drug violence, pillowcase violence, or government violence per year? The numbers STILL don't match up to the number of people who have died at the hands of communist violence, socialist violence, fascist violence, or totalitarian violence.

The fact that I own 47 guns means I can arm 22 other people with a rifle and sidearm when the danger to this country is descending upon us. Had the Jews in the ghettos of your relatives making had 47 guns the fascist violence could have been stopped.

Get a job, get a life, and get back into your subterranean dwelling twat.

Posted by: Tom at October 9, 2006 08:01 PM

I dislike statistical arguments.

Sorry, Pub, but the reason you don't like them is because they strongly militate against your views. If the stats supported you, I bet you'd just love a statistical argument.

I was wondering when the DGU argument would surface. As you know, Lambert has thoroughly demolished Kleck's DGU studies (I'd be happy to rehash the argument, if you care). But let me suggest another tack: if we stipulate there are X legitimate DGUs each year--aren't we remiss in neglecting to mention how many times a firearm is brandished for the purpose of harrassment or intimidation?

Given the fact there are usually fewer than 300 instances of justifiable homicide (mostly involving firearms) each year in the US against over 10,000 gun homicides annually---it is highly probable the number of improper gun brandishment instances far exceeds the number of legitimate DGUs as well.


Even Don Kates had the good sense to back off the claim the Holocaust could have been prevented if only they had guns. What's the matter with you?

Iraq guts the gunloon argument that more guns equal freedom from oppression. Iraqi society had more firearms on a per capita basis than the US; many owned automatic weapons. Yet, that same society suffered under the repressive regime of Saddam Hussein for nearly four decades.

And, Tom, let's face facts, shall we? When NRA member Tim McVeigh sounded the gunloon bugle at Oklahoma City--it's pretty clear the gunloons couldn't find the wherewithal to pry themselves from the LaZBoy and the Soldier of Fortune magazine, could they?

Posted by: Jadegold at October 10, 2006 04:50 PM

The reason I dislike statistical arguments is because theyre, well ya know - made up of statistics. I've written many times on this site & the previous incarnation of it that I'm from the disreali school regarding stats.

So again I must point out that you're being ill-mannered. Coming on my site & accusing me of liking or disliking something because of how it effects my position? It might be forgivable except that as I've said above I've consistently written on here about my dislike for stats.

But to swing it back around at you the stats do seem to be on my favor, moreso than not.

& no; I do not know that Lambert has demolished (as you so meekly put it) Kleck's studies. as i said I don't like stat arguments that much so they're usually of only passing interest. But with stats there can always be a refutation, based on methodology or something else. It does not mean they're inaccurate any more than it means they're accurate.

Raw numbers have some value, but only of incidental gazing.

see Jade, despite your name calling & smug reliance on one guy to debunk all those stats you seem uncomfy with it simply does not matter. I have firearms & will always have firearms. Not because the stats are in my favor (which again I do believe they are if such things really mattered) but because it's morally just for me to have them & morally unjust for anyone to prevent me from having them.

& about Iraq - look in the "best of" section on the right margin of this blog. There's a post called "the means, knowledge & will to resist" which does a decent if cursory job of explaining in part why Iraq didn't seek freedom despite being armed more than some european nations. The gist is a gun is simply a tool. It takes the desire & knowledge to use arms in order to gain freedom. You're more or less arguing that since I have a socket set then I should be able to fix my own car while discounting the notion that maybe I don't know my way around an engine or have a desire to learn.

& btw, the argument is that an armed jewish population that was willing to resist the nazi's could have made the holocaust much more difficult to pursue. Ditto for those in Stalin's purges. or pol pot's. or insert-genicidal-dictator-here. because McVeigh failed to generate support is not an indictment of the american gun owner's cowardice but a testament to their restraint & common sense.

to sum up - I don't like stats because they're irrelevant to the arguments I make. & Iraq is not your dream come true as you obviously misunderstood the question it was presented with. & McVeigh is more or less irrelevant to any discussion we've been having here as of late, unless you just needed a quick cheap shot to make yourself feel better.

Posted by: Publicola at October 11, 2006 03:58 AM

"No, we'll never fully eliminate gun violence but we can put a serious dent in it."

God. Stop. This is killing me it's so funny.

This sums it up. Say no more. Jade actually believes this drivel.

No rational arguments can be made because of this viewpoint that is being "argued" by Jade. It assumes a false pretense, as anyone can plainly see, 'she' has so much as explicitly admitted to it with the above quote. Nothing can be drawn forward if the stated purpose of the initial argument can not be substantiated.

End of discussion.

Posted by: -B at October 16, 2006 08:54 AM