back to article 'Please read this important email: you are being shot'

These days, no major tragedy is complete without ambulance-chasing technology boosters muscling in on the aftermath. The Asian tsunami and the London 7/7 attacks both provided a tasteless excuse for evangelists to hype their favourite cause: instant real-time communications in general, and blogging in particular. But with the …

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Anonymous Coward

The medium is the message

From what I have read, the campus had a tannoy broadcasting system. I automatically associate tannoy messages with dire emergencies, presumably from watching too many war films. Or Hi-De-Hi, where trivial nonsense was made to seem absurd because it came out of a tannoy. Any message that comes over a tannoy carries weight, even if the message itself does not.

Email, on the other hand, doesn't have the same gravity. If someone sent me a genuinely important email warning me that there was a gunman in the building, I would not take it as seriously as a tannoy message. Email is instant but not real-time. I expect it to sit in my inbox for an indefinite period until I answer it; if I send an email, I cannot expect the other party to get the message and answer immediately. Even text messages have an element of delay and uncertainly. A tannoy message is immediate, real-time, and if it is loud enough it is unmissable. It might even deter the killer, because he knows he has been rumbled.

I am not convinced that any digital messaging system will efficiently and thoroughly convey urgency to the same degree as a simple audio tannoy.

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Old Tech is more direct.

I presume that the campus has a fire alarm system, something nice and low tech like bells / flashing lights / audible warnings via tannoy, unless they also send e-mails out with the title "You're on Fire!"

From the news reports some of the students were killed in a French lesson, so I think that they weren't watching their inboxes at the time. There might also be a problem with the mobile phone alert as some Professors have a strict 'turn phones off policy' - there's a bunch of YouTube vids of kids having their phones taken off them and smashed, in at least one case.

A simple alert system might have saved some lives, but the reports say the shooter locked and chained shut some of the exit doors, so maybe having dozens of kids loose in the corridors might have lead to more deaths.

There's no simple solution, other than actually having some form of policy that seems rational and logical then putting it into practice. It seems none of that applied in this case.

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Anonymous Coward

Before we bang on about the US, what about the UK?

Cell broadcast is a mystery to me, when drunk I've fiddled around with my phone and subscribed to some cell broadcast feeds, but in the UK nothing ever comes through.

Seems to work in Turkey though.

In Brighton and Hove we're covered by CATS for public warning of emergencies, a subscription service run by the council, so one assumes the coverage of the population is pretty patchy.

Can any phone industry insiders shed some light on why cell broadcast isn't used for public warning here?

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I think medieval England had the right idea.

In this case, I believe that a Town Crier may have been the most viable option. Simply a bloke running around yelling that there was a gunman loose on campus. Anything, methinks, would have been more effective than an e-mail message.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm...

Ok, as to the article, I'm not certain what all is entailed in actually doing a cell phone broadcast, but I have a feeling that it involves a bit more than just saying "This is what they should have done!"

For one, I assume that it involves some type of specialized equipment to be installed. I would also assume that it might have to involve some special permits / special legalities. I mean, do the cell companies really just leave their networks open where anyone can just spam across them? If it were so easy, wouldn't we be all getting alot of hacked advertising spam broadcasting accross our phones? Email is spammed / hacked per hour, why aren't we seeing spam on this other end if its so accessable?

As to the fire alarm... umm.. bad idea when they wanted people to remain indoors.

I do not believe that they handled this as well as they should, but of course they are going to use email as one method of notification.

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Silver badge

You've got .. AN EMERGENCY!!!

And then they say that the US isn't dumbing down ...

E-mail, as far as I remember (1995), has always been an offline medium. That is, you check your email once in a while, meanwhile it sits there. The whole point of Instant Messaging was precisely to bring *instant*, *real-time* messaging to the Internet (ICQ started this).

In a windows environment, net send * sends a domain-wide message who everyone sees (unless Messaging service is disabled ... damn M$/SP2!!!). UNIX's got wall.

Even with that, I wouldn't rely *only* in IM tech, contrary to what these dudes might think, we aren't hooked up 24/7 to computers. Old style tannoy alert systems are much more effective (even the cell broadcast sounds like a good idea).

Maybe it's just me, but I doubt i'd react to an email saying "WARNING: YOU HAVE 5 MINUTES TO REACH MINIMUM SAFE DISTANCE". It just doesn't sound so urgent, or could be only a joke.

Then again, I'd love to hear something like: "There's a gunman on the loose!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!"

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it won't make any difference

Technology won't help.

At 7:30 some guy shoots his (kinda) girlfriend. At the time, police thought that's all they had. Yeah, it sucks, but people murder their girlfriends all the time without then going on a rampage. Shooting your girlfriend is a crime people think they understand. It's got passion, it's got familiarity. It's easy to get your head around this kind of crime.

I personally think the campus police can be forgiven for assuming that's the kind of crime they were investigating. They sealed off the building and started searching for the shooter. They knew who they were looking for. The guy got out, but police know how to look for an alleged perpetrator. In a berg like Blacksberg, how far could he go?

When they couldn't find the guy, they eventually warned the campus, but maybe only out of a sense of dilligence (and maybe because by then they'd begun to get a story out of people who knew the alleged perpetrator, and finally begun to feel twitchy.)

And all the technology in the world won't fix this, because if you could have flashed a message directly into every student's skull at 7:31, the message would have been only, "Some nut just shot his girlfriend."

Meanwhile, the guy is over at the engineering building, exceeding expectations, probably for the very first time. Proving, not for the first time, that technology won't help you predict the future.

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Lack of heroes nowadays

What troubles me the most is that there was one gunman. JUST ONE! Hundreds of people (teachers, students, etc) versus ONE gunman. I understand that he had a gun, so you'd be reluctant to do anything. And before anyone was shot, you might even be wondering if he really will shoot people, or if it's just some sort of cry for help. But after the first person was shot, you can bet your ass that I would have at least tried to do something to stop him. Even if I died in the process, at least I would have done something instead of sitting there watching people being murdered. If a number of people rushed him, there's a very high probability that a number of them would have died. But probably not 33 (or 23, or 28, or whatever your preferred media outlet is using as the figure). I understand that people value their own lives. But it's sad that nobody values anyone else's life anymore. I'd rather die a hero (or attempted hero) than live as a coward.

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Anonymous Coward

Hear hear!

Hind sight is 20 20 vision and yes the authorities could have reacted better. However this was an unusual occurance and real solutions would tackle the wider issues. Most mass shootings are over within a few minutes of the first shot and as such should be stopped before the first shot.

On a side note I've got to agree that tannnoy messages are the most effective. Several times I've heard a couple of rapidly rising warning tones followed by a calm female voice saying "Attention! Attention! This is an evacuation message. A gas alarm has been confirmed in the building. Please leave by the nearest emergency exit. Do NOT use the lifts." They have always been false alarms but it never fails to send a chill down my spine.

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Has anyone considered...

...that sometimes sh*t happens and there's nothing that could have been done about it without being God? Just a thought. Not saying it's the case here, just entertaining the thought that sometimes "doing all humanly possible" contains a quite important limitation. A white hat doesn't promise success, ya know...

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Technology isn't the answer

Kurt is right on the money. I spent a decade in Blacksburg, as a student and employee. The campus is huge - think large town. This isn't a cluster of buildings on a 27 acres -- it is 100 times larger. Nothing short of police cruisers gliding by expressing the message on the loudspeaker could have been effective. And until the shooting in Norris began, Kurt's post is correct is asserting this was thought to be love-gone-wrong, and West AJ was the end of it.

Blast the school all you want. I'd like to know what the response times were when the Tube was bombed on 7/7, or that knifer in the British school. The fact of the matter is that we humans do not think on large scale very often. 9/11 - so complex and huge (yet so simple), that we still are in denial in some capacity. This Hokie tragedy didn't fit any model of terrorism to date. It didn't make for something easily deliniated in an action protocol handbook. They had a couple of folks killed -- and unless there was evidence to the contrary, why should Tech have shut down completely? The media 'experts' do monday-morning quarterbacking all the time. Did CNN's offices shut down when that guy shot his girlfriend RIGHT OUTSIDE THEIR DOOR some days ago? Where was their action plan? Why were they still on the air? Because they thought it was horrible on that scale, but that it was also over. At VPI, the campus cops thought the same. Sadly, they were wrong -- but who here would have reacted any different? I seriously doubt anyone in the media or outside of the situation can possibly be in a position to cast stones.

If you want to cast stones -- look at why the Governor became so defensive about gun topics. Yes we are in mourning. Yes, we need time to heal. But we should also be angry that this incident could have been made less likely if we had politicians of either stripe with backbone. Follow the money to him and the folks in Richmond VA who are so petrified by any concept of handgun control. Not long-gun -- just handgun. At least with a long gun, it would have been a lot harder for the shooter to have concealed his intent as he crossed the Drillfield to Norris. I'm pro 2nd amendment, but not for hand guns. It is well past time the moderates stood up to the extremists within the NRA and made sensible controls. But alas, politicians cower before the extremists... unable and unwilling to build a society capable of offering better protections for our children.

No technology can protect us from a determined killer. Nothing can offer instant communication the way the media pretends it *should have happened*. Nothing the Tech Police could have done to lessen this sad event. Those who wish to blame them need to walk that campus to understand the total enormity of possibilities they faced, and the reasonable assumptions made.

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Hero

How do you know what was or was not done by the victims?

One of the (two I believe) professors who were killed, was shot preventing access to his classroom so his students could go out the window to safety. I do not know is all the students made it out of that classroom.

He didn’t stop the gunman and save the day, but I do not think most people have the balls to do what he did do, try to ensure the safety of his students, in the face of losing his own life.

It's easy to say "If I were there things would be different." but as other have pointed out, unless you are a god (or maybe an armor plated robot) sometimes, things just don’t have a "good" ending.

What I do want to know is why he (the shooter) was allowed to do this for nearly half an hour. Where the @$%$ were the police, and why were they not doing as much as an unarmed professor.

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2nd the lack of heros motion

Ok, he exceeded anything that the police would have thought would have happened. But he locked himself up in a building and proceeded to shoot 30 more people and himself. The one itching thing that bugs me is, was he using an assault rifle with a 30+ round magazine? All I've heard was that this was a hand gun, which at best has only half the number of bullets in it than victims shot. Unless he was in the highly secretive (and nonsensical) VA Tech School for Assassins, anyone would have had those few seconds needed to pounce on the guy as he reloaded. If you think you're going to eat dirt in the next few seconds, do something to either prevent it or prevent others from ending the same way.

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Wrong answers to the wrong questions

Firstly, email is *never* the right answer to anything urgent. My day job involves IT support for about 100 computer users. I can absolutely guarantee that, even if the email is flagged "urgent," some people will not even check their email for a full week after I send it.

Secondly: "I'm pro 2nd amendment, but not for hand guns."

If even one student in the Engineering department had been carrying a loaded handgun, and been willing to use it in self-defense, the death toll today would be lower.

The problem with handguns is not that people have them; the problem is that only *SOME* people have them.

And when you outlaw handguns (or kitchen knives, or marijuana, or condoms, or abortions...), all you do is ensure that the law-abiding citizens won't have them. People who have no respect for the law will still be able to get them, and still be able to abuse the law-abiders.

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It just seems to me

I agree that blaming the police for not being prescient seems irrational, but of course people are bound to let their emotions run after something like this.

It also seems to me that relying on any technology alone is foolish - even in this day and age not everyone has a cell phone, and may only be able to access email from a desktop in their dorms.

But it seems to me is even if they were 100% certain the original shootings were not the actions of a crazy who broke into the dorm, not considering that perhaps this person was still loose on the campus, that perhaps he was carrying a loaded weapon and was not particularly in the best state of mind, is dropping the ball more than just a little.

Of course the use of email was absurd. Maybe they did warn people in other ways too, but no one, absolutely no one, is going to believe an email that says there's a gunman loose on campus.

The cell phone idea seems pretty good, and yes, it may involve some complicated equipment to setup, but almost everything does.

It costs time and money to install any sort of emergency system, but once it's set up, it is probably very easy to use.

Sure they wouldn't have had time to do it that particular day, but it should definitely be considered as an additional method of warning people about dangerous situations in the future. The author is 100% correct in saying that today's students may have email, but they almost exclusively use instant messaging and texting to communicate.

The author is also 100% correct to highlight shameless use of such tragedies to make a quick buck, and the almost useless information and analysis done by what passes for media these days. CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and the rest are no better than your average tabloid newspaper. They certainly don't bother to hire real reporters any more. Not a single one of them has someone that can actually see past flashy headlines and catchy labels.

Curious don't you think that not having friends is suddenly major news. Anyone else notice that as soon as the media found he didn't have any, every headline got altered to "HE WAS A LONER". Just think what they'd be saying if he played video games or was known to use a computer.

So if you don't have many friends, be careful. Simpleton presenters posing as reporters are probably looking for you, to ask why you people always shoot up schools and universities.

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How about low-tech

Wouldn't something as simple as a "campus phone" be enough? Every class and dorm etc. Doesn't even need to be tied necessarily to the outside world but through campus switch board? Just a thought.

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There were personal announcements as well

Listening to all the coverage on this there is one thing that this and most articles miss:

The RAs of the Dorms also went door to door and told the students in person. I heard this in a student account on the radio. So why is everyone throwing a hissy-fit that they "only" sent e-mails? Because it makes a better story on the corporate news channels.

Pointing out that people did go door to door, that there were personal announcements, only makes the University look responsible, and that won't sell advertising space.

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Anonymous Coward

At least he DID save the taxpayers some money

We (the taxpayers) don't have to prosecute him for any crimes commited. A small savings to be sure (especially in relation to the crimes commited) but a savings none the less. If only he had done it earlier in the day (*SIGH*).

Please read "A modest proposal" before commenting further

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal).

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Anonymous Coward

China opens new front in war against imperialists

I have been saying for years that China is the biggest threat to peace, life, liberty, all neighbouring countries (they are in dispute with or have already invaded most of them), and all those dependent on their output.

The opening of this new front in the USA is most alarming.

Have you noticed how many Chinese students there are in your local university ?

Are they all trained assassins ?

I might be paranoid - but it doesn't mean they're not out to get me. :-)

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Guys, it *was* a clip-loaded assault weapon

Chris #1 is simply CONFUSED about the handgun in question. Chris #2 at least asked the right question, "was he using an assault rifle with a 30+ round magazine?" but then assumed the WRONG answer.

This was Glock model #19, clip-loading "handgun". In spite of the small weapon size, it's assault weaponry, enabling a single "soldier" to deliver a nearly continuous barrage of rounds with almost no interruptions. Since the USA doesn't even have a limit on the # of bullets in a "clip" anymore, he may have been using "high-capacity magazines containing as many as 33 rounds in each clip." But even if he was using the "old-style" 10-bullet or the more popular 19-bullet clips, (which *is* more likely, surviving witnesses say that he did pause to reload at least once), you can reload this gun in only 1-2 seconds. (Resulting in no less than 10 more ready-to-fire bullets.)

And he DID have a "regular" .22 to shoot at "rushing heroes" during the 1-2 second reload period. "Heroes" stood absolutely NO CHANCE of getting to this guy, unless at least 6 magically coordinated their attack....

Clip ammunition is needed only by people who want to shoot large numbers of PEOPLE without being "exposed" during short re-load periods. Deer, Targets, Squirrels, and other USA __game__ animals aren't smart enough to "charge" while you're reloading, you're only threatened with a response by intelligent PEOPLE who don't want to die.

Make no mistake, the small size of this weapon DIDN'T MATTER. The un-interruptible delivery of LARGE NUMBERS of bullets into your victims is the capability which made this tragedy unstoppable. Until the USA controls clip-loaded weapons, there is NO avoiding risk of more incidents just like this one.

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Anonymous Coward

Nutters vs Guns

Where ever you find nutters you will find guns. However, if the guns are harder to get, fewer nutters will have the opportunity to shoot someone. Simple maths.

Assult style weapons have NO purpose outside of the military and specialised law enforcement agencies. The US will continue to reap what it has sown - almost unrestricted gun ownership law.

Around 80,000 Americans are inhured/killed by guns every year.

That makes 911 seem like a minor incident.

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to Plastic-Kiwi

Plastic-Kiwi you are confused;

The shooter was Korean.

China has come a long way and is actually cleaning up. A country you need to worry about is North-Korea. Maybe you are geologically confused..

Or you mean Japan... Also invaded most of their neighboring countries... Or America who travel a long way to say 'Hello!' to their neighbors...

"how many Chinese students..."? That is a racist remark. You probably don't even know anything about them, and if you did you would find Chinese are only a percentage of people from Asian countries.

You *are* paranoid and they are not out to get you.

If you have been saying this for years, maybe it is time to open your eyes and sing a different tune.

Martin Huizing

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to Plastic-Kiwi

Plastic-Kiwi you are confused;

The shooter was Korean.

China has come a long way and is actually cleaning up. A country you need to worry about is North-Korea. Maybe you are geologically confused..

Or you mean Japan... Also invaded most of their neighboring countries... Or America who travel a long way to say 'Hello!' to their neighbors...

"how many Chinese students..."? That is a racist remark. You probably don't even know anything about them, and if you did you would find Chinese are only a percentage of people from Asian countries.

You *are* paranoid and they are not out to get you.

If you have been saying this for years, maybe it is time to open your eyes and sing a different tune.

Martin Huizing

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Anonymous Coward

Heroes...

I believe common people, when exposed to threats, react quite individually and they do not develop a group strategy to face their opponents.

That makes a decisive difference between a well trained military unit or a police squad (let's include also some football fan's clubs..) and a bunch of students when the latter is confronted to a menace.

Prompt alarms could have been somewhat effective but let's not forget that everybody should have also been trained to properly react to such threats: sadly enough there could be now too many precedents to think that a "counter-threats class" is avoidable in modern schools.

And in a country like USA where any guy can buy a 9mm Glock with fast reloading by mail order... Well seems to me that is an urgent necessity.

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Anonymous Coward

Thanks Martin

Thanks Martin - Korean eh, bugger me.

Apologies if remarks intended to amuse appeared racist, my intent was simply to amuse. Unfortunately the "shooter" was reported initially as Chinese - I took report at face value - stupid I know.

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Ugh

I love how people seize the opportunity to advance their gun control theories. The truth is that this is completely irrelevant. The constitution guarantees a right to bear and keep arms. Actually, what it says is that the right to bear and keep arms shall not be infringed. In other words, the government is not to impose any limits on the citizens' ability to carry any weapon, for to even impose a "minor" limit such as clip size is a type of infringement on this right (after all, we aren't limited in the type of words we can speak or the types of religions we can believe in). The only limitation is the person must be of military age to exercise this right (this is implied by the term "militia" which meant at that time the whole populace of the country that is old enough to serve in the military).

There is no place for an argument about whether it's right or not. It is what it is. Either live with it and the inherent risks, leave the country, or try to change the amendment. All this whining and speculation about gun control is not doing any good.

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Anonymous Coward

Second amendment

Re: Scott's comment

A common misconception about the second amendment...

The constitution is interpreted by the Supreme Court, and it's say is final in American Law.

Supreme Court (U S v. CRUIKSHANK) :

"The right there specified is that of 'bearing arms for a lawful purpose.' This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed; but this, as has been seen, means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress. This is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government"

i.e. Congress is not allowed to restrict, but state governments are allowed.

The court has repeated this (limitation to Congress) several times (e.g. MILLER v. TEXAS), so the state is allowed to pass a law banning clip-loaded weapons, even if Congress isn't.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Ugh

Oh Dear....

Well... Following your reasoning I should say:"Fortunately I do not live in the USA". But I would not judge a nation by one's opinion.

I live in a country where weapon detention is legal but access to the "right" to have one gun is made difficult or, at least, strictly monitored; suffice to say: I am happy about that because it does not prevent me to have a gun but, since weapon's circulation is surely less diffused, I do not feel like I want one and the healthier way to deal with guns is not to have one.

Don't come with absurd theories about the right of self defense because there are other ways to defend yourself and your family without buying a gun: aggressive response makes just one more casualty, there are less damaging options of course.

I would stick nevertheless with the theory that educating people on how to protect themselves would diminish the chance to fall prey of such occasional events like the one we are talking about.

The whole weapon commerce in USA lies comfortably on the altered perception that if somebody wants to hurt you you can shoot at him. This makes people ask for weapons, consequently obtaining one is easy.

Would you by chance be so naive to deny that the majority of tragedies like this did happened ALSO because some disturbed minds had easy access to deadly weapons?

Of course the originating cause is always the killer but what about trying to kill 32 people using a kitchen knife? (that's currently the deadliest WOM I can access). Would have the body count be less or more in your opinion? Does it matter if in another Constitutional Context we could have saved one (just one) life more? To me it matters.. A lot.

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Anonymous Coward

Alarms & loudspeaker systems are the only way to go!

From my work in Police stations and on large military bases in Northern Ireland where the speed and effectivness of the message are paramount I can tell you that a high tech bells and whistles solution will never compete with good old fashioned "bells & whistles"!

If there is a fire and you need to evacuate the buildings then the alarm bells sound and everyone leaves (you don't send them an email or a text message because their lives depend on immediate action!).

If there is a security incident (bomb threat / incomming mortors / gunman) then you get a deafening warbel siren sound for a short time - this is a signal to stay indoors or seak cover in a solid building and stay there until the all clear is given. This is followed soon after by clear instructions over the loud speaker system as to the nature of the threat and any actions to be taken. This can be heard clearly anywhere within the grounds of the military / police base - and these can be massive areas resembeling small towns and housing hundreds of families.

An email system of alert is just laughable! A mobile phone system is not a lot better - relies on you having a mobile phone, it being switched on, not on silent, on your person, and you actually reading the message.

For serious real time incidents where you need immediate action you need a system that can reach everyone instantly and with the desired impact.

Trust me - when the siren sounds you know it's serious - you stop everying, ignore the brown smelly stuff running down your leg, and listen to what is being said!

Just because hi-tech is available does not mean it is the best solution to a simple problem!

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Re: Nutters vs Guns

I am a 63 year old 'Nutter' as you would call me with two sons, one of which is a law enforcement officer, and a grandson. I have worked is IS for 41 years, have a lovely wife of 44 years and belong to the NRA. Now, I don't know what I've done that qualifies me as a 'NUTTER' in your opinion but I strongly agree with the 2nd amendment in our constitution so that must be the qualifier you use.

Also, I have no idea where you get your statistics. According to the FBI statistics there were 14,980 homicides in the US in 2005, 2006 numbers are not available yet, of which 10100 were by firearms. This information is freely available on the internet (http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/offenses/expanded_information/data/shrtable_07.html ) but if you live in the UK, that information is not so freely available presumably because they don't want anyone to know. Lives saved by armed citizens information is not available because NO ONE wants to hear that number.

I own your so-called 'assault weapons' and thoroughly enjoy going out to a farm or gun range and make holes in tin cans. It is a pastime that keeps me active and my motor skills sharp. If that is another 'NUTTER' qualifier then so be it.

Also to the individual that states the guns can easily be acquired via mail order in the US has been listening to the wrong kind of news reports and/or politicians. If you wish to purchase gun via mail order, the gun must be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer who then assumes the responsiblility of background checks, etc.

The two biggest problems in the current situation are the fact that aliens in the US are entitled to all the benefits provided by our constitution. That should not be the case in my opinion. Also, people with mental problems are NOT supposed to be able to purchase guns legally. There might be a loop hole there but one has to be very careful when allowing others to determine your mental condition. It should be a consensus among several professionals and carefully defined. I know this because I fell and broke my hip a year ago and, as a result of the trauma, I had irregular heartbeat which is normal according to my cardiologist. However, now I have a 'known history of heart problems' according to my medical records....there for the insurance companies to see and charge accordingly.

Perhaps I've rambled enough but there is false information in some of the comments and I just had to correct what I could. Have a great day and pray for ALL the victims of this tragedy.

An old 'NUTTER'

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Silver badge

Just a thought for the gun-control advocates...

I live in Adelaide, South Australia. Adelaide has one well-known distinction: it has been called the "murder capital of the world." Yes, that's right, there are more people per 1000 population murdered here than in New York. In fact, I recently saw a statistic that said you were 2.5 times as likely to be murdered in Adelaide as in New York - but that is just a statistic, of course.

Now Australia has some of the toughest gun laws in the world. To own a gun in this country, you must:

a) Have ABSOLUTELY NO police record or criminal conviction;

b) Attend a firearms training course over three months held at an accredited training centre; and

c) Submit to a full psychological screening and evaluation.

That's before you're allowed to even pick up a gun, let alone fire it. You are not allowed to own automatic weapons, handguns, self-loading rifles, or pump-action shotguns, unless you can prove that you are in a profession that requires such ownership. This, in a country whose cities are all separated by a thousand miles of trackless bush, where anyone can hide for years and not be found.

Result: we have outlaw bikie gangs with rocket launchers, assault rifles, grenades, anti-tank cannons and God knows what else, while the average citizen is arrested for walking around with a screwdriver in his pocket. We have a city in which more people per-capita are murdered than in New York. We have a country in which an armed gunman can walk into your house and rape your daughter and there's sod-all you can do about it. I know, because I know someone the latter event happened to. The guy used to have a gun. Then his gun was taken off him when self-loaders were made illegal. He'd have shot that rapist bastard - if only he'd been allowed to keep his gun.

Gun control doesn't work. Outlaw guns and only outlaws will have guns. That's what has happened here.

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As usual, the control freaks are proven wrong

"Steve Roper" of Adelaide tells it in first-person.

And Kennesaw, Georgia, USA, proves that *requiring* handgun ownership reduces crime, and does not increase gun crime: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55288

The same article points out that Morton Grove, Illinois, which passed a complete ban on guns, suffered an almost-immediate 15.7% increase in violent crime.

Cause and effect? I think so. You draw your own conclusions.

But, hey, the control freaks aren't the sort of person to let a little thing like the facts get in the way of their desire to cotnrol every aspect of someone else's life, now, are they?

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RE: Heroes... Posted Thursday 19th April 2007 07:09 GMT

"sadly enough there could be now too many precedents to think that a "counter-threats class" is avoidable in modern schools."

That may be the best solution I've heard in all the years of schools shootings.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought ...

... that most schools in the USA had metal detectors and security at every entrance ?

Had that been in place then the shooter would not have gained access. Maybe I've been misinformed by the media (duh ! ).

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