April 16, 2007, - 4:42 pm

UPDATE on Virginia Tech Shootings: VT Lobbied Against Student Gun Possession; Shooting Appears Professional

By Debbie Schlussel
**** UPDATE, 04/17/07: The shooter has now been identified as a South Korean national, who is a permanent resident. ****
Still no word on the name or background, other than “young Asian male,” on the shooter of 60 (32 dead, 28 wounded) at Virginia Tech University. University President Charles Steger just said that the shooter did not have I.D. on him and that he is not sure there is a connection between the first and second shootings (No connection–how could that be?).
But some interesting e-mails. First, Reader Jenn, who sends this article about how Virginia Tech lobbied against students being allowed to carry guns on campus to protect themselves:

A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly.

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House Bill 1572 didn’t get through the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. It died Monday in the subcommittee stage, the first of several hurdles bills must overcome before becoming laws.
The bill was proposed by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, on behalf of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Gilbert was unavailable Monday and spokesman Gary Frink would not comment on the bill’s defeat other than to say the issue was dead for this General Assembly session.
Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. “I’m sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly’s actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.” . . .
Most universities in Virginia require students and employees, other than police, to check their guns with police or campus security upon entering campus. The legislation was designed to prohibit public universities from making “rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit … from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun.” . . .
Last spring a Virginia Tech student was disciplined for bringing a handgun to class, despite having a concealed handgun permit. Some gun owners questioned the university’s authority, while the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police came out against the presence of guns on campus.
In June, Tech’s governing board approved a violence prevention policy reiterating its ban on students or employees carrying guns and prohibiting visitors from bringing them into campus facilities.

On a related note, Reader Dempsey writes:

You wrote, “… it is extremely easy to shoot and kill multiple American college students”
Of course it is. Our schools have been designated as “gun free” zones. That’s like hanging a shank of lamb in a den of wolves: it’s only a matter of time. What’s next? Another church, a polling place, a government building…

Private Investigator and Terrorism Expert Bill Warner says the shooting is professional, appears to be the result of military training:

THIS IS MILITARY TYPE SHOOTING, NO NAME YET, BUT 62 PEOPLE SHOT AND 32 DEAD AND SOME ON THE WAY OUT (30 IN HOSPITALS), THIS HAS TO BE HIGH POWERED AMMO (HIGH KILL RATE) FROM WHAT WOULD BE TWO 9MM HANDGUNS WITH AT LEAST A 15 ROUND CLIP (POLICE CLIPS ARE 15) AND BACK UP AMMO CLIPS.
IF 62 STUDENTS ARE SHOT AT AND ARE HIT AND 32 OF THEM ARE DEAD AND OTHERS ARE CRITICAL, THIS GUY HAD MILITARY TRAINING. NO ONE CAN DO THIS KIND OF HANDGUN SHOOTING WITH SUCH DEADLY EFFECT WITHOUT A LOT OF TRAINING, THESE PEOPLE WERE MOVING TARGETS, NOT STATIONARY PAPER TARGETS.
I SHOOT A LOT WITH HANDGUNS, 9MM SEMI AND .38 REVOLVER, NO WAY TO DO THIS MUCH DAMAGE, ON THE RUN, WITHOUT BEING A COLD HANDED MARKSMAN.

Reader John, a VT alum, writes:

Just read your post on the Virginia Tech shootings. I was a student there in the mid-80s and have family that have graduated from there as well. The distance you state in your article from the dorm (Ambler Johnston Hall) to the classroom (Norris Hall) can be walked in about 10 minutes. I lived in an adjacent dorm and had classes in Norris Hall. It takes about 5 minutes to walk from the dorm (same distance as A-J) to the edge of the drill field and another 5 minutes to cross the drill field to Norris, which is on the opposite side of the drill field. For the gunman who wishes to be “lost” on campus, it would be fairly easy to do given the number of buildings between the dorm and the classrooms, not to mention the Duck Pond, a park that is landscaped with a lot of large trees and bushes. At that time of the morning (7am) there would probably be little traffic on the walkways and roads as classes don’t start until 8am. If the police are correct about the times, the gunman could have gotten himself “lost” in or around the Duck Pond, regrouped, and then walked back up to Norris Hall after classes had started at 8am. If the gunman were dressed as a student (since he has been reported as being one) then he probably had a backpack and heavy coat considering the poor weather conditions today (cold and very windy). Two 9mm pistols would be easy to hide in a pack or coat pocket. Given that the gunman wasn’t identified as being Asian until AFTER the last shooting by bystanders and victims would have given him plenty of opportunity to blend into the foot traffic coming out of the dorms between 730 and 8 am.
It will be interesting to note if the person is Pakistani or perhaps from Indonesia. Tech is an internationally recognized engineering school and draws from a lot of countries like India and Pakistan where engineering schools either don’t exist or are poor in comparison. However, it’s the wealthy of those countries who can afford to send their children there.

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20 Responses

On 9-11, not everyone concluded it was terrorism after the first plane hit. Do we wait to give out more information until a second shooting happens somewhere else? How do they tell every local cop in the country there is a risk without telling anyone else in the country? How do they tell every private security guard or campus police cop without telling everyone else?

Old Atlantic on April 16, 2007 at 5:17 pm

Debbie: They cant say the two shootings are related until there is creditable evidence that they are related. Forensics, Ballistics, Intelligence, etc. Gut feeling doesnt work.
Old Atlantic: You didnt think it was terrorism until after a news show TOLD you it was terrorism. now all of a sudden you’re an expert?
Bill Warner: The last few news making shooting sprees were done by “armature” gunmen. With a number of fatalities raning from 3-12 with dozens injured.
Stop hiding in the fear and ignorance.

Jack Spayed on April 16, 2007 at 5:33 pm

I thought I read the shooter killed himself. If this is true, then he’s probably not a Muslim. A Muslim would not kill himself before killing even more infidels. They would continue until they were shot dead. The way to allah is to kill and be killed…as the Quran says…

Avatar on April 16, 2007 at 5:49 pm

62 people were shot by one person, 32 dead and 30 in 4 hospitals by supposedly one guy with two 9MM handguns.
“Young Asian” is shooting moving targets and he hit 62 people with a handgun, get your head out of your ass “Jack”, this guy had para-military training of some sort, yeah sure, he is just an “AMATURE”

Youssef on April 16, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Debbie,
Thanks for the analysis and updates on this one. In my home state of Colorado, the Democrat controlled General Assembly has started a quick campaign to weaken the Concealed Carry law in the state. They intend to weaken it and make it much more difficult for law abiding citizens to receive their permits. Some of the Republicans that remain in the General Assembly have capitulated and voted along with the liberal, left wing Democrats to inhibit the Concealed Carry law that was signed by former Governor Bill Owens.
I have no doubt that current Governor Bill ìsanctuary cityî Ritter will sign whatever restrictions his fellow Democrats concoct.
Of course the enemy is watching us and continuing to learn just how weak kneed our leadership is. Our society is willing and able to leave our college students unable to protect themselves. And when something happens like the massacre at Virginia Tech, of course the anti gun extremists start screaming about the evils of allowing the legal carrying of a firearm.
If allowed to carry a concealed firearm, someone may have been able to stop this just as it started, weíll never know. As for me and my house, we say ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ.

Rocky on April 16, 2007 at 6:01 pm

The longer it takes for name release, the more I think ROP.

sonomaca on April 16, 2007 at 6:22 pm

The is a major radical Muslim community in the town of Red House. It’s not that far from Tech. The FBI better be on this.

lexi on April 16, 2007 at 7:43 pm

As a young person…this shit really puts life in perspective. This can happen almost anywhere at almost anytime. You never know a person’s true intent. Crazy world we live in

the_don on April 16, 2007 at 7:47 pm

Apparently, shooter was not RoP. He was Chinese national in US on expired visa:
http://www.nbc5.com/news/12203216/detail.html

sonomaca on April 16, 2007 at 7:47 pm

Correction: not expired visa:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/343354,vatech041607.article

sonomaca on April 16, 2007 at 7:49 pm

I was amused to hear the blowhards on TV talking about how this incident is due to video games or a violent American youth culture. Can’t they just shut-up already.

sonomaca on April 16, 2007 at 8:04 pm

sonomaca,
The writer of that article identifying shooter as Chinese national is a gossip columnist.

dm60462 on April 16, 2007 at 8:15 pm

If this guy is a Chinese national and he had any kind of prior history of problems, this incident is not going to help W’s attempt to opens the immigration floodgates. Politicians might feel the need to reflect deeply upon whom we let into this country.

GEB4000 on April 16, 2007 at 9:05 pm

I wonder why a Palestinian student from the West Bank decided it was safe enough to just stand there and take a video with his phone rather than run for cover. That’s rather curious.

mennyiben on April 16, 2007 at 10:10 pm

“mennyiben”, there’s nothing curious about it. not every Palaestinian is a terrorist, despite your bigoted views.

D*Rek on April 16, 2007 at 11:25 pm

DREK: Oh, really? Name one.

lexi on April 16, 2007 at 11:29 pm

D*Rek: Remember all the post 911 parties that took place on the West Bank? Or you weren’t paying attention?
You’re funny with your name calling, calling me a bigot. My Syrian grandfather Amin Salim settled in Hillsdale when he came to the US as a young man and was happy to become an American.
lexi: D*Rek is right, Palestinians from West Bank are not all terrorists, but the majority increasingly support terrorist actions against Israel. D*Rek is in denial.
Like I was saying, it’s just another curious item out of an event that has a lot of layers of weirdness: boy scout uniform, time to chain up doors, man kills a couple and gets away, but campus police don’t inform the public or the public airways, shooter (one or two?) has sharpshooter like ability..and on and on. Maybe Jamal was so much the journalist that he thought of the story more than the danger he was in, but it was kinda funny to hear this journalist say that he’s not used to this because he is from the Middle East.

mennyiben on April 17, 2007 at 1:50 am

There was an intervew with a custodian on the radio yesterday afternoon. The shooter came out of a class room, and fired at him 5 times and missed all 5 shots. Hardly sounds like a trained military type to me. When you have a large group of people in a confined space, if you miss the person you are aiming at, you are going to hit someone else.

JoBro on April 17, 2007 at 8:53 am

I’m a 9/11 Family and THIS IS TERROR. The dude committed JIHAD. Wake up and see the writing is on the wall. Americans UNITE!

Warriorgal on April 17, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Whoever this Bill Warner joker is. He’s a complete idiot when it comes to guns. a) they aren’t clips, they are magazines. b) It doesn’t take any real skill to shoot unarmed people in confined places like schoolrooms and stairwells. If you had a real clue you’d know that anyone with real skills in marksmanship, combat and tactics that the death toll would have been much, much higher. Bill needs to stick to following cheating spouses and not pontificate on issues he knows nothing about. It’s one thing to be a fool, it’s another to open your mouth and prove it.

Ed Israf on April 18, 2007 at 4:17 pm

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