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.
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.
Tags: Ambler Johnston Hall, Bill Warner, Charles Steger, Debbie Schlussel, Gary Frink, General Assembly, House Committee, India, Indonesia, Larry Hincker, Norris Hall, Pakistan, private investigator, R-Shenandoah County, Reader Jenn, Shooter, spokesman, Tech, Todd Gilbert, University President, Virginia, Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, Virginia Citizens Defense League, Virginia Tech University