Unfriendly city?

JGFitzgerald -- April 23rd, 2007

Ann Coulter calls John Edwards an unpleasant name and the predictable (though that doesn’t mean they’re wrong) calls to discontinue her column apply to only one newspaper in the state, the DNR. Neal Boortz blames the victims at Tech and the calls to cancel his show list eight stations in Virginia, including one here, WSVA. And we’re all familiar with George Duncan’s snarling, sarcastic editorials in the DNR. What is it about this area that seems to bring success to those who find humor in hate?

The question’s not rhetorical. I’d love to hear theories and guesses.

46 Responses to “Unfriendly city?”

  1. finnegan says:

    For better or worse, I’ve taken myself out of that loop (for the most part, anyway). I don’t like talk radio shows (Limbaugh, Boortz, and even the Air America stuff) so I don’t listen to them. I don’t read most of the editorial stuff in the DNR, even though friends give me a hard time about it. I feel like I’m a much calmer person because of it.

    Sometimes I think that Coulter, Fred Phelps, nasty editorials, etc are just the proverbial thorns on the rosebush. Free speech can be ugly sometimes, but it’s better than the fascist alternative.

    As far as it being a local thing, I really don’t know that the people of this city or county are more “hateful” than anywhere else in the US. Obviously, these pundits make money from lots of different markets. Are the people that make programming/editorial decisions necessarily giving locals exactly what they want, or are the decision-makers choosing the content that they personally want out there?

    As consumers, we all have the choice to brainwash ourselves with it, or listen/read it and disagree with it, call or email and complain about it, or ignore it altogether.

  2. kestrel9000 says:

    Finnegan said:
    As far as it being a local thing, I really don’t know that the people of this city or county are more “hateful” than anywhere else in the US.
    I have lived in California, Ohio, Vermont, and now here. And I’m here to tell you that they are. Now this isn’t meant as a broad brush – I’ve met a number of really sweet, sweet people here, but they don’t stand up to the hate. I think there are several reasons for this. One is the fact that so much of it shrouds itself in religion around here. Dean Welty of Valley Family Forum is but one example of this sort of demagogue – our area’s very own little Pat Robertson. Matt Lohr also comes to mind, with his two attacks on the GSA at Harrisonburg High School, and his disingenuous denial that strike #2 was about that at all. Come on, Matt. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.
    My willingness to name names in this fashion sets me apart from this sort of person. An example would be Chris Freund of va4marriage.org. When I backed him into a corner and demanded that he name the Virginia “activist judges” the Marshall-Newman folks were whipping everybody up in fear of, he refused, saying he might have to stand before one someday. I have this recorded, if anyone wants me to prove he made that statement.
    Folks such as these get away with lies, routinely, and the fact they cloak so much of it in religion provides an “end justifies the means” rationale for their winks and their nods.
    Listen to Dean Welty and Chris Freund here:

    http://media.putfile.com/Mudcat-Saunders-Promo

    especially paying attention to Welty as he solemnly intones, “Many people have bought into the LIE that the church should be separate from the state.”
    If that doesn’t creep you out, I can’t help you.

    Chris Freund again here, dealing with me:

    http://media.putfile.com/debate-promo

    Again, the complete shows are available for anyone who wishes them. Hit me up and I’ll give you a link to download the audio.

    Anyway, that’s one problem. I think there’s a legitimate fear here that anyone who stands up to the lies of the Right – whether religious, or political – will be viciously attacked.
    It has happened to me.
    I’ll tell ya about it sometime.
    Between that dynamic, and “George Duncan’s snarling, sarcastic editorials in the DNR”, and you have one hell of a toxic stew. Does Duncan write all those, or does Kirkwood write one once in a while?
    Here’s a piece of something Kirkwood wrote that was nOT printed in the DN-R:
    http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/cgi-bin/chronicles.cgi/The_Academy/index.html

    Indeed, any serious Christian knows that putting a child in public school is a grave sin, given the crippling, lowbrow academics and anti-Christian cultural toxins to which such children are exposed.

    Of course, Kirkwood wouldn’t have the stones to express such a view in the paper, as it would insult every public school employee reading that hateful little rag.
    There’s what they say in the public square, then there’s what they say to the rabid few.

    As consumers, we all have the choice to brainwash ourselves with it, or listen/read it and disagree with it, call or email and complain about it, or ignore it altogether.
    Certainly true. But I think this statement limits the strategy for dealing with this phenomenon to an instance-by-instance basis. I daydream about an organized effort to identify and combat the larger phenomenom. Loudly, vocally, and vociferously. Bertrand Russell:

    Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

    Stout hearts.

  3. eso says:

    Really, what’s Boortz saying about VT? I find most of his comments to be common sense.

  4. JGFitzgerald says:

    Boortz, others blame VA Tech victims for not fighting back

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200704180007

  5. finnegan says:

    I have lived in California, Ohio, Vermont, and now here. And I’m here to tell you that they are.

    Well, I’ve lived in Southern California, Boise, Idaho, Northern Virginia, and Austin, Texas, and I’ve seen hatred of all varieties in those places, and I can honestly say it’s no different here. Sometimes the hatred is against different groups than it is here, but hatred against conservative Republicans is no different in my mind than hatred against “liberals.” I’ve been to schools where I’ve been made fun of or hated because I’m white.

    The DNR is obviously not the only paper in the US that carries the Coulter column.

    I think standing up against hate and fear is a good and necessary thing. But I don’t feel the need to subject myself to hours of Limbaugh, Hannity, and commercials just so I can call in later and complain.

  6. finnegan says:

    Oh, in case readers were wondering what Coulter stuff I’m referring to: Link

  7. kestrel9000 says:

    I’ve lived in Canton, OH, Fresno and Stockton, CA, Barre and Bennington, VT.
    Truthfully? I’ve never seen anything like what I see here. Not even close.
    Sometimes the hatred is against different groups than it is here, but hatred against conservative Republicans is no different in my mind than hatred against “liberals.”
    I don’t hate the people qua people. But I do despise the things they do and say. Yeah, there’s a difference, I think. In my experience, conservatives license hate more than liberals do. Conservatives are a lot quicker with the broad brush, and a lot quicker to use hate and fear to rile up the base.
    I’ll be standing by that one.
    The DNR is obviously not the only paper in the US that carries the Coulter column.
    No, but according to Media Matters, it IS the only paper in Virginia.

  8. Bubby says:

    As a recent arrival, I have to agree with Kestrel9000, although my path brought me from the Roanoke area. For the most part all local media is dumbed-down and not suitable for the future. This guy Kirkwood is an unfortunate collision between schooling, fancy wordsmithing, and delusion. That he has such a high soapbox is indication of a void, and the tenacity of the status-quo. We seem to be in the throes of a battle between the the power brokers of the status quo, (and their mouthpieces) and the more progressive and diverse folks that would question their authority, and seek change.

    Some of the absolute sweetest folks live here, honest, tolerant, and humble. Yet there is also a tolerance for a loud-mouthed haters, especially when they cloak their prejudice in the words of scripture, and conservative punditry. This would be a good place to understand how crazies like Adolph Hitler could rise to power amongst a majority population of good and decent people.

    While we focus on the influence of violent video games upon our youth, we might also consider the influence that polarizing, hatefilled fiction from conservative commentators has upon the oldtimers that feel threatened by a changing world. Because you don’t attract thinkers, researchers, and innovators to a growing Valley with so much darkness so easily tolerated. And like any weirdness, the contrast is more noticeable if you come from outside.

    Folks like Kestrel and other activists for change are the new pioneers – working for healthy progress, and challenging the status quo. I hope they stick around long enough to be part of the inevitable improvements because they will have had a big part in the course.

  9. intherain says:

    I’ve been back and forth on this one for some time, Fitz. Something along the lines of, “I don’t hate the Valley, I don’t, I don’t.”

    As for the stream of things you and some commentators are describing, I think that while there is obviously hatred in the editorials and columns and radio shows you list, it isn’t necessarily hatred on the part of residents that makes that acceptable here. There are too many nice people and too much good going on for me to really believe that. Hate is a positive force–NOT positive meaning good, but positive meaning not just a latent thing that sits around waiting for an immigrant or gay person to walk by, etc. The Valley has something more like an outdated ceiling/floor of tolerance and acceptability settings, if that makes any sense. I knew a great old guy, friendly to everyone, even to the point of sticking up for people who were being picked out or singled out because of race or beliefs–and one time when I went to visit, he had a lawn ornament of a “black boy” fishing; and that’s what he called him: “Did you see my little black boy out there?”

    It’s something like that; some fall-back default that despite knowing better also knows that it’s been that way a while. It’s not the same as hate, though the results are the same sometimes. Nor is it stupidity, nor is it lack of education. If I had to describe it rather than saying what it’s not, I’d go with a lack of breadth in outlook–that is, knowing well that things are, but not knowing so much that there are or could be other ways for them to be.

    That said, Dean Welty, no local here and who used to work for the State Department, ought to know better.

  10. kestrel9000 says:

    Bubby said, correctly:
    Some of the absolute sweetest folks live here, honest, tolerant, and humble. Yet there is also a tolerance for a loud-mouthed haters, especially when they cloak their prejudice in the words of scripture, and conservative punditry.
    The Catch-22 should jump out at the reader like a frog out of the proverbial kettle of boiling water – as opposed to the one that is gradualy heated and cooks them to death, like the prevailing natter seems to be doing here.
    They don’t want to look as intolerant as those they object to.
    Who, really, is the “silent majority?”
    Not me. I chose that screen name for a reason. I’m a mean little bird. And my strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure. >;)

  11. Why would anyone be critical of someone who suggests that the 27 students in a single room failed to challenge Cho? Questions need to be asking including just exactly that. Is it policies of the primary and secondary government school which contributed to that, i.e. “lockdown drills”?

    I have yet to see any “anti-gunner” thanking God that all of those students in Room 207 were unarmed.

  12. JGFitzgerald says:

    Dave,

    How’d that Nightline interview go?

    JF

  13. Turned out to be ABC’s NightLine & PrimeTime…the contracted video crew from C’Ville wanted me to talk with Brian Ross about the lawsuit I had against JMU and the resulting legislation both for and against, that got killed in Committee — and the Attorney General’s Opinion…

    Upon consulting with a local attorney, he suggested not doing any interviews with any networks unless they agreed to do it live or unedited to keep the networks “honest” and unable to take my comments out of context. His reasoning was that those who may not like my opinion, may take some kind of hostile action.

    None of the networks agreed to live or unedited so I declined.

    They are a rude, persistent bunch.

    We had calls last week from DateLine, PrimeTime, NightLine, and 48 Hours — and from Kelly Jasper at the DNR, who kindly left me out of the story which included much discussion of House Bill 1572 and Todd Gilbert.

  14. FWIW, I appeared only to have surfaced in an Australian website with respect to this subject:

    http://www.xenoxnews.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1934

  15. Frank Witt says:

    Dave, as far as your question about what they are teaching our children in the “government schools” An agent from the ATF that I know came in today to tell us a story about something that happenned to his 15 yo son. At school, they had a “Lockdown” drill. This drill was to show how to protect yourself in case something would arise like it did this past week. The teachers were instructed to “group the children together in the furthest corner” while they turn the lights off and close the door. NO LOCKS ARE ON THESE DOORS !
    That is the schools plan: gather the children in the corner…
    AMAZING !

    This man then, after being told this by his son, told his son NOT to listen to their teahcer and either do as some students did at VT and jump out a window or try and get by the individual that wanted to harm them.

    I could not beleive that our children are to be huddled together so that they can become easy targets… I wonder when the school board will be on WSVA next. Ought to be a real riot!

  16. I tried to get around to asking Dr. Ford, Kerry Wilson and Greg Coffman about their lockdown drills, but sometimes, Jim Britt talks so much that you get run up against the end of the hour — which happened to me today.

    At least the City School Board has the courage to come on the radio…can’t say the same thing for John Kidd and the County School Board.

  17. Frank Witt says:

    yes, I heard you today I make a habit of listening…listening, that’s it. I do not agree with alot of callers say so I just listen. God help our children.

  18. JGFitzgerald says:

    Dave,

    Forgive my flippancy and lack of clarity. I meant only to suggest that your comments were not quite germane to the discussion — again. As to who would criticize anyone who blamed the victims of a horror like this: What did Welch ask McCarthy?

    But on the subject of the commentators I’ve addressed, there is an easy way to distinguish between those whose flame gives light and those who give only heat. When readers or listeners of the first group finish reading or listening to a piece, they are apt to stop to consider the points and think about the topic. When the fans of Limboortz or Coulter finish a piece, they’re likely to yell, “Cool, what a smackdown.”

    And the question was why the latter group seems to be successful around here. You may have answered it better than you intended to.

  19. You’re always flippant and unclear, Joe…nothing new. :-)

    You’re forgiven.

  20. Gxeremio says:

    I have yet to see any “anti-gunner” thanking God that all of those students in Room 207 were unarmed.

    What the heck are you thinking? You think the solution is to give MORE people lethal and often-misused weapons? Why not just give everyone tactical nuclear weapons? No one would mess with them then!

    Regarding lockdowns, the doors in city schools all lock. We practice often to deal with potential problems. What more do you think we should do?

    I am just imagining a scenario where hundreds of students at Tech had guns. Shooter gets killed by someone who has one? Maybe (he killed himself anyway). Danger of accidental death from handguns rises? Yes. Danger of theft and misuse of someone else’s legally acquired gun goes up? Sure. Police don’t know who to trust when sorting out the mess? Definitely.

    If the reasoning behind your stance is so solid, tell me one place in the world where it has worked.

  21. Gxeremio says:

    What is it about this area that seems to bring success to those who find humor in hate?

    My own experience is that there are still a lot of social networks in our area where hateful comments gain traction rather than being shut down and embarrassing to the hater. Being a white male, for some reason people often assume I share their prejudices.

    For a large percentage of the local population, this may have to do with their selective exposure to diversity. I have hope that kids growing up in city schools at least will be able to dismiss a lot of crap out of hand, since their own experience will show them how ridiculous much of it is.

  22. kestrel9000 says:

    Briggman said:
    Why would anyone be critical of someone who suggests that the 27 students in a single room failed to challenge Cho?
    Why? because they weren’t in the room when some crazy man stopped by with a gun and started putting caps in people.
    By your reasoning, the World Trade Center towers are no longer standing due to the cowardice of the passengers who did not rise up lioke the ones on 93.
    But I don’t seem to remeber you, or anyone else, saying that then.
    Interesting.

  23. Statistics from a DEMOCRAT UFL Criminologist shows more guns = less crime…where there are concealed carry laws = less crime. More guns do not equal more crime.

  24. And Joe: you raised the issue of Boortz, and to my knowledge, he’s the only radio talk show host who had the courage to raise the issue of why Tech students didn’t challenge Cho. As such, I think my comments, above, are germain to the discussion.

    Kestral, I don’t happen to believe that fires from two planes brought down the World Trade Center complex…and I don’t believe Flight 93 was brought down by passengers “revolting” against terrorists. If you’re able to prove that to me, I’d be willing to listen.

  25. kestrel9000 says:

    Briggman again:
    he’s the only radio talk show host who had the courage to raise the issue of why Tech students didn’t challenge Cho. As such, I think my comments, above, are germain to the discussion.
    You know, I’m fighting the urge to do just that. I don’t do a talk show, but I have a tendency to talk. And I’ll raise the exact same issue I just raised with you. And furthermore, I think WSVA should drop Boortz.
    What is a parent on the way to identify their dead child had heard that?
    Kestral, I don’t happen to believe that fires from two planes brought down the World Trade Center complex…and I don’t believe Flight 93 was brought down by passengers “revolting” against terrorists. If you’re able to prove that to me, I’d be willing to listen.
    Very good, Briggman. Use the shiny side of the tinfoil to wash out I actually mean with the glare.
    You know what I mean. And I know you do.
    Stay on the subject.

  26. kestrel9000 says:

    Furthermore, Dave:
    f you’re able to prove that to me, I’d be willing to listen.
    The government run by your idiot boy prince issued its report. If you disagree with it, the burden of proof is on YOU.
    but kindly spare me the youTube links.
    I bet I’ve seen it all before.
    Totovader says hi.

  27. With 27 people in a single classroom and someone starting to shoot people…Boortz is simply asking why everybody appeared to just cower and take it.

    It’s a fair question as to why they did that…just because it’s not a question you would ask doesn’t mean Boortz should be taken off of the air. I’m sure it’s a question that will be asked in the upcoming investigation.

  28. Bubby says:

    Fair enough Mr. Briggman, then perhaps I can note that while 30 people were getting shot dead in Norris Hall, dozens of LEO’s were cowered behind trees, cars and stone walls, watching and listening. Twenty-five minutes of killing. And in the end 50+ casualties were incurred, none of them LEO’s. Not a scratch. I’m wondering why they didn’t just toss their service handguns through the now open windows of Norris Hall, because in the end, the killing was entirely at the time and choosing of the perp. It ended when he spent his ammo, and decided it was time to exit.

  29. Yep, I noted the same thing, Bubby.

    Which is why the opportunity to defend one’s self is paramount.

  30. kestrel9000 says:

    The difference, Mr. Briggman, is that the law enforcement officers in question are armed and trained professionals. The students murdered at Tech were not.
    Society expects its law enforcement officers to deal effectively with such situations. That’s why we have them. There is no such expectation from college students or faculty in a classroom.
    Even if Virginia Tech’s rules were altered to allow permitted individuals to carry on campus, when you look at the demographics – i.e., what percentage of the population of the Commonwealth holds CHPs, what do you suppose the likelihood is, statistically, that there would have been an armed citizen in that classroom anyway?
    What you’re doing, Dave, is being the equivalent of a police officer asking a rape victim why she was dressed provocatively in a bad neighborhood at that hour of the night. You’re blaming the victims, and in so doing, manifesting one of the major ills in our society.
    And you’re doing it to advance a gun-rights agenda, or stave off an anticipated cry for gun control, by exploiting the incident at Tech. And therefore, poisoning the well, and discrediting a cause I feel very passionately about, and that is my rights as a responsible gun owner.
    This does not help, and you should stop.

  31. finnegan says:

    NLS and RK are telling listeners to call WSVA and request they dump Boortz. Bearing Drift is saying the exact opposite.

  32. MF says:

    I know it probably does not belong in this topic. But I would just like to point out this story from CNN today.

    [B]BLACKSBURG, Virginia (CNN) — When a judge deemed Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho a danger to himself due to mental illness in 2005, that ruling should have disqualified him from buying a handgun under federal law.

    It didn’t.

    And his slaughter of 32 people last week has raised questions about the efficacy of instant background checks for firearms purchases by the mentally ill.

    Under federal law, anyone who has been judged to be a danger to himself or others because of mental illness, as Cho was, should be prohibited from buying a gun.

    His status should have been noted in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a database of people disqualified from gun purchases.

    But, in Cho’s case, his mental status never went in the system.[/B]

    I think this shows that Virginia needs to look hard at how our gun laws are enforced. Not do away with all gun control as Mr. Briggman seems to suggest.

  33. Sorry I left you hanging Kestral, I was taking a professional exam up in Ashburn.

    Law enforcement officers are trained…what’s your point?

    The students at Tech were trained, via “lockdown drills” to cower in the corners. Students are permitted under Virginia law to carry on Tech and the grounds of other government colleges and universities — all except Blue Ridge have administrative policies barring such.

    There are about 119,000 concealed carry permits issued by Virginia as of 7/1/2005 (that’s the latest list I have) and doesn’t include those from other states who have permits valid in Virginia. Not a large percentage by any stretch of the imagination, but I know the opposite stance — barring all weapons in the hands of students, faculty or staff, gave the students at Tech a chance close to 0%.

    Nobody blamed any victim. That’s a preposterous statement that nobody — including me and including Boortz — has made. Asking why is not assigning blame.

    I’m not doing this for a pro-guns agenda…it’s a pro-safety agenda. The two aren’t, however, mutually exclusive.

    Just what is it you’re so afraid of when permitted faculty, staff or students are allowed to carry concealed handguns?

  34. MF. Nobody is saying “bar the door, Katie, let’s do away with all gun controls”. In fact, I stated publicly yesterday I have no problem with people who have been INVOLUNTARILY committed to be denied the ability to buy weapons.

    I don’t believe CNN’s article is correct. A Magistrate (not a judge) issued a temporary detention order (TDO) and after observation, Cho was released after being able to convince a Magistrate he was not a danger to himself or to others.

    See: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×726735

    I had a long conversation with my sister last night who happens to be a counselor in the office that TDO’d Cho. She wasn’t there at the time that the TDO was executed, but since all the happenings last week she has gotten quite the education on how his TDO was executed. She was in the office all week and many of the survivors were taken there for mental evaluation as well as any student having access to their office.

    To make a long story short, Cho’s room mate had notified the campus police that he thought Cho was having some serious issues. The campus police picked him up and took him to her office for evaluation. A TDO was filed so that he could be evaluated in a hospital setting. During his initial interview and intake, he was asked if he would volunteer to be placed in a facility for evaluation. Had he refused, he would have been “involuntarily committed” for evaluation. But, he agreed to “voluntarily” go to the facility so the TDO was processed differently from that point on. The restrictions that remained in place with the TDO was the requirement for a magistrate to evaluate him after his two day voluntary stay. If the magistrate felt that he was no longer a danger to himself or others the TDO would be vacated and his record would not show a forced commitment. That is exactly what happened. Rather than being evaluated at a state facility, which he would have been had it been a full force TDO, he was allowed to check into a private facility (still paid for by the state mind you). He was escorted to the facility by by the police but he was not handcuffed since he was cooperating with the treatment plan.

    Two days later he was convincing enough to allow the magistrate to release him from the facility.

    Now, because he had gone voluntarily instead of being forced in for the evaluation, he didn’t have to acknowledge that hospitalization on the application for a gun in Virginia. Had he been committed on the full force of the TDO it would have been flagged on his background check and he would have been denied the purchase. He found a loophole, a small crack if you will, and he slipped right through it.

    She also said that the news reports are very flawed (big surprise there, huh? ) and that they had been many reporters that had called her office pretending to need crisis care in an attempt to get into the office. She said it was the week from hell for her office.

    She also said that in his history there was an incident in Korea before he came to the US that she thought played a big part in his pathology. I have not seen this tidbit in the news and I hesitate to post it even for fear that it will get her involved in the whole mess as a “leaker”. But, if what she told me about his history is actually true it would explain why he was such an angry young man. Should it appear in print anywhere, I would then be happy to confirm that piece of the puzzle, but I just don’t want to get her into any trouble at this point.

    She also said that many kids, both from the college community there as well as the high school age (she called them the wannabes) were being TDO’d this week. She said they were taking no chances with anyone that might even be near the line at all.

    She said that he had been processed correctly as the law requires. He was just able to control the pathology enough to convince the authorities that he was no longer a danger and was released.

  35. kestrel9000 says:

    Okay, Dave, I’ll do the easiest one first.

    Just what is it you’re so afraid of when permitted faculty, staff or students are allowed to carry concealed handguns?

    NOTHING AT ALL, and I never said that or anything like it. Weasel #1.

    You will not paint me as a stupid gun-fearing hippie “lib’rul.” I ain’t havin’ it.
    One armed and permitted citizen in the midst of that could have reduced the death toll by 90ish percent.

    Law enforcement officers are trained…what’s your point?

    What the hell is that supposed to mean? Having a gun stuck in your face is not a normal occurence for anybody. Do you mean to suggest that the training and experience of law enforcement officers, not to mention that badge on their chest, didn’t make them more capable and more obligated to respond properly? Weasel #2.

    The students at Tech were trained, via “lockdown drills” to cower in the corners. Students are permitted under Virginia law to carry on Tech

    Under Virginia law, yes. Under Tech policy, they face expulsion. Weasel #3.

    and the grounds of other government colleges and universities — all except Blue Ridge have administrative policies barring such.

    I think I just pointed that out.

    Listen to the link above with “mudcat” in the title. Listen to how Chris Freund states that the Legislature “created same-sex marriage in Virginia.” After he said that, he dissembled a bit, then said..”uh..in Massachusetts….” then went on as if he hadn’t missed a beat.
    Entirely intentional, and intentionally misleading, like the conflate betwen your previous 2 statements.
    Weasel #4.

    There are about 119,000 concealed carry permits issued by Virginia as of 7/1/2005 (that’s the latest list I have) and doesn’t include those from other states who have permits valid in Virginia. Not a large percentage by any stretch of the imagination, but I know the opposite stance — barring all weapons in the hands of students, faculty or staff, gave the students at Tech a chance close to 0%.

    Nobody blamed any victim. That’s a preposterous statement that nobody — including me and including Boortz — has made.

    Uh..yes, Dave. You did, and so did Boortz, who btw also referred to “the wussificaton of America” by posing the question in the way you did. Nice little hole to squeeze out of that you left yourself, but it ain’t gonna work.
    Weasel #5.

    Read on:

    Asking why is not assigning blame.

    I disagree with that.
    Here is an analogy. Please do not attempt to divert the subject at hand by digressing into the issue I use as an example, as you did with my 9/11 analogy.
    When Nancy Pelosi went to Syria, and the media got caught out by the fact that three Republicans, including one from VA. went at the same time, they tried to shift the argument by asking, “Is Nancy Pelosi a felon? Did she violate the Logan Act?

    THEY KNEW BETTER, BUT THEY ASKED ANYWAY.

    and they asked in attempt to divert the discussion, that thing they call “message control.”
    Same thing you’re doing now. No go.
    Weasel #6.

    Wow. looks like the end of the post.
    Anytime you wanna seriously talk about this without a bunch of word games, I’m up for it.
    Good night, and good luck.

  36. Deb SF says:

    I have an 18 year old son at UVA and a 18 year old step-son on the verge of entering JMU, so my interest in this is more than academic, no pun intended. I’m a VA state employee who teaches at BRCC, so as I read the law, I can’t carry a weapon to work in Weyers Cave. I have taught at the college/university level since 1980, as a first year grad student at PSU. I’ve taught places with student populations as large as 30,000 students and as small as 1400, classes as large as 396 and as small as 2. That’s the context in which I write.

    I know that mass shootings on college campuses are exceptionally rare. College campuses are very, very, very safe places to be. An average of 22 students per year are killed out of 17 million college students nationwide. My chances of being killed are higher driving twice a day between exit 243 and 235 on I81 than the 8 hours I spend at BRCC.

    I acknowledge it is possible that a student or faculty member trained in the use of a handgun might have prevented some death and injury at Tech last week. Not all, but some. Possible, not certain.

    But I view this extraordinarily strong desire to carry a gun on a college campus near irrational, akin to wearing a rubber suit every time thunder rumbles. The probabilities of being shot on a US college campus are close to zero.

    Arming faculty and students fundamentally changes the nature of the campus educational experience. There is already a variable and occasionally volatile power relationship between student and teacher (which is why faculty can’t date students most places). Imagine confronting an armed student over a charge of plagiarism, or over a charge of cheating on a test, or saying no to a student who has done little work all semester, but really, really needs/wants that C. Imagine confronting an armed student with ideas that make them really uncomfortable (Socrates was GAY???? I’m not reading that #*&%). Imagine a soc class teacher talking about wife-beating with an armed student in class who beats his girlfriend regularly. Imagine a Dean firing a faculty member for not attending most classes, or denying an appeal in a tenure decision. Imagine arming thousands of people in this environment.

    Arming students fundamentally changes the nature of the campus social environment. Imagine confronting an armed student, reeking of pot, with the fact of his drug use. Imagine 2 roommates, drunk and armed, arguing about a bet over a football game. Imagine a rival team coming to campus, drinking, defacing a school mascot. Instead of bashing in headlights, what kinds of revenge are possible for a pissed-off, drunk 19 year old? Think of all the millions of stupid and not-so-stupid reasons college students get into arguments and fights every day. This is a time when people are supposed to figure out how to be independent, to learn to get along with others in adult, mature ways. Then add a gun to the equation.

    Weigh the potential benefit of arming students in these extraordinarily rare situations. An armed student may have saved 1, 5, 17 or no lives, we don’t know.

    Then weigh the potential costs of adding guns to thousands of very common, everyday, mundane teenage hormone/alcohol/drug/stress-fueled situations. I think shootings on college campuses would become common very quickly.

    I guess that’s what I’m afraid of. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  37. Barnabas says:

    The thing that I find funny about people that fight for one issue and one issue only is that they tend to see the world through a pinhole. They seem to think every issue is their issue and if it has nothing to do with that issue they bring it back to that issue. For some everything is President Bush’s fault, no matter what. For other they can place blame on immigration. And some think that they can fix everyting with if they have a gun.

    Dave Briggman,
    I have to ask you. If tommorrow every campus overturned their gon policies and you and every legal gun carrier could take their gun anywhere they wanted, what would you fight for next? Is their anything you care about as much as you care about this issue? Everytime I see you in the news or read something you’ve written it comes back to this issue. I do have to say that I admire that you do have something to stand for because everyone needs to believe in something. But even in our economics class you made everything about gun control.

  38. writergirl says:

    Deb SF…you nailed it! No pun intended!

    Barnabas…he’ll still have child support to complain about so don’t worry about him not having anything to do.

  39. Deb, there’s no law that prohibits faculty members from carrying at Blue Ridge…there’s an A.G.’s Opinion that ain’t based on a whole lot of law.

    But you wrote:

    “The probabilities of being shot on a US college campus are close to zero. ”

    Yes, Deb, but you’re a woman…what are the statistics of college age women being sexually assaulted? There are groups that say it’s pretty close to 25%.

    Those WITH PERMITS, Deb, also know it’s illegal to consume alcohol while in possession of a firearm. The hormone/alcohol argument just ain’t there.

    Barnabas, I’m not especially a fan of the USA Patriot Act…as a matter of fact, I requested that the Board of Supervisors pass a resolution saying that no County resources would be used to enforce any part of the Patriot Act…a Supervisor, Chairman at the time said “The Constitution of the United States is not a local issue.”

    The reason why everything was about GUN RIGHTS in our economics class at Blue Ridge was because I was being threatened with expulsion from BRCC merely for being in compliance with their own weapons policy.

    Writergirl’s right…in part: I’ll ask Delegate Lohr to carry some child support legislation for me again next year (yes, I tend to go through the legislative route, only because I have knowledge of that system).

    Kestral. Asking questions as to why 27 people took no apparent action in room 207 is not assigning blame…stop implying that it does. The reasons as to why, seemingly, no one resisted, are important.

    Cops are people. I saw no video of anything except police hiding behind vehicles. I’m fairly sure until Colonel Massengill (spelling) is done with the investigation, we’ll not know what the cops actually did or didn’t do.

  40. Bubby says:

    Deb SF: Wow, just wow. I hope you will stay engaged in this discussion. One of the saddest aspects of the whole ordeal is a sense that universities could become little Beiruts. Not a happy thought. Thanks for your contribution.

  41. JGFitzgerald says:

    I’m relieved to know that people with permits know they can’t drink while armed. Just as, presumably, people with drivers’ licenses know they can’t drink while driving. That pretty well solves things, doesn’t it? One would hope that, if preventing people from going about armed while drinking isn’t an abridgement of their 2nd amendment rights, then the First Amendment can survive banning these people from the keyboard while they are drinking, tired, out of sorts, or obsessed with a single issue.

    Those who can’t see a bit of humor in the above paragraph are discouraged from reading it.

  42. Here’s a great article on school violence…pay particular attention to the paragraphs on Utah where parents, students, faculty and staff can be armed with a permit.

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTNmZDZhYzg4NTMwODFlMzFmOThjNjhkODMzYzYzMWI=

  43. kestrel9000 says:

    It always blows me a way that so many people misspell kestrel the exact same way, when the correct spelling is right in front of them.
    That said:
    Kestral. Asking questions as to why 27 people took no apparent action in room 207 is not assigning blame…stop implying that it does. The reasons as to why, seemingly, no one resisted, are important.
    OK, fine. When did you stop beating your wife? \
    Did Nancy Pelosi violate the Logan Act?
    Why did Bush get away with lying us into an illegal and unjustified war?
    The reasons why are important.
    I can do that too.
    *POP* goes the weasel.

  44. Del Marvel says:

    Good post Deb.

  45. ***looks above***

    Now I know what they’re talking about when they talk about “unfriendly city”…

  46. Frank Witt says:

    WORD

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