Dozens Dead in Virginia Tech Massacre; Gunman Killed

A dorm and classroom were the target of a gunman who killed dozens and injured dozens more on the Virginia Tech campus today in the nation’s deadliest campus shooting in history.

VtechABC is now reporting 29 confirmed dead…and the death toll may rise.

The Associate Press reports, “The university reported shootings at opposite sides of the 2,600-acre campus, beginning at about 7:15 a.m. at West Ambler Johnston, a co-ed residence hall that houses 895 people, and continuing about two hours later at Norris Hall, an engineering building. Some but not all the dead were students. One student was killed in a dorm and the others were killed in the classroom, Virginia Tech Police Chief W.R. Flinchum.”

The gunman was reported killed but it was not clear if he had committed suicide or was shot by police.

Our thoughts go out to the friends and families of the victims of this senseless bloodbath.

Comments

  1. says

    This is completely surreal. I can’t even imagine something like this happening when I was in school.

    I am so sorry for those lost, and those that have had to go through this.

  2. Chris says

    I’m still in my office here working for the University, I can’t bring myself to leave, but I’m so far from it all. It’s utterly unreal and we’ve already heard that one of our classes was almost affected, the class baracaded the door. sick and surreal. I’ll never understand why, ever.

  3. Charles says

    For God’s sake, when are they going to ban handguns/beef up gun control? There should be no way for *anyone* to have the means to kill 29 people.

  4. Gerd says

    I’m kinda lost for words, I live in Europe (Belgium) which is not even close to the States. Sad that this has to happen again, I know that there is not much we can do but my thoughts go out to those who are affected by this tragedy,RIP.

  5. says

    I don’t even know what to say. What can you say? This is so horrible, so senseless, so sad.

    My heart goes out to everyone impacted by this. I second Charles’s suggestions: no one should have the means to go on this kind of a rampage. People need to bring the gun-control debate back to the surface.

  6. Brian says

    I agree about the guns, but does it seem that despite the fact that guns have been legal and easy to obtain for eons, we seem to be seeing lots more of these crazy school rampages in the last decade or so?

    Have we become more violent as a society, or are we just hearing more about it than we used to because of the 24-hour media coverage?

  7. ShawnSF says

    I’m surprised Bush even spent the energy to acknowledge the dead and dying in this horrible tragedy considering what a gun whore he is? One wonders what it will take for our government officials to take the issue of schools being SAFE places to learn as a priority. I guess they’re WAY to busy putting those BILLIONS into the “WAR”(and their pockets!) to supposedly secure “Democracy” in foreign lands to be concerned with pedestrian issues like ZERO VIOLENCE POLICIES in the U.S. Schools? Sad,Sad day in America. George please WAKE THE FUCK UP from your slumber!

  8. RP says

    I don’t like George Bush as much as the next guy, but stop making this about him.

    You’re diluting the tragedy.

    My condolences to the victims and their friends and family.

  9. Charles says

    He isnt going to wake up from his slumber-we just have to hold on until Jan 2009 when he is out of office.

    As for the gun control thing I brought up before-I would even be willing to compromise and I think it would work if there was a huge push-just ban all handguns/machine guns. This person in the VT shootings (I hesitate to call him a human being, may his soul burn in hell) apparently used handguns. No one outside of the police should have handguns. Period. The NRA always says “right to bear arms” and talks about hunting. Listen-I’m from Texas-I grew up around hunters; I have a shotgun in my family home. No one uses handguns to go hunting, they use them to shoot people. And no one uses machine guns to shoot quail or deer, they are used to kill a lot of people rapidly. So just ban them and let people have shotguns if they want them, you have to be screened and registered to get one, all currently owned handguns and machine guns will be confiscated and destroyed. That’s it.

    I am tired of walking home late at night in Harlem (which is a good neighborhood) and being worried about some young punk accosting me-if he had a knife I wouldnt be as worried. But if has a gun…no one should have to worry about that at all.

    God, all those poor students, the more I hear about this, the more I am on the verge of crying.

  10. pacificoceanboy says

    brian the thing is that automatic weapons are arecent development.

    This shooter as all mass shooters do utilized an automatic weapon. not a simple gun.

    There is no justifiable or logical reason to allow automatic weapons to be owned by citizens. The Bill of rights says “for the maintanence of a militia” how many gun owners are part of a militia? That aside, a regular single shot gun is more than sufficient for hunting and or self defense. automatic = multiple rounds per second guns should not be allowed as evidenced by yet another mass killing made easy by such.

  11. Brian says

    Are you guys freaking kidding me about W and the gun statement? I can’t seem to find it on line. Anyone have a link? Was his comment made in the context of this shooting?

    What a fucking moron. How can anyone have supported him?

    By the way, this week is the anniversary of the Wavo branch davidian fire, the OKC bombing, and the Columbine attack. The 3rd week of April is apparently a really good week to stay home and pull the covers up over your head.

    I can’t believe Bush said that.

  12. RP says

    The quote on Huffington Post (from the AP) is from the White House deputy press secretary, not Bush.

    Bush just addressed the nation live on TV. All he said basically was that it’s a tragedy.

  13. Zeke says

    RP, you’re wrong. Bush brought this criticism upon himself by having the audacity to turn a condolence message into an NRA ad.

    The man has NO shame!

  14. RP says

    It’s still not a quote from Bush, Zeke. It’s a quote from Perino.

    “The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed,” Perino said, noting that Bush and Education Secretary Margaret Spellings held a conference on school gun violence last October. “Certainly, bringing a gun into a school dormitory and shooting … is against the law and something someone should be held accountable for,” Perino said.

  15. Zeke says

    Brian, I’ve made the same observation about this time of year. My birthday is this week (the same day as the Columbine tragedy and incidentally Hitler’s birthday) and it seems, year after year, some awful tragedy falls on, or within days of, April 20th.

  16. Ted B. says

    Gun Control is not the issue….the tendency of those in society to act-out violently is. Firearms have been around in America for hundreds of years. And frankly, if someone else there had been armed, the death-toll might have been lower. As human beings we have the right to self-defense…and that means firearms. If you want to point self-righteous fingers…point them at “entertainment” violence, degrading and violence-advocating hip-hop, gangsta’ rap, slasher-flicks and revenge-fantasy blockbuster films and TV.

    If my home state allowed-it, I’d be self-armed out in public right-now; …I’ll be damned if I’ll be taking like a sheep.

  17. RP says

    Zeke, when Bush addressed the nation at 4pm he didn’t say anything about gun control, so you can’t say he turned this into an NRA ad.

    The press secretary was asked by the media about gun control earlier in the day.

    Yeah, this is all terrible. Yes we need gun control reform, but to make this about Bush solely is an unnecessary spin that only dilutes what is the true heart of this matter: that a horrible thing occurred at VT.

  18. pacificoceanboy says

    Ted

    Automatic weapons = multiple rounds per second is not a centuries old tech. It is recent and being recent there being available to the general public and the rise of these massacers can be directly connected.

    Guns do not equal automatic weapons which fire multiple weapons per second. to equate such a recent tech to centuries of gun tech is absurd. Apples and oranges.

    One can rightly defend themselves and hunt with a single shot per trigger gun, automatic weapons are not neccesary for hunting or self defense.

    Per the constitution “for the maintanence of a militia” When you officialy join a militia and train regularly within that militia (which per the constitution is controlled by the states)then you can say don’t take away your guns. Till then you are a fool

  19. Zeke says

    I’m afraid I have to agree with Ted B. on this.

    Would gun banning laws really reduce gun violence? After all, most gun related violence is perpetrated by gun owners who have obtained, and maintained, them illegally. Does anyone think that passing laws to ban guns will in any way negatively affect a person who never obtained their guns legally in the first place?

    I can’t imagine how gun banning measures, will do anything more than disarm non-violent, law abiding people and put them at a disadvantage when trying to defend themselves against criminals and crazies who will build up black-market stockpiles regardless.

    Still, there seems to be no reasonable argument for why automatic and semiautomatic weapons should be legal, available and so easily obtainable. Just because we can’t stop criminals and psychopaths from getting their hands on guns doesn’t mean we have to make it easy for them.

  20. Charles says

    Except this guy apparently had only two guns and went psycho over an ex-girlfriend. Two guns and a breakup= 32 deaths. That’s not a lot of guns and breakups are common.

    And everyone starts out law abiding and non violent, then some of them snap and unfortunately, guns are so easily obtainable that they can easily inflict themselves on others. Guns make it easier for non violent, law abiding people to become violent lawbreakers. So ban them for EVERYBODY-it’s easier than trying to determine who will be law abiding forever and who will go insane. And what about preventing suicide or preventing accidental deaths, like the kids you always hear about shooting themselves.

  21. mark m says

    Love him or hate him, Michael Moore raised some valid questions in “Bowling For Columbine.” What is it about the U.S. that seems to encourage this? The NRA and violent media would seem to be good places to start, and yet Moore illustrated how other countries have similar conditions (access to firearms and violent media) such as Canada and Japan, and they do not have the number of gun deaths as in the U.S.

    There is something still, as yet unconfirmed as the cause of this particular kind of violence. If memory serves me, Moore’s best explanation was the proliferation of FEAR throughout our society. While not entirely satisfactory, I think this theory is headed in the right direction.

    We are conditioned to think of ourselves in this society as prey or hunters, and either choice is prompted by fear of the loss of control.

  22. Zeke says

    RP, don’t tell me that you’re not a Bush apologist. I just watched a video of the news conference. You know, the one where he didn’t promote gun control. What you FAILED to say was that his rare media appearance wasn’t to talk about the massacre in Virginia at all. It was YET ANOTHER one of his Iraq war propaganda regurgitations. It was an opportunity for him to repeat the same tired old lies and obfuscations that he has repeated ad nauseam countless times before; like linking Iraq to 9/11.

    He didn’t even have the sensitivity, or the good taste, or the intelligence, or the compassion, or the humility to postpone his war drumming for just one day.

    I repeat: The man has NO shame!

    And, by the way, don’t DARE patronize me.

  23. pacificoceanboy says

    I would like to add in, the whole point of the constitution allowing guns for “the maintanence of a a militia” was so states could retaliate against a fed gov gone crazy. with today’s nuke tech, uhm there isn’t any state, small local wacky militia, kkk, whatever group ever going to be able to topple an unrestrained fed gov by force.

    Nukes and the fed owning nukes makes it impossible for little joe shmoe to defend himself from the government. sorry far righters, in your wildest fantasies outside of the voting booth and the new media = internet you will never defeat a dictator.

    Might as well get rid of guns and take self defense classes to defend against muggers. Hunt with a bow and arrow to be a real man.

    Guns for defense against the government is an impossibility. Boo hoo NRA

  24. says

    I’m not a Bush supporter, but I don’t agree with the way Americans beat on their presidents at every turn. It started with Clinton, and now it’s Bush’s turn..

    Not only is it not effective, I feel it’s also counterproductive because:

    1) It inevitably turns the scorned into martyrs, and allows the real culprits to get away with vices.
    2) It obscures the issues which need to inform the discussion, and enlighten the masses.

    It truly saddens me when I browse youtube and I see people either comment “Bush is an idiot” or “I support my president” – Makes me think America is not close to forgoing the same errors of the past in the next election.

  25. Ted B. says

    Handguns that fired every time you pulled the trigger have been around since the 1840’s and repeating rifles since the 1850’s'; yet school massacres are very rare and started only in recent history….so it’s not the guns…it’s people.

    And two-hundred years ago, the term “well-regulated” in firearms referred to familiarity and accuracy….not legal structures and controls. Many of the Founding Fathers endorsed and even encouraged the ownership and use of firearms and pistols.

  26. RP says

    Zeke you’re wrong again.

    This is the transcript from Bush’s address:

    “Our nation is shocked and saddened by the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech today. The exact toll has not yet been confirmed, but it appears that more than 30 people were killed and many more were wounded.

    I have spoken with Governor Tim Kaine and Virginia Tech President Charles Steger. I told them that Laura and I and many across our nation are praying for the victims and their families and all the members of the university community who have been devastated by this terrible tragedy.

    I told them that my administration would do everything possible to assist with the investigation and that I pledged that we would stand ready to help local law enforcement and the local community in any way we can during this time of sorrow.

    Schools should be places of safety and sanctuary and learning. When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community.”

    Nowhere does he mention Iraq… and above all I am not even a Bush supporter. I am strongly liberal and vote democratic.

  27. pacificoceanboy says

    Ted you do know thw word militia does not mean a single individual.

    The irony of these hard core NRA types swear and be damned that they are strict interpreters of the constituion. that the constitution is not a fluid document subject to evolution. YET!!!! the strict words “MILITIA” are ignored flat out bold faced IGNORED by these hypocrites.

    “well regulated MILITIA”

    That is a far cry from single individuals owning weapons that can kill many in seconds.

    PS Ted the gatling guns of yesteryear can not in any way be compared to lets say a MK-47 or an uzzie etc. That is like comparing a kids paper airplane to a real jumbo jet.

    Don’t be stupid

  28. pacificoceanboy says

    :-) cory

    Yes Mark m made an excellent point.

    The thing most memorable about moore’s documentary was his stating some simple facts like

    The NRA was formed the same exact year as the year the KKK was declared a terrorist organization. In other words the NRA was founded as a gentleman’s cover for their KKK leanings while not connecting them to a debased terrprosit group.

    Moore’s conclusion was that the fear that differentiates america from everywhere else is the fear of white men getting their comeuppance from an enraged african american populace. America having a far worse slave history and larger slave population where as canada which has as many guns per person as america does per person was a place for african slaves to run to for freedom and thus no “fear” amongst Canadians of an enraged and freed black population seeking JUSTICE.

  29. Cory says

    Hmmmm, excellent point. The message I seemed to understand from Michael Moore’s documentary was not just fear of “African American Revolt” but the rapidly escalating fear in American society. Fear is an extremely powerful motivator used in advertising and selling of products, one particular product is the gun (which is a multi-billion dollar industry).

    Note that medications such as Sudafed Non-Drowsy that have become banned due to the ability for these drugs to be broken down and used in Meth were originally formulated in liquid form but the drug companies chose to produce them in solid pills which are easier to chemically separate for the process. Why? Maybe to sell more of the product knowing that it would be used for such purposes. Hmmmm, seems dollar signs are ultimately more important that human life. Gun sales, over the counter medications being easily marketed for meth use, advertisers instilling fear in the general public to sell more guns. Moore’s message was more (no pun) about selling through fear tactics to a society already fragile and fearful of its own shadow. Add on the recent terrorist attacks, hate crimes based on race and sexual orientation, a shaky future for generation to come, over worked and over stressed populaces bombarded with mass media of violent images and we’re a time bomb waiting to go off… but a marketable one ;).

  30. pacificoceanboy says

    side note

    This news conveniently puhes out of the public consciousness Sadr supporters withdrawing from the Iraqi provisional government thus possibly causing the collapse of the Iraqi government. When parliment members withdraw, said parlimant collapses till there are new elections.

    But the american masses are distracted from the impending catastrophe in iraq.

  31. DJ says

    Guns should not be available to the general public. Period. We should not be in Iraq. Period. The government should be held responsible for both. PERIOD.

  32. mark m says

    Thanks Cory and Pacific. Maybe one of the reasons the fear hypothesis doesn’t get more discussion is because it’s NOT an easy fix. If you blame the NRA or the media alone, then it seems that the curbing of these influences would “solve” the problem… if the problem is more pyschological and nebulous, then how do you fix that?

  33. Zeke says

    Let me publicly state here that I was WRONG in my earlier statements about Bush. I relied on reports from a partisan site that misrepresented the facts.

    I apologize for passing on that misinformation and I apologize to RP for responding inappropriately to his proper challenge of my mistatements.

  34. says

    As an expression of shared sorrow, and support, I’d like to share a couple of new, royalty-free songs of support I wrote and recorded for families and friends of Virginia Tech massacre victims:

    Today, In Virginia
    Dr BLT’s One Man “Banned”
    Words and music by Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT Dr BLT ©2007
    http://www.drblt.net/music/TinV.mp3

    Virginia’s Tears
    Dr BLT’s One Man “Banned”
    Words and music by Dr BLT ©2007
    http://www.drblt.net/music/VT.mp3

    Bruce L. Thiessen, Ph.D, aka Dr BLT
    University Instructor
    Singer/songwriter/psychologist

Leave A Reply