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VA Tech shooting panel report

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    VA Tech shooting panel report

    I am sure this will get put up on the forum and a flame war will result, so here it is: the summery of the panel conclusions on the Va Tech shootings (more precisely how the media is spinning the conclusions…) with a link to the actual report. I said media spin, because for example, the list below says the panel recommends

    “Ban guns on all campus grounds and buildings.”

    What the report actually says is:

    VI-5 The Virginia General Assembly should adopt legislation in the 2008 session clearly establishing the right of every institution of higher education in the Commonwealth to regulate the possession of firearms on campus if it so desires. The panel recommends that guns be banned on campus grounds and in buildings unless mandated by law.

    BTW, guns were banned on campus already, yet amazingly, it didn’t prevent the shootings. Perhaps a double secret ban will work?! An extra extra Gun Free Zone perhaps?

    Anyway, if you want to know what the panel actually said vs what the media is reporting they said, follow the link at the end of the article..



    Associated Press - August 30, 2007 5:15 AM ET

    Key findings and recommendations by the state panel that reviewed the Va. Tech shootings:

    FINDINGS:

    Tech administrators failed to notify students and staff of a dangerous situation in a timely way; the first message sent by the university to students and faculty could have been sent at least an hour earlier and been more detailed.

    Virginia Tech's emergency response plan did not anticipate a mass shooting and police were not in the emergency decision-making hierarchy.

    The university's protocols for sending emergency warning messages was "cumbersome, untimely and problematic" and police didn't have the ability to send such a warning on their own.

    It would have been extremely difficult to lockdown the campus because there weren't enough law enforcement officers to do so and there were no electronic controls on doors or most buildings.

    Gunman Seung-Hui Cho's early schooling helped him with his problems. Both his family and local schools saw he needed therapy for extreme social anxiety, acculturation and communication. His school, therapist and psychiatrist coordinated well with one another. Those positive influences ended when Cho graduated from high school.

    At Tech, information and concerns about Cho were not shared among faculty, the administration and police; instead they were largely compartmentalized.

    State and federal academic and health privacy laws are poorly understood.

    University and Blacksburg police "did an outstanding job" responding quickly to Norris Hall thanks to frequent joint training.

    Emergency medical response overall "was excellent, and the lives of many were saved."

    The process of notifying victims' family members and support for them were "ineffective and often insensitive."

    RECOMMENDATIONS:

    Provide instant campus-wide alerts with explicit information at the onset of an emergency, and have numerous ways of getting the message out.

    Include plans for closing the campus or canceling classes in every college's emergency operations plan.

    Require faculty and residence hall staff to report "aberrant, dangerous or threatening" student behavior to the dean, and report persistent alarming behavior to an on-campus counseling center and the student's parents.

    Require background checks for all firearms sales, including those at gun shows, bazaars where registered dealers, collectors and enthusiasts sell and trade weapons.

    Everyone judged mentally defective by a court must be entered into a nationwide database of people who can't buy firearms.

    Ban guns on all campus grounds and buildings.

    Hold yearly regional disaster drills that involve universities, the Regional Hospital Coordinating Center, state and local police and the medical examiner's office.

    Train police on college campuses to deal with active shooters, as Virginia Tech's police were.

    Give magistrates power to issue temporary detention orders based on evaluations conducted by doctors trained to perform emergency psychiatric examinations; lengthen detention times to allow for more thorough evaluations.

    Because of widespread misunderstanding of privacy laws among law enforcement officials, the state attorney general should provide police guidance and training on the issue.

    Congress should create an exception in the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act for on-campus counseling clinics to share information in the case of potentially dangerous patients such as Cho.

    Train police officers on how to notify next of kin of deaths in large disasters or attacks.

    Form college campus threat assessment teams that include police, students and faculty representatives, attorneys and mental health professionals who can identify risks such as Cho and warn others about them.

    Source: Report of the Virginia Tech Review Panel.

    Online:

    Official Site of the Governor of Virginia
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    95% of those recommendation would not have changed the outcome in the least.
    Fucking Determined!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KelJu View Post
    95% of those recommendation would not have changed the outcome in the least.
    Bingo. They are the usual feel good measures that will have no effects on future events like that one. It's a sad statement on our values that we guard our money with armed men and our children with nothing...
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    Bingo. They are the usual feel good measures that will have no effects on future events like that one. It's a sad statement on our values that we guard our money with armed men and our children with nothing...
    Wow, thats a good point. Hmmm, so if you want to protect people just think of each person as a walking talking dollar bill. Then maybe we would get some descent protection. The best protection they can give me is the right to let me have my gun in my car. Well fuck it, actually. I am going to keep my gun in my car no matter what the fuck they say.
    Fucking Determined!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KelJu View Post
    Wow, thats a good point. Hmmm, so if you want to protect people just think of each person as a walking talking dollar bill. Then maybe we would get some descent protection. The best protection they can give me is the right to let me have my gun in my car. Well fuck it, actually. I am going to keep my gun in my car no matter what the fuck they say.

    I wouldn't think that you would need a gun at your side at all times...Im going to go out on a limb and assume that you don't get messed with too often hahah

    I dunno what it is, but in my mind I always picture bigger dudes dealing with less bullshit people during their day....I guess what I mean is looking intimidating I would think can fend off a lot of flack...

    Also what Im saying is that in my mind I think of criminals as picking easy targets...Why would someone going down the street see you and decide you would be the best target out of who is around to try and rob/attack?


    granted there could be a time to need a gun at the most random time that you would never see coming, and you would be glad you had the gun....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fetusaurus Rex View Post
    I wouldn't think that you would need a gun at your side at all times....
    "Need" is a funny word open to debate, but best to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, as the saying goes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    "Need" is a funny word open to debate, but best to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, as the saying goes.

    That is true


    I don't have a valid opinion on guns

    I live in a small city in Iowa, where I feel safe 99% of the time...Not much violent crime around here at all....So yea I wouldnt know what it's like to have enough "fear" or whatever would make me feel that I needed or WANTED a gun
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    Conclusion: Gun Free Zones Don't Do Anything Except Disarm Victims.
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    Quote Originally Posted by clemson357 View Post
    Conclusion: Gun Free Zones Don't Do Anything Except Disarm Victims.
    I think professors should have the right and option to be armed, and that campus police should be trained more extensively, and armed
    This is my journal. Click it and such

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    tried and true theory on one's self is probably the only non-biased proof that something works for someone." - juggernaut

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    Quote Originally Posted by clemson357 View Post
    Conclusion: Gun Free Zones Don't Do Anything Except Disarm Victims.
    As proven time and time again, yet they concluding banning guns at schools (guns were already banned at VT Tech!) will improve the situation.

    Contrast that with say the experience of Utah:

    Guns found on Utah college campuses

    By Sheena McFarland
    The Salt Lake Tribune
    Article Last Updated: 08/27/2007 06:32:21 AM MDT


    SALT LAKE CITY--As the debate over guns on Utah college campuses
    raged during the 2007 Legislature, lobbyists on both sides quoted
    statistics and provided scenarios to prove that allowing guns would
    have either worsened or improved a hypothetical campus crime.

    But crime data obtained under the Clery Act, which requires all
    campuses to report crime statistics to the federal government, shows
    few incidents between 2001 and 2005 when weapons were found or used
    on campuses, and in those few incidents, rarely were students
    involved.

    No incident reported during the five-year period involved a student
    brandishing a gun in a threatening manner, and of the 23 incidents on
    Utah college campuses involving guns, seven involved loaded handguns
    while the rest involved BB guns or paint-ball guns. The other
    incidents involved weapons that ranged from butterfly knives to brass
    knuckles to nunchakus.

    No incidents involved a legally concealed weapon.

    Such data only reinforce why gun advocates have successfully defeated
    efforts to ban concealed weapons on campuses, said Clark Aposhian,
    chairman of the Utah Self-Defense Instructor's Network.

    "Concealed weapon carriers are not people to be afraid of," Aposhian
    said. "They are simply folks who are concerned with one thing and one
    thing only: lawful self-defense."

    Salt Lake Tribune - Stats show few guns found on Utah college campuses
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishOrCutBait View Post
    I think professors should have the right and option to be armed, and that campus police should be trained more extensively, and armed
    A good start no doubt. Well trained and armed campus police vs cheap renta-cop costs $$$$ however. Wealthy large private colleges for example often do have better trained and armed people around. The campus police at Harvard for example have to go through the police acadamy with all the other police and are armed. If I were a professor at a school, I would want the option of defending myself at least. Remember:

    "when seconds count the cops are just minutes away"
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    Most police agencies in the country and mine included have been in emergency response training (mainly using the Columbine situation) as a training aid. How many cops do each school have on duty at one time?? I guess it depends, but probably a couple. Now if someone opens fire and starts shooting people like at columbine, how many do you think they can harm and kill before enough police can get in place to actually stop it?? ALOT! The ONLY way to stop it is to have someone close enough with a firearm that can actually stop the threat. Thats one vote for concealed carry!




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    Quote Originally Posted by dg806 View Post
    Thats one vote for concealed carry!
    Yup. Give this one a read:

    Article published Tuesday , August 28, 2007

    More Guns, Not Less, Would Prevent Shooting Massacres

    By John R. Lott, Jr. and Maxim C. Lott

    Few tragedies make their victims feel more helpless than multiple-victim shootings.

    Imagine the terror: Unable to escape, simply waiting for the killer.

    With school starting, the April 16 attack at Virginia Tech that left 32 dead is still on many people’s minds. Some are looking for guarantees that such an attack won’t happen again.

    But Virginia Tech’s just released report on how to stop future tragedies was pretty disappointing, and this coming week’s Virginia Governor’s task force report isn’t likely to be any better. The university proposes more counseling for mentally troubled students, internet based billboards to alert students of emergencies, putting both the police and fire departments into the same building to allow better coordination, more surveillance cameras, and locks that make it easier for students to get out of buildings.

    Well, more cameras might help get campus police to the scene faster, but let’s hope that the next attacker doesn’t commit the attack where there are no cameras or that he doesn’t disable them first. Assuming that the doors to buildings are merely locked as they normally would be--and that the assailant has not blocked them or tied them shut with a chain-- easy to open locks could help.

    If a current student is planning the next attack, gets identified as having mental problems and has treatment, and that the treatment is successful, more mental health resources could be helpful.

    But one glaring omission remains: The report failed to ask whether there were any common features or similarities among the different multiple-victim public shooting tragedies. And what happens if these policies fail? Should there be some ultimate protection upon which the university can rely?

    Of course, these horrors are hardly unique to the United States. In 1996, Martin Bryant killed 35 people at Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia. In the last half-dozen years, European countries-- including France, Germany and Switzerland-- have experienced multiple-victim shootings.

    The worst, in Germany, resulted in 17 deaths; in Switzerland, one attack claimed the lives of 14 regional legislators. Of course, since 1997 there have been multiple attacks in the U.S., with the 13 dead at Columbine.

    Prior to Virginia Tech, the two previous most deadly shootings in the U.S. were the 1991 Luby's Cafeteria massacre in Texas, which left 23 people dead, and the shooting at a California McDonald's in 1984, in which 21 people were killed.

    All these attacks shared something in common: citizens were already banned from having guns in those areas. Indeed, every multiple-victim public shooting of any significant size in the United States has occurred in one of these gun-free zones.

    The problem with gun-control laws is not that there isn't enough regulation, rather that it is primarily the law-abiding, not the criminals, who obey these laws.

    Virginia Tech has rigorously enforced its gun-free zone policy and suspended students with concealed handgun permits who have tried to bring handguns onto school property, and it will continue to do so. Imagine what this means for a faculty member fired for bringing even a permitted concealed handgun on campus. It would be impossible for them to get another academic job at any other university. Similarly, a student who gets expelled for a firearms violation will find it virtually impossible to get admitted to another school.

    But whether it is the suspensions and expulsions at universities, or even the three-year prison terms that can await those who take guns onto property of K-12 schools in most states, these penalties are completely meaningless for someone intent on killing and facing multiple life sentences or death penalties.

    But citizens and police who pack heat do help, because they can stop a shooting while it is happening. Amazingly, opposition to guns on campuses is so extreme that some even oppose police being able to carry guns.

    When, in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting, campus police at Brandeis University asked that they be armed to prevent similar tragedies, the president of the Brandeis Student Union even argued that, “the sense of community and the sense of safety would be disturbed very much by having guns on campus.”

    The administration is now considering arming its officers but has not taken action. By Sept. 10, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa will also decide whether to end an almost 30-year ban and allow campus police to again carry handguns.

    Police with guns are certainly helpful, but there simply aren’t enough police to ensure that an officer will be at the scene when shooting starts. For example, this past spring at Virginia Tech, each officer on duty had to cover well over 250 acres.

    Up until the early 1970s, Israel had to deal with the cold reality of terrorists who would take machine guns into shopping malls, schools, and Synagogues and open fire. That type of attack doesn’t occur any more. Why? Israelis realized that armed citizens could stop such an attacker before he did much damage.

    About 15 percent of Israelis are now licensed to carry weapons, and determined terrorists have to resort to less effective, secretive routes of attack such as bombing.

    Increasing the probability that someone will be able to protect himself or herself increases deterrence. Even when any single person might have a small probability of having a concealed handgun, the probability that at least someone in the crowd will have a gun is very high.

    There have been a number of attempted public attacks have been stopped by permit holders on streets, at universities, and public schools.

    While right-to-carry laws-- now operating in 40 states -- do reduce violent crime generally, the effect is much larger for multiple-victim shootings. Normally about 2 to 6 percent of adults in any state have permits, and for most crimes that means some deterrence. But for a shooting in a public place where there might be dozens or hundreds of people, it will almost ensure that at least someone -- someone who is unknown to the attacker -- will be able to defend themselves and others.

    People won't have to wait helplessly for the killer to get them.

    Police are extremely important in deterring crime but, as this latest attack showed again, they almost always arrive after the crime has been committed. Annual surveys of crime victims in America by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics continually show that, when confronted by a criminal, people are safest if they have a gun.

    Just as the threat of arrest and prison can deter criminals from committing a crime, so does the fact that victims can defend themselves.

    Other countries wonder how millions of Americans can be allowed to legally carry concealed handguns. We must be crazy. Won't blood flow in the streets?

    Many Americans also initially shared the same fears, but not any longer. The permit holders have proven to be extremely law-abiding. There is a reason no state that has allowed citizens to carry guns has reversed course.

    Most people understand that guns deter criminals. Suppose you or your family are being stalked by a criminal who intends to harm you. Would you feel safer putting a sign in front of your home saying "This home is a gun-free zone"? Would it frighten criminals away?

    Good intentions don't necessarily make good laws. What counts is whether the laws ultimately save lives. Unfortunately, too many gun laws primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals.

    *John Lott is the author of the book, Freedomnomics and and is a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Maryland. Two of his sons are attending public universities in Virginia. Maxim Lott is a college student in Virginia at the College of William & Mary.
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