Author Topic: Helpless in the Face of Madness  (Read 2290 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Helpless in the Face of Madness
« on: January 15, 2011, 06:58:00 am »
from THE NEW YORK TIMES:

January 14, 2011
Helpless in the Face of Madness
By BOB HERBERT
The second semester French class began a little after 9 on the morning of April 16, 2007. The weather that day was unusually cold for April. A light snow was falling.

One of the students, Colin Goddard, now 25, recalled what happened that morning in a new documentary film, “Living for 32.”

“We started hearing loud banging noises outside of our classroom,” he said. “The teacher went to the door to look into the hallway to see what was going on. ... As soon as she opened it, she shut it back again and said, ‘Everyone get underneath your desk and somebody call 911.’ I pulled out my phone and dialed 911, and I said, ‘We’re in Norris Hall. There’s a shooting going on.’ And as soon as I basically got that out, we saw bullets coming through the door.”

Norris Hall is one of the main academic buildings on the campus of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, known as Virginia Tech. The gunman was a crazed student named Seung-Hui Cho, who was armed with a pair of semiautomatic pistols. It was not the first class he had visited that day.

Goddard remembered being shot in his left knee and feeling the blood, warm, seeping down his leg. The gunmen apparently left the panicked classroom momentarily. But the sound of gunfire continued.

“And then,” Goddard said, “the bangs just got much louder again, and you could tell he was back in our room. This time he more methodically came down each of the rows, and he was still firing. At one point he was standing at my feet, and that’s when I was shot a second time, in my left hip. Then he shot me a third time, in my right shoulder, and it flipped my whole body around and exposed my right side. And I was shot a fourth time, in my right hip.”

In case we hadn’t noticed, a photo and a headline on the front page of The New York Times this week gave us some insight into just how sick our society has become. The photo showed 11-year-old Dallas Green weeping and using his left arm to wipe his eyes during the funeral for his sister, Christina-Taylor Green, who was 9 years old and was killed in the attack in Tucson that took the lives of five other people and left Representative Gabrielle Giffords gravely wounded.

Beneath the photo was the headline: “Sadness Aside, No Shift Seen On Gun Laws.”

What is the matter with us? Are we really helpless in the face of the astounding toll that guns take on this society?

More than 30,000 people die from gunfire every year. Another 66,000 or so are wounded, which means that nearly 100,000 men, women and children are shot in the United States annually. Have we really become so impotent as a society, so pathetically fearful in the face of the extremists, that we can’t even take the most modest of steps to begin curbing this horror?

Where is the leadership? We know who’s on the side of the gun crazies. Where is the leadership on the side of sanity?

For starters, assault weapons should be banned. Their raison d’être is to kill the maximum number of people — people, not animals — in the shortest amount of time.

In “Living for 32,” the 32 refers to the 32 students and faculty members who were killed by Cho at Virginia Tech. Goddard, during a filmed visit to the site of the shooting, remembered that when the police showed up, they had to call out to the survivors inside the classroom for help in opening the door, which was blocked by bodies piled in front of it.

He said it was only when the police cried out, “Shooter down!” that he realized that Cho had killed himself. Then came the awful process of triage: “I remember hearing them walk up to people, saying, ‘This person’s yellow. This person’s red.’ And then I heard, ‘Black tag. Black tag. Black tag.’ And that’s when I realized that there were other students in here who didn’t make it.”

The professor, Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, 49, was also killed.

The film, produced by Maria Cuomo Cole and directed by Kevin Breslin, chronicles Goddard’s recovery from his wounds, his return to Virginia Tech to get his degree, and his commitment to fight for stricter gun laws. He is now working with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Goddard does not want guns banned and has no desire to deny people their constitutional rights. But he believes there are sensible steps that could be taken that would make the U.S. a safer and better place, a place where college students and their professors do not have to worry about getting shot to death in the classroom.



  


Offline Battle

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Re: Helpless in the Face of Madness
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2011, 11:22:04 am »
...but ...but I don't get it...
House Speaker, john boehner said, ''violence is not the American way...!''

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Helpless in the Face of Madness
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2011, 04:01:52 pm »
What would folks here think is responsible gun control? 

I think guns should require the same level of responsibility as a car.  Certified training, which check ups every couple of years. 

Guns with fingerprint locks would go a LONG way towards safety.  Reduce the amount of kids discovering their parents guns and having fatal accidents. Or being shot by a home intruder with your own gun. 

What would you guys want?  No controls?  Ban guns altogether?  What?

Offline Battle

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Re: Helpless in the Face of Madness
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2011, 07:25:34 pm »
I'm in favor of an outright ban on guns (always have).

I don't anyone should be carrying around (especially exposed) guns. I don't think anyone should own assault weapons like AR 15 equipped w/ night vision and 'dem things'. ...or AK 47s...?
I think the penalties for gun crimes or gun related injuries or fatalities should be EXTREMELY severe.
I like the idea of the possibility of owning a gun being the same as owning a car; routine checks EVERY YEAR (or every 6 months), and for extra measure, add-in a psych evaluation as a pre-requisite. Why not tack-on a tax, as well?
Finger print locks? Is that possible?
Bullet casings should be coded.


Yo, I'm all for it!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 07:53:33 pm by Battle »

Offline Tanksleyd

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Helpless in the Face of Madness
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2011, 10:05:04 pm »
I never was a "gun" person. Never gave it much thought, never fantasized about them. It did take hold in my brain at an early age (early 20;s) that merely having a gun made you more prone to gun violence. One of my closest interfaces with a gun was when I was present when my uncle got shot (dead) by his brother who was showing us the safety features of the gun. There were a couple of more like when I was in the Army and the most consistant story in the base newspaper was cheating spouses getting shot when they got caught and/or someone getting shot by accident.

As far as an historic perspective we have the wild, wild west (which BTW is the idea state of the Republicans known as "Libertarians" and "Sovereigns"). Apparently it was a time where many people were shot for stepping on toes though all we get is stories of how Jessie James was a hero. The history on that is getting more and more murky though as "rewriting" history is becoming an art form.

With all that being said, in the context of this thread, the concept of gun/car registration sounds like a winner.

Offline Cheirel

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Re: Helpless in the Face of Madness
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2011, 11:04:25 pm »
I believe that you have the right to bear arms. The problem with that is how do you prevent the wackos also from bearing them as well?

Battle I'm thoroughly saddened for your loss. I have witnessed  loss and craziness as well so I can understand why banning them could be the way to go.

But if someone entered my home uninvited I wouldn't want them to make that mistake twice. I don't believe that you should ever pull a gun unless you plan to use it. That's how people get shot with their own weapon.

Having locks and stuff are cool the drawback to that is, if I need my weapon I probably really need at that moment. I have no problem with registration.

I know there has got to be at least one older person on this board whose father kept a gun in the drawer and you knew NOT to touch it! Kids today are so much smarter but not with common sense.

Offline Battle

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Re: Helpless in the Face of Madness
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2011, 12:06:28 am »
I believe that you have the right to bear arms. The problem with that is how do you prevent the wackos also from bearing them as well?

Battle I'm thoroughly saddened for your loss. I have witnessed  loss and craziness as well so I can understand why banning them could be the way to go.





I'm sorry...?
Huh??

Offline Tanksleyd

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Re: Helpless in the Face of Madness
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2011, 12:29:29 am »
I believe that you have the right to bear arms. The problem with that is how do you prevent the wackos also from bearing them as well?

Battle I'm thoroughly saddened for your loss. I have witnessed  loss and craziness as well so I can understand why banning them could be the way to go.





I'm sorry...?
Huh??



I think it's a Pete Best thing.

Offline Vic Vega

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Re: Helpless in the Face of Madness
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2011, 08:37:04 am »
The only check that  Jared Lee Loughner had to go thru was that little marker thingy that they use to see if your money is counterfit or not.

They wouldn't let you drive without getting your full info at 18 and making you take a test and renewing same. I could do an far more amount of damage with a gun than a car if i intended to. Background checks should be manditory as guns are tools that can be used in the commission of crimes.

But all directions to that kind of universal registration has been blocked. All efforts towards mircostamping bullets (another logical precaution)have been blocked.

It doesnt matter how many Crippled Cops or Cops widows speak on the subject.

Our nation is beyond reason on this subject. Ive thought so for years.

Offline Battle

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Re: Helpless in the Face of Madness
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 10:16:19 am »
Our nation is beyond reason on this subject. Ive thought so for years.




You are correct, sir.