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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6520/the-police-never-learn/

The Police Never Learn

April 16, 2007 by

It was Columbine-plus at Virginia Tech (NYT story), as the police proved themselves to be totally useless or worse. They interviewed suspects, secured the perimeter, ordered everyone not to move, and meanwhile and for two hours, apparently, the killer roamed free and started his rampage against forcibly unarmed students unguarded by forcibly unarmed teachers and administrators. “We can’t have an armed guard in front of every classroom every day of the year,” said the chief of police. But they will darn sure arrest anyone who prepares for such an attack by arming himself.

Here is William Anderson on Columbine: “When the police arrived after hearing reports of a massacre under way inside Columbine High School, they did not storm the building to catch the criminals. Instead, these heavily armed officers, wearing their famous coalscuttle helmets, surrounded the outside of the school, “sealing the perimeter,” according to their spokesmen. Inside the high school, Eric Harris and Dylan Kliebold were running freely through the halls, merrily killing and wounding unarmed teachers and students as they tried to escape. In the end, the police didn’t even have to fire a shot, as the two miscreants ended their own lives. Thus, people were treated to a worthless show of force by the authorities, which did almost nothing to save anyone caught in the building. Lest one think this was an aberration, it is standard procedure by government forces.”

Standard procedure forever and ever.

{ 15 comments }

kurtbattais April 16, 2007 at 9:49 pm

From the other side of the Atlantic, news commentators were also quick to pick up their previous Columbinian role: “when will Americans finally do away with their guns” I heard them say in tandem.
Some things will never change at all. American police and European news commentators seem to be one of these things.

Brent April 16, 2007 at 9:59 pm

“Virginia imposes few restrictions on the purchase of handguns and no requirement for any kind of licensing or training. The state does limit handgun purchases to one per month to discourage bulk buying and resale, state officials said. Once a person had passed the required background check, state law requires that law enforcement officers issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who applies. However, no regulations and no background checks are required for purchase of weapons at a Virginia gun show.”

This is why the nytimes blows.

Charles Hueter April 16, 2007 at 10:29 pm

I understand what you’re saying, Mr. Tucker.

I think the exact process emergency police services (free market or otherwise) should use to respond to some specific situation ought to be based somewhat on the reality of the facts on the ground. One-size-fits-all tactics is irresponsible. The “lockdown” theory of mass shootings has some big problems with it.

On the other hand, so do theories that urge immediate Jack Bauer contingency plans. I think it’s too early to say we have a firm grasp of the sequence of events. By what I’ve read, this whole thing only lasted 3-4 hours and the cops have said they thought the first 2 murders were it and the killer was heading off campus away from the crime scene. But in order to prove this, make sure there wasn’t anyone hurt that needed help, and to check for potential accomplices they had to look at the campus as a whole. It makes some sense to have a degree of a lockdown in place. Also, it sounds like some doors where chained shut from the inside either by the killer or by forgetful janitorial staff, contributing to the confusion and restricted movement.

Almost certainly, we’ll find out the state screwed up somewhere. Standing in the way of a person’s choice to arm themselves is one. But I think it’s too soon to complaining about what they did when what they did (and to what they were reacting) isn’t really known. If anyone’s got a good news link with a detailed timeline, please post it. I’d like to know more.

George Gaskell April 16, 2007 at 10:32 pm

It’s the same procedure they use for prison riots, incidentally.

Brent April 16, 2007 at 10:58 pm

>”Virginia’s gun laws are some of the weakest state laws in the country,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “And where there have been attempts to make some changes, a backdoor always opens to get around the changes, like the easy access at gun shows.”

Students are not allowed to have guns on the campus.< This story reads more like a pro-gun prohibition advocacy ad than a news story about today's tragedy.

Here is a timeline & map of campus.

Simon April 17, 2007 at 5:14 am

The even more repulsive thing is is that they will congratulate themselves. I turned on BBC24 yesterday and the first thing I saw was some police-type guy saying they had done a “good job.”

TLWP Sam April 17, 2007 at 6:17 am

I’m sure you Yanks know that after the Port Arthur Massacre, gun laws were tightened in Australia to the point where the average person had to have a pro-active reason as to why they need a gun. And then there’s regulations for storing the guns, storing the ammo, etc. This of course is where Americans can gloat to Aussies, “we have a 2nd Amendment and yous don’t! Ha ha!”.

Inevitably pro-control folk are going to have a field day over this. But since an awful lot of Americans prefer to have firearms, after the initial heat dies down, will there in fact be a bigger backlash of folks who’ll say that ‘do-gooders are trying to disarm the honest people’? Is there enough gun-prefering folk to amend the Constitution’s 2nd Amendment to make it clearer to allow the average person to buy, store, use firearms rather than the ambiguous ‘a well-regulated militia’?

Yancey Ward April 17, 2007 at 8:28 am

Two things:

(1) I doubt 30 people would have been killed if there had even been one other armed student in the building,

(2) In situations like this, people need to understand that they need to fight back, not cower while hoping not to be shot.

Brad Spangler April 17, 2007 at 9:34 am
Steven Smith April 17, 2007 at 11:59 am

Much to be learnt from this spectacle.

1. The ugly consequences of officially gainsaying the natural right of any presumptively law abiding citizen of 1 of the states, in this case over whelmingly Virginian, to have himself the means to project effective force defencively.

2. Despite anarcho-libertarian wishfulness the inevitability of severe social pathologies on the part of a minimum proportion of plainly unassimilable resident or long term visiting non-western aliens in a nigh open immigration regime. Scoffers, skeptics & deniers see VDare.com.

3. The very real possibility, considered by myself yesterday before I had a chance to see what may have been cited on Rense.com of Theodore Lang, Alex Jones et alii, yesterday’s mass killing was a secret federal black operation over seen by the intelligence community to further new world order aims. Of course the police imposed what they are pleased to call standard procedure because the vast majority of them has no idea what a tool of the new world order it is & the rest knows on what side its bread is buttered–& may even include some characters resolved to help themselves to divers perquisites of being tasked with enforcing the enserfment of all us bothersome ordinary people.

We all should know by now the Anglo-American elites’ main excuse for plotting tyranny is the odious climate of discourse created since the early new deal by us re-actionists who have rashly accused Anglo-American elites of plotting tyranny; keep firm hold of your guns!

Brad April 17, 2007 at 2:20 pm

***I doubt 30 people would have been killed if there had even been one other armed student in the building,***

I would think most of these rampages would never happen altogether if those slowly working themselves up into an orgy of carnage knew that, say, one out of ten people had means to defend themselves and do the would-be rampager in.

Such folk know that the average citizenry is unarmed, and that it would take several minutes for any response from the authorities, who do nothing but set up perimeters etc etc. It is this artificially forced, unarmed interzones where they know they can do as they please to satiate whatever demons are plaguing them. If they knew that as soon as they began their doings they’d receive one between the eyes, they’d think long and hard about it.

The answer seems so simple, allow concealed weapons. Then the odds even up fairly quickly.

Marty April 18, 2007 at 6:21 am

Jeffrey,

Okay once again, we have a man with a gun that shot what had appeared to be his girlfriend. Should we alert all of Auburn when a husband kills his wife? Of course not nobody could have guessed what could have happened. Also this was not one High School Building. It’s a large campus.

I agree that if people were allowed to carry guns this would have turned out better but why in order to promote the 2nd amendment do you have to rail against cops many who would agree with you on the gun issue?

Ball April 18, 2007 at 6:14 pm

For all this talk of guns, the real issue is responsibility. Who is responsible for the lives of these students? Who is liable?

Please, don’t say the government. We all know that isn’t true, and never will be.

Also, what is a politician more worried about: An ordinary citizen dying or a police man dying? One has no clout, the other is a member of a powerful special interest group. If the police had put themselves at risk for the ‘public good’, you know who would be complaining. You can’t keep your job as police commissioner doing what you’re supposedly there to do. Bureaucrats only keep their jobs when politically powerful groups remain happy.

Now if the Governor’s daughter was in danger, would we be having a discussion about gun rights?

Eroded gun rights aren’t as big a problem as the police themselves are.

Marty April 18, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Ball, I wish I worked in the town you are from. I work in a city where the police are not very powerful. I am not sure what this has to do with what I said. I want poeple to be able to protect themselves. I am just not sure why Jeffrey had to get on the police when they do not make the laws and I would bet many if not most would support the right to carry, no matter what their union leaders say in public.

Tyler Goines May 1, 2007 at 12:10 am

I can’t speak for anyone especially for a killer .I can only speak for myself. Let’s take five seconds….. Just five seconds to think against the grain. Maybe the news media is lying to us. Maybe, just maybe he wasn’t crazy but driven to an insane action by those who felt too comfortable. They could have acted however they wanted cause either daddy or the authorities would fly in to protect these arrogant, spoiled kids. …… Once again I don’t know any of these kids. And for the families I understand the grief, but is it possible you didn’t see your little angels inter act with this madman. Is it possible your children themselves pushed him to this action? Would he have taken a different road if little Johnny was a little more decent to little cho.
Why else did the media stop showing the tapes? Do you really believe they grew a conscience. They now know decency? I can’t say, but I know people are seeing SOME truth to what cho said. They speak it to me without prompting. That’s why they stop showing the tapes.
Then again maybe these kids were innocent and cho was a complete nut.
Personally I never met anyone dead or alive who is innocent. I know your three year old is innocent but your three year old knows when, where and how to lie. No?

Maybe cho realized these college children would have grown up to be truly a negative affect on the world at large.
Tell me how different the story would be if we could go back and kill Hitler when he was in college. Do you really believe the media would have patted our man on the back? No! he would be a monster.
I really don’t believe any of these kids were Hitler but what if cho wasn’t too far from the truth.

I don’t know anyone involved, and my point is not to pass judgment on anyone.
All I wish to say is I’m really getting tired of the media and every easily lead moron telling me how to look at things. People, have your opinions and someone will always disagree with whatever your saying.
Stop thinking the way they tell you to…………….. Form your own opinion and don’t have any fear to speak your mind……………..

Remember if you call me names cause you don’t agree with me then you know what started cho….. Maybe your apart of the problem not me

– Tyler Goines
05 01 07

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