Thursday, April 26, 2007

Recourse to Higher Authorities and Other Absurdities

The daily horror of the slaughter in Iraq was recently compounded by that in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. Thirty two innocent students and professors were shot and killed at point blank range at Virginia Tech by a lone lunatic gunman without a struggle. Both Iraq and Virginia killings are tragedies involving the ultimate sanction, taking life. In Iraq the killing is multiplied daily as killers kill each other. There is at least a disgusting cadence of Darwinian survival of the fittest in this pointless, bloody danse macabre, but in Blacksburg it was a cold blooded and blunt death without recourse – a remorseless charnel house – the slaughter of lambs.

As the state is sorting out the bureaucratic failures that culminated in the horror at Blacksburg, it is clear already that the higher authorities, whose responsibilities involve the health and safety of the victims, failed. The governor of Virginia has called for a blue ribbon panel to investigate the atrocity and let us hope that, unlike GW Bush who awards medals and promotions for incompetence and failure of duty, he exacts penalties on the guilty for their astounding malfeasance.

Each victim was shot on the average of three times, as the killer apparently calmly reloaded his weapons, dropping empty magazine clips on the floor. Reactions of victims were mixed. Some fled through open windows, or hid in rooms that were barricaded at the doors. No one is reported to have confronted the killer by attacking him. There is a hair raising safety in numbers in a group attack. It is true that it is a form of madness to attack an armed man with your bare knuckles; however, it is a split second calculation that has to be almade. In this case no action encouraged random death. Agonizing debates on how the ugly events came about, who is to blame and why the killer killed, will amount to little. Perhaps locks on classroom doors will be installed... What has to be faced is what action does an unarmed student take when confronted with the same deadly situation; there is very little discussion of this as some groups foolishly try to turn any self defense into a form of twisted vigilantism.

Campus police in my time were composed of locals who could not qualify for a regular police force; their main function was to enforce parking and student vehicle registration, break up beer busts, crowd control, and come to coeds' aid during panty raids. Sometimes they would even catch a streaker. Had you given them weapons to carry, they would end up like third world cops who regularly shoot themselves playing with their weapon after a few drinks. So I was surprised when they formed the first line defense at Blacksburg. It is now apparent that students must be be prepared to defend themselves when the deadly chips are down. How the higher education institutions do that is their call; you can bet there will be other killers coming to campus. Spotlight is on school authorities. Next time such a ghastly event happens, no one will accept nonsense about protecting the privacy of a madman while jeopardizing the life of the innocent. To turn lambs into lions is not an easy task given all the politically correct vapors, much of which rise from our university value systems and the false sense of security of academia...

Future killers will be encouraged by the lack of the victims' defense and law enforcement ineptitude; however, NBC’s TV programming of the Killer's tape will haunt the US for years. It visually demonstrates the sick recognition the mad killer sought and sadly invoked in his post-mortem tape. It was the same as a Jihadist tape as a terrorist prepared for others’ destruction and his own suicide. As a matter of fact, Sunday’s NEW YORK TIMES carried a cartoon with a group of black-hearted Jihadists ready to behead a victim with the caption: WHY USE Al JAZEERA WHEN WE HAVE NBC? NBC tried to defend its obscene actions as news. It was the same network that peed in its pants a week ago and fired Imus, because he unfairly and crassly used black ghetto language to characterize the Rutgers female basketball team. On one hand it silenced uniquely acerbic political, social commentary that cut in all directions, and on the other promoted a murderous madman's dream of self righteousness. Makes no sense to me.

It becomes clear that the higher authorities, a.k.a. the Establishment, is the problem not the solution; it certainly has failed in Iraq, Waco, Oklahoma City and 911 in a catastrophic, bloody way. The events at Virginia Tech at Blacksburg were marked by hideous incompetence by all authorities; the media chorus complicated the situation with sensationalism: does what it does to entertain and fails to have any sense of priorities – it's the sugar that makes the medicine go down.

Iraq, Blacksburg, the Houston Space Center, even our elite Blue Angels crash: Mourning becomes America. It is all a sad commentary on events where leadership failures mix with random accidental tragedies to cast a mood of national despondency. As far as standing by to be slaughtered by madman, suggest the group charge: throw book bags, fire extinguishers, purses, shoes, and desks at the fiend. Virginia historically is a land of very brave men and a cherished history of great valor – somebody there at Blacksburg should have let out an old rebel yell and led a charge to kill the mad SOB. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA RET

Photograph: Etching Brabisimo by Francisco de Goya


Blogger John Polomny said...

It is interesting that the state of Virginia has a very liberal concealed carry law. It is ironic that the legislature just last year outlawed concealed carry on university property. I am reminded of my Navy days when the command at Norfolk Naval Station turned the base into an "open base" and sailors were being robbed at the ATM by local crimnals who just drove onto the base. I carried my S@W 357 in my vehicle even though I would have faced NJP if caught. Better to lose a chevron then end up in a body bag I figured.

Anonymous W. Lindsay Wheeler said...

"somebody there at Blacksburg should have let out an old rebel yell and led a charge to kill the mad SOB."

That requires Manliness. What do you expect when our male youths go immediately to college at the age of 18 and do not know the first thing about "being a Man"?

What is college but indoctrination into socialism and communism? In order to do that one must first have pussies. America is the land of pussies. Where is training in manliness in America? There is absolutely NONE! The agrarian lifestyle used to instill manliness but in a country full of urban youth, there is no more training in manliness.

What do you expect in a school full of pussies but pussy action? Only one man, An Eastern Orthodox Christian, reacted fast and blocked the door, an Immigrant who lived during WWII.

Face it Colonel, we live in PC society where men are emasculated for the sake of Feminism. Being "A Man" is NOT allowed.

Anonymous W.LindsayWheeler said...

How about First getting women OUT OF THE MILITARY!!!!

You want manly action???? Why don't we get females out of the military!!! Only communists and Israelis put females in the military!

So what is America---But a commie nation!

Anonymous Bob said...

It is worth noting that college students are typically those with very high self-esteem and have attitudes that demonstrate they consider themselves well above ordinary mortals when it comes to brainpower and innate ability.

This nurtured attitude of intellectual superiority and capability--enhanced and encouraged by the typical college enviornment--creates young adults that believe themselves to be above the menial tasks encountered in the generally undesirable workday world of the masses. Such things are left to their inferiors.

This includes things like self-defense, other then perhaps a class or two in karate or some other defensive pastime.

That is what the police are for: Protection.

That is what the government is for: The Armed Forces, the FBI, the ATF, the CIA, the rest of the alphebet soup of agencies--they are all there to protect and serve.

But of course they aren't. Not in the real world.

The Armed Forces are there to promote and enforce national political policies and decisions through military means.

The alphabet soup of agencies is there to protect the government and its minions.

And the police are there to pick up the pieces after a crime has been committed, and--of course--to protect the local government.

Unfortunately for those dead kids, they never had the chance to learn these realities.

They just stood there, waiting for somebody--anybody--to step in and protect.

And so they died.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Bob.


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