People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dreams To Nightmares

Over in Narrows, Virginia, Jarrett Lee Lane's parents probably dreamt, when they sent their high school valedictorian son off to Virginia Tech to study mechanical engineering, that he'd some day make Time magazine, after having created some device that would make the world a better place. Parents have such dreams.

They surely never expected to find his likeness on the front page of the magazine in the circumstances they find themselves.

This week's cover, shown above, features many of those students and professors murdered by a deranged psychopath last Monday. Jarrett's photo is circled in the upper left.

Jarrett Lee Lane was buried yesterday in his hometown of Narrows.

A sad day. A sad ending to a life that, a short week ago, was so full of promise.
Image courtesy of Time.
Click on image to enlarge.

In The Massacre's Aftermath

We have now found out that Cho Seung-Hui was able to act out his delusions on the Virginia Tech campus with impunity, perhaps for several years. He literally terrorized female students there to the point where some refused to attend class with him. He even frightened a professor enough that she requested psychological help for the sociopath. To no avail. He continued plaguing the university. He had his protections, even if they had none.

(More on the students' lack of protections in a moment)

Though Virginia Tech, it now appears, had no disciplinary prescripts in place when it came to grossly insane people terrifying students and faculty there, and seemed unable - or unwilling - to deal with Cho's particular harrassing depredations, the university certainly had rules about guns being on campus. And those rules - a total ban - were strictly enforced.

Well. Not totally.

As is the way with all gun bans, Virginia Tech's prohibition of weapons being brought onto the university grounds only applied to the law-abiding. Cho, as is the case with all bad people, simply ignored it. And proceeded to slaughter 32 innocent, defenseless - unarmed - human beings.

About that ban, the university seems quite proud. And unyielding. When a controversy arose a few years ago over a student being found to have carried a firearm onto school grounds, university police responded. That student, despite the fact that he had met the state's strict qualifications and adhered to the law's guidelines as they pertain to his being permitted to carry a weapon on his person, he possessed a concealed carry permit, faced disciplinary action.

And the university was adamant that the rules were not going to change. The reason given? Something about how the students should be free from harm free from fear.

University spokesman Larry Hinckler, at the time:

"I think it's fair to say that we believe guns don't belong in the classroom. In an academic environment, we believe you should be free from fear."

Gun → Fear.

It is lost on people like Mr. Hinckler the concept that many of us buy and carry weapons so that we and our families remain free from fear. As well as free from physical harm. We have this antiquated notion that we are obligated to protect our loved ones, because law enforcement can't be there when we need them most. Mr. Hinckler.

When a legislator here in the commonwealth tried - but failed - to pass a law allowing lawful firearm permit-holders to possess weapons on campus, Hinckler, who was reported to be happy about the demise of the bill, responded by saying:

"I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

"Feel safe." As opposed to BE SAFE.

Of course, the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police agreed with Hinckler. Executive Director Dana Schrad said at the time:

"The excellent reputation of Virginia's colleges and universities depends in part on the public's belief that they are sending their college-age children to safe environments."

We operate on the basis of beliefs. In this case, a safe environment. Virginia Tech. Where firearm possession is banned. Where it took law enforcement - including Dana Schrad's police - twenty minutes to respond to Cho's rampage, in what became, after twenty minutes, the worst mass murder by a gunman in United States history.

The Virginia Tech students in room 206 at Norris Hall on Monday, April 16, 2007 were of the belief that they were free from fear. The university said so. In reality, they weren't free at all. They were in fact defenseless; they assumed everyone else would be too.

And, as is the case in too many instances like this, all it took was one crazed lunatic to walk onto that defenseless - completely defenseless - campus and wreak havoc on the student populace, an atrocity from which, because of its magnitude, this community will never recover.

Maybe it's time - high time - we revisited that warped notion of "feeling safe."

Hat tip to Sic Semper.

Judge a Man By The Friends He Keeps

Here's reason enough to oppose Barack Obama's presidential aspirations:

Hugging the most racist man in America, and nurturing that segment of America that thrives on hate, do nothing to foster the spirit of "hope" about which Obama ceaselessly, but not necessarily convincingly anymore, blathers.

Photo courtesy of the New York Post
Click on image to enlarge

A Definition

Earth Day: A calendar date that is set aside for privileged rich folk to assemble, party, and provide instruction to those without wealth on how the latter are to be sacrificing in order to save the planet's resources..

They Are Left Without Answers

The Charleston (WV) Gazette is the most rabidly anti-gun newspaper in the USA. Knowing that, the soul-searching that appears on this morning's editorial page is almost bizarre. The editorial staff finds itself without answers to the violence that confronts us:
● Few defenses available

In America, gun-control laws probably couldn’t prevent massacres, because this nation is flooded with nearly 200 million firearms, easily available to any dangerous person. Right-to-bear-arms advocates say the only defense is to let thousands of people carry pistols, every day, year after year, so an armed civilian may be nearby, ready to shoot back if gunfire begins. But who would want to live in such a society?

Of course, all efforts should be made to identify menacing people and try to intervene, somehow, before they cause harm. But in the end, the bloodbaths are so random and rare that normal people have little way to protect themselves from this freakish evil. (link)
I'm at a point where I'm reluctant to pick on these intellectually impaired editorialists, I've gone after them so many times. But let's parse this jewel anyway.

● There are nearly 200 million firearms in circulation

... but ...

● "normal people" have "little way" to protect themselves,

... but ...

80 million of us have an excellent way to protect ourselves,

... which ...

● makes us abnormal

... but ...