Movies Are Fiction, MMMkay?

I like Derbyshire, but hot on the heels of his stupid remarks about the insufficiently suicidal captured British soldiers, this is too much to take:

As NRO’s designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask: Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus ban on licensed conceals, why didn’t anyone rush the guy? It’s not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for goodness’ sake — one of them reportedly a .22.

At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him. Handguns aren’t very accurate, even at close range. I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can’t hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am. And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage — your chances aren’t bad.

Yes, yes, I know it’s easy to say these things: but didn’t the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything? As the cliche goes — and like most cliches. It’s true — none of us knows what he’d do in a dire situation like that. I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I’d at least take a run at the guy.

People are taking potshots at Derb all over the place, and they should. And while this pen and paper fantasyland machismo should be knocked for the silliness that it is, it should also be mocked because it is just flat out wrong.

Anyone that knows anything about human beings will recognize that not all individuals are going to react the same way to a threat or perceived threat. It would make a whole bunch of things easier if that were the case, things like police work, military service, etc., but people react differently. When posed with the threat of a crazed gunmen, we can just expect a portion of the population to hide, a portion to just freeze in fear, others to scream, and others to attempt to save themselves and others.

And guess what? Early reports show that is precisely what happened. Here is the story of one girl, who when she heard what was happening, pretended to be dead:

He just stepped within 1,5m of the door and started firing,” said Sheehan, a freshman and mechanical engineering major.

“He seemed very thorough about it, getting almost everyone down. I was trying to act dead,” she said.

“He left for about 30 seconds, came back in, did almost exactly the same thing. I guess he heard us still talking.

“And then we forced ourselves against the door so he couldn’t come in again, the door would not lock. And so he came and tried to force himself in another three times and started shooting through the door.”

Sheehan said the class had 25 people in it plus the professor. “When we left, only four of us left,” she said. “Everyone was else was unconscious, either dead or wounded seriously.

Here is the story of another student whose quick thinking saved the life of his peers:

Zach Petkewicz was in class when the shooting at Norris began and “everyone went into a frenzy, a panic.” Petkewicz was hiding behind a podium when he realized there was nothing preventing the shooter from entering the classroom and barked to his classmates, “We need to barricade this door.” (Watch how Petkewicz’s quick thinking may have saved lives Video)

Two students joined him in throwing tables against the door and wedging their weight behind them, just as the gunman cracked open the door.

When the students slammed the door in his face, “he backed up and shot twice into the middle of the door thinking we were up against it,” Petkewicz said.

“I was up against the side holding this desk up against there and I just heard his clip drop to the ground and he reloaded, and I thought he was coming back for a second round, to try and get his way in there,” he said. “He didn’t say a word, and he just turned and kept firing down the hall and didn’t try to get back in.”

And here, of course, is the story of the man who did just as Derb suggested, and saved the lives of his students:

As Jews worldwide honored on Monday the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, a 76-year-old survivor sacrificed his life to save his students in Monday’s shooting at Virginia Tech College that left 33 dead and over two dozen wounded.

Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter when the man attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, “but all the students lived – because of him,” Virginia Tech student Asael Arad – also an Israeli – told Army Radio.

In other words, there were moments of great bravery, sacrifice, heroism, and self-preservation mixed in with the accompanying fear, horror, paralysis and disbelief that one should expect from this horrifying episode. In other words, different people reacted differently- precisely what we would have expected from untrained kids suddenly faced with unspeakable and almost inconceivable horror. And these are the stories we know right now- who knows what we will learn in the days and weeks ahead as the injured begin to tell their tales?

Adolescents across the country are probably also entertaining their own juvenile fantasies about how brave they would be if they were thrust into such a terrible circumstance. They, unlike others, would be able to handle the crushing fear that follows the sudden realization of the horror that is unfolding before them, and would vanquish the disturbed gunmen in a heroic Derb-like fashion. Suffice it to say, most of them would be wrong.

For Derbyshire to suggest that those victims were not brave is in and of itself callous, stupid, offensive, and displays a worldview that appears to be shaped more by Rambo movies and 24 than actual life experiences. But even worse for Derbyshire is that he considers himself to be an educated and worldly man, yet he clearly has little to no understanding of human behavior and the human condition.

130 replies
  1. 1
    Justin says:

    Besides the sheer arrogance of Derb’s comment, it’s just too early to know what really happened.

    For all we know several people did try to rush Cho, and they got mowed down in the process.

  2. 2
    Mr Furious says:

    Great takedown, JC. A lot more well-reasoned than the piece I am likely to write tonight…

  3. 3
    pacified says:

    count the shots in the clip, he says.

    Except the guy had a super-huge clip, way bigger than a normal clip, that held like 30+ bullets.

  4. 4
    Mr Furious says:

    Jesus. Count the fucking shots? Is this Dodge City and everybody’s got a six-shooter? How many shots fit it the magazine of the average semi-auto handgun? Nine? Twelve? I have no fucking idea and I suspect most others don’t either.

    How many guns does he have? Is he firing from both at the same time?

    Count the shots… What a fucking tool.

    Don’t get me started on “it was only a .22”

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Gary Ruppert says:

    The fact is that young American men used to look up to John Wayne for guidance and now they look up to Elton John. And so the death cult of the Left adds another 33 notches to its belt.

  7. 7
    capelza says:

    ary Ruppert Says:

    The fact is that young American men used to look up to John Wayne for guidance and now they look up to Elton John. And so the death cult of the Left adds another 33 notches to its belt.

    Okay, I’ve been gone for sometime, so I don’t remember if Gary if real or not, but just in case…the last time youth looked to Elton John for guidance was 30 years ago…keep up!

  8. 8
    gus says:

    Pffftt. Why didn’t these so-called heroes disarm him Steven Segal style? What a fucking tool that Derbyshire creep is.

  9. 9
    matt says:

    I think this falls in the overcompensating category, like when closeted gay people go out of their way to bash gay people.

    Derb probably secretly fears that he would react with paralyzing fear (like John points out, there’s nothing wrong with that), so he compensates by writing things like this.

    I don’t think it reveals any sort of naive view of humanity, rather it reveals his own insecurity, which is, ironically, very human.

    It also goes to show that people’s anger toward “chicken hawks” is more than fake, politically-generated outrage, it’s legitimately annoying and offensive, even though admittedly it’s applied broadly and often unfairly.

  10. 10
    scarshapedstar says:

    Don’t get me started on “it was only a .22”

    Yeah, clearly, the Derb needs to do some more research. I imagine his source is Call of Duty on Easy Mode, in which you can take 2 or 3 hits from an MG42 and then simply catch your breath and be good as new. However, I think the situation is more akin to Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, in which the Medic’s akimbo Colt .45s or Lugers can deal out massive damage at close range. This brings up a second possibility: had he reached Level 4, and if so, was he using the adrenaline ability at the time?

  11. 11
    Zifnab says:

    He just stepped within 1,5m of the door and started firing,” said Sheehan, a freshman and mechanical engineering major.

    I hate to take this without a proper degree of seriousness and all, but did she just describe the shooting in metric?

  12. 12
    MBunge says:

    You know, it’s a horrible mistake to reduce a group of people to two-dimensional cartoon characters…but having stated that, there is something profoundly wrong with today’s conservatives. I don’t know if it’s because they grew up in the 60s and 70s when conservatism was fashioning itself into a resistance movement against Democratic political and liberal cultural dominance, or what, but today’s conservative adults are deeply screwed up. It’s like they all became stunted emotional or intellectually (or both) in high school.

    Mike

  13. 13
    capelza says:

    Forgot to add..I now have this image of Derbyshire with a knife in his teeth, bursting through the woods shirtless taking on all comers…thanks.

    AS was said above, how does he even know that among those dead children, there weren’t some who tried to stop the shooter. What an ass.

  14. 14
    gus says:

    There is a real Gary Ruppert. He hung out at Sadly, No! though he has been conspicuously absent since the last election. That is the only thing that convinced me that he wasn’t a spoof. His commentary was so boilerplate wingnut, that I thought for sure it was a parody. I’m sure this remark is a spoof, but it’s very close to the kind of thing he would post.

  15. 15
    Jake says:

    Anyone that knows anything about human beings will recognize that not all individuals are going to react the same way to a threat or perceived threat. It would make a whole bunch of things easier if that were the case, things like police work, military service, etc., but people react differently.

    Right on. Even people who’ve been trained might not meet Derbyshire’s expectations if bad things happen outside of the usual context. Out on a battlefield and guns start firing? Sure, the soldier will know what to do. Sitting in class trying to stay awake when guns start firing? The soldier will probably leap up with everyone else and shout WTF? I don’t know. I hope I never have to find out. I even hope Derbyhat never has to find out.

    And correct me if I’m wrong but the military has rules about casting away your weapons, running away during battle, etc. because sometimes even in highly trained people, the old hind brain takes over and sends an overriding command to run like hell.

    But you know what? I’d have less of a problem if he wanted to blather about what he would have done in a similar situation. It would have been BS and annoying BS but it wouldn’t be quite so sickening.

    Yes, yes, I know it’s easy to say these things: but didn’t the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything?

    Yes, yes. I know it’s not easy sitting in your comfy chair sneering at the dead and wounded because they were real human beings against a real bad guy with a real gun firing real bullets, rather than of a bunch of actors firing blanks. But I wonder if he relizes that in addition to sounding incredibly callous, inept and unhinged he’s implying the passengers on the other flights were cowards.

    I doubt it. A person who blames his inability to hit a target on his damn gun is a person who isn’t given to thinking, period.

    The fuck of it is, for every fuckwit like JD who whines because no one was “heroic” enough to suit his tastes, there will be some equally obnoxious bastard who clicks his tounge over the “foolish” people who tried to stop the shooter.

    And there’s no way to stick a sock in all of them.

  16. 16
    t. jasper parnel says:

    Think that Professor Liviu Librescu would spend the aftermath lambasting the dead?

  17. 17
    scarshapedstar says:

    It’s like they all became stunted emotional or intellectually (or both) in high school.

    It’s almost as if they spent all those years feeling smugly superior because they’d read an Ayn Rand book and then rationalized their failure to so much as squeeze a titty by convincing themselves that all those girls were inherently frivolous and illogical.

  18. 18
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Great takedown, JC. A lot more well-reasoned than the piece I am likely to write tonight…

    I agree. I probably would’ve said, “Go jump in front of some flying bullets, you gigantic pussy” and been done with it.

  19. 19
    sglover says:

    I’m curious — why do you like this asshole Derbyshire? I don’t read Nat’l Review any more, so I don’t follow his stuff. But what I did see persuaded me that he had what it takes to fit right in with a right-wing disinfo organ: Ignorance, callowness, callousness.

  20. 20
    srv says:

    It’s time for Derbyshire to go, just like Imus. Words have consequences.

    Too bad the Scaife’s, Olin, Koch and another nuts keep funding these wackos.

  21. 21
    chopper says:

    As Jews worldwide honored on Monday the memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust, a 76-year-old survivor sacrificed his life to save his students in Monday’s shooting at Virginia Tech College that left 33 dead and over two dozen wounded.

    Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter when the man attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, “but all the students lived – because of him,” Virginia Tech student Asael Arad – also an Israeli – told Army Radio.

    wow.

  22. 22
    t. jasper parnel says:

    Derbyshire not the sole imbecile.

  23. 23
    Baby Jane says:

    The fact is that young American men used to look up to John Wayne for guidance and now they look up to Elton John.

    If the price is right, I might be interested in your Dynamite magazine collection.

  24. 24
    t. jasper parnel says:

    Just to be clear Jon Swift is sarcasm embodied those to whom he links are dicktitude on wheels.

  25. 25
    empty says:

    I hate to take this without a proper degree of seriousness and all, but did she just describe the shooting in metric?

    She’s an engineer.

  26. 26
    numbskull says:

    John,

    You lost me at:

    I like Derbyshire, but…

    And you know, there is a way to test how Derbyshit would react to a hail of bullets…

    No, no, no! Shame on you for thinking that! We’d of course use rubber bullets. And lots of very large calibre blanks.

  27. 27
    Redleg says:

    The Derb just loves it when other kids do the fighting. He just hates it when kids don’t want to fight. When is Derb going to volunteer to fight? Last I heard, there’s a big war going on in Iraq where Derb can try out his self-defense theories. Or maybe he’d just like to meet me in a dark alley.

  28. 28
    Dreggas says:

    What do you expect from the group that brought you “Bring em On” and Commander Codpiece aboard the USS Lincoln, complete with a line of GWB “action figures”?

  29. 29
    The Kid says:

    Gary Ruppert
    Just another tough guy at the keyboard. Oh and by the way, your “hero” John Wayne took several deferrments to get out of World War 2 while many other Hollywod stars (David Niven, Clark Gable, Jimmie Stewart) were voluntarily signing up. Then the “Duke” later assauged his coward’s guilt by rooting for the conflict in Vietnam and screaming about treacherous, cowardly hippies who weren’t “real” men like himself, or at least, the real men he pretended to be in movies, much the same way you and Derbyshire pretend to be real men, screaming at all the enemies of America from behind the barricade of a computer scream.
    What a tool. What an embarresment to American manhood you are.

  30. 30
    The Kid says:

    Forget all the talk about counting shots or guessing clips. How the hell do you even know if it’s more than one shooter?!

  31. 31
    Punchy says:

    I’m at the point where I believe these are all Coulter-esque comments; comments so vile, so disgusting, and so wholly inappropriate that they only serve the purpose of getting this man attention.

    In other words, this is intentionally over-the-top vile so as to draw attention to himself. Nobody owning a thread of dignity blames the people getting mowed down for the continuation of the shooting. Derby wants page hits, period.

  32. 32
    Buford says:

    This whole ‘a brave American man would kick his ass’ attitude should explain exactly why we’re in the Iraq and Afghanistan mess… forget about thinking things through and doing the smart thing… a strategy that might actually save lives. Instead we should just ‘jump him’ and hope for the best.

    I bet in Derb’s fantasy version of events he looked like Bruce Willis…

  33. 33
    uh_clem says:

    > Derbyshire not the sole imbecile.

    Derbyshire is actually the smartest guy at NRO.

    Think about the implications of that for a moment.

  34. 34
    John Cole says:

    I like Derbyshire. He sometimes has an eccentric and interesting take on things, he is not afraid to speak his mind (which does not always work out well for him), and most of all, he stands up the religious fascists.

  35. 35
    Joel says:

    I just can’t bring myself to hate Derb, because he is the one guy at NRO who thoroughly and consistently smacks down the idiocy of Creationism.

    He deserves some slack. (And admitttedly needs quite a bit, but still.)

  36. 36
    Baby Jane says:

    I bet that Derb guy has some great hypothetical sex.

  37. 37
    Tsulagi says:

    That’s really sad about Professor Librescu.

    He survives the Holocaust, lived under communism in Romania, then is killed here by a brain-dead, self-centered asshole who may have done this thing simply because he was jealous of a former girlfriend and wanted to show the world he was mad. Just fucking great

  38. 38
    numbskull says:

    John wrote:

    I like Derbyshire. He sometimes has an eccentric and interesting take on things, he is not afraid to speak his mind (which does not always work out well for him), and most of all, he stands up the religious fascists.

    Oh fer chrissakes. So he’s not the stupidest fuckin’ guy on the planet. Woop-de-fucking-do. Man, you have a really low bar, there, John. But, to each his own.

    Disagreeing with other pantloads who mouth off about wanting to be fascist is NOT the same as actually standing up to fascists with guns or clubs in their hands. It’s just more blathering with both sides living in la-la land.

    he is not afraid to speak his mind

    Why would he possibly be afraid to speak his mind? Last I checked, he’s actually paid (Lord knows why) to do just that. Given national politics of the last 20 years, I’d say the LAST thing to be afraid of is spouting off with more ‘conservative’ bull. Where’s the risk? Someone at The Nation might say something mean about you?

    But again, to each his own, and I sure haven’t read everything the man’s ever written.

  39. 39
    Andrei says:

    As NRO’s designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask…

    The moment he typed those words should have been a huge been firebell going off inside his head that he was about to write something monumentally retarded.

    That he either didn’t hear that firebell or worse, ignored it, speaks volumes.

  40. 40
    Fed up! says:

    I think reading the last line of his piece might be the line we should be talking about….”I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I’d at least take a run at the guy” speaks volumes to the piece. He uses “hope” and “I’d” so he really doesn’t know WHAT he’d do. I think we all hope we would have done SOMETHING like that in that situation. I think we all do.

  41. 41
    canuckistani says:

    When Elton John got up on screen with The Who and played Pinball Wizard in those superhuman boots, it was so awesomely outrageous that I laughed out loud. Those five minutes of pleasure were four and half more than John Wayne ever brought me, so by my count, he’s ten times a better person.

    And the only John Wayne enjoyment I ever got was Hunter S. Thompson ripping him a new one in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail for not having the guts to talk to Vietnam Veterans Against the War. If America was a nation of Elton Johns, this would be a better world.

    Oh yeah. And the “John Wayne was a fag” riff in Repo Man. Make that one minute of John Wayne-related enjoyment.

  42. 42
    Jake says:

    That he either didn’t hear that firebell or worse, ignored it, speaks volumes.

    You’re talking about a guy who can’t fire a gun for crap and concludes handguns are inaccurate. There was no firebell, cowbell, silver bell or Tinkerbell.

    Hell, the man will probably blame his computer for all of the shit he takes for his latest offering.

  43. 43
    mrmobi says:

    Count the shots?

    Reminds me of,

    …did I fire six shots or only five? So the question you’ve got to ask yourself is, do you feel lucky?

    Well, do you, punk?

    John, you like this guy? He sounds like he has a very, ummm, active fantasy life.

    Good post, though. The whole thing is very sad, especially the part about Professor Librescu. The students in that classroom were very lucky to be in his class. The word hero is overused, I feel, but not in the case of Professor Librescu.

  44. 44
    chopper says:

    you know john wayne’s real name was marion morrison? manly dude, that marion.

  45. 45
    Sam Hutcheson says:

    Bravo, John.

  46. 46
    chopper says:

    dude, if i was there and the bullets started flying i know that all those years of playing video games would totally kick in.

    first i’d be all up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-start so i’d get infinite lives.

    then i’d put in the cheat for all weapons and i’d pull out a grenade launcher on his ass. a quick pixelated explosion with 8-bit sound later and all the ladies would be beggin’ to be all freakin’ my jock, if you know what i mean.

    that’s totally what i would do.

  47. 47
    Nikki says:

    But even worse for Derbyshire is that he considers himself to be an educated and worldly man, yet he clearly has little to no understanding of human behavior and the human condition.

    That line explains so much about where this country is today. Thank you for this post, John.

  48. 48
    Perry Como says:

    dude, if i was there and the bullets started flying i know that all those years of playing video games would totally kick in.

    first i’d be all up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-start so i’d get infinite lives.

    then i’d put in the cheat for all weapons and i’d pull out a grenade launcher on his ass. a quick pixelated explosion with 8-bit sound later and all the ladies would be beggin’ to be all freakin’ my jock, if you know what i mean.

    that’s totally what i would do.

    n00b. prime ur grenade then rocket jump ovr teh wall and chuck it at his face. right b4 u land fire another n the direcsion hes running and its ZOMGWTFPWNED!!11elevn

  49. 49
    Dulcie says:

    If the price is right, I might be interested in your Dynamite magazine collection.

    cleans ginger ale off monitor

  50. 50
    HyperIon says:

    like others, when i read “I like Derbyshire”, my immediate reaction was “Why?”

    i do not read him regularly; but when i do read his work, i usually end up thinking he is a tool. i have seen him on CSPAN where he comes across as a George Will bowtie type, undoubtedly an educated and worldly man but a TOOL.

  51. 51
    demimondian says:

    Meh. I just rewrote the game in cases like that, and added the “invuln” cheat.

  52. 52

    Just another tough guy at the keyboard. Oh and by the way, your “hero” John Wayne took several deferrments to get out of World War 2 while many other Hollywod stars (David Niven, Clark Gable, Jimmie Stewart) were voluntarily signing up. Then the “Duke” later assauged his coward’s guilt by rooting for the conflict in Vietnam and screaming about treacherous, cowardly hippies who weren’t “real” men like himself, or at least, the real men he pretended to be in movies, much the same way you and Derbyshire pretend to be real men, screaming at all the enemies of America from behind the barricade of a computer scream.

    My favorite thing about John Wayne is, his real name was Marion Morrison. But a tough guy can’t be named Marion, now can he/she?

  53. 53

    you know john wayne’s real name was marion morrison? manly dude, that marion.

    Fuck, you pointed it out first. Sorry!

  54. 54
    Zifnab says:

    When the students slammed the door in his face, “he backed up and shot twice into the middle of the door thinking we were up against it,” Petkewicz said.

    ZOMG! HAXX!

    *sigh* Epically poor taste, but it was, like, right there.

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    i was gonna say enter the IDDQD and IDKFA codes and then take the guy out with the chainsaw. but keep one eye on the cacodemon behind him.

  56. 56
    Perry Como says:

    Epically poor taste, but it was, like, right there.

    Yeah, I was thinking wall h4x. Maybe video games really do destroy your brain.

  57. 57

    […] a.j.hirst@open.ac.uk wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFor Derbyshire to suggest that those victims were not brave is in and of itself callous, stupid, offensive, and displays a worldview that appears to be shaped more by Rambo movies and 24 than actual life experiences. … […]

  58. 58
    Krista says:

    When posed with the threat of a crazed gunmen, we can just expect a portion of the population to hide, a portion to just freeze in fear, others to scream, and others to attempt to save themselves and others.

    Hell, I froze in fear when my dog was attacked by another dog, so I know perfectly well what I’d do.

    And Professor Librescu — a sad story. I hope that all of his students go on to do something very meaningful and helpful with their lives so as to honour what he did.

  59. 59
    AkaDad says:

    Has anyone blamed teh gays yet?

  60. 60
    canuckistani says:

    And Professor Librescu—a sad story. I hope that all of his students go on to do something very meaningful and helpful with their lives so as to honour what he did.

    You know, I think if I were a Holocaust survivor, I’d feel obliged to do something important with my life. And I think a teacher who gives his life to save his students has pretty much nailed down the most meaningful end award.

    I had one scary experience in my life. A coworker had had his life threatened by local gang members, and was carrying a gun for protection. One night, he and I were the last people after locking up at work, and he asked me to walk him onto the subway train on the grounds that people would be less likely to shoot him if he weren’t alone. I did it, but I was scared half to death. *This* far from total loss of sphincter control. He quit soon after, and I never heard from him again. In retrospect, I wonder if he was full of shit, but I believed him at the time, and I’m glad to know I have a little bit of bravery in me. But I make no guarantees I wouldn’t have run for my life if someone had pulled a gun on him.

  61. 61
    Dreggas says:

    chopper Says:

    you know john wayne’s real name was marion morrison? manly dude, that marion.

    And he was a short fucker too. His feet were like kid sized.

  62. 62
    Dreggas says:

    chopper Says:

    dude, if i was there and the bullets started flying i know that all those years of playing video games would totally kick in.

    first i’d be all up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-start so i’d get infinite lives

    Dude it’s UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A-SELECT-START

    You so would have been pWned had you entered that half-assed code.

    And that was from memory not even looking it up…god I used to love Contra, or was that Super-C?

  63. 63
    tBone says:

    And that was from memory not even looking it up…god I used to love Contra, or was that Super-C?

    Worked on both, I think. And a bunch of other Konami games.

    I’ll tell you this – if I had been at VT, I would have totally picked up the spread gun and p3wned that d00d. Just like Derby would have.

  64. 64
    Dreggas says:

    tBone Says:

    Worked on both, I think. And a bunch of other Konami games.

    I’ll tell you this – if I had been at VT, I would have totally picked up the spread gun and p3wned that d00d. Just like Derby would have.

    I would have just made him bite a curb like in The Punisher game man…

    Or better yet nailed him with my M4-SOP/MOD Like in U.S. Navy Seals.

  65. 65
    Doubting Thomas says:

    Man, you have a really low bar, there, John.

    I guess John has to meet your standards of who he can and cannot like? Geez, give the guy a break, he was being critical of The Derb after all. Isn’t it okay if John decides for himself who he likes or doesn’t like?

    But again, to each his own, and I sure haven’t read everything the man’s ever written.

    I’ve read him and I rarely agree with him on anything, however he does have it right when arguing with the Christianists.

    Life is much better when you have the ability to like people who you don’t necessarily agree with.

  66. 66
    Dreggas says:

    Oh and for what it’s worth (and not to diminish what those aboard flight 93 did) it’s one thing to charge a hijacker wielding a box cutter, it’s another to charge a guy with a pistol in each hand.

  67. 67
    t. jasper parnel says:

    John Cole is not and cannot be the sole sane human complaining about this idiocy; is there a word of it on the Corner? No. Derb’s (as he is known) idiocy slips slids away.

    As a side note, as some one who grades college students, I would hesitate to give skin-head crazy boy the F he deserves were he possible armed. I thought the right opposed grade inflation.

  68. 68
    raff says:

    …if I thought I was going to die anyway, I’d at least take a run at the guy.

    Now, does this thought occur to Derb before or after he finds that his bladder is the only thing not paralyzed by fear?

    Yeah, we’d all like to think we could rise to a crisis situation, but if most of your life experience in such things consists of watching Rambo while eating Cheet-Ohs, chances are you’re not going to rise to far.

  69. 69
    jake says:

    Has anyone blamed teh gays yet?

    I’ve been waiting all day and so far, nuthin’. I guess Pat Robertson is hunting down his dentures, putting on a fresh Depends and all before he issues a statement blaming the homoabortocommies.

  70. 70
    RSA says:

    In the yet-to-be-made docudrama of John Derbyshire’s life, he bravely survives torture at the hands of his Iranian captors, saves the lives of dozens of college students while shaking off the effects of multiple bullet wounds (it was just a .22), and goes on to win the war in Iraq singlehandedly (somehow, by the force of his fingertips striking the keys on his laptop).

  71. 71
    chopper says:

    Dude it’s UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A-SELECT-START

    i inserted that error to see if anyone would be nerd enough to correct it. congratulations, you are that nerd.

    yeah, that’s it.

  72. 72

    Thoughts

    So many thoughts about the tragedy at Virginia Tech that I can’t easily keep them straight. There’s no sense or order to this list. A completely senseless tragedy. End of story. But because the story must continue, here’s wishing, yet again, for a w…

  73. 73
    Dreggas says:

    chopper Says:

    i inserted that error to see if anyone would be nerd enough to correct it. congratulations, you are that nerd.

    yeah, that’s it.

    It’s a title I actually wear with pride these days…well I am a geek to be more precise.

  74. 74
    thevandle says:

    Ruppert’s got it all figured out, no? He’s gone deep within the psyches of all those kids, by means of Bill Frist-style remote diagnosis, and has discerned that they’re all Elton John fans, having cast aside John Wayne. Something like that. Or he may be projecting. God, that guy Ruppert’s sharp!!!

  75. 75
    Dreggas says:

    chopper Says:

    Dude it’s UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A-SELECT-START

    i inserted that error to see if anyone would be nerd enough to correct it. congratulations, you are that nerd.

    yeah, that’s it

    Of course there is also the full blood and gore code for mortal combat on Sega – ABACABB

  76. 76
    Tsulagi says:

    Has anyone blamed teh gays yet?

    I’ve been waiting all day and so far, nuthin’. I guess Pat Robertson is hunting down his dentures, putting on a fresh Depends and all before he issues a statement blaming the homoabortocommies.

    Well, if a current post over at RedState turns another corner or so, it could be there. Here’s one comment from someone expressing concern about slipping on lubed slopes and how much latitude THEY should permit teh gays…

    I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with Erick. If we were to approve gay adoptions, that would also mean approving the gay lifestyle as well, which shouldn’t be the case here. Gentlemen and ladies, this is a good case of slippery slope. If we condone gay adoptions, what’s the next step? Do we dare to permit gay couples to receive insurance benefits like married couples do normally receive? Does it really make any sense if we give homosexuals everything they asked for short of permitting them to marry each other?

    Don’t you think it’s hypocritical of us to do that? Remember that the homosexual agenda is to promote its lifestyle as normal and no different from heterosexual lifestsyle, which definitely IS NOT the case. It is an abomination in the eyes of God, it is a wicked lifestyle, it invites judgement from God, it is a cancer that destroys apart the basic unit, which is family in our society.

    Top that spoofers.

  77. 77
    jake says:

    In the yet-to-be-made docudrama of John Derbyshire’s life…

    You forgot the part where every single carbon-based life form that has ever rejected his advances comes to its senses and at last he gets…

    No, wait. Even docudrama’s don’t stray that far from the realm of fact.

  78. 78

    […] Also, what John Cole said about Derb. Posted by Mona @ 6:48 pm, Filed under: Main « « To My Knowledge, My Knowledge is Not Knowledgeable | Main |Enjoy the wonders of open access science » » […]

  79. 79
    Chad N. Freude says:

    I couldn’t get here earlier in the day, and at this point I probably can’t add any new insights. But I feel compelled to say that the only adjective that can describe Derbyshire is vile, and that’s more complimentary than he deserves. The only thing missing is an assertion that they deserved to die for being such wusses. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone could hold this opinion. But apparently Derbyshire isn’t the only one:

    College classrooms have scads of young men who are at their physical peak, and none of them seems to have done anything beyond ducking, running, and holding doors shut. Meanwhile, an old man hurled his body at the shooter to save others.

    Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage. And not a one of the healthy young fellows in the classrooms seems to have done that.

    Excuse me, I have to go throw up.

  80. 80
    Chad N. Freude says:

    Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture.

    Well, not all men. Just those who write for The Corner and Human Events.

  81. 81
    cleek says:

    Has anyone blamed teh gays yet?

    haven’t seen that one, but here (at NRO) we have a wingnut blaming co-ed dorms, English majors, and the faculty. and, even better, the writer is a teacher who thinks guns in classrooms might be a good idea!

  82. 82
    Otto Man says:

    I think we all know why Derbyshire thinks he would’ve jumped to the rescue — he has a thing for the young ladies and maybe, just maybe, they’d be impressed by his valiant display of heroism.

    Actually, maybe not. I seem to recall that the Derb likes them a lot younger than college-aged.

  83. 83
    MBL says:

    You only needed to hit select if you were playing with two people.

    Dorks.

  84. 84
    jake says:

    College classrooms have scads of young men who are at their physical peak,

    Down boy! Take a cold shower. Sheesh. (“Scads”?)

    and none of them seems to have done anything beyond ducking, running, and holding doors shut.

    Well, one of those young men at his physical peak was running amock with a couple of guns. Does that make him more or less manly than the ones who ducked and covered?

    I’m sure it won’t be long before some Field Marshall of the Keyboard picks up on this line of “thought” and starts suggesting VTech is over run with girlie men. Quick, someone give Robertson a poke before he loses the race to blame homoabortocommies!

    Excuse me, I have to go throw up.

    Pass it this way when you’re done, my buckets are all full.

  85. 85
    Krista says:

    Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage. And not a one of the healthy young fellows in the classrooms seems to have done that.

    Fucking disgusting. For all we know, every single kid who got killed was trying to stand up and fight.

    They’re casting aspersions on the courage of dead kids, while knowing absolutely NOTHING about the circumstances in which they died, all while they sit comfy behind their computers.

    I’m gonna go over there and tell them off.

  86. 86
    The Other Steve says:

    John,

    You forget. In wingnut world, everything works like Hollywood movies. It’s like Last Action Hero. You get shot 45 times, and you barely bleed.

  87. 87

    […] And to those who think that, somehow, the victims should have tried to overpower this nutcase who came after them with guns a-blazin’, well, John Cole and Phillybits said it better than I.* […]

  88. 88
    Pb says:

    Dude it’s UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT-LEFT-RIGHT-B-A-SELECT-START

    That’s the two player Konami code; the one player code is as he had it (without the SELECT).

  89. 89
    tBone says:

    In the yet-to-be-made docudrama of John Derbyshire’s life…

    “Yet-to-be-made”? Um, hello? It’s already in its sixth season on Fox. Monday nights at 8 central.

    Derb is so hardcore, he managed to continue filing pieces with NRO even during his three-year stint in Chinese prison.

  90. 90
    numbskull says:

    Doubting Thomas,

    Of course JC doesn’t have to meet my criteria for who he likes/respects/reads. Like I said, to each his own.

    This place is basically two guys , John and Tim, making observations. We all then blather on about what we think about their observations. John said he likes Derb. Someone, not me, expressed dismay. John presented some reasons for why he likes Derb. I think they’re pretty light-weight, but like I said, to each his own. You seem to think that I think John has to somehow live up to my expectations. I sincerely hope he doesn’t think that way. After all, I’m a numbskull.

  91. 91

    […] John Cole: Movies Are Fiction, MMMkay? […]

  92. 92

    Oh and for what it’s worth (and not to diminish what those aboard flight 93 did) it’s one thing to charge a hijacker wielding a box cutter, it’s another to charge a guy with a pistol in each hand.

    It’s also one thing to charge the guy with the boxcutter when you’ve already had time to think through the fact that doing so is the only thing you can do that gives you even a slight chance to stay alive. I’m not taking anything away from the people on Flight 93 when I point out that they had talked to family on their cell phones and knew that they were going to die if they did nothing. The kids at VT had no such knowledge.

  93. 93
    Perry Como says:

    I think I’ve found another spoof blog: Debbie Schlussel. It’s some Grade-A wingnut ranting:

    HOprah Watch

    The Chicago Tribune reports that Virginia Tech University massacre perpetrator, Cho Seung-Hui,

    died with the words “Ismail Ax” in red ink on one of his arms.

    Hmmm . . . Ismail–the Arabic name for Ishmael–considered the father of all Arabs and a very important figure in Islam.

    I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, right? Doesn’t mean anything. Right.

    The spoof is strong with this one.

  94. 94
    Pb says:

    I thought that “Ismail Ax” thing sounded interesting, but after a little searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that it could mean just about anything. Of course, Debbie Schlussel predictably demonstrates her bigotry yet again from the direction of her baseless speculations, just like her previous breathless accounts of Paki Muslim terror bombs or whatever the fuck she was going on about. Yeah, she’s nuts.

  95. 95
    Perry Como says:

    Of course, Debbie Schlussel predictably demonstrates her bigotry yet again from the direction of her baseless speculations, just like her previous breathless accounts of Paki Muslim terror bombs or whatever the fuck she was going on about. Yeah, she’s nuts.

    I wonder if she would buy a theory about Seung-Hui being an al Qaeda Manchurian candidate?

  96. 96
    sglover says:

    Nowadays, when you deal with right-wingers, it’s important to remember that you’re not encountering an ideology so much as an emotional illness. It’s no wonder that Derbyshire is one of their “intellectuals”.

  97. 97
    srv says:

    Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage. And not a one of the healthy young fellows in the classrooms seems to have done that.

    Well, it’s a red county, just like Columbine. Perhaps Derb and pals should consider a movement to throw the less manly infants off cliffs?

    Imagine what these people really think, and hold back.

  98. 98

    […] John Cole, a man who like me left the Kool-Aid stand in disgust, had some great insight on this conservative world view, but I think Atrios summed it up even more succinctly: Much of the post-9/11 wingnut wankery can be traced back to their firm belief that they themselves were the heroes of Flight 93. Even though, you know, the heroes of Flight 93 are dead and they themselves have done nothing courageous. […]

  99. 99
    Sirkowski says:

    AkaDad Says:
    Has anyone blamed teh gays yet?

    Fred Phelps. Funeral. Protest.

    No, really.

  100. 100
    Warren Terra says:

    t. jasper parnel had it exactly right: no-one on the Corner said boo about Derb’s insane comment.

    Note also that later in the day Derb writes another equally crazy post, claiming that in his recent interview with the BBC’s Paxman, John Bolton came out looking good. Seriously, it’s a great interview – look on YouTube for it. Despite Derb’s assertion to the contrary, Bolton looks like a loony to any sane viewer; his most memorable comment (“exaggerated for effect”) is that the US should have just taken down the Iraqi government, handed out a couple of copies of the Federalist Papers, and departed. This is in obvious controvention of both common decency and the Geneva protocols.

    Mind you, in the same later post Derb recommends the aphorism “Rubble doesn’t cause trouble”. I admit, the Russians’ approach to quashing resistance movements has worked in Grozny, at least better than ours in Iraq. But (1) it worked by completely ignoring all concepts of humanity and (2) even if we would and could use a similar approach (and it would mean millions dead within weeks, not a disputed half-million in four years) the effects on the neighbors might be rather greater in the middle east than in Chechnya. And the Russians had advantages we lack, including linguistic and cultural ties to many citizens of Chechnya.

  101. 101

    Nowadays, when you deal with right-wingers, it’s important to remember that you’re not encountering an ideology so much as an emotional illness. It’s no wonder that Derbyshire is one of their “intellectuals”.

    POTD.

  102. 102
    cleek says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it could mean just about anything.

    it’s an anagram for “Salami XI”

  103. 103
    jake says:

    Fred Phelps. Funeral. Protest.

    Goly Hother Mucking of Fod. I wondered about that. Then I thought, “You’re being paranoid.” Then I remembered that the only reason they didn’t crash the funeral for those Amish girls is because some well-meaning person gave them air-time on his radio show.

    Oh well, once you get away from the Vast McMansion Herds of Virginia the state is gorgeous.

    SADDLE UP!

  104. 104
    Punchy says:

    CNN UPDATE:

    ~44 HOURS SINCE….and still going 24 hours a day coverage. Unable to break away for any other news. Simply incredible.

  105. 105
    Pug says:

    Well…at least I don’t think Derbyshire blamed the Amish girls in Pennsylvania for their own deaths because they didn’t rush the gunman. Of course, he may have been firing something more lethal than a mere .22.

  106. 106
    Oregon Guy says:

    Here’s what I wrote to NRO:

    I read with unalloyed disgust the below posting by your columnist John Derbyshire on NRO’s “The Corner” yesterday regarding Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech:

    http://corner.nationalreview.c.....M1OWQxYTU=

    Spirit of Self-Defense [John Derbyshire]

    As NRO’s designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask: Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus ban on licensed conceals, why didn’t anyone rush the guy? It’s not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for goodness’ sake—one of them reportedly a .22.

    At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him. Handguns aren’t very accurate, even at close range. I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can’t hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am. And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage—your chances aren’t bad.

    Yes, yes, I know it’s easy to say these things: but didn’t the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything? As the cliche goes—and like most cliches. It’s true—none of us knows what he’d do in a dire situation like that. I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I’d at least take a run at the guy.

    04/17 11:17 AM

    For God’s sake, the blood of the murder victims was not even dry and already this person is blaming the victims for their lack of steely resolve or whatever.

    Unlike Mr. Derbyshire, I am not a chickenhawk but an actual real-life member of the United States military, and as such I am trained in martial arts and marksmanship. I can tell you that, as an unarmed person confronted with an armed person, the best thing to do is get as far away from the shooter as possible. Taking on an armed shooter is suicidal. .22 rounds are not harmless. The standard US military rifles and carbines (M16 & M4) use a round which is only slightly larger caliber than a .22 (it is .223) and that round kills very effectively.

    Perhaps even more disturbing than Mr. Derbyshire’s post is the failure of any other columnists on the group blog to challenge it in any way.

    What happened at Virginia Tech was an unalloyed tragedy, with no real political dimensions.

    Mr. Derbyshire’s post was tasteless, crass and disrespectful in the extreme, especially as later facts to emerge from Blacksburg have shown that there were many acts of heroism which undoubtedly saved many lives. Not least of these is the case of Professor Liviu Librescu who gave his life for his students on Monday, an act of true courage of the sort I doubt Mr. Derbyshire could ever muster under any circumstances.

    Posts such as Mr. Derbyshire’s call in to question the judgment and character of NRO’s editorial board and besmirch the reputation of America’s most influential and venerable conservative magazine. Reviewing the posting policies of The Corner at this time, and putting Mr. Derbyshire on a much-needed sabattical is what NRO should do, at a minimum, to regain its good reputation. There is no free speech issue here, only a taste/no taste issue. Writers for NRO should not blast whatever notions enter their heads out for the world to read. Frankly Mr. Derbyshire showed a stunning lack of basic human empathy and judgment in posting the above on Monday. You don’t need a degree to know that what Mr. Derbyshire said was wrong. You need basic common sense and morals.

    What I read on the Corner on Monday bears no relationship to the proud tradition established by William F. Buckley. Please fix it immediately.

    Deeply disappointed,

    Oregon Guy

  107. 107

    […] Further, as John Cole rightly notes, there were acts of heroism at Va Tech on Monday. The response to the shooting by the students was a mixed one, as one would expect from human being–we don’t all react the same to these situations. […]

  108. 108

    Bolton looks like a loony to any sane viewer; his most memorable comment (“exaggerated for effect”) is that the US should have just taken down the Iraqi government, handed out a couple of copies of the Federalist Papers, and departed.

    Gotta give him credit. That’s the first intelligent thing I’ve ever heard Bolton say.

  109. 109
    Lee says:

    A this point Derbyshire has become irrevelent. If anyone wants to invalidate their argument all they have to do is quote him in support.

    Couple of things to point out:

    His idea is a valid one…FOR MARINES. During infantry training we practiced the ‘fight thru the ambush’. I am not going to tell you how many boots to my ass it took to finally get the idea but I still have the shoe size of my gunny stamped on my ass 20 years later.

    From the reports I’ve read this is what exactly happened (an ambush). Psycho boy walked into a class, opened fire walked out. It sounds like he reloaded while in the hallways. Even if he did reload while in class, he could have always had one loaded while reloading the other (which is actually easier to learn than fighting thru an ambush).

  110. 110
    Chad N. Freude says:

    Seriously, it’s a great interview – look on YouTube for it.

    I just watched the Bolton interview. (Thanks for the referral.) It’s a masterpiece of double-speak and rewriting of history. He makes a lot of really jaw-dropping statements: he actively supported policies he didn’t believe in because of “loyalty”, the only responsibility of the US in Iraq was taking out Saddam, the US has no responsibility for maintaining order after destroying the country’s ability to do it for themselves — it’s the Iraqis’ responsibility (explicitly stated), the WMD rationale for war wasn’t really the rationale, not all of the evidence is in yet on WMD, and the only reason the US is having difficulty with other nations with WMD programs is because of “faint hearts” in Europe and the US. Even Orwell would be amazed.

  111. 111
    Grrr says:

    I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can’t hit squat

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sometimes.

  112. 112
    Zifnab says:

    That’s the two player Konami code; the one player code is as he had it (without the SELECT).

    Is that what it was? My friends and I were tearing our hair out for ages trying to figure out why it would work sometimes but not others. If only someone had told me this 15 years ago!

  113. 113
    Barry says:

    Sorry if I’m repeating what others said, but I lost patience and cut to the end. I just wanted to point out what another guy beat me to, that Derbyshire is *not* posting from Baghdad, otherwise known as the Frontline of the War Against Terror And For Western Civ, where Failure Is Not An Option.

    Also, this is another data point that the people at National Review don’t seem to ever say, ‘dude, you might feel that way, but maybe you should zip it.’.

  114. 114
    JKing says:

    The very nicest thing I can think of to say about your friend “Derb” is that he suffers from an extreme form of emotional stuntedness.

  115. 115
    Justin says:

    From today’s NYT’s article:

    “I sprinted on top of the desk to the door, because the aisle was clogged with people, and I used my foot as a wedge against the door,” recalled Mr. O’Dell. “It was almost like you had to fight for your life. If you didn’t, you died.”

    Mr. Perkins said he was struck at how Mr. O’Dell managed to help hold back the gunman, given his injury.

    “It was just amazing to me that he was still up and leaning against the door,” he said. “Derek was able to hold him off while I was helping other people.”

    Mr. ODell said that initially at least he had not noticed he had been shot. “I looked down and realized I was bleeding,” he said. “That’s when I took off my belt and used it as a tourniquet and called 911 on my cell.”

    I do believe the Derb owes Mr. O’Dell an apology.

  116. 116
    Nylund says:

    Robert F. Kennedy was killed by a .22 and Reagan was shot with a .22 as well. A .22, in fact, can bounce off bones like the ribs, creating criss-crossing patterns within the body. When fired at the head it can ricochet around and around within the skull, turning it to mush. At short ranges, a .22 can really mess you up.

  117. 117
    Pooh says:

    Kinda late to come to this, but I’m kinda with John re: The Derb – yeah he’s a complete homophobic, xenophobic, misogynist asshole. But he’s completely honest and occasionally witty about it – the closest thing we’re likely to see to a real Archie Bunker.

  118. 118
    Redleg says:

    I’m sure a highly skilled killer like the Derb could use a mere .22 to lethal effect. Perhaps he’ll start by putting the barrel into his own mouth and …

    Any of you neocons think that was bad for me to say? Screw you- I thought you jerkies were against political correctness.

  119. 119
    Bill Arnold says:

    I hate to take this without a proper degree of seriousness and all, but did she just describe the shooting in metric?
    Possible (plenty of engineers have the habit of using metric), but it’s a news report on a South African website.

  120. 120

    […] Further, as John Cole rightly notes, there were acts of heroism at Va Tech on Monday. The response to the shooting by the students was a mixed one, as one would expect from human being–we don’t all react the same to these situations (heck, to any situation for that matter). […]

  121. 121

    […] Further, as John Cole rightly notes, there were acts of heroism at Va Tech on Monday. The response to the shooting by the students was a mixed one, as one would expect from human being–we don’t all react the same to these situations (heck, to any situation for that matter). […]

  122. 122

    […] By laughing at Derbyshire. Cole’s piece starts off quite seriously but the commenters take it to another level: dude, if i was there and the bullets started flying i know that all those years of playing video games would totally kick in. […]

  123. 123

    Free speech doesn’t mean it should be said.

    In a recent poll Kip asked for input on the worst nonsensical claim to come out of the murders at Virginia Tech. Of the three choices, I voted for the third option, John Derbyshire and Nathanael Blake blaming the victims….

  124. 124

    […] -John Derbyshire called the victims pussies for letting themselves get shot. […]

  125. 125
    Carot says:

    Derbyshire asks a good question, and rather than just attack him why not think about it? The real answer is probably it happened too fast. If the students had known the gunman was coming, say from another classroom and had ten minutes to think it over they probably would have decided to rush him.
    The real problem is they would have been in shock. The teacher had been in some bad situations before and knew he had to think quick to save his friends. I believe a lot of students would have sacrificed themselves to save others if they had the time to decide. In fact I think a few posters here would have done this if they had enough time to plan it.
    Just like on the plane on 9/11 people will do the heroic thing if they have the time and training. If the gunman had walked into a class of karate students or ROTC trainees they might have had the reflexes to stop him.
    But the real problem here is that despite these shootings happening regularly people have no training on what to do. Here was a simple way to perhaps save everyone. As the gunman walks into the room everyone throws their chairs and desks at him. If he was hit by 30 chairs and desks then I doubt he would still be standing. People could be trained in how to handle a situation like this in self defence classes on campus. Instead of barricading the door maybe they could have rushed at him from the side as he walked in.
    The thing is no one knows, including all the posters here because no one has studied the situation with experience in this and formulated a plan, then experimented in teaching students until there was a better chance they could survive. Schools drill their students for lots of things like fires and earthquakes, even bomb scares, so how about training them to overcome a gunman? If I was a student I would be thankful for any training I could get in this.

  126. 126
    PaulB says:

    Derbyshire asks a good question, and rather than just attack him why not think about it?

    Because a) his post was empty posturing, b) he knew nothing of what actually happened, yet still felt compelled to rant, c) his question was not, in fact, “good,” by any meaningful definition of the word. The Derb is getting precisely the treatment he deserves.

    Frankly, the rest of your post wasn’t worth a response.

  127. 127
    Hilary says:

    From the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....824_3.html):

    Kevin Granata had heard the commotion in his third-floor office and ran downstairs. He was a military veteran, very protective of his students. He was gunned down trying to confront the shooter.

  128. 128
    Carot says:

    The point I am making is there seems to be no organized training or resources for overcoming a gunman like this. For decades hijackers on planes were allowed to enter the cockpit. After 9/11 it was decided to follow Israel’s lead and install stronger doors to the cockpit. There is always a way to reduce the chances of people being killed by terrorists or gunmen like this, that why so much money is being spent by Homeland Security. So why not spend some money on training and plans against these kinds of gunmen?
    One of the reasons these gunmen do this is they know that there are no defences against them. So they don’t have to worry about being stopped, it is just a matter of whether they decide to attack utterly defenceless people. If there were defences some gunmen might think twice about doing this.
    So here are some ideas that are relatively cheap to do but which should save lives:
    1. Have locks on all school doors that can be locked from inside the classroom and cannot be opened from outside (perhaps they might need a special key from the principal). Also the lock should be strong enough to not be opened by gunfire. When people hear gunfire they should be drilled to go in a room like this, lock the door and lie on the ground.
    This might dissuade a lot of gunmen because they might be trying to kill particular people and the chances of getting them would be a lot less.
    2. Have an intercom in each class so people can warn others if they see a gunman and this can be relayed to everyone in the school through speakers in classes. Very cheap to do, as soon as anyone sees a gun they warn everyone else who lock the doors and lies down.
    3. Have a tear gas or flash bang grenade behind a glass panel in each classroom or at selected sites in a school. I think this is the best most cost effective weapon to stop a gunman. Anyone can throw a grenade near the gunman who would not be able to shoot from the fumes or from being stunned and then people can run away or overcome him. This would have a major deterrent effect of a gunman thought he might be overcome like this, as the scenario is no longer attacking defenceless people but evading a multi layered defensive and offensive strategy. In fact the same gunmen would have participated in drills to use these things so would know how effective they are.
    4. People would need to be trained to throw anything they can at the gunman. If they succeed in hitting him in the face or his gun they might make him drop the gun or not be able to see long enough to get away or overpower him. If you have 30 people in a classroom or cafeteria and everyone threw everything they could at the gunman then it is highly likely he would be injured or killed by this. For example:
    a. Chairs and desks. People could be drilled in picking up a chair and throwing it at a dummy for accuracy. 30 chairs aimed at a gunman will stop him and most people are likely to be standing next to a chair. A gunman would know this training and worry about being overcome this way so it is a deterrent.
    b. Plates, knives, food, drink cans. In a cafeteria anything like this can be thrown, food and drink might blind the gunman and cutlery might dig into him if made of steel. 30 people throwing knives is a formidable deterrent.
    c. Shoes, school bags, hockey sticks, tennis racquets. Any of these are formidable missiles. The problem is it is no good if only one person does this, but if everyone is trained to do this instantly then it is very hard to dodge without at least stopping shooting or running.
    d. Training. People need to be drilled in self defence classes like with fire drills. A room with materials like this and a dummy gunman could be used for aiming practise. People could be shown the best way to disable a gunman, e.g. karate chop to the throat, kick to the groin, etc. Unlike most self defence the key here is to disable without regard for the life of the gunman so extreme measures can be used.
    e. Money, positive thinking and will. This is the hardest part. It requires people to lobby for the money and laws to mandate a defensive strategy. It requires people to think positively about the problem and develop a solution, not just pretend no defence is possible. People are dying because of lack of money and planning and it needs to stop now.

  129. 129
    Sergey says:

    1)The best defence against a man with a gun is many men with many guns. “No gun” zones are open invitation to terrorists and psychos.
    2)John Derbyshire did not blame victims; this is red herring. He did not expect all the students behave like heroes, he simply asked a reasonable question why there were almost no attempts to attack this SOB among so many joung men. And these heroic mythos so contemptuously refered here are (or at least should be) an integral part of yong man psychology. A man is not a true man without it.

  130. 130

    […] In the world of popular rightwing pundits like Debbie Schlussel and John Derbyshire, the only real men in America are the Unitarian liberals who tackled a bloodthirsty shotgun-wielding Hannity fan. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] In the world of popular rightwing pundits like Debbie Schlussel and John Derbyshire, the only real men in America are the Unitarian liberals who tackled a bloodthirsty shotgun-wielding Hannity fan. […]

  2. […] -John Derbyshire called the victims pussies for letting themselves get shot. […]

  3. Free speech doesn’t mean it should be said.

    In a recent poll Kip asked for input on the worst nonsensical claim to come out of the murders at Virginia Tech. Of the three choices, I voted for the third option, John Derbyshire and Nathanael Blake blaming the victims….

  4. […] By laughing at Derbyshire. Cole’s piece starts off quite seriously but the commenters take it to another level: dude, if i was there and the bullets started flying i know that all those years of playing video games would totally kick in. […]

  5. […] Further, as John Cole rightly notes, there were acts of heroism at Va Tech on Monday. The response to the shooting by the students was a mixed one, as one would expect from human being–we don’t all react the same to these situations (heck, to any situation for that matter). […]

  6. […] Further, as John Cole rightly notes, there were acts of heroism at Va Tech on Monday. The response to the shooting by the students was a mixed one, as one would expect from human being–we don’t all react the same to these situations (heck, to any situation for that matter). […]

  7. […] Further, as John Cole rightly notes, there were acts of heroism at Va Tech on Monday. The response to the shooting by the students was a mixed one, as one would expect from human being–we don’t all react the same to these situations. […]

  8. […] John Cole, a man who like me left the Kool-Aid stand in disgust, had some great insight on this conservative world view, but I think Atrios summed it up even more succinctly: Much of the post-9/11 wingnut wankery can be traced back to their firm belief that they themselves were the heroes of Flight 93. Even though, you know, the heroes of Flight 93 are dead and they themselves have done nothing courageous. […]

  9. […] And to those who think that, somehow, the victims should have tried to overpower this nutcase who came after them with guns a-blazin’, well, John Cole and Phillybits said it better than I.* […]

  10. […] Also, what John Cole said about Derb. Posted by Mona @ 6:48 pm, Filed under: Main « « To My Knowledge, My Knowledge is Not Knowledgeable | Main |Enjoy the wonders of open access science » » […]

  11. Thoughts

    So many thoughts about the tragedy at Virginia Tech that I can’t easily keep them straight. There’s no sense or order to this list. A completely senseless tragedy. End of story. But because the story must continue, here’s wishing, yet again, for a w…

  12. […] a.j.hirst@open.ac.uk wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFor Derbyshire to suggest that those victims were not brave is in and of itself callous, stupid, offensive, and displays a worldview that appears to be shaped more by Rambo movies and 24 than actual life experiences. … […]

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