Blue Crack Addict
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Rage Ave.
Local Time: 12:39 AM
Well, an update on what's going on here:
The panel met today. They began their meeting with a tour of Norris, and spoke with police. They learned Cho was also armed with 2 knives and some sort of hammer thing, plus there were about 200 more rounds to go...so, hard to believe, but if the police hadn't broken into the chained doors at that moment it could've been a lot worse. He definitely intended to kill more people.
They say that the police assembled the SWAT team after the first shootings of Emily and Ryan. They said that the assembly of the SWAT was what allowed them to get into Norris when they did and save so many lives
If SWAT teams were assembled, why the FUCK was campus not shut down? We had friggin SWAT teams on campus and life resumed as normal????? That just doesnt make sense to me.
As for the public? Well, just in case I forgot that I was in southwest va:
People tell the Virginia Tech review panel if the professors and students were armed, they could have stopped Seung Hui Cho before police.
That type of comment kept coming up during Monday's public comment segment in Blacksburg.
"That no guns policy (at Virginia Tech) did nothing to deter Cho's rampage but it did deprive law abiding VT employees and adult students of their ability to defend themselves.", says Dave Knight, the father of a recent Virginia Tech graduate who was not on campus on April 16.
"Frankly, I don't know anyone else who carries a weapon who wants to use it. We're not a bunch of Rambos running around waiting for someone to jump out of the bushes.", says Tech alumnus Clint Perdue. "We're people terrified of the prospect of having to kill someone but damnit, I'm one of the good guys." Perdue says the university prohibited legally carried concealed weapons after his gun was discovered in 1995.
Panel members seemed to take particular interest in a chart presented by Mike Stollenwerk with OpenCarry.org, a pro-concealed weapons group. It compares Virginia's gun transfer laws to other states and finds Virginia is among the most restrictive in the nation.
No one stood up to say Virginia's gun control laws need to be tougher.
After hearing this...I'm glad to be leaving here. I don't wanna be here if this becomes another University of Utah case:
In a ruling that legal experts say could threaten the autonomy of public universities and the safety of their students, the Utah Supreme Court ruled Friday that the University of Utah cannot bar guns from its campus.
Loss for Whistle Blowers, April 23
A More Porous Church-State Wall, March 14
Criminals and Colleges in the Capital, Feb. 14
Crime and (Minimal) Punishment, Sept. 1
Freer Speech at Georgia Tech, Aug. 16
The university says that the ban will remain in effect, pending a federal court battle, where academic freedom arguments based on the the U.S. Constitution will be raised. Nonetheless, Friday’s ruling angered college leaders, who saw it as a terrible precedent. “This is a violation of law and common sense,” said Sheldon E. Steinbach, vice president and general counsel of the American Council on Education, which is backing the university in the case. “What’s it going to take for those representatives in Utah to understand? Will they only be moved after there has been an unfortunate incident involving a gun-slinging student?”
Utah’s attorney general, meanwhile, praised the ruling as “a victory for the rule of law,” and he was joined by Utah lawmakers in pledging to fight for the right of students and others to bring guns on campus.
Banning firearms from campuses is a widespread policy — and it doesn’t generally vary from state to state, even though states have widely differing gun laws. The dispute in Utah dates to 2001, when Mark Shurtleff, the attorney general, issued an opinion finding that the University of Utah’s gun ban violated state laws barring state or local entities from enacting restrictions on access to firearms. The university sued in federal court, charging that its academic freedom assured by the First Amendment was being violated, and also stating that Utah lawmakers had given the university considerable autonomy when they created it — enough to allow the university to set its own gun policy.
A federal judge ordered that the state issues be heard first, in Utah courts, and that set up a series of legal hearings that led to Friday’s ruling. In the Utah courts, the main question was whether the Legislature had granted the university so much autonomy that it could bar firearms from campus. In a 4-to-1 ruling, the court found that references to university autonomy were not as strong or conclusive as university officials asserted. Absent specific exemptions in various state laws, the justices said, the university is covered — and that goes for the ban on restricting firearms.
“Although the university has broad powers, it is not completely autonomous, and it is ultimately subject to legislative oversight.... The Utah Constitution does not grant the university authority to promulgate firearms policies in contravention of legislative enactments, and it is not our place to do so,” said the decision. If Utah citizens want their lawmakers to give the university the right to bar firearms, the justices added, they need “to express their dissatisfaction at the ballot box.”
Utah legislative leaders have gone out of their way to say that they have no intention of changing the law and that they are annoyed with the university for implying that it wasn’t covered by their legislation on guns. John L. Valentine, president of the State Senate, issued a statement about the court ruling in which he said: “I appreciate what this ruling does for the Second Amendment issue but, more importantly, it reaffirms that government by the people, through their elected representatives, is the law of the land. There is really no room for independent islands of authority within state government.”
In a dissent, Chief Justice Christine Durham wrote that applying the logic of the decision, “the university may not subject a student to academic discipline for flashing his pistol to a professor in class.”
The chief justice said that the majority decision implied that the university only had autonomy over what courses are taught and what may take place in a classroom. Such a definition, she said, is far too narrow, because “a university, by its nature, is more than the sum of its classes.” She added that the university’s autonomy should generally extend to policies designed to advance its education goals. In this case, she wrote, “the record ... contains extensive evidence that practitioners and experts in higher education are convinced that a no weapons on campus policy is necessary to the educational enterprise.”
The logic behind the chief justice’s dissent is similar to the argument the University of Utah now plans to take to federal courts. “Our central argument is that within the context of the First Amendment, there is the capacity to control the environment within which the educational dialogue occurs, so we are within our rights to take steps that are central to the free and open debate that you need at a university,” said Michael Young, president of the University of Utah, in an interview Friday.
“If you think about what a campus looks like, people live in dorms and all over the place. They are relatively young, coming with varying degrees of maturity, and you are putting them in situations where they are in intellectual and social situations they haven’t been in before,” Young said. “In that volatile mix, you want to introduce real ideas, and you want those ideas debated and thought about. But you also want to eliminate any kind of possible physical intimidation.”
He added that in the normal give and take of campus life, “things are different if you think the person you are talking to might be packing.”
Utah is a state where many people do have firearms legally, Young said, and without the university’s rule, many students would probably bring guns to dormitories and campus events.
Young stressed that the university was not anti-gun or trying to make any sort of political statement. The university has a highly competitive pistol team and a Reserve Officers Training Corp unit, he noted.
Steinbach of the American Council on Education agreed that the issue is university autonomy, not guns. And he said that there are real safety issues at stake for any campus leader. He noted that even if a given student knew about gun safety, there was no reason to believe others in a dormitory would know. And given the problems colleges already have with drunk students making poor choices, Steinbach said, adding guns to the mix in dormitories would invite trouble.
From a legal standpoint, Steinbach said that the authority for a university to control the educational environment was defined in constitutional terms in 1957 when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter defined four elements of academic freedom: “the freedom of an institution to decide who may attend, who may teach, what may be taught and how it shall be taught.” Steinbach said that “inherent in that definition” is the ability of universities “to define the educational environment.”