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Nickel Mines and Va Tech
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, April 17, 2007

For some reason this came unbidden to mind while driving around today listening to the coverage of the Va Tech massacre:
The Amish responded to the Nickel Mines school massacre in the same way they deal with other forms of adversity —- quietly, maturely and responsibly. Unlike school shootings in other, more urban settings, the Amish community issued no clarion call for grief counselors to flood the area, hold their children's hands and serve as surrogate parents, and then submit large hourly fee statements to the school system. The Amish counseled their own children in their own way, as they have done for generations —- with prayer, parental love and sibling comfort.

The Amish, who do not believe in graven images but rather evince deep respect for simple structures and messages, constructed no makeshift shrines of the sort that crop up in other communities across America where tragedy strikes. No Mylar balloons imprinted with canned, commercial messages of faux grief were to be found; nor was there a run on pink teddy bears from the local Wal-Mart with which to create mounds of tacky toys as some bizarre expression of communal grief transference.

[...]

Apparently, the Amish elders gave no thought whatsoever to calling for a commission to conduct a feasible study of how best to create an appropriate edifice to recall and relive the tragedy of Oct. 2 for the entire nation. More importantly, perhaps, I suspect not one Amish citizen in that rural Pennsylvania community harbored a moment's thought about how many taxpayer dollars could or should be earmarked for such a monument.

[...]

No studies, no commissions, no rush to blame, no taxpayer dollars, no piles of dolls and balloons, no grief counselors, no monuments. Instead, reserved reflection steeped in private grief, public forgiveness and overarching reverence for continuing to live in what they view as God's vision and image, are the hallmarks of the Amish response to a tragedy that would surely break the back of weaker communities.
This is more of a point to ponder than me attempting to make a negative point about how Va Tech handles the tragedy. At this point in time, there's really nothing much that has happened in that regard at Va Tech (although they are having a memorial as I write this and that, of course, is to be expected).

I'm simply reminding you of how one community handled this sort of a tragedy very recently. I'm interested to see how this latest tragedy will be handled by a different community with different ideals, goals and principles than the Amish. Call it a cultural study if you must, but keep and eye peeled. It should be interesting.
 
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The objective lesson seems to be that those who resisted in some way (jumping out windows, barricading doors, etc.) seemed to live, while those who submitted to the murderer seemed to die.

Is is just chance that mass murders happen in the settings of post-modern schools/universities, where individual responsiblity and survival are not key values? (Compare this to the pacifist culture of the Amish...)

Also interesting is that mass murders don’t seem to happen at gun clubs or in hunting areas, despite the large number of firearms confined into a limited area (including more lethal types of firearms, such as high-powered rifles — contrast versus the murderer’s rimfire & 9 mm). Is this disparity the result of different cultures, or the result of different levels of self-defense tools?

People keep floating the idea that the tragic murders at VA Tech wouldn’t have happened if a student or prof was armed. I am not so sure, given the submissive, truth-and-life-denying po-mo culture which is the modern university. An armed sheep is still not a sheepdog, it’s purpose is still to be prey for the wolf.
 
Written By: Tball
URL: http://
The one thing that always comes to my mind with this sort of thing is my own ability for self sacrifice and altruism. How would i handle such a thing. I would like to believe i would fight back and sacrifice for those around me, id like to think the last thing i would do is stand by while others take bullets, that i would rather get shot trying to tackle the guy than standing in a room cowering against a wall, yet i just don’t know. perhaps our fearless mods could shed light on such issues, as they are both military, though not sure if either have seen any close up action.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
It makes you wonder how someone could just walk through a building and calmly shoot 30+ people. Not in the sense of how someone could hate so much that he could heap such damage on his fellow human beings - that has been proven far too many times in history to even cause the batting of an eye. But from the perspective of the victims - how could they let someone do this to them?

Obviously, this is complete conjecture and with time more information will come out for us all to ponder over. But the image I have in my mind is similar to that of a crockadile in some African River watching as a herd of Wildebeasts swim across. There is safety in numbers here because the crock can only take on one at a time. The herd instinct takes over and all push for the other shore. The crock strikes and takes one down below the waves to drown and then pulls his catch aside for consumption while the herd continues to cross with nary a glance back at their fallen brother/sister.

Was this the instinct that these children/young people reverted to? The herd mentality? Word has it one professor sacrificed himself allowing his students some time to escape through the windows. But what about all the others? Scurry about enough and maybe the predator will take another and you can escape?

There are no gun laws that can protect any of us in this world. There is no legislation that can ensure our safety. The Constitution provides the means to garuntee life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this country but what good is that piece of paper when your child is looking down the barrel of a gun?

Do we, as a society, have any survival skills? How would your child react in a similar situation? I woke up last night in a cold sweat with this in mind. I intend to sit down with my own two children (grown though they may be) and discuss this with them. Do I need to ensure their education includes survival skills? And what of their children (my grandchildren) some day? That is one lesson I have determined to resolve within my own family from this tragedy.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
People keep floating the idea that the tragic murders at VA Tech wouldn’t have happened if a student or prof was armed. I am not so sure, given the submissive, truth-and-life-denying po-mo culture which is the modern university. An armed sheep is still not a sheepdog, it’s purpose is still to be prey for the wolf
Yeah, but the nature of the sheep is to not be armed at all. Those who would’ve had the arms presumably would’ve at least been better than sheep
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Let’s do get crazy here....This has NOTHING to do with Liberalism or Po-Mo studies or modern culture, unless you’re going to tell me that the Jews in the 1930’s and 1940’s were also Po-Mo Scholars

The people didn’t fight because no one led them...everyone thinks, "This can’t be happening" or "If I chrage him he’ll kill me me" and "Mayhap he won’t kill ME." So everyone stands there. It’s human nature.

I dare say if you practice this as an experiment better than 80% of the time this is what will happen. Look at United 93, it took them considerable amount of time to decide to actually fight back.

So let’s try to hold off on the Po-Mo this, and sheep that...If you’re Granny or Grand-pappy had been confronted with this fellow I’m betting the same outcome would have resulted.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe,

Imagine what the Spartians or Samurai would have done faced with this sorta threat. Likewise some Blackwater employee who’s ex-Delta. There is a definite cultural aspect to this.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
So let’s try to hold off on the Po-Mo this, and sheep that...If you’re Granny or Grand-pappy had been confronted with this fellow I’m betting the same outcome would have resulted.
I wouldn’t be so sure. My grandpa (my dad’s side) was a boy in a Western school when some Mexicans stole horses from some of the schoolchildren. The older school boys—mid teens—tracked the Mexicans down into Mexico and shot them down, then finished them off with a knife. And they got the horses back. Yes, these teen age boys wore their guns to school.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Joe,

Imagine what the Spartians or Samurai would have done faced with this sorta threat. Likewise some Blackwater employee who’s ex-Delta. There is a definite cultural aspect to this.

You mean that those TRAINED to deal with violence can deal with it?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I’m simply reminding you of how one community handled this sort of a tragedy very recently.
I recall seeing a short news story not too long ago about the new school for that Amish community opening. No fanfare. No front page news. Just people getting back to the business of living.

I hope the VA Tech students realize that is their job now. Get back to the business of living.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Y
ou mean that those TRAINED to deal with violence can deal with it?
No, those that have thought about how to deal with violence.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
No, those that have thought about how to deal with violence.

In the examples provided they were people TRAINED to respond to violence, not just those who thought about it...

To fight this guy required the willingness to suffer 30% casualties to defeat the guy. A team might try it, but individually you are confronted with the knowledge that if you rush him you will die...that’s what makes a herd, it becomes a PACK, when they group realizes that they are all going to die and leadership emerges to rally the group, a la United 93.


I’m pretty certain that if I walked into a Marine Corps Recruit Training barracks, with a M-4 and multiple magazines, the first morning after their arrival I’d have the same effect as Cho Seung-Hui had....I could line them up and begin shooting them. Why because they aren’t MARINES they’re just a group of scared INDIVIDUALS, a herd...Now about week 3, it might be a different story.

Again, anyone who wants to talk about Po-Mo this or our "soft" culture that, I just think you’re talking thru your hat. A group of individuals confronted with an armed and dangerous man if very likely to do nothing. I would point out that it took from 1939/40 until 1943 for the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto to decide to fight, and even then fewer than 1,000 Jews chose to do so, out of several tens of thousand in the ghetto. Resistance is not ingrained in humans.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Again, anyone who wants to talk about Po-Mo this or our "soft" culture that, I just think you’re talking thru your hat.

Then explain to me why most mass murders take place in schools/universities and NOT other places?

The examples you cited were civilians against military/terrorists...not a crazy untrained guy with a fricken rimfire and 9 mm who killed 30+ people.

I put up a theory and you reacted like a typical PC weasel. At least some of us are thinking and trying to make sense of this, as to prevent future tragedies, and not sticking our heads in the sands because we don’t want to offend.
 
Written By: TBall
URL: http://
I put up a theory and you reacted like a typical PC weasel. At least some of us are thinking and trying to make sense of this, as to prevent future tragedies, and not sticking our heads in the sands because we don’t want to offend.

PC weasel? OK, dude... you put up a theory; Lemarque offered up a theory on Evolution too, sadly it was wrong. You confuse theory with truth...I am simply attacking your theory and positing a COUNTER-Theory, I have even adduced some evidence to support mine, all you’ve done is spout some personal invective.
The examples you cited were civilians against military/terrorists...not a crazy untrained guy with a fricken rimfire and 9 mm who killed 30+ people
And this makes a difference BECAUSE???? It’s different with Mohamet Atta or the PFLP on athe Achille Lauro because....

You may THINK you’re thinking, but right now you’re not....

I have a solution, allow concealed carry on Va. Tech’s property. See that’s a solution that doesn’t touch on intagibles like "Po-Mo" culture. Because if your theory is right, well had they all had M-4’s with M-320 40mm UGL’s they wouldn’t have used them. Of course, just a few years ago, in the same state, at Appalachian State we see college students using their personal firearms to stop a similar rampage.

So TBall, is Appalachian State just less Po-Mo or was it the presence of firearms that made the difference?

Thank you and when you care to THINK, rather than spout some Conservative Gobblety-Gook about Modern Society and Po-Mo Studies get back to me.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
At Texas A&M there is a Student Center that is a memorial to former students who died in the line of fire - after all, A&M was a military college for about a century or so and still has a Corps of Cadets. In the Student Center there are, ranged along a wall, pictures and descriptions of former students who won the Congressional Medal of Honor. There is also a simple monument listing the names of former students who died in battle, outside the Corps dorm area. Many, many names are listed in bronze on that simple concrete block. These fitting and proper memorials are nothing, however, compared to the Stonehenge-like memorial to the 12 students who died recently when the bonfire stack they were building fell over. A sense of proportion has been lost at that fine institution.
 
Written By: Austin Mike
URL: http://

 
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