you're reading...
Pre-2008 Posts

Today’s Male Terrorism: Gunman Kills 32 at Virginia Tech, Injures 21

Injured at Virginia Tech

A gunman opened fire, first in a dormitory, then in an academic hall at Virginia Tech this morning, killing 22 people and wounding 21 more before either killing himself or being shot dead by police.  A statement from the President of Virginia Tech is here.

USA Today,  in connection with its reporting of the shootings, linked to a list of 46 school shootings internationally between 1996 and today.  Of those 46, 45 of the shooters were male.  In the one instance in which the shooter was female, she shot and wounded one other female and killed no one.

How anyone can form his or her lips to suggest that women are “as violent” as men, and expect to be taken seriously, is beyond me.  I see this kind of statement a lot, nevertheless; it is either deliberate and conscious propaganda or denial which rises to the level of the irrational.

My heart goes out to everyone who loves those killed, those injured and those who attend or work at Virginia Tech.  I have three daughters in college myself and can only imagine the grief, horror and rage those connected with Virginia Tech students, faculty and staff must be feeling.

Male violence has got to end.  It has to end.

Heart

Discussion

28 thoughts on “Today’s Male Terrorism: Gunman Kills 32 at Virginia Tech, Injures 21

  1. I heard someone from Viriginia Tech interviewed on the news, a staff person, who began spouting off ideas about how to handle this and among his suggestions was having a class for freshman that teaches them how to identify “potentially violent classmates” and how to best notify authorities.

    What the fuck. The ignorance of people.

    Violence on this scale is not surprising, not at all strange, not at all unpredictable, in fact, in a culture that worships violence the way we do. Look at the top ten most popular video games, look at the top ten most popular action movies – what do they have in common? Brutal, lethal violence. How does our government too often deal with its problems? Brutal, lethal violence. Why is Wrestle Mania, cage fighting, and other barbaric “entertainment” sports so popular? They’re brutally, sometimes lethally violent. How are boys socialized in school, through sports, and through male games & toys? Violently.

    Add easy access to the real weapons of mass destruction (guns) to this culture that glorifies violence, that makes violence a practical, normalized way for men to solve their problems, and you get mass shootings.

    Posted by Sassafras | April 16, 2007, 6:30 pm
  2. And that horrible show 24. Gawd I hate that show. With its hummer and torture. All the rave.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | April 16, 2007, 6:31 pm
  3. 32 and counting.

    Flashbacks to the 1989 Montreal Massacre…

    Posted by Otter | April 16, 2007, 7:53 pm
  4. I spent two years living in the dorm where the first part of the massacre took place.

    I think I’ll go throw up now.

    Posted by Q Grrl | April 16, 2007, 8:36 pm
  5. So sorry, Q Grrl.

    Posted by manxome | April 17, 2007, 1:21 am
  6. Predictably, I just read some right-winger going on about how they were sure it was done by Pakistanis. And then when this right-winger found out the shooter was supposed to be Chinese, they turned it into a diatribe about keeping out people on student visas. These are some sick sick sick sick sick people.

    I have no idea why this massacre took place, but I have a nasty feeling that it probably involved intimate partner violence.

    Posted by Metal Prophet | April 17, 2007, 2:17 am
  7. Yes, it sounds like the shooter first went to the dorm to get his girlfriend (or ex-girlfriend, I’ve heard it both ways). Big surprise. I’ve heard TV people say several times that the whole thing started with a “fight” between him and the girlfriend. Right, a “fight” — the kind of fight that starts when one person takes two guns and 80 clips of ammunition to the other’s place of residence. Then, you know, they have a discussion.

    Posted by Rebecca | April 17, 2007, 2:31 am
  8. “I have no idea why this massacre took place.”

    99.99999999999999999% of the time a male could not have an outcome he wanted, therefore others must pay. It has been happening since forever. Why did Odysseus kill the suitors even though the suitors offered to give him twice as much gold and property that they squandered from his kingdom? Supposedly the revenge was all about property loss. Nevertheless it wasn’t. It was about a man feeling chumped, being punk’d, feeling like the fool, feeling like he took it in the ass (like he wants to give to his inferiors). Feeling like his little weiner had been exposed and judged and did not win the gold, nor place in the silver or bronze. No one can live after his little weiner has been proven not to be as potent as he wanted the world to believe, so he has to go kill Amish girls, and 16 year old girls, and women on their way home from the produce market, and students learning other languages, etc.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | April 17, 2007, 2:32 am
  9. Oh I do so LOVE the classics.

    Posted by Pony | April 17, 2007, 2:40 am
  10. Yes. The police called it a “domestic”. Which they downplayed, dismissed and ignored.

    Posted by Pony | April 17, 2007, 2:43 am
  11. Yes, I’m sure that had something to do with why, in the TWO HOUR gap between the first and second shootings, not much was done to warn people, lock down the campus etc. You know, he had just shot his girlfriend — he was just mad at her, there was no *real* danger to anyone. Else.

    Posted by Rebecca | April 17, 2007, 3:09 am
  12. It’s horrible. Being close to people who have to make the tough calls, though, I can’t be too quick to judge those who didn’t decide to evacuate the whole campus based on what seemed to be a murder.

    Our society is so disgustingly violent that murder happens. I had a high school student whose gang name was Murder and everyone called him that! He’s probably dead now and I’d never know it since most “gang related” deaths don’t even make the papers in Chicago.

    It’s true that “domestics” get trivialized and that is WRONG, but to make the professional judgment that one violent dispute would not necessarily lead to a mass slaughter seems to me to be reasonable. Who would have predicted that?

    I think people are trying to blame the university officials instead of the violent society we are part of. Look in the mirror, America.

    Posted by roamaround | April 17, 2007, 3:16 am
  13. “I think people are trying to blame the university officials instead of the violent society we are part of. Look in the mirror, America.”

    Yes.

    Posted by profacero | April 17, 2007, 4:02 am
  14. roamaround says: It’s true that “domestics” get trivialized and that is WRONG, but to make the professional judgment that one violent dispute would not necessarily lead to a mass slaughter seems to me to be reasonable. Who would have predicted that?

    No one could have predicted it, but I’m really shocked that the remaining classes for the day weren’t canceled after there was a murder on campus. I feel that that decision in itself was strange and irresponsible. The administration was probably hoping that by continuing classes and the movement of the campus it would downplay the media coverage of the situation.

    I don’t deny that the finger-pointing is a way of deflecting from the real source of the problem. I just think that some poor, short-sighted decisions were made as well.

    Posted by gingermiss | April 17, 2007, 4:41 am
  15. I don’t deny that the finger-pointing is a way of deflecting from the real source of the problem. I just think that some poor, short-sighted decisions were made as well.

    Then if nothing else happened they would be accused of inciting mass hysteria. I think when a man wants to kill, he kills.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | April 17, 2007, 4:44 am
  16. Since the man was still at large after the initial shootings, I must agree with gingermiss. I think prudence should have dictated that the school not attempt to carry on as though nothing had happened. Of course it was possible that the man would not attempt anything further, but it seems the school assumed that was likely. That is one hell of a judgment call to make when a murderer is at large, and apparently he was still looking for his ex at the engineering building.

    Posted by Aletha | April 17, 2007, 5:05 am
  17. Something that galls me particularly is that now that everyone is going to be camped out in front of their television sets, the media will lay on the commercials to take advantage of the propensity of people to gawk at violence. I actually had a friend call me tonight and cancel a weekly telephone-talk we have, because she and her Mom are ‘keeping abreast of the Virginia Tech situation’, which the truth is, they can neither influence nor amend. I can’t see any real reason to watch hour after hour of media-news-rehash of the event once the basic facts are known: doing so strikes me as purient curiosity and a willing participation in the prevalent, perverted ‘real violence is real life and real entertainment’ mindset. Fuck the dead and dying, the media wants people to be thrilled, horrified and glued to the lobotomy tube, so that they can be programmed to buy things.

    I think that newscasts with commercials are morally disgusting, as the daily agony of real, live human beings is being sold as a commodity for the profit of both the media and their advertisers who want to pitch their products to the viewing public in between murders, rapes, traffic carnage and natural disasters. All television is in reality is a colossal, hypnotic Audience Delivery Device set up primarily for the makers of an endless stream of environmentally destructive products that most people neither want nor need. That their ‘hook’ to grab people’s attention is real-time human carnage– the higher the body-count the better– pisses me off royally. Basically, news is porn: daily rape and murder pitched with loving detail that’s only a whiff away from snuff films– and commercialized up the wazoo so that white male media moguls keep the megabucks rolling in!

    When my husband died in 2004, one of the first things I did was to get rid of the cable box and turn off my TV. I do have a DVD player, which I use to watch an occasional movie and documentaries that I am interested in. Even though I have not seen a network newscast in three years, I still know everything the day it happens, as I see the newspaper headlines at the various Libraries I work at, plus there is a brief news summary waiting for me when I turn on my computer. My point here is that I can find out about what is going on around me without resorting to media-porn news pimping the latest gas-guzzling SUV, aluminum siding, or wall-to-wall carpeting with the blood of 32 innocent people lying dead in a school dorm.

    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON THEM!

    It’s time to take back control of your own headspace– KILL YOUR TELEVISION SETS and find alt. sources that provide you with the basic information you need minus the pimping of your brain and your precious time to a bunch of moral bankrupts whose only concern is how much money they can milk any given disaster for.

    Posted by akkarri | April 17, 2007, 6:04 am
  18. It is a sad outcome for folks who defend their constituninal right & love to bear arms! 32 innocent victims… where should we point our fingers for this massacre!

    Posted by ajay | April 17, 2007, 8:09 am
  19. Following CM and Pony, what stood out to me also from the news report yesterday was:

    Steger defended the university’s handling of the tragedy, saying authorities believed that the shooting at the dorm was a domestic dispute and mistakenly thought the gunman had fled the campus.
    “We had no reason to suspect any other incident was going to occur,” he said.

    The authorities did NOT take the initial incident seriously because they deemed it “just a domestic”. A comment by anuna at Twisty’s summed up the bottom line:

    Gosh, what a cozy sounding word for MURDER. […] “Domestic,” as LMYC and mAndrea pointed out, is just a code word for “it’s just a woman, so there’s no need to get upset.”

    mAndrea a few comments earlier said:

    April 16, 2007. 33 college students died because one man has an entitlement mentality. One man thinks he’s entitled to a woman’s body. One man thinks if he can’t have her, no one will.
    I will not be silent. Not today. Not now. Not ever.

    Ann Bartow had earlier said, with regard to the Kathy Sierra situation [my emphasis]:

    I wish I thought it was a matter of people needing to wake up. Instead I think that the Internet is a forum perfectly suited for men to exercise dominance over women, and some of them enjoy doing this a lot. Liberal doods call people cunts or hos or Heathers or any of a long list of gendered epithets to remind us we are inferior, because this gives them pleasure, not because they don’t know better. Then someone take it up a few notches, and decent men temporaily get a clue, but generally they don’t make connections between mild, normalized sexism and the extreme stuff.

    The shootings were the ‘extreme end’ of male entitlement, pure and simple. Why is it only the radical feminists that can see this connection?

    Posted by stormy | April 17, 2007, 10:55 am
  20. Classic example of how the power structure downplays “domestic violence”. The guy was only after his lover, or ex-lover, or her kids, or her new guy, or her mom, or her best friend. The rest of us do not need to worry he is no danger to us. It is a perfectly rational act in a patriarchy to stalk and kill a woman and anyone important to her. This behavior does not represent a dangerous out-of-control person that the society at large needs to be protected from. Look at the stats for prison sentences for men who murder their intimate partners:
    “The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to
    6 years. Women who kill their partners are sentenced on average to 15
    years, despite the fact that most women who kill do so in self-defense
    (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1989).”
    The VT police and administration were treating this intimate partner crime as the patriarchy power structure always does, not to seriously.

    Posted by peonista | April 17, 2007, 11:12 am
  21. Perhaps now, police will treat “domestic” killings more seriously, if only when they happen in crowded public places.

    After all, this time *men* were killed in large numbers, men who were not in national service to the cause of American imperialism.

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | April 17, 2007, 12:38 pm
  22. I’ve posted this elsewhere, but my memory is coming back to me.

    In 1985, West Ambler Johnson, the dorm where this started, was not yet co-ed. It was a dorm that housed nearly 900 young women. All side entrances were locked, you weren’t allowed to “prop” them, and the main entrance had a dorm monitor to check ID’s.

    Seems that when women live together, we can recognize their vulnerability to male violence. When men live with women, that violence is ignored, and folks feel comfortable describing as “domestic” a situation where a strange male walks into a place he doesn’t live, isn’t enrolled at as a student, and where he is armed well enough to kill 31 people.

    Fuck this shit.

    Posted by Q Grrl | April 17, 2007, 2:06 pm
  23. I think that newscasts with commercials are morally disgusting, as the daily agony of real, live human beings is being sold as a commodity for the profit of both the media and their advertisers who want to pitch their products to the viewing public in between murders, rapes, traffic carnage and natural disasters. All television is in reality is a colossal, hypnotic Audience Delivery Device set up primarily for the makers of an endless stream of environmentally destructive products that most people neither want nor need.

    Preach it sister. Yesterday in class I was told by a few students that they “almost” did not come because of the television coverage, and we had more absents than usual, so I am wondering if the television is what kept those absentees at home.

    It is as if this kind of stuff happens to keep the t.v in business. Actually I will go a step further and say guns are allowed to keep the t.v. and police in business. Don’t want the t.v. and police to become the Maytag repair man.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | April 17, 2007, 3:17 pm
  24. From a letter I sent to all the women in my heart-life this morning:

    I have been horrified since the news broke yesterday about the slaughter at Virginia Tech. The initial reports of an armed man, targeted killings in classrooms in an engineering building, reopened the wound that is still Montreal, 6 December 1989 – when 14 women engineering students were murdered by a gunman shouting “I hate feminists” – and the very real terror I felt going in to teach my women’s studies section the next morning in a rural Minnesota classroom with only one door in and out.

    So of course I’ve been watching all the coverage, and of course there is no discussion of gender and violence, as gender analysis is a foreign tongue for which the media can find no translator. I’m trying to imagine how many more people might be alive today if the first killing in the dorm was not treated as only a “domestic situation.” Tragic, frequent, logical flaw: when a man kills a woman he knows, or in theory loves, the rest of us need not be concerned about him or his violence because, after all, it’s been domesticated. Or is that, once again, women are being killed by this abstract noun “domestic” and not by the men they know?

    >

    And in the silence about gender, every headline screams “largest mass murder in U.S. history” and proceeds into breathless details about the number of clips he carried and how many shots could be fired (25 rounds in 11 seconds, Hey Ho for technology). But of course this is a lie, a racist lie, in fact, so common in our country. The largest mass murder done in the U.S., also made possible by automatic weapons, was the massacre at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890, when 300 Lakota people, the vast majority women and children, were forced into a valley beside Wounded Knee creek and killed within a matter of hours using the newest technology of the time, four Hotchkiss canons placed in advance on the surrounding hilltops, each capable of firing two pound explosive shells at a rate of fifty per minute.

    So as I hear and read the news, a ticker tape of other shootings runs across my internal screen, with a soundtrack chant of “Wounded Knee, Wounded Knee.” So I have to write this, and share it. Because the truth matters. Because the silence around the history of racist and sexist violence in the U.S. matters. Because, if violence is domestic, I need to be wild to survive and challenge it, and I want all of you to be wild, too.

    Elliott Femynye batTzedek

    Posted by TruthAnd Dare | April 17, 2007, 6:13 pm
  25. Elliott, thank you SO MUCH for this. So right on, every word.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | April 17, 2007, 8:31 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: previously "in the news..." « Angst & Fiction - April 25, 2007

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 2,563,060 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Archives

The Farm at Huge Creek, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, The Feminist Hullaballoo

206672_10150156355071024_736021023_6757674_7143952_n

59143_424598116023_736021023_5026689_8235073_n

Afia Walking Tree

More Photos