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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hypothesis and observable evidence

Since I am a scientist, I cannot help but observe the following:

More than one year before today's unprecedented shooting rampage at Virginia Tech, the state's General Assembly quashed a bill that would have given qualified college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus.

At the time, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said he was happy to hear of the bill's defeat, according to the Roanoke Times.

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

Hypothesis: banning legal guns from campus will make the campus safer
Observed Evidence: 60 shooting victims, 32 fatal
Conclusion: hypothesis fails

In fairness to Mr. Hincker, he only said that parents, students, faculty and visitors would "feel safe on campus", he didn't promise anything about their actual safety. I have no doubt that they felt very safe indeed, until, of course, they didn't.

I have never understood why so many otherwise intelligent individuals have such a difficult time understanding the fact that, by definition, criminals pay no attention to the laws.

Bane, in his inimitable manner, pretty much sums up what a lot of people are thinking about the tragedy de la semaine: The news was blabberficating on the day's latest school massacre, and I said to the wife something along the lines of 'shit, they blow twice that amount up in Baghdad every day', and I suddenly realized that I didn't give a shit.

About any of the dead. In either place. You know what to do to stop it, and you don't. So, you know what? Fuck you. Die. I have no further concern over your suicides, except as they amuse my admittedly black sense of humor.


The truth is that very few people unrelated to the victims actually care much about any of this, their unconvincing protestations of deep personal grief notwithstanding. The whole thing is little more than the TV media marketing violence porn in real time; the wall-to-wall coverage serves no purpose except to encourage the next lunatic immigrant/goth/SJS to go for a new high score.

You know what to do to stop it. And you don't.

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