The WebElf Report

Va. School Shootings 1.0
April 17, 2007, 2:36 pm
Filed under: WR Special Report

Picard vs. The Klingons

CaNN Commentary

Like some of you Anglican web-folks out there, I was once a Trekkie (yes, way back before boob-boo babies got uppity over that honourable term). Once, I could name an old-Trek episode within 5 seconds; I had all the plastic models; I read the books and played the board-games and knew most of the trivia. Hard-core nerdy goodness.

But Trek isn’t life– not only in terms of getting a life, but in terms of reflecting life as it is or should be. The Federation weenies are all nice enough: until you realize they came from a U.N One World military earth-dictatorship in which human nature has been repealed, and all social ills and war and Really Bad Stuff has somehow been outlawed, or something. Supernature is squashed into heaven on earth: the eschaton is immanentized.

Another But: there’s all sorts of other folks out there: Klingons, Romulans, Gorn, Vulcans, whomever, who don’t fit the homogenized pattern. And the most interesting moments and characters in the old TV show are those that break the utopian mold imagined by Mr. Roddenberry. Reality shatters the pretty-plastic Fediverse.

A theoretical universe [like the Federation mindset] that can’t account for other races replete with the glory and misery of being fallen non-utopians– well, it’s is a pretty sad little universe.

Ask yourself: who would you rather think you might successfully evangelize: a full-blooded messiah-hoping chest-beating Klingon, or some flatlander Federation-weenie dreaming of spreading utopia everywhere? [Can you imagine? Klingon Evangelists?] The Feds think they already have the only Gospel anybody could ever want; everybody else is wrestling with reality as she are experienced.

Back To Reality

So horror breaks in upon a university community, and our fallen nature grabs the headlines once more. Christians long for heavenly peace, but here below we have a cross, and duties, and evil to redeem and to overcome with good, amidst the shortness and uncertainty of human life. Deliver us from evil, O Father.

As Solzhenitsyn says, the line between good and evil runs right through the middle of every heart. Each day, we have choices and graces to receive or refuse, salvation to work out. “There but for the grace of God…”

Sadly, the mere utopians among us cannot fathom this, nor the redemption of it. In the words of the prophetical T.S. Eliot, they are busy “dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good“.. and end up puzzled, or in denial. Their universe isn’t big enough for the intrusion of rude reality.

What is senseless is not that a crazy person could chose to do evil (happens rather regularly), but that some Christian leaders along with the chattering classes don’t seem to understand that evil exists, and that the authentic Christian church has a uniquely theological voice and incomparably saving message for such a time as this.

Christ did not set us free with naivete, wishful thinking, secular puzzlement, or psychobabble. He overcame evil with good. Cross and broken tomb, type thing: the ultimate reality-therapy.

Lord have mercy upon us,


Virginia Tech student Raksha Vasutevha,a fifth-year architecture student, joins friends in a candlelight vigil for fallen students in downtown Blacksburg, Va., near the campus of Virginia Tech. (AP Photo/Don Petersen)

RANCID PABLUM ALERT— World Council of Churches: ‘We are all Virginians …’ … (wdbj7)

PRES BUSH: Nation Grieves for Rampage Victims; Heroes in Blacksburg: Preventing Death and Brushing With It. Blacksburg’s Victims Remembered; You’re Dead, I’m Healing (townhall)

THE OFFICIAL Virginia Tech site for current news. Here’s a timeline of events (vts)

GET RELIGION: “Waiting for the ‘why’ shoe to drop” … (gr)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (CNS) — The April 16 shooting spree at Virginia Tech that left at least 32 people dead is “tremendously sad,” said Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond (freerep)

– ELCA Presiding Bishop’s Statement on Virginia Tech Tragedy

EPISCOPAL Campus ministry reaches out in response to campus shooting … (episcopalchurch)

DEADLIEST school shooting in modern U.S. history? Virginia Tech citizen reporting. The Va. Tech Gunman Identified as University Student. The list of victims. More here. The Virginia Tech Killer… Seung Hui Cho Lived In the Dorm … (Various)

REMEMBERING Professor Liviu Librescu. The Romanian-Israeli engineering professor and Holocaust survivor gave his life to save his students(CQ)

THE USUAL SUSPECTS— US churches call for gun control following university shootings. More here on that topic. Because as we all know, guns cause evil, suicidal nihilism, and/or psychological illness. Er.. making sure that criminals can have illegal guns, and law abiding citizens don’t have legal guns and proper training is the solution to tragedies like this. Extreme gun-controlling Canadian laws didn’t prevent the shootings in Montreal schools, y’all. Personally speaking, had I a firearm (.45) and proper training and opportunity, said young man would have to go through this elf to get to any more young people, were he not deterrable in any other fashion … (Various)

GATES OF VIENNA— “Ringing Down the Days: A Va Tech Student’s Failed Plea from August 2006”; Massacre of Students at Virginia Tech (GoV)

CARRION-FEEDERS: MSNBC already cashing in on massacre, pimps new gun control special. More vulturism and missing-the-point ensues (hA)

KATHY SHAIDLE— “Obligatory Virginia Tech post”… (Various)

WHAT TO DO IN MASS SHOOTINGS.. some stuff via InstaPundit. Remember: you may be the one who has to save your own life, or that of others. Be prepared … (instapundit)

SCRIPTORIUM: “Academics are a Family and Our Family is Hurting”… (

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won’t be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul

~ Leonard Cohen, The Future ~

FROM NRO: Misplaced Anger– Blame the killer, not the school’s administrators and police; “The Search for Good News”; “Why schools? Why so often schools?”; “We need to rethink campus security” … (NRO)

CHRISTIANITY TODAY— “Peace in a World of Massacre: What Jesus calls us to when we’re most frightened” … (ct)

ONE COSMOS: “How do we measure what happened yesterday? What have we done with our scale? I don’t pretend to know exactly what motivated the mass murderer, but I think it is safe to say that he felt victimized by someone or something, and therefore entitled to lash out — as indeed all victims feel entitled to do. I can only say that there will be more absurd lashing out if we continue our inexorable slide into nihilism, the only alternative to theism” … (

AN UPDATE on the Virginia Tech murders- Collegiate Times newspaper … (collegemedia)

NEWSBUSTER: “Asian Journalist Group: Don’t Mention VT Shooter’s Ethnicity; Today’s Gaggle: April 17, 2007. Refuses to Correct Anti-Gun Misinformation” … (NB)

MOHLER: Facing the Reality of Evil … (wapo)

NT WRIGHT: God With Us, Grieving … (wapo)

ORTHODIXIE: “To the Virgin for Virginia (and us all)” … (

POWERLINE: Politicizing Tragedy– “At the Forum, a heated discussion of the Virginia Tech murders is underway” … (powerlineblog)

PROTEIN WISDOM: “Gun Control Control” … (proteinwisdom)

WATCHING THE MEDIA-FRENZY: Participating In A Gross Spectacle; The Scapegoats For The Psychopath. Of course, GWBush did it .. (rwn)

SIG-CARl-FRED: Despairing of ‘Despair’ And The Shame Of ‘Shame’; Loss, Lessons And Life; Why There Are Piles Of Dead Bodies At Virginia Tech(

A DISARMED Campus: “Until yesterday, Virginia Tech was a gun-free zone” … (

A FORMER Virginia Tech student remembers Professor Librescu over in Phi Beta Cons … (NROTC)

BREAKPOINT: Tim Kaine Got it Right. Shards of Light in the Midst of School Shootings. Greater Love Hath No Man Than This(

A DEADLY BLUEPRINT? The Killer at Virginia Tech – and “The Fourth State of Matter” … (pajamasmedia)

VIA GLEDHILL: What did you do? ‘I prayed.’ … (timescolumns)

ONE PASTOR’S take on Virginia Tech – Dealing with tragedy … (t19)

KILLER’S Note: ‘You Caused Me to Do This’ … (t-19)

SCRAPPLEFACE: “Pelosi, Reid Call for Arming All College Students” … (scrappleface)


9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Re: Gun control. All very well and good, Binks. However, the issue is much more complicated than that. A comparison of the per capita accidental death from shooting rate in the US and Canada, as well as the number of shooting incidents such as Virginia Tech and Ecole Polytechnique in each country (adjusted for population) would provide more relevant commentary on gun control.

Fond Greetings, Mrs. Falstaff!

Thanks for writing in, and trying to slap some sense into me.

American women love their gun laws. Why? Because that means they can have a choice over whether they want to be a rape/ murder victim, or not. The real issue is crime rates and public safety: outside of violent populations, does gun-ownership increase or decrease violent crime? Statistics say yes.

Massacres are a bad time to discuss the matter of gun-control, or to argue that a society is more free when only criminals and an almighty government have access to fire-arms.

We’ve got strict laws here in Canada, and a multi-billion dollar gun-registry. And yet, pretty much anybody can get still access to an legal or illegal weapon in Canada and go on a rampage, if they wish.

The recent attempted-massacre in Montreal failed because the guy was an idiot, not because of gun-laws. Those same gun-laws also made it sure that no properly trained & law-abiding civilian could ever hope to protect themselves or others in just such an emergency situation. Protecting gun-toting criminals. Hurrah.

Gun-crimes in major Canadian cities are still happening all over. And why not? Feel-good laws just don’t magically fix reality, increase freedom, reduce crime, or protect the public.

When the time comes, the Binklings will take a gun-safety course, learn how to use fire-arms, and how to properly employ them in emergencies. I and they owe it to the safe, free, civil society we live in.

Until the past generation or two, the idea that sensible people could own guns was not a thought-crime. What changed? Are we safer? Are we freer?

And, of course, loose cannons are one thing; armed terrorists are very much another.

Long & ramblingly yours,


Comment by mrsfalstaff

Heaven forfend that I should try to slap sense into anybody. I don’t think that I have all the answers – just a multitude of questions and “I wonder what would happen if”s. Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean that I think that you are speaking nonsense. Nonetheless,I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. How do you know that pretty much anyone can get access to an illegal gun? What stats show that guns decrease violient crime? How do you explain that fact that Canada’s murder rate is lower than the States? Gun crimes do happen in Canada, but do they happen at the same rate as in the States? I think it is better to have a well armed and well trained police force than a widely armed public. (And I haven’t even touched on the “child finds gun” accidents that we hear about). I don’t think we are safer or freer now than we were 20 years ago, nor do I think we are less safe or free. I think that we are simply much more aware of the evils that are happening around us, thanks to improved communication technology. And no, I don’t have the answers, as I said, but maybe enough sensible people rambling on and tossing questions back and forth might find a few, eventually. Maybe.

I have a luverly head cold (and small children with same cold) as I write this, so please forgive me if I have appeared uncharitable, it wasn’t my intent.

Comment by mrsfalstaff

What troubles me about the “gun control” debates is an utter lack of discerning discrimination.

A long gun is built to be a tool. Like any tool, it can be misused. Knives can be misused. I happen to have 2 blades on my person. Am I therefore a dangerous miscreant?

BUT, automatic weapons and handguns have but one purpose — to kill people. And people-killing instruments are dangerous, and should be dealt with as such. The trouble with “gun control” as it is often trumpeted is that in the name of preventing misuse, advocates want more power and authority than any sane person would trust them with. If they get it in that area, what next? They only have my well-being in mind? Yeah, right, and I’ve got shares in a bridge over the Fraser River I’d like to talk to you about.



Comment by gerryhunter

Yes, but how many people can a madman with two blades kill in 20min, vs. a madman with an automatic weapon?

Comment by mrsfalstaff

[…] Va. School Shootings 1.0 […]

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I’m a bit concerned about the reference 2 above to time and numbers. If it has to do with morality, it is not relevant. If it has to do with the need for control, I think I covered that.



Comment by gerryhunter

My point was that the weapon doesn’t make you a madman but a madman with a gun can do a heck of a lot more damage in less time than a madman with a knife.

Comment by mrsfalstaff

Yes, that’s true. But did you know that the largest mass killing in US history was accomplished using dynamite, which was tightly controlled at the time?

Funny thing about madmen is that they always find a way to do mayhem, if that’s their intent. And it’s very difficult indeed to make something “too difficult” (like getting his hands on a gun) for a madman.



Comment by gerryhunter

Eh, as I said before, I don’t have any answers, just lots more questions.

Comment by mrsfalstaff

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