As NRO's designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask: Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus ban on licensed conceals, why didn't anyone rush the guy? It's not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for goodness' sake—one of them reportedly a .22.
At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him. Handguns aren't very accurate, even at close range. I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can't hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am. And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage—your chances aren't bad.
Yes, yes, I know it's easy to say these things: but didn't the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything? As the cliche goes—and like most cliches. It's true—none of us knows what he'd do in a dire situation like that. I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I'd at least take a run at the guy.
And here's Nathaniel Blake:
Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage. And not a one of the healthy young fellows in the classrooms seems to have done that. ...
Like Derb, I don’t know if I would live up to this myself, but I know that I should be heartily ashamed of myself if I didn’t. Am I noble, courageous and self-sacrificing? I don’t know; but I should hope to be so when necessary.
And here's the story about Virginia Tech shooting victim (and Holocaust survivor) Liviu Librescu:
Virginia Tech University Prof. Liviu Librescu, described as a family man who once did research for NASA, sacrificed his life to save his students in the shooting rampage yesterday.
The students in the class dropped to the floor and started overturning desks to hide behind as about a dozen shots rang out, he said.
Then the gunfire started coming closer. Librescu, 77, fearlessly braced himself against the door, holding it shut against the gunman in the hall, while students darted to the windows of the second-floor classroom to escape the slaughter, survivors said.
Mallalieu and most of his classmates hung out of the windows and dropped about 10 feet to bushes and grass below - but Librescu stayed behind to hold off the crazed gunman.
Alec Calhoun, 20, said the last thing he saw before he jumped from the window was Librescu, blocking the door against the madman in the hallway.
He died trying to protect the students.
As well as survivor Zach Petkewicz's heroic actions:
Monday's toll inside Virginia Tech's Norris Hall might have included 11 more students had it not been for a long, rectangular table and a quick-thinking senior who used it to deflect the rampage of his fellow classmate.
Zach Petkewicz said he didn't recognize the sounds that pierced the door and cinder-block walls of his classroom as gunshots until he heard a scream from the hallway of the engineering building.
"They immediately slammed the door shut, told us, everybody kind of went into a frenzy, a panic. I hid behind the podium and then just kind of looked up at the door. Like, there's nothing stopping this guy from just coming in. And so I said, 'We need to barricade this door.' "
Petkewicz described his state of mind unabashedly: "I was completely scared out of my mind originally, just went into a cowering position, and then just realized you have got to do something."
Petkewicz and two other students shoved a table against the door and held it there as gunshots continued to ring out from the hallway outside the classroom.
"He came to our door, tried the handle and couldn't get in because we were pushing up against it -- and tried to force his way in and got the door to open up about 6 inches -- and then we just lunged at it and closed it back up and that's when he backed up and shot twice into the middle of the door, thinking we were up against it trying to get him out."
But Petkewicz said that instead he and the other students had placed themselves in front of the cinder-block walls, where they listened to what was going on out of sight a few inches away.
"I just heard his clip drop to the ground, and he reloaded and I thought he was coming back for a second round to try to get his way in there. He didn't say a word, and he just turned and kept firing down the hall and didn't try to get back in."
Suffice to say, even had there not been heroes like these, I'd hold Derbyshire and Blake in utter contempt. If you ever needed one, they are the picture of tactless, disgraceful assholes.