Did They Just Surrender?

With the dust at Virginia Tech starting to settle a bit, people are asking how it was possible for the killer to shoot 32 people without anyone fighting back. Texas Fred is perplexed:

Again, I stress this fact, this diabolical attack was carried out by one individual, armed with 2 pistols, ONE person, and he murdered 32 people in cold blood, while literally hundreds of others ran for their lives…

Didn’t anyone consider rushing the fool?? If you know the guy is going to try and kill you any way, why go quietly?? He had to reload the weapons, he couldn’t just keep on shooting continuously, he wasn’t a trained assassin or a Spec/Ops combat veteran, he was a maniacal nut-bag that was ALLOWED to murder, unhindered and unchallenged…

The MSM keeps on referring to the shooter as being heavily armed, well, apparently the MSM has never been to a real gunfight, going to a gunfight with a 9mm pistol and a .22 pistol does NOT qualify as being heavily armed, if this monster had truly been heavily armed, or trained in the art of war, there would have been an even worse death toll…

Excuse me, but maybe it’s my instincts, my training, the way I was raised, my desire to live, the strain of whatever idiocy it is that runs thru me that says I will not just roll over and die, I will not surrender and I will not submit, but for the love of God, didn’t ANYONE think of fighting back??

Did 32 people just say ‘Oh well, he has a gun, I’m guess I’m going to die’?? Did 29 wounded people think, ‘Oh well, he’s shooting us all, I’ll just hide behind a desk and maybe he won’t shoot me again’?? Did no one have the GUTS to RUSH this guy and try to save themselves or their friends??

Apparently not, and for that lack of action, there is no excuse…

The Anchoress asks a similar question:
... Buster and I wondered at the fact that, while some classrooms managed to barricade doors against the Virginia Tech shooter, there seemed to be no class ready to ambush the shooter by having heavy textbooks (or desks) ready to throw at him - “if they’d just gotten him to flinch, just distracted him, they might have taken him down,” Buster said, “and when you’ve got someone down, it’s so easy to kill him.”

Poliblog isn't as quick to buy it:
My first and most fundamental reaction is that it is really easy to sit at one’s desk and opine to the ether how one would react in such a horrible situation. None of us knows for sure what we would do in such as situation and God willing none of you reading these words will ever have to find out.

As for me, I agree we should probably wait to find out more specifically what happened inside the building before we reach conclusions. For all we know, maybe some of the victims did try to stop the killer. We know for sure of one hero, who was unable to stop the attack but sacrificed himself so others could escape. There may have been others.

Having said that, it does seem strange that the killer could shoot so many people, even stopping to re-load several times, and no one was able to distract him, throw something, rush him from behind, or otherwise defend themselves. There were hundreds of people in the classroom building. The sheer numbers should have tilted the odds in their favor.

Comparisons are being made to the passengers of United Flight 93 on 9/11. I think there is a big difference between these events. Passengers on the first three planes apparently thought it was an old-fashioned hijacking and they would be released unharmed. That's why they cooperated. Thanks to cell phone calls, Todd Beamer and the others knew what was happening and were aware they faced certain death if they did not resist. So they did.

Likewise, the people at Virginia Tech could not have known it was the Cho's intent to kill everyone he saw. Maybe he didn't kill as many as he could have - maybe he skipped over some people for reasons we will never know.

I think it is significant that the 77-year-old Holocaust survivor is the only one we know to have taken immediate action. Why? This man knew, from his own personal experience, what evil humans are capable of doing to each other. He saw it when he was younger than these college students.

Those born in the 1980s and after grew up with a different mindset. They didn't live through the Cold War and the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Few have ever faced any real danger. To them, mom and dad have always been only a cell phone call away. They've seen lots of violence in movies, TV, and video games but they know it's not real. So for some of them, I suspect their first thought on hearing the shots was that it couldn't possibly be actual gunfire. That made them hesitate, and their hesitation led to their deaths.

Dr. Librescu knew it was the real thing and he reacted with instinctive speed, allowing his students time to escape. We can't know for sure, but I would bet he did not intend to follow his class out the window. He was likely planning to open the door and go out into the hall after the shooter. That is, apparently, the kind of man he was.

His generation is almost gone. Something tells me we are going to miss them and their courage.

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