Proof that even broken clocks are correct twice a day, CNN’s populist anchor and "Early Show" contributor Lou Dobbs appeared on the April 17 edition of the CBS show to provide some perspective on the recent Virginia Tech massacre. Dobbs stated that although the shooting at Virginia Tech was a terrible tragedy, it pales in comparison to some of the horrific tragedies that happen on college campuses every day. Suicide and binge drinking kill far more college students than these terrible but very rare incidents, yet the media rarely focuses on them. The transcript is below.
LOU DOBBS: Good morning, Russ, thank you. And good morning to all of you. This morning, we're grieving for the victims of what has turned out to be the deadliest shooting in this country's history and the senseless deaths, the shock of those death, of more than 30 people and the wounding of dozens more on Virginia Tech's campus won't diminish for us soon. My heart goes out to the families and the victims and all those touched by this tragedy. As we try to make sense of this madness, you and I know that in the days and weeks ahead, these horrible murders will dominate our news coverage and our national conversation. And we in the media will most likely lose some perspective and some sense of proportion. We'll be reporting on the worst shooting rampage ever in this country.
Before this is over, I predict that Virginia Tech President Charles Steger will apologize for errors that he and his administration made in dealing with yesterday's massacre. But as of this morning, Steger was still seeking to defend the failure to alert students for two hours after the initial murders. As Matt Lauer politely pointed out, his explanation would seem to fail a simple test of logic.
"Today" host Lauer interviewed Steger during the show's first half-hour.
LAUER: As you continue to mourn here at Virginia Tech University, you're also facing some very difficult questions from students and from parents and from law enforcement people who are saying we had a shooting take place at 7:15 in the dormitory in this part of the campus, and yet an email didn't go out warning students even to be cautious until two hours later.
The easiest place to find liberal disgust at American gun laws in Tuesday's Washington Post was in Kevin Sullivan's roundup of international reaction from London. The headline was "Shock, Sympathy, And Denunciation Of U.S. Gun Laws: British Newspaper Asks, 'What Price the Right to Bear Arms?'"
One British expert even claimed you could easily buy automatic weapons along with your yogurt and bologna at the supermarket:
"I think the reason it happens in America is there's access to weapons -- you can go into a supermarket and get powerful automatic weapons," Keith Ashcroft, a psychologist, told the Press Association. Ashcroft said he believed such access, along with a culture that makes gun ownership seem normal, increases the likelihood of such attacks in the United States.
I'm struck by how political Web sites are choosing to address the shooting deaths at Virginia Tech, if at all, and the reaction the same is generating among at least one prominent conservative blogger.
Shortly after midnight, the presidential campaign for liberal Democrat Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) announced it's shuttering its Web page, kucinich.us, for 24 hours out of respect to the lives lost. The Web page is plastered with an image of an Easter lily, and the words "In memory and respect of all the victims at Virginia Tech, and all those who are affected by violence everyday, we have closed our site for a twenty-four hour period of mourning."
What happened at Virginia Tech today is not a "tragedy" in the way that tragedy is usually defined as being a sudden accident. No, it was a cold-blooded crime. But, the criminal action at Virginia Tech had barely finished before news sources began their meme against guns, those "permissive laws" controlling them and the "easy access" to them. All are common phrases used to attack gun rights and this incident is being used as a platform to launch that line of attack everywhere. It's as if, before the last victim was even cold, every anti-gun advocate in the country hurriedly warmed up their cars to race to their local media source to call for more gun control. The debate over this issue is perfectly reasonable, of course, but that the MSM would use this crime as a springboard for their attacks on guns so soon after this incident had been perpetrated smacks of political opportunism.
CBS News gives us the claim that it is "much too easy to get guns in the state of Virginia." And they assure us this crime happened because "there's no gun registration, no mandatory waiting period to purchase weapons. The only major restriction: a limit of one gun purchase per month." And, the CBS report is echoed all across the news media.