Defending John Derbyshire

NRO’s “The Derb” is getting blasted in the liberal blogosphere for allegedly insensitive remarks about the Virginia Tech shooting. Granted, Derbyshire makes some dumb comments in his post, such as the 9/11 reference and the suggestion that people could’ve counted the bullets, but I don’t think the general wondering about why no one rushed the shooter is out of bounds. Indeed, I wondered the same thing in my post last night.

It seems like simple math to me that if one guy is shooting 60+ people in one building, there’s a good chance a few people could’ve rushed him and stopped the carnage earlier. Perhaps they were too dispersed in separate classrooms for this to happen, who knows. I don’t intend to demean anyone’s bravery, as it was obviously a horrible situation. If you’re trapped and being lined up to be killed execution-style though, as some reports suggest was going on, why not fight the guy when you are going to get shot anyway?

On one of the cable networks yesterday, a guest mentioned Colin Ferguson’s 1993 spree shooting on the Long Island commuter train. This is what happened, via Wikipedia.

As the train pulled into the Merillon Avenue Station, Ferguson pulled out his gun and started firing at passengers. He killed six and wounded nineteen before being stopped by three of the passengers: Kevin Blum, Mark McEntee, and Mike O’Connor.

There you go, three men on the train rushed Ferguson and stopped the shooting rampage. Again, maybe because the passenger cars were open and people were more bunched together this was easier to do, I don’t know. I just don’t think wondering about this sort of thing should be taboo.


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