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Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by zeke12, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Simple question with a complex answer:

    Do you think what happened at Virgina Tech qualifies as a terrorist attack?

    * I will place here an obligatory plea to keep this serious. This is not attempt to score political points one way or the other, but a genuine question that has political underpinnings to its answer either way. But I imagine this will become part of the debate sooner or later, and since the naming of things is both essential and political, I'd like to hear the opinions of the many intelligent folks from all sides of the political spectrum here.
  2. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    How is it not terror? If something like that happened in the Middle East, we'd certainly label it a terror assault.
  3. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    From "Bigger & Blacker" in 1999 ...

    Chris Rock: [On the US school shootings] Everybody is wanting to know what music were the kids listening to, or what movies were they watching. Who gives a fuck what they was watching! Whatever happened to crazy? What, you can't be crazy no more? Should we eliminate crazy from the dictionary?
  4. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Obviously by simple definition, yes.

    If it turned out that the gunman was motivated by some "cause" larger than his own psychotic delusions, then yes, it's "terrorism" in the political sense.

    As it apparently stands, it's psychotic mass murder, not terrorism.
  5. writing irish

    writing irish Active Member

    I don't think so. The standard definition of terorism is violence or threat of violence to advance a political ideology or movement...usually limited to acts of violence by private rather than governmental entities. When groups or individuals commit murder or mass murder to advance a cause, it's terrorism...when governments do it, it's called war.

    In any case, there don't seem to be any politics here.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Terrorism is using "terror" to achieve some -- usually political -- end.

    So unless there is some connection we don't know about, it definitely was terrifying but was not terrorism.
  7. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    § 18.2-46.4. defines an act of terrorism as "an act of violence ... committed with the intent to (i) intimidate the civilian population at large; or (ii) influence the conduct or activities of the government of the United States, a state or locality through intimidation."

    This is the relevant portion of Virginia's terrorism law. I don't think it applies to this case.

    As a matter of common sense, if terrorism is the imposition of terror upon another, this incident surely qualifies.
  8. Chuck~Taylor

    Chuck~Taylor Active Member

    Beat me to it :D
  9. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    First thing that came to mind when I saw the first post. Sometimes, there's just no way to explain people's actions.
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I also said this on the other thread. This to me is almost as terrifying as 9/11. Think of how brazen this crime was and how brazen the highjackings were.
  11. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    This is what made me bring this up.

    Is it the murder's intent that defines terrorism? If so, is that the best way to go about it?

    I brought up politics because I noticed the NRO link from the main thread going out of its way to define the attack as not terrorism. Which, of course, if you have a vested interested in continuing a war on terrorism, only makes political sense.

    My question -- if the affect is the same, why would we let the frequently unknowable mindset of the perpetrator define the action?

    As someone said, this is, to me, more terrifying than 9/11. One person, needing no more technology than one can procure at Wal-Mart, killed more than thirty. It was, I think, not possible to prevent.
  12. Michael Collins said the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize. Doesn't seem to be the case here.
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