Before the sound of the TV news ‘copters faded after the shooting at Harvard today, another student got almost stabbed outside of the Crimson building. The victim of the shooting was not a Harvard student, it turns out, but the knifepoint mugging victim definitely was. Already a day full of violence and irony, the story broke not on the Crimson’s website but on the Quincy Open list:
yeah I was there I missed it by about 3 minutes on my walk back up plympton. i asked a cop. it was a mugging at knife point. they think they got the guy (yes he is arrested leaning against the wall on the street sitting on the ground) but I believe they don’t have his knife so they’re searching up and down the streets for it. there were cops all over the place. I counted between 7 and 10 cops on foot alone, not counting the 2 police vans, and 4 or 5 police cruisers.
Now, we can really abuse the word “irony.” Ok, kids who are scared of walking around in the dark even through the well-lit, well-trafficked Harvard Square. You’re validated. Alright, Harvard. Maybe the MBTA Police Academy is not the best place to recruit men to protect the future leaders of the world.
If Harvard kids keep getting taken down at this rate, we’ll have to educate our next president at Dartmouth, where the crime is more hilarious than horrifying. Because everyone knows New Haven is in a state of perpetual gang warfare.
After the jump, read the full Quincy Open thread and the Kirkland House letter sent out by the house masters just a few minutes after the shooting earlier.
At 11:24 on Friday night, a student reported to Princeton’s Public Safety Office (PUPS) that a man was “sprinting” around campus with an AK-47. At 12:40, PUPS notified the students with this curt, misspelled, and mysterious text message or email:
This is an actual emergency and not a test. At 12:40 AM today, there is an unconfirmed report of a student-age mail [sic] carrying a weapon in the area of Spelman Hall. [sic] Stay inside . [sic] Public Safety has recommended that all students remain inside until further notice. Do not go outside to travel to another building. Close and lock the doors and windows.
This snippet had been sitting in the IvyGate tip box all weekend, until the Prince dished the real story. Nothing to be afraid of! It was only a student carrying a non-functioning weapon—that is, an AK-47 replica. Nevermind that whole Virginia Tech slash deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history thing. Princeton students were basically there and dodged the bullets.
Wait a second. It’s took PUPS 80 minutes to tell students that there’s someone patrolling campus with an AK-47?!?! Imagine being the parent paying $40K+ to send her son or daughter to that nice campus with such a cute name for their police officers (who don’t carry guns) and getting this news. Your head would explode.
Read the students’ reaction and the logic behind the delay after the jump.
To some people, a cop without a gun makes about as much sense as a college town without a decent bar. Perhaps it is fitting, then, that Princeton University, located in fun free Princeton, New Jersey, has recieved permission from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to keep its public safety officers gun free. According to an article in the Daily Princetonian, the Public Safety Fraternal Order of Police union complained that not having guns was an occupational hazard, and OSHA was like, naw.
The university says that the Township and Borough police have plenty enough guns to protect the eating clubs and croquet matches, and I can’t help but agree. Having lived a solid percentage of my life in Princeton, I can attest that there are about 30 police officers for every one citizen, and that they are more than happy to chase you if you are drinking beer in a graveyard. I mean, I heard about that happening. To someone I know. Who isn’t me.
James Lanzi, the president of the Public Safety FOP, who filed the gun complaint, has some genuine concerns:
I think that it’s a philosophical approach on the University. If you looked geographically, the Borough and the Township police do not know our buildings sufficiently to respond. It will take them more time to respond,” he said. “Time is life.”
Of course, after Virginia Tech, one can be forgiven for wanting to have more security on campus, though it is far from certain that having more GUNS on campus is really the solution we need to prevent disaster. Now that the DC gun ban has been overturned, and even Barack Obama agrees that everyone and their cousin should be allowed to keep a gun in their house, it is almost gratifying to see a University maintain its autonomy as a gun-free zone. Nevertheless, it seems that Princeton will lose the benefit of at least one future genius. Pity.
New information on David Light, champion of the second amendment, has been released and places much of what has been written and said in context. Sure, there was the misunderstanding with the shots into the ceiling and not-so-subtle death threats, but Newsday reports that the kid’s really an environmentalist at heart:
The affidavit cites e-mails to friends in which Light allegedly describes throwing pounds of chemicals into New Haven Harbor and the ocean to create explosions.
Eureka! The Harbor area is poised to spontaneously combust at any moment anyways, and Light’s just helping it along, similar to controlled burns for forest fires. But as the charges leveled against the suspended Eli go from amateur gun collector/ceiling artist to bomb developer/raging pyromaniac, we find the kid not so much malicious as just unable to get past that Freudian fascination 13-year-old boys have with explosions:
In an e-mail to a friend in February, Light wrote that he had just received a shipment of a highly explosive chemical.
“I’m very very excited!,” he wrote, according to the affidavit. “So… how soon do you want to do something dangerous??? cause it would be very easy to convince me to go out tonight.”
In another e-mail in February to a Yale student, Light began by writing “Yea, haven’t shot anyone lately,” the affidavit states.
But it’s not just the man trying to dim the Light: Momma is, too. Newsday quotes an e-mail Light sent to a friend: “my mom saw them and was like ‘are those tank shells for the new gun that we’re getting for you?! Can we reverse the order?!’ It was pretty funny… they are very large bullets…”. Haha, silly mom! Tank shells? That’s crazy talk woman! At least until little Davey gets a tank to shoot them from. Meanwhile, the defense is trying to play it off as shenanigans :
“Unfortunately because of the timing and the environment, this is going to be projected on a larger stage than it really merits,” Dow said. “We’re talking about a college student who allegedly made significant errors of judgment.”
Boys will be boys, Your Honor, boys will be boys. Go read the article. It’s worth it.
Oh, Yale. You think your assault rifle-toting frat boys make you so special. But don’t you realize 5.2% of all Greeks carry guns? (The binge-drinking kind of Greeks, not the baklava-making kind.)
So reports Jennifer Epstein in an Inside Higher Ed article, which is chock-full of all sorts of troubling anecdotes. For instance, at Alpha Gamma Rho members at Oregon State University “told police they were frustrated that transients entered the house without permission and at least two told police they had shot at transients with BB guns.” Maybe if they left less porn and pizza and booze lying around, the transients would be less likely to stop by?
The weirdest story, though, is from Dartmouth and dates all the way back to the pre-IvyGate Stone Age of 2005. Apparently a Michael Volodarsky, Class of ’08, decided one Super Bowl Sunday to explore the roof of the Zeta Phi house on a “smoke break.” Up there he found a loaded BB gun, and with nothing much better to do, decided to take a pot shot at an Epsilon Kappa Theta… er, at a garbage dumpster. The Kappa Theta sister just got in the way. Michael is still at Dartmouth–and a proud member of
the Bones Gates Bones Gate, a.k.a. Delta Tau Delta.
IvyGate’s advice: Stay away from Bone Gate parties–you never can know if cries of “Shotgun!” precede free-flowing beer or falling plaster.
Yale ’09 Biology Major Minoring in Illegal Assault Rifles Arrested, Suspended after Massive Weapons Cache Discovered
The Yale Daily News reports that David Light ’09 was arrested Monday by Yale University Police and suspended after police followed up on a witness report that last Friday Light had fired a handgun into the ceiling of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity where he was living. Shooting up the ceiling of you fraternity is bad; shooting up the ceiling with the least powerful weapon in your arsenal of shotguns and assault rifles is worse.
When police arrived on the third floor of the fraternity they found a treasure trove of firepower including, but not limited to: an AR-15 assault rifle, a .50-caliber rifle, a Russian M-91 infantry rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, various pistols, and ammunition. In total, two assault rifles and nine other guns. Light reportedly did not have permits for any of the weapons. After searching the fraternity during the raid police also said they found ‘bomb-making materials,’ an assortment of chemicals including a large bottle of mercury. Some students speculated that this might be explained by his background in the sciences.
Described as an excellent student by his peers and as ‘a perfectly normal person’ by an unnamed member of his local gun range, Light was well known as a gun enthusiast and collector. His facebook profile (gone since this afternoon) describes an interest in ‘pyrotechnics, blacksmithing, weaponry, surfing, firearms’ and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Generic taste in music isn’t the end of this story, though: more after the break.