An Inclusive Litany

2/25/02

Peter Odighizuwa opened fire at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, killing a dean, a professor, and a student before being "tackled" (New York Times), "pounced on" (Washington Post), and "wrestled to the floor" (London Guardian) by four male students, no doubt preventing further deaths.

Actually, two of the student rescuers, Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges, were armed at the time with guns they had kept in their cars. "I aimed my gun at him," Bridges says, "and Peter [the assailant] tossed his gun down. Ted [Besen] approached Peter, and Peter hit Ted in the jaw. Ted pushed him back and we all jumped on."

Writing in the New York Post, John R. Lott Jr. notes that only four news accounts mentioned that any of the rescuers were armed with guns. In 72 accounts, the confrontation is described simply as some form of tackling, pouncing, or wrestling. However, reporters were all scrupulous in describing the assailant's weapon, a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun, without detailing the specifications of guns used to subdue him.

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