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There has been another school shooting

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
This time in Germany..........How sad that the rage continues.......

Updated: 11:42 a.m. EDT (1542 GMT) -- 26 April 2002


Horror in Germany: 18 dead in school attack
Police in Erfurt, Germany, say a recently expelled student opened fire at a high school today, killing 17 people -- 14 teachers, two students, and one police officer -- before killing himself. Police said initially that there may have been two gunmen, but now believe only one was involved.
post #2 of 18
14 teachers!?!?!?!

Unbelievable! Not that it would be any less horrifying if it were 14 students, I was just taken aback by the numbers.

so very sad
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
They were talking about a second gunman that they couldn't find, and CNN showed two students sitting on a ledge both really upset and when they saw the camera on them, they put their arms around each other and walked away. When they were some distance away, the one boy passed what looked like a gun to the second boy from out of his pants pocket?
post #4 of 18
Such horrible things happening around the world. I live not even 10 miles from Columbine, Hubby worked 1 block from the school at the time. I know what this does to a community.

What has changed so much from when I grew up? I had angst, too. My dad collects firearms, and I knew how to use them, had access, etc. It never even occurred to me to use them against people. No matter how mad I was at anyone or everyone, going out and killing people was not an option.

I really feel for this community and hope that this incident isn't dragged out with lawsuits and such, like it has been here, so that everyone can heal.
post #5 of 18
I am so upset over this. As most of you know my husband is from Germany, and I lived there for 7 years w/ him.

Its so sad.
post #6 of 18
I am SO glad that my kids are grown up and out of school. I DO have nieces and nephews, though. They range from 9-16 so they're all in school. If anything like this happened to any of them, my brothers and sister-in-law would FREAK!
post #7 of 18
How did they get so many teachers and so few students? That's really strange.

How sad that we are managing to export such a negative part of American culture.
post #8 of 18
From what I heard on the news, the gunman was holding hostages when the police began to come in. Witnesses said he was aiming for teachers.

Not to turn this into a political debate, but I have to disagree with you Sunlion. I don't see this as our fault at all. I think it just shows that there are unstable people all over, not just here in America.
post #9 of 18
I felt what I thought was hatred for my father when I was in high school, and went to my pastor about it. Hurting someone was not a possibility, not even a consideration. We also resented some of our teachers, but no one laid a hand on a teacher. There has been a shift in the world. Parents and teachers simply are not as respected as they used to be. Of course we gave subs a hard time, but today many classes treat their own teachers that way and worse. I subbed for a while, and often felt less than human on my way home. Blackboard Jungle, the old movie about schools in the inner city '50s has become the norm in some of the middle and upper class classrooms. I live in an excellent district. I had middle school students ridiculing the fact that some paralysis in my right leg prevented my ascending steps the usual way. I still loved teaching, because getting through to a young person is exciting, and many young people are still interested and respectful.
post #10 of 18
Sunlion, I don't think we are "exporting" anything. Things like this happen everywhere, it can be in any country. And contrary to popular belief, the whole world does not "copy" the USA. I love the USA, but why does everyone think that everything HAs to originate here, including violence in schools.

Sorry, it just angers me. And having lived abroad for so many years, I am so tired of the American attitude that America is the BEST and everyone else is second. Or in this case, Sunlion said America is exporting this behavior. Like America ownsviolence in schools or something.

NO offense to anyone, just saying that I don't agree with Sunlion.
post #11 of 18
I heard this on the radio at work today. Sad. I'm glad I don't have any children in school right now(no children yet). It's too bad these kids feel that killing people and then themselves is their way out.
post #12 of 18
Wow! This is so very very sad! I hadn't heard about it yet...how awful!!!
post #13 of 18
German Teen Killer Legally Held Cache of Weapons
Apr 27 2002 2:34PM

ERFURT, Germany (Reuters) - A student responsible for Germany's worst post-war massacre was a gun club marksman who shot many of his 16 victims in the head at close range before an unarmed teacher stopped him, police said on Saturday.
Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, ran amok in his former school on Friday, firing 40 rounds from a pistol in a 20-minute frenzy of revenge for being expelled, before killing himself.

He was also carrying a legally owned pump-action shotgun, but did not use it in his killing spree which was apparently cut short by the steely courage of a teacher who knew him.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder flew to Erfurt, 320 km (200 miles) south of Berlin, on Saturday and laid flowers in front of the Johann Gutenberg school where Steinhaeuser shot dead 13 teachers, two pupils and a policeman.

Ten other people were wounded in the attack.

Schroeder also joined 2,000 other mourners at a mass in the city's 12th-century cathedral. The shock that has gripped country since the attack, which national media have already started calling "Germany's September 11," was clear on his face.

"This horrible deed has left us lost and full of grief," Bishop Joachim Wanke said.

Police said Steinhaeuser, clad in black and disguised by a black mask, had access to enough ammunition to kill hundreds of people.

Details emerged on Saturday of the bravery of one teacher who trapped the killer in a classroom, possibly preventing an even higher death toll.

The teacher, Rainer Heise, told Germany's ZDF television that he had grabbed the youth's shirt and tried to talk to him.

"He then pulled off his mask and I said 'Robert?'," Heise said, calling it a Ninja-style mask.

"I said go ahead and shoot me, but look me in the face."

Steinhaeuser replied: "That's it for today," and briefly let down his guard, Heise said.

"I pushed him into the room and locked the door."

Steinhaeuser shot himself in the head shortly thereafter.

"(Heise) showed a lot of courage," a police spokesman said.


Police said on Saturday that Steinhaeuser had licenses for both weapons, and for two more that he was not carrying.

"Many of the victims were killed with headshots, he clearly was a trained marksman," said Bernhard Vogel, premier of the state of Thuringia. Erfurt, a town of 197,000, is its capital.

The killing has prompted Germany to question the wisdom of its gun laws under which 10 million weapons are legally held.

It has also led to calls for tighter rules on violent computer games and videos of the type police found in Steinhaeuser's home.

In a sign that the bloodbath may feature in the campaign for national elections this year, Edmund Stoiber, conservative challenger to Schroeder, said violent games should be banned.

Shock and fear in Erfurt was compounded on Saturday by uncertainty about whether Steinhaeuser had acted alone.

Police said they believed he had been on his own but were investigating eyewitness accounts of two gunmen rampaging through the school.


Photos of Steinhaeuser on the front pages of newspapers show a pale-faced, short-haired, ordinary-looking young man with a hard stare.

He had failed to qualify with the rest of his class to take the rigorous school-leaving examination last year and was forced to repeat the final year, but was expelled in February for forging absentee excuse notes.

He lived with his mother, a hospital nurse, in a well-kept, four-story apartment building about 10 minutes from school. His parents are separated.

Based on comments from former classmates, teachers and other people who knew Steinhaeuser, it appeared he had carefully planned the assault in advance.

Police said they were checking reports he sent a fellow pupil a mobile phone message warning him not to come to school that day.

Police said the gunman shot himself as armed police moved in on him. They also said they had found another 500 bullets stashed in a bathroom that they believed the assailant had planted and planned to use before killing himself.

"I never thought anything like this could ever happen in a place like Erfurt," said Thomas Rethfeldt, 18, whose teacher was shot in the head as she opened the door at the start of the shooting.

"I thought this must be a bad film. I thought this kind of thing only happened in America."

The scale of the murder, rivaling some of the worst school killings ever, stunned Germans, who long felt they had some of the toughest gun-control laws in the world and were removed from the type of wanton violence that has haunted the United States
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
I hate the media sometimes. As sad as all this is, to even compare it to Sept. 11th is beyond ludricrous. The boy sounds like he had some severe mental problems and anti-social behavior. He was not a terrorist flying a plane load of innocent people into a building crammed with people to make his point. Another Columbine for sure but not another September 11th, God please, let there NEVER be another Sept. 11th for ANY country.
post #15 of 18
Originally posted by airprincess
German Teen Killer Legally Held Cache of Weapons
Apr 27 2002 2:34PM

ERFURT, Germany (Reuters)... said Thomas Rethfeldt, 18, whose teacher was shot ....
"I thought this must be a bad film. I thought this kind of thing only happened in America."

The scale of the murder, rivaling some of the worst school killings ever, stunned Germans, who long felt they had some of the toughest gun-control laws in the world and were removed from the type of wanton violence that has haunted the United States
We are all shocked by this killing and those in the U.S. Obviously, some of our young people are anti-social, and we must find a way to prevent these atrocities. However, "removed from the...wanton violence that has haunted the United States" strikes me as a strange remark, considering the massacre of millions sanctioned by Hitler's insanity during WWII. I'm sure most German people would agree that no country is immune to the crazed ideas of the few.
post #16 of 18
Is it just me that missed it when the rest of the world solved the entire problem of crime and violence? Since when is the US the ONLY country with violence? Just because the whole world hears about our social problems doesn't mean we are the only place that has them!

*Climbing up on my political soapbox*

The scale of the murder, rivaling some of the worst school killings ever, stunned Germans, who long felt they had some of the toughest gun-control laws in the world

Maybe, just maybe, the gun control laws aren't the solution to the problem. People who obey the law in general will also obey gun control laws. Gun owners who obey the law generally don't use their guns for illegal purposes, especially not to kill people. Criminals and other people who have the desire to hurt people will find a way to get their weapons in any way they can. Honestly, the death count probably would have been higher at Columbine had they gone in with machetes instead of guns. They would have carried out their plan with or without the guns they got - they would have just modified their plan. Do you think any of the gun control advocates here in the US will actually see that tougher laws didn't work in this case? Don't think so.
post #17 of 18
I couldn't have said it better, Heidi!!
post #18 of 18
I respectfully disagree. Why make killing easier and less personal? It is easier to kill someone quickly with less thought with a gun. Bang, bang, you're dead. The machete is less clean and more gruesome, the bullet cleaner. According to accounts I have read, soldiers have a harder time using a bayonet than a rifle.
There are other controlled weapons. My daughter has a black belt in karate, and is not allowed to carry the traditional karate weapons unless going to take or teach a class. Of course, I'm against killing of all kinds, euthanasia, capital punishment, and abortion. Self-defense is justified, but guns in the house often kill family members accidentally, so I don't keep one.
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