Then, and now

The UT Tower sniping has pretty much faded from local memory, but one aspect of it should be remembered for how things worked in 1966.

“After the first fifteen minutes, the sniper was pinned down by students and other civilians who’d spontaneously flocked to the university area with deer rifles.”

People were trusted, then, to do the right thing. Some didn’t, of course, but many did. Nowadays we’re all lumped in with the creeps who don’t. And we “shelter in place” like cowards while waiting for the police to arrive. Only to find out that their first priority is to go home safe at the end of their shift.

A similar Austin incident now would probably have a bigger toll than 1966’s seventeen dead and thirty-two wounded, all in those first fifteen minutes before the deer rifles spoke.

Via Instapundit, who agrees with a reader comment that lefty Austin is no longer a real part of Texas. Maybe, but I can’t think of a city in Texas today (or anywhere else in the country, see the Navy Yard massacre) that could now replicate Austin’s civilian defenders of 1966.

8 responses to “Then, and now

  1. Hm… so Austin is going to secede? Joining California, maybe? That will be a day I want to see…

  2. Some already call it Berkeley on the Colorado. But there are a lot of retired military around here and a lot of Republicans. They do tend to be outvoted, however.

  3. I’ve read that, demographically, the conservatives are slowly encroaching upon this radical enclave from the north. I pray that the trend accelerates.

  4. News to me, if true. Not that I’d mind it if it were.

  5. The citizens of 1966, all over America, could carry a rifle in the car without fear of a) smash & grab hoodlums or b) stormtrooper po-po. Both of those are signs of serious problems with the police and the legal system in general, not the citizens.

  6. Couldn’t argue with that, Scott. The coppers are definitely out of control. The only safe way to approach Officer Friendly these days is with both hands in the air.

  7. My Dad was one of those rifles!