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(Austin Statesman)   Houston McCoy, the Austin police officer who stopped University of Texas Tower sniper Charles Whitman more than 46 years ago, died early Thursday afternoon. He was 72   (statesman.com) divider line 147
    More: Hero, University of Texas, Houston McCoy, Austin, snipers  
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6048 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Dec 2012 at 2:32 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-28 08:46:53 AM  
 
2012-12-28 08:52:37 AM  
(looks in and sees the fark politicos are trying to threadjack)

Christ...you guys are something else.

RIP Houston McCoy
 
2012-12-28 08:53:56 AM  

Haliburton Cummings: now i have farking "dirty laundry" stuck in my head...


i'll tell ya all something too...

i like what America "stood" for. on paper it looks good.
as much as i troll, I respect a guy who will lay his life on the line because even though he thinks its 911 or no commies whtvr, he's trying to do his part.

i respect that.

but the bullshiat in the middle? no thanks.

America isn't the envy of the world...it's the arsehole of everywhere.
it's the new nazi regime...

and that's sad..

help your poor.
feed your hungry.
shelter your homeless.
bring aid to the sick.

that's how you fix things.

you got some sick people running your show.
do something about it.

happy holidays to everyone...
my pizza pop is ready


Your location is listed as Spain.

Call us when you finish digging up the mass graves from Franco's time.

I DO admire your courage in letting old age winnow those butchers from your government, though.

And it's been centuries since you guys seriously persecuted Jews, so ya got that going for you. I mean you only sheltered Vichy French Nazi collaborators into the 1980's, right?
 
2012-12-28 08:55:37 AM  
Hold on a second chief.  You mean to tell me that these mass shootings have been going on since the 1960s?  I think you'd better check your facts, bub.  Things have just recently gotten out of hand and we should start worrying now, not forty years ago.  Hell, just turn on the damn news media and you'll realize you're a damn fool.  Now go out to the garage and get me some 3-in-one oil so I can fark this chicken.
 
2012-12-28 08:56:20 AM  

Ex-Texan: Is anyone here old enough to remember the 1970s movie on this, that aired on NBC?


Sure. My first thought was 'The Computer That Wore Tennis Shoes has a rifle? And he's shooting people'?

Kurt Russell played the heavy for the first time in a film, and while his character certainly had headaches, I had no idea of the actual severity of Whitman's brain tumor.

My entire knowledge of Charles Whitman is this film.
 
2012-12-28 08:59:28 AM  
I agree with Researcher. Clearly Whitman had to be killed and I'm glad he was, but I see him as a victim as well. He left a note that said, according to Wikipedia:

"If my life insurance policy is valid please pay off my debts [...] donate the rest anonymously to a mental health foundation. Maybe research can prevent further tragedies of this type."

He kept writing that he didn't understand why he was doing the things he was. That just makes me really sad.
 
2012-12-28 09:03:02 AM  
Obviously, we must ban bell towers so this terrible tragedy can never happen again.
 
2012-12-28 09:04:52 AM  
Another gun thread controlled by dorm dwelling proletariats.
 
2012-12-28 09:06:20 AM  

Researcher: violentsalvation: Thank you for killing that bastard. R.I.P.

I'm not knocking the guy, he was a hero, Whitman was out of control and had to be put down...

But calling Whitman a bastard does little in light of the knowledge of the tragedy of this particular shooting was - not just for his victims at the university - but the shooter and his spiral into destruction.

He's often used in criminal justice textbooks - not because of his actions, but because of their cause. Whitman had a ludicrously large brain tumor... he was, with his letters and speaking with people, documenting his descent into madness and his helplessness in understanding why these changes were overcoming him.

He's an example of how unwise it is to be quick to judge the "why" of these things. I pity the man... he was genuinely diseased and a passenger for his own destruction. It's hard to imagine anyone blameless, especially of such wanton violence, but if it is possible he's at the top of the list.

It would have been better for someone to take him out quicker, taking him alive is almost academic as medical professionals were pretty convinced he was a dead man walking considering how far gone the tumor was. It's a baffling case to this day. But this is one of those rare events where the guy with the gun should probably be chalked up as a victim as well.

Just my opinion.

/99% of these shooters are just total evil douchebags...
//this, to me, is the tragic exception.


We European pinko commies tend to have the first thought "what if Whitman didn't have a gun in the first place?" ... in most European countries, he would have been asked by his doctor to cede his gun permit long before.

In terms of popular culture takes on it, King of the Hill owns that turf.

None of this detracts from the heroism of officer McCoy.
 
2012-12-28 09:07:48 AM  

kanesays: My first thought was 'The Computer That Wore Tennis Shoes has a rifle? And he's shooting people'?


Well, ballistics is quite math heavy...
 
2012-12-28 09:11:47 AM  
From the Charles Whitman Wikipedia page: "In February 1958, Whitman was hospitalized for surgery to remove a blood clot which had formed around his left testicle."

I think this sheds alot of light on the man and his motives.
 
2012-12-28 09:29:21 AM  
i.qkme.me
 
2012-12-28 09:34:58 AM  
Rest in peace, sir, and thank you for the lives you saved.
 
2012-12-28 09:39:22 AM  

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: poonesfarm: Do you think when he was called to the scene the dispatcher said "Houston, we have a problem"?

The shooting happened in Austin, not Houston, numbnuts


You're gonna need a bigger boat.
 
2012-12-28 09:54:09 AM  

Captain James T. Smirk: Wow. I mean, all badassery aside, was there ever any doubt as to what this man would do with his life? Is there a more Texan name than Houston McCoy? The fact that he didn't become a Texas Ranger is, frankly, shocking. The fact that his death was due to smoking is definitely not. Anyone named Houston McCoy almost certainly smoked two packs of unflitereds a day, lit with dynamite and snubbed out on his bare palm in the midst of a game of horseshoes.

RIP Sir. Your name, your accomplishments, and your memory will live on with your family and the families of those you saved that day.

/Houston McCoy
//Had to say it one more time


The name of Steven Seagal's character in Executive Decision was Austin Travis. But that was a work of fiction.
 
2012-12-28 09:55:59 AM  
They used to sell this at the Sound Exchange on the Drag:
starsandgarters.blogs.com

... you know, the reord store that later had this "mural" on the side:
www.hihowareyou.com

for the yung 'uns, a record store was a building where your grandparents had to go IN PERSON to buy music
 
2012-12-28 10:00:27 AM  
xmenfilms.files.wordpress.com
RIP Mr. McCoy.
 
2012-12-28 10:04:04 AM  

The Real Weedlord Bonerhitler: 46 years ago? Impossible. There where no video games at the time.


It was due to board games. Probably that Monopoly one.
 
2012-12-28 10:06:32 AM  

priapic_abandon: SpeedyBB: HARTMAN: Do any of you people know who Charles Whitman was? None of you dumbasses knows? Private Cowboy?
COWBOY: Sir, he was that guy who shot all those people from that tower in Austin, Texas, sir!

HARTMAN: That's affirmative. Charles Whitman killed twelve people from a twenty-eight-storey observation tower at the University of Texas from distances up to four hundred yards. Anybody know who Lee Harvey Oswald was? Private Snowball?

SNOWBALL: Sir, he shot Kennedy, sir!

HARTMAN: That's right, and do you know how far away he was?

SNOWBALL: Sir, it was pretty far! From that book suppository building, sir!

HARTMAN: All right, knock it off! Two hundred and fifty feet! He was two hundred and fifty feet away and shooting at a moving target. Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot! Do any of you people know where these individuals learned to shoot? Private Joker?

JOKER: Sir, in the Marines, sir!

HARTMAN: In the Marines! Outstanding! Those individuals showed what one motivated marine and his rifle can do! And before you ladies leave my island, you will be able to do the same thing!

[Full Metal Jacket]

Awesome!


Thank you. I was getting worried there would be no Full Metal Jacket references.

Leaving satisfied.
 
2012-12-28 10:12:56 AM  

fusillade762: The Real Weedlord Bonerhitler: 46 years ago? Impossible. There where no video games at the time.

Also, released the same year of the shooting:

[www.gooddealgames.com image 600x400]


Oh. my. god.... my roots!

/get off my lawn
 
2012-12-28 10:13:24 AM  
The '70s movie was called "Deadly Tower" and it did star Kurt Russell as Whitman. Really good movie!!!
 
2012-12-28 10:17:05 AM  

wejash: dethmagnetic: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Although a booby-trapped exploding receiver on Whitman's rifle would have been a hilarious alternative option...


i31.photobucket.com
 
2012-12-28 10:25:52 AM  

dethmagnetic: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.


This is why we need to arm all cops.
 
2012-12-28 10:41:42 AM  
Marines!
 
2012-12-28 11:07:04 AM  
TheWhoppah

When I first moved to Austin, it was called Record Exchange. They changed it for CD's. Bought some great vinyl there way back when.....most of which was stored at my parents house that burned down during the Bastrop fire last year... ;(
 
2012-12-28 11:11:17 AM  

Rhino_man: TommyDeuce: Rhino_man: dethmagnetic: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

False. The only thing that stopped that bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Jared Lee Loughner was stopped by an unarmed member of the public when he stopped firing to reload.

The Columbine and Newtown shooters were stopped by bad guys with guns . . .

Did I say No bad guy with a gun is ever stopped by a good guy with a gun? No.

I said that *A* bad guy with a gun was stopped by a good guy without a gun. I proved an exception to this rule that's been thrown about like candy recently, thereby disproving the rule.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" is a false statement. Period.

Tumunga: So, since there wasn't anymore bullets in his pistol, he actually didn't have a gun anymore. I guess you're wrong, sir.

Are you high?


I don't think anyone is really worried about a guy with an unloaded gun. He is about as dangerous as a guy holding a rock, probably less dangerous.

But if you insist, then I think you are correct. Many things can stop a guy with an unloaded gun.
Pedestrians, dogs, a really scratchy cat, a potato gun, black ice, heartburn...
 
2012-12-28 11:11:22 AM  

dittybopper: Oh, sure, everyone thought McCoy was a real hero for getting Whitman, but they conveniently forget that he let Price and Haddad get away.


Their debt to society paid in full.
 
2012-12-28 11:22:35 AM  

ParaHandy: We European pinko commies tend to have the first thought "what if Whitman didn't have a gun in the first place?" ... in most European countries, he would have been asked by his doctor to cede his gun permit long before.

In terms of popular culture takes on it, King of the Hill owns that turf.

None of this detracts from the heroism of officer McCoy.


If only he didnt have access to a knife......
 
2012-12-28 11:30:37 AM  

poonesfarm: Do you think when he was called to the scene the dispatcher said "Houston, we have a problem"?


I always wondered where Tom Hanks got that line from.
 
2012-12-28 11:34:06 AM  

The Real Weedlord Bonerhitler: 46 years ago? Impossible. There where no video games at the time.


Yeah, but they had pinball machines back then.
 
2012-12-28 11:40:53 AM  

violentsalvation: richard_1963: Charles Whitman. The prototypical gun nut. As the story goes, his autopsy showed that he had a brain tumor, which possibly, but not conclusively, may have provoked his killing spree.

His problems had nothing to do with gun nuttery. He was being treated for mental illness (though treatment for that at the time was in its infancy) and in his letter he asked that after covering his bills, the remaining portion of his life insurance be donated " anonymously to a mental health foundation. Maybe research can prevent further tragedies of this type."

We probably should've recognized that letter as a warning and learned something from it.


I thought they discovered a brain tumor which helped explain his personality changes. He knew something was wrong..too bad he didn't seek help before he went nuts.
 
2012-12-28 11:43:28 AM  

Nutsac_Jim: ParaHandy: We European pinko commies tend to have the first thought "what if Whitman didn't have a gun in the first place?" ... in most European countries, he would have been asked by his doctor to cede his gun permit long before.

In terms of popular culture takes on it, King of the Hill owns that turf.

None of this detracts from the heroism of officer McCoy.

If only he didnt have access to a knife......


Mercifully, none of those children died, and their classmates were eventually able to corner the guy with broomsticks. A knife that is 10 ft away isn't immediately harmful, but it's a lot harder to hold off someone who has a semi-automatic machine gun.

Crazies will always be crazies, but if we reduce the lethality of the things they have to hand or can obtain from their WT mom's arsenal, then we will save some lives.
 
2012-12-28 11:51:47 AM  

Mister Peejay: James F. Campbell: FightDirector: Yes. Yes they do. Until they actually do something that makes them "bad guys" they get the same rights as everyone else.

This is like saying we shouldn't try to disarm bombs until they've already gone off.

No, it's like saying that you don't know if they're a "bad guy" until they've done something.

That whole innocent until proven guilty thing.


Oh, I see. You believe that every man is a perfectly blank slate bootstrappy island. You don't believe that there are unseen social fabrics that can help determine whether or not these people commit the crimes they do -- or even prevent or treat. Aren't you just a shining example of a Real American(tm): you don't believe that prevention is better than cure. Instead, you'd rather ignore the problem as it festers until one day it kills 26 people, and then you can say, "A-ha, he must have been a bad person all along. Oh, well, nothing we can do about him, now."

/And I bet you consider yourself a conservative, too.
 
2012-12-28 12:30:16 PM  

James F. Campbell: dethmagnetic: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Yeah, but wouldn't it be better to prevent the bad guy from getting a gun to begin with? Or do bad guys have rights, too?


You're gonna love the Department of Pre-Crime
 
2012-12-28 01:04:43 PM  

James F. Campbell: Mister Peejay: James F. Campbell: FightDirector: Yes. Yes they do. Until they actually do something that makes them "bad guys" they get the same rights as everyone else.

This is like saying we shouldn't try to disarm bombs until they've already gone off.

No, it's like saying that you don't know if they're a "bad guy" until they've done something.

That whole innocent until proven guilty thing.

Oh, I see. You believe that every man is a perfectly blank slate bootstrappy island. You don't believe that there are unseen social fabrics that can help determine whether or not these people commit the crimes they do -- or even prevent or treat. Aren't you just a shining example of a Real American(tm): you don't believe that prevention is better than cure. Instead, you'd rather ignore the problem as it festers until one day it kills 26 people, and then you can say, "A-ha, he must have been a bad person all along. Oh, well, nothing we can do about him, now."

/And I bet you consider yourself a conservative, too.


I'm not sure where you get that at all, I'm sorry. Nothing I said implies that people should not seek treatment for mental issues. But on the other hand, where does it stop? I'm sorry, you showed signs of depression when you were 15, you're not allowed to own a firearm or use food utensils sharper than a rubber spoon.

To put things in perspective, consider the number of Internet Tough Guys who have put what could be construed as clear desire and intent to commit bodily harm to themselves and others, and figure the percentage of them who are about as likely to actually hurt someone as they are to leave fheir mom's basement. Then figure how horribly Orwellian it would be trying to tell the difference.

Currently the government takes every threat on the President's life seriously, if they were to have to investigate every sour word uttered then we'd have to basically hire the entirety of China.

Sorry for being a realist in a wharrgarbl thread.
 
2012-12-28 01:04:58 PM  

elffster: fusillade762: The Real Weedlord Bonerhitler: 46 years ago? Impossible. There where no video games at the time.

Also, released the same year of the shooting:

[www.gooddealgames.com image 600x400]

BZZZZT! Wrong!!

TheMagnavox Odyssey is the world's first commercial home. It was first demonstrated in April 1972 and released in August of that year, predating the home consoles by three years.


Thanks for that. I remember when my dad brought that bad boy home, and it was certainly later than the terror from the tower.

That being said, I think most of us older folks remember playing lone sniper vs. unarmed civilians when we were kids using toy guns or sticks that were pointable enough. It certainly explains why so many people were already desensitized to it.

/Can we change the conversation from 'gun control' to 'stockpile prevention' or 'anti-armory legislation'? Could we limit the number of weapons? Can we tax possession on an annual basis to cover the administrative costs of cross checking registrations against criminal records or mental health data from accredited sources? Could we fund a compensation fund for victims and families of victims of gun crimes?
//Once we have reasonable limitations, we crowdsource a buy back program.
 
2012-12-28 01:07:06 PM  
EVENTUALLY stopped.
 
2012-12-28 01:13:01 PM  

Mister Peejay: James F. Campbell: Mister Peejay: James F. Campbell: FightDirector: Yes. Yes they do. Until they actually do something that makes them "bad guys" they get the same rights as everyone else.

This is like saying we shouldn't try to disarm bombs until they've already gone off.

No, it's like saying that you don't know if they're a "bad guy" until they've done something.

That whole innocent until proven guilty thing.

Oh, I see. You believe that every man is a perfectly blank slate bootstrappy island. You don't believe that there are unseen social fabrics that can help determine whether or not these people commit the crimes they do -- or even prevent or treat. Aren't you just a shining example of a Real American(tm): you don't believe that prevention is better than cure. Instead, you'd rather ignore the problem as it festers until one day it kills 26 people, and then you can say, "A-ha, he must have been a bad person all along. Oh, well, nothing we can do about him, now."

/And I bet you consider yourself a conservative, too.

I'm not sure where you get that at all, I'm sorry. Nothing I said implies that people should not seek treatment for mental issues. But on the other hand, where does it stop? I'm sorry, you showed signs of depression when you were 15, you're not allowed to own a firearm or use food utensils sharper than a rubber spoon.

To put things in perspective, consider the number of Internet Tough Guys who have put what could be construed as clear desire and intent to commit bodily harm to themselves and others, and figure the percentage of them who are about as likely to actually hurt someone as they are to leave fheir mom's basement. Then figure how horribly Orwellian it would be trying to tell the difference.

Currently the government takes every threat on the President's life seriously, if they were to have to investigate every sour word uttered then we'd have to basically hire the entirety of China.

Sorry for being a realist in a wharrgarbl thread.


I'm down with you, Mr PJ, and I appreciate the way you've stated your opinion. We'd all love to take guns away from only the people who will misuse them, but who watches the watchmen? I also don't believe you really have a right to defend yourself from a corrupt government unless you have the practical ability. I voted for Obama. I'm a fiscal conservative social liberal. But I would not assume the U.S. government could not possibly fark itself up so badly that we might not need to defend ourselves from it at some level. It would be very difficult to present a gun ban argument I could agree with, but I believe there is a wealth of room for moderation and compromise.
 
2012-12-28 02:40:57 PM  

SpeedyBB: HARTMAN: Do any of you people know who Charles Whitman was? None of you dumbasses knows? Private Cowboy?
COWBOY: Sir, he was that guy who shot all those people from that tower in Austin, Texas, sir!

HARTMAN: That's affirmative. Charles Whitman killed twelve people from a twenty-eight-storey observation tower at the University of Texas from distances up to four hundred yards. Anybody know who Lee Harvey Oswald was? Private Snowball?

SNOWBALL: Sir, he shot Kennedy, sir!

HARTMAN: That's right, and do you know how far away he was?

SNOWBALL: Sir, it was pretty far! From that book suppository building, sir!

HARTMAN: All right, knock it off! Two hundred and fifty feet! He was two hundred and fifty feet away and shooting at a moving target. Oswald got off three rounds with an old Italian bolt action rifle in only six seconds and scored two hits, including a head shot! Do any of you people know where these individuals learned to shoot? Private Joker?

JOKER: Sir, in the Marines, sir!

HARTMAN: In the Marines! Outstanding! Those individuals showed what one motivated marine and his rifle can do! And before you ladies leave my island, you will be able to do the same thing!

[Full Metal Jacket]


Just watched that movie this past weekend. Seeing the big guy being the crazy Marines recruit and then as an autistic (I know that he isn't explicitly called that in the series, but his actions certainly seem to imply such) detective in Law & Order: Criminal Intent really made me aware that the guy learned his role from Full Metal Jacket. He nailed the crazy, tho.
 
2012-12-28 02:54:44 PM  
RIP brave officer. you now walk on heaven's beat for you have done your time in hell.
 
2012-12-28 02:55:38 PM  

vudukungfu: StoPPeRmobile: How many millions will get caught up in this mental health net? How much will it cost? Where is the money coming from?

Nickle a bullet. Once you go nuts and kill a bunch of people, they should take you out and shoot you in the head.
Make it a dime. Do the double tap. And make them dig their own graves.

Cheap. I'll chip in $1 for the first ten wingnuts.


You ever hear about anybody being falsely convicted of a capital crime? It happens a lot more that you'd think.
 
2012-12-28 03:00:40 PM  
RIP brave guy
 
2012-12-28 03:31:03 PM  

bigtotoro: dittybopper: Oh, sure, everyone thought McCoy was a real hero for getting Whitman, but they conveniently forget that he let Price and Haddad get away.

Their debt to society paid in full.


I was wondering when someone was going to notice that....
 
2012-12-28 04:06:55 PM  

Ex-Texan: Is anyone here old enough to remember the 1970s movie on this, that aired on NBC?


Are you referring to The Deadly Tower, which starred Kurt Russell as Charles Whitman?

If you are, I remember the movie. I was 23 when it aired.
 
2012-12-28 04:42:23 PM  

dittybopper: bigtotoro: dittybopper: Oh, sure, everyone thought McCoy was a real hero for getting Whitman, but they conveniently forget that he let Price and Haddad get away.

Their debt to society paid in full.

I was wondering when someone was going to notice that....


Not obscure, but it is 25 years old. In other words, couples that saw that movie on a date that conceived a child later that night, that kid is out of college now.

/we're old.
 
2012-12-28 05:51:43 PM  

Nutsac_Jim: Rhino_man: TommyDeuce: Rhino_man: dethmagnetic: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

False. The only thing that stopped that bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Jared Lee Loughner was stopped by an unarmed member of the public when he stopped firing to reload.

The Columbine and Newtown shooters were stopped by bad guys with guns . . .

Did I say No bad guy with a gun is ever stopped by a good guy with a gun? No.

I said that *A* bad guy with a gun was stopped by a good guy without a gun. I proved an exception to this rule that's been thrown about like candy recently, thereby disproving the rule.

"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun" is a false statement. Period.

Tumunga: So, since there wasn't anymore bullets in his pistol, he actually didn't have a gun anymore. I guess you're wrong, sir.

Are you high?

I don't think anyone is really worried about a guy with an unloaded gun. He is about as dangerous as a guy holding a rock, probably less dangerous.

But if you insist, then I think you are correct. Many things can stop a guy with an unloaded gun.
Pedestrians, dogs, a really scratchy cat, a potato gun, black ice, heartburn...


... so what you're saying is that you don't have a gun during the few seconds it takes to reload your gun. Sounds legit.
 
2012-12-29 05:40:37 AM  

ElFugawz: dethmagnetic: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

This is why we need to arm all cops.


Cops are good guys?

/Snark aside, the're an at risk group that is only outdone by combat vets.
/I mean, seriously. They are more likely to become murderous and abusive, and more likely to kill a mentally ill person than a real crook.
/The old British system of having unarmed cops seek armed citizens assistance is starting to make better sense.
/Back in the days before "Police officer" became synonymous with "Mechanized infantry".
 
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