My thoughts on the Virginia Tech Massacre
It is too late now to treat it as some news now, but it is not too late for me to comment. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. Things like that did not affect me as much as now before I had kids. But now I always think to myself: "What if my daughter was there?" I also feel very sorry for the shooter’s family. Not only did they loose their their son and brother, but knowing that he was actually the evil monster that did this must be unbearable.
Now the dust settles a bit, and the whole story gets politicized even more than it was in the immediate aftermath. It is all very predictable. The Left screams for gun control. Their ideal is to ban all guns. In fact, as it turns out, the guns were (and still are) banned on Virginia Tech campus:
BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech’s recent action against a student caught carrying a gun to class could draw unwanted attention from groups already angry about firearms restrictions on public college campuses.
University officials confirmed that, earlier this semester, campus police approached a student found to be carrying a concealed handgun to class. The unnamed student was not charged with any crimes because he holds a state-issued permit allowing him to carry a concealed gun. But the student could face disciplinary action from the university for violating its policy prohibiting "unauthorized possession, storage or control" of firearms on campus.
Tech spokesman Larry Hincker declined to release the student’s name or specifics of the incident, citing rules protecting student confidentiality. But Hincker said Tech’s ban on guns dates back several decades.
Students who violate the school policy could be called before the university’s internal judicial affairs system, which has wide discretion in handing down penalties ranging from a reprimand to expulsion.
"I think it’s fair to say that we believe guns don’t belong in the classroom," Hincker said. "In an academic environment, we believe you should be free from fear."
Here it is again, the ridiculous argument about guns somehow instilling fear in people. But the ban on guns did not stop Cho from bringing guns on campus and killing a bunch of people. The gun rights advocates logically point out that had some students who were already licensed to carry weapons been able to bring them to class, the number of victims would have been drastically reduced (via Pamela of Atlas Shrugs):
In reality, Virginia Tech was, as many bloggers put it, a "danger-free zone for armed criminals." The school was one of many to prohibit all guns on campus. Last year, legislation to allow exceptions for licensed and trained gun owners failed to pass the Virginia legislature.
Virginia Tech officials falsely believed their policy meant more security, not less. Its spokesman, Larry Hincker, described the school’s anti-gun policy in 2005 by saying: "We believe guns don’t belong in the classroom. In an academic environment, we believe you should be free from fear." He proudly noted that students who had tried to bring handguns onto school property had been promptly suspended.
John Lott, a gun-control scholar, says the problems with such laws is that good intentions aren’t enough. "What counts is whether the laws ultimately save lives. Unfortunately, too many gun laws primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not criminals." He notes that some 40 states now have some kind of law allowing responsible citizens to carry concealed firearms. In most of those states, between 2% and 6% of all adults have such permits, thus giving citizens in a community the size of a university the knowledge that someone other than the local police will have access to self-defense.
Virginia Tech thus went out of its way to prevent what happened at a Pearl, Miss., high school in 1997, where assistant principal Joel Myrick retrieved a handgun from his car and apprehended a school shooter. Or what happened at Appalachian Law School, in Grundy, Va., in 2002, when a mass murder was stopped by two students with law-enforcement experience, one of whom retrieved his own gun from his vehicle. Or in Edinboro, Pa., a few days after the Pearl event, when a school attack ended after a nearby merchant used a shotgun to force the attacker to desist.
I understand that many people would argue that college students are not known for responsible behavior. But it seems to me that people who were already qualified and licensed to carry guns should have been allowed to do so. You see, as it turns out, police are not obligated to protect anybody. They just have to catch the criminals after the crime has been committed. I actually first realized this after I read an article on the site for "Jewish NRA". I could not find it now, but go ahead and browse this site. While you are there, look at this article (via Pamela of Atlas Shrugs). This explains how to end school shootings.
It is pretty obvious that guns should not have been sold to Cho, a very disturbed individual with a couple of stalking complaints against him and referral to a mental health facility. A good computerized data base would have prevented this. That would be the gun control part. But in case of a terrorist act or someone who just snapped there would be no previous data available. Even if the guns are outlawed, people who intend to do harm will find a way, including obtaining guns illegally. Armed citizens who are qualified to use firearms would be the only way to minimize the damage.
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