The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UPDATED AND BUMPED - Did PC Kill Kids at Virginia Tech?

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers, and many thanks to Glenn for the link.

A new day to reflect on this tragedy brings excellent new links:

First of all, do not miss noted Ethicist Dennis Prager discussing the shootings on yesterday's radio show--he focuses like a laser beam on where the true morality lies in the issue of guns vs. self-protection.
Obviously, The New York Times is not listening. Who knew?

Stubborn Facts has self-defense tips. And Dr. Helen Smith asks a forbidden question: "Is Psychological Impotence in the Face of Violent Crime Really the Answer?"

Finally, just a reminder today as we all continue to grieve: although some Europeans may not see it that way, America is still the "last best hope of man on Earth." Don't ever lose sight of that.

**************** Original Post ********************
The blogosphere is teeming with chatter about the Virginia Tech tragedy today, but probably one of the best places for coverage and constant updates out here is
Pajamas Media.

Glenn Reynolds points out that it needn't have been this bad:

... reader John Lucas, who works with a Virginia law firm, emails that Va. Tech is a "gun-free zone." Well, for those who follow the law. There was an effort to change that but it failed: "A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly." That's unfortunate. Had the bill passed, things might have turned out differently, though we'll never know now.
Here is a highly relevant quote from the above-linked Roanoake story about the defeat of the carry bill which would have allowed students to defend themselves:

The bill was proposed by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, on behalf of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Gilbert was unavailable Monday and spokesman Gary Frink would not comment on the bill's defeat other than to say the issue was dead for this General Assembly session.

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

Uh,'s all about how they feel, after all. Guns are banned on the VT campus (as opposed to the anywhere else in the state of Virginia, where law abiding citizens who pass a background check can obtain a carry license and protect themselves), but I guess the shooter didn't get the message about not being allowed to have a weapon on campus... Go figure. What an enormous mistake, and what a horrific tragedy for those kids and those families.

If you think I am barking up a tree suggesting some students would have packed, just see what a VT student said in August 2006, after an on-campus shooting incident then. And keep in mind there is a large ROTC contingent at VT:

On Aug. 21 at about 9:20 a.m., my graduate-level class was evacuated from the Squires Student Center. We were interrupted in class and not informed of anything other than the following words: "You need to get out of the building." Upon exiting the classroom, we were met at the doors leading outside by two armor-clad policemen with fully automatic weapons, plus their side arms. Once outside, there were several more officers with either fully automatic rifles and pump shotguns, and policemen running down the street, pistols drawn.

It was at this time that I realized that I had no viable means of protecting myself. Please realize that I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the commonwealth of Virginia, and do so on a regular basis. However, because I am a Virginia Tech student, I am prohibited from carrying at school because of Virginia Tech's student policy, which makes possession of a handgun an expellable offense, but not a prosecutable crime.

I had entrusted my safety, and the safety of others to the police. In light of this, there are a few things I wish to point out.

First, I never want to have my safety fully in the hands of anyone else, including the police.

Second, I considered bringing my gun with me to campus, but did not due to the obvious risk of losing my graduate career, which is ridiculous because had I been shot and killed, there would have been no graduate career for me anyway.

Third, and most important, I am trained and able to carry a concealed handgun almost anywhere in Virginia and other states that have reciprocity with Virginia, but cannot carry where I spend more time than anywhere else because, somehow, I become a threat to others when I cross from the town of Blacksburg onto Virginia Tech's campus.

Of all of the emotions and thoughts that were running through my head that morning, the most overwhelming one was of helplessness. That feeling of helplessness has been difficult to reconcile because I knew I would have been safer with a proper means to defend myself.

I would also like to point out that when I mentioned to a professor that I would feel safer with my gun, this is what she said to me, "I would feel safer if you had your gun."

The policy that forbids students who are legally licensed to carry in Virginia needs to be changed. I am qualified and capable of carrying a concealed handgun and urge you to work with me to allow my most basic right of self-defense, and eliminate my entrusting my safety and the safety of my classmates to the government. This incident makes it clear that it is time that Virginia Tech and the commonwealth of Virginia let me take responsibility for my safety.
That was written on August 31, 2006. What if that young man had been in that building today--with his weapon? As Andrew's Dad posts here:
Just imagine if students were armed. We no longer need to imagine what will happen when they are not armed.
Virginia Tech has now reaped the whirlwind for its Utopian, PC, kum-bah-yah decision; yet another sign of just how compromised by leftist ideology Academia has become.

But I take no pleasure in saying this--actually I am ANGRY because of it: at least 32 innocent young people are now dead, a nation is shocked and all those families will have to live with the pain that never goes away; that of losing a child. Yet one question demands an answer: how many of those kids are dead because of a belief in Peace, Love, and Political Correctness? How many of those bodies are in the morgue tonight because bleeding-heart Academics would not allow students--who wanted to--to protect themselves? And how many more will have to die before people wake up to the fact that in the real world there are people out there who should not be. They may be two doors down from you or in the next car lane at the stop light. But they are there and they would think nothing of snuffing you out like a candle. And if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, how many of you would want the means to defend yourself or a loved one from imminent bodily harm from such a person?

Me, too. But make no mistake; the anti-gun zealots will try and turn this into a crusade for their cause, as they do every time something like this happens (will Michael Moore create "Bowling for Blacksburg"?...). Don't let them succeed.

I will close this long post with a quote from Roger Kimball at The New Criterion:
Of the many things that can be said about the horrible shooting at Virginia Tech today, one thing that we have already heard too often is that the shooting is offers a compelling argument against citizens owning guns. Right on cue, Jim Sollo, representing Virginians Against Handgun Violence, told reporters that "We live in a society where guns are pretty well accepted. There are 200 million guns in this society and obviously some in the wrong hands." Well, yes. And that means? That we should concentrate all instruments of violence in the hands of an increasingly bureaucratic and meddlesome state, thus rendering ordinary citizens even more defenseless? I don't think so, but that is what well meaning people like Mr. Sollo, appropriately horrified by such slaughter as we have seen today, conclude. My own feeling is that if a few responsible students and faculty had been in possession of the requisite firearms they might have made the death toll a lot lower, or even--had been especially alert--eliminated it altogether, or at least reduced it to the gratifying number of one, that of the perpetrator. A famous Roman military historian noted that si vis pacem, para bellum: if you want peace, prepare for war. Good advice, that. And if you want domestic tranquility, an armed and responsible citizenry ready and able to protect life and property is not a bad way to start.

Labels: ,

DiscerningTexan, 4/17/2007 02:00:00 PM |