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Tuesday, April 17 

Virginia Tech

I have some loose ties with Virginia Tech. I've been to the campus a few times, and have always thought it was one of the most beautiful campuses I've ever seen.

Yesterday's tragedy breaks my heart. I can't imagine the terror those students felt as the killer stalked the hallways, killing anyone he came across.

Some in the media are already using this as a vehicle to immediately try to call for more gun control. Speaking with people at work yesterday afternoon and this morning, most all of the women here have the exact same reaction. They want their children to be safe, so their knee-jerk reaction is to want to ban guns.

I understand that feeling. I have two children, and I want them to be as safe as possible. However, stricter gun control is an emotional response, and the wrong response. Restricting access to guns assumes that everyone is a law abiding person who will follow the rules to obtain a weapon. If that were the case, then more gun control wouldn't be necessary, because there wouldn't be any bad guys. However, the fact remains that there will always be bad guys. There will always be some kook who thinks the best way to solve whatever his problem is would be to get a couple of pistols and shoot a few people. And the fact that he will be the only one on campus with a gun makes that decision a lot easier for him.

According to The Roanoke Times, a bill which would have allowed persons who possess a concealed carry permit to carry their firearms on campus died in committee.
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.

House Bill 1572 didn't get through the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. It died Monday in the subcommittee stage, the first of several hurdles bills must overcome before becoming laws.
But the money quote comes at the end of the article.
In June, Tech's governing board approved a violence prevention policy reiterating its ban on students or employees carrying guns and prohibiting visitors from bringing them into campus facilities.
That pretty much sums up my entire argument. Their "violence prevention policy" prevented students from arming themselves, and as a result 32 students have lost their lives.

Go here for more on this from a grad student at Tech who was at the school during the shooting the first day of classes in the fall.

Update: The more I read about this, the more pissed off I get. Now the Europeans are taking it upon themselves to condemn the U.S. "gun culture".
British Home Office Minister, Tony McNulty, earned a masters degree in political science at Virginia Tech in 1982.

“I think if this does prompt a serious and reflective debate on gun issues and gun law in the states then some good may come from this woeful tragedy,” McNulty said.
They go on to lecture us about the fact that handguns are completely outlawed in Britain, and Britain has had only 46 homicides involving guns, compared to nearly 600 in New York.

My question for these idiots is how many people were killed otherwise? How many died in bombings compared to bombings in New York in that same time period? Ever hear of the IRA? How many have they killed, even though guns are all but outlawed in Britain? How many people have been killed in Europe, even though they have strict gun control laws?

When I lived in Germany the Red Army killed the head of the Bundesbank by packing a bicycle frame with plastic explosives and detonating it when his limo drove by. But I guess that doesn't count, because no guns were used.

Let me point this out again, you are not allowed to carry weapons on Virginia Tech's campus. Students who possess a concealed carry permit, who may have been able to defend themselves and stop this before it turned into such a disaster, were left cowering in classrooms, waiting to be executed because of gun control.

There are three reasons to own guns:
  1. To protect yourself and your family

  2. To hunt dangerous and delicious animals

  3. And to protect yourself against a tyrannical government

This was a lone gunman with two pistols. One student with a concealed weapon could have brought this entire affair to a close.

Thus endeth the lesson.

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hmm. . .interesting point.

I'm not exactly sure where I stand on the whole gun-control issue to be honest.

But here's a question, I don't know how old your kids are but would you send them to school with a concealed weapon? At what age? high school? college? And would you be comfortable knowing there were other students also wandering the halls with concealed weapons?

I have two daughters, age 10 and 12. I would not send them to school with a firearm now, obviously, but once they are in college I will certainly make sure they are armed.

My oldest daughter received a single-shot shotgun for her 12th birthday. She is also receiving lessons in cleaning and caring for the gun, as well as gun safety. I don't believe in just throwing guns to the masses and hoping for the best. Being a gun owner is a right, but also a huge responsibility.

So, short answer is that yes, they will both be armed when they are sent off to live on their own. And I would sleep much better at night if I knew more people were concealed carry permit holders. It means they've been trained and passed tests in handling their weapon.

I don't believe there is anything wrong with owning guns... they are a hobby, albeit a dangerous one.

The problem in the US isn't the readily available weapons, but the ignorant people who use them to force their will on others. Criminals, militants, etc. If the government said, "You want to own a gun? You must first pass this IQ test!" I seriously doubt the problems that are normally attributed to a lack of gun control would ever take place.

Guns don't kill people... ignorant people kill people. If I had to guess, I would say the average IQ of a gun owner hovers in the low 80s. Not stupid, but not exactly the top ten percent of the countries intelligencia.

Ed, you are one of my favorite bloggers, and I really like you, but that is easily one of the most offensive remarks you've ever made here. Equating gun ownership with low IQ? How, then, do you explain the founding fathers, not exactly mental lightweights, considering it to be so important that they included it as a guaranteed right in the constitution?

Agreed that stupid people with guns are what kill people, but I will further postulate that even when stupid people own guns, if they know that everyone else does as well, they are less likely to try to pull one on you.

Most offensive? Doubtful. Accurate? Arguable. But literally, not all gun owners are the intellectual lighthouses that our founding forefathers were Frank.

I will post in my blog what I know about the demographics of gun owners and how I could arrive at such an "offensive" conclusion about the relative intelligence of gun owners so I don't clutter your blog with my statistical mumblings.

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