Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Virginia Tech Shooting and Gun Control

I don't mean to say that I'm the sharpest knife in the drawer, but damned if I haven't been saying this since the day it happened. It would take both of my hands to count the people that I know I said it to. Now, Anne Coulter and others, say it.

I do think that there was an error in the licensing system if indeed it is true that a background check for a concealed carry permit overlooked a history of, and continuing concerns of mental illness. That being said, the only other thing that could have helped the victims of this mass murder is the ability to defend themselves. The problem there is that under no circumstances I know of, can anyone but law enforcement bring a firearm onto school property as stated by campus policies.

Did any of the victims have licenses for concealed carry? If they did, then would the school be in danger of a wrongful death suit because they disallowed weapons to be carried by those who were given the privilege by the state?

No, but that doesn’t mean the threat shouldn’t still be made.

Each student and faculty member was well aware that firearms were not allowed on campus, and each individual had every right NOT to attend the school if they had a problem with the rule. One assumes the risk of being defenselessly executed while attending said institutions (notice the tongue-in-cheek).

There needs to be change:

1. Non-citizens who have a history of, and continuing concerns of mental illness should not be given pistol permits.
2. If the state says that I can carry concealed, the state should stand up for that privilege.

The reason (at least in NY, and at least as I understand the logic) for concealed carry is concealment. A gun will not create hysteria because it is concealed. The only time you’ll know if/when I have my weapon on me is in a life or death situation when I’d have no other choice – such as we saw last Monday.

I was told that “...the answer isn’t more guns.” I’m not suggesting that the answer is “more guns.” I’m suggesting that someone like the nut who shot up VTECH wants to do what he did, he’ll find a way. It may have made things more difficult, but I don’t believe that denying him the ability to legally purchase weapons would have prevented him from obtaining them. I think I read somewhere that he filed off the serial numbers – isn’t that an offense itself? If you can assume that my suggestion of a nut doing what nuts do (something undeniable even before now) is accurate, then what is the logic in preventing me from being prepared to defend myself? No, I’m not asking to be strapped 24 hours a day no matter what I’m doing. Asking to be allowed to carry my gun into an everyday place like my class is NOT asking to be strapped while meeting with The President (could you imagine the left’s new position on gun control if we could though?)

More questions: Does a student, fully licensed for concealed carry, break school policy and carry? Does he risk being caught with it for his own safety? I don’t think doing so would consist of breaking the law, but let’s just say it does, for the sake of argument. Should this student, now a lawbreaker, be allowed to maintain his license?

I wonder what impact we could have on American’s attitudes toward guns if we bombarded them from elementary school with gun use and safety the way we do with sexual education. Although I can’t cite any specific cases, I’m of the understanding that a parent has no right to prevent a public school from forcing sex-ed on their student. I wonder what the champions of this situation would say if we forced firearm education on our students.

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