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Did Liberalism Cause Virginia Tech Shootings?
By: Michael P. Tremoglie, author of "A Sense Of Duty" available at, The Bulletin

I find it deplorable - and have written so in a prior column - that liberals immediately exploited the tragic massacre at Virginia Tech University to promote their crusade for abolition of gun ownership. They chose to politicize this calamity even before the murderer was identified.

Yet, unfortunately, they did just that. They did so in the most loathsome manner possible by blaming Republicans, the NRA, gun owners, and conservatives. People like Democrat Congressman Jim Moran, New York Times columnist Michael Daly, and other, similarly vile people, immediately assigned blame to gun laws and gun ownership as if they somehow knew, unqualifiedly, that this was the reason.

Just as unfortunate as the misinformation campaign by the aforementioned, is the fact that it now creates the obligation, among those who know better, to respond with the truth. Indeed, a response is absolutely necessary lest it seem that what the gun control zealots are saying is true.

It is ironic that liberals want to blame conservatives and Republicans for the Virginia Tech disaster. Indeed, far from being a validation of liberal policies towards gun ownership, the fact is, the Virginia Tech catastrophe, is quite the opposite. What happened in Blacksburg, Va., on Monday proves that liberal policies have, once again, failed to protect the innocent.

The first evidence that liberal ideas either contributed to, or were the cause, of the VA Tech tragedy is that of the very words of the murderer, Cho Seung-Hui. A videotape and some writings he made before, and during the killing spree, which he sent to NBC, revealed his motivation. Among his reasons were his resentment of "rich kids," and their "Mercedes," their "golden necklaces," their "trust funds," their "debaucheries" and their "hedonistic" lifestyle.

This hatred of the "rich" is right out of the leftist and liberal Democratic Party philosophy of class warfare. It is they who are always demonizing the wealthy - claiming they want to starve the poor, or send the poor to war for oil so they can profit from it. Democrat leaders like Charlie Rangel, Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, and Howard Dean, among others, routinely portray the wealthy as greedy and evil.

The second substantiation that liberal concepts caused the massacre was that the murderer, despite having a history of criminally insane behavior, was not incarcerated. Almost 18 months ago, a Virginia court order, dated December 13, 2005, stated the murderer "is mentally ill and in need of hospitalization, and presents an imminent threat to self and others as a result of mental illness..." He was taken by police to a psychiatric facility, Carilion St. Albans Behavioral Health Center, where the next day Dr. Roy Crouse, a psychiatrist found that he was "mentally ill," yet did "not present an imminent danger to himself/others" and did, "not require involuntary hospitalization." (This is contradicted by another form signed by a Judge Paul Barnett which states the murderer is a danger to himself, yet recommends outpatient treatment).

The killer was represented by an attorney at that time. This was a requirement established "civil libertarian" attorneys. Indeed the "danger to himself or others" sole criterion for involuntary hospitalization is the direct result of the "civil libertarian" philosophy of not placing mentally ill people in institutions. Indeed, "civil libertarians" are quite proud of the fact that they changed these laws. They rejoice that they caused millions of mentally ill people to roam the streets and make it difficult for them to be arrested. This was essentially codified by a 1975 Supreme Court ruling.

The third proof that liberalism was responsible for the Virginia Tech carnage was the leftwing policy that Va. Tech's campus was a "gun free zone." Guns were not permitted to be carried on campus. Consequently, the students were unable to defend themselves and kill the murderer.

Compare this to Pearl (Mississippi) High School, Vice Principal, Joel Myrick, who in October 1997, realized that a 16-year-old student was killing students. Myrick went to his vehicle got his gun and returned in time to stop the killer. Myrick, by doing this, was in violation of the Gun Free School Zones Act of 1990.

Ironically, eight months before the Virginia Tech student killer was able to walk out of psychiatric facility, in April 2005, another VT student was disciplined for carrying a gun on campus. A VT spokesman said, "We think we have the right to adhere to and enforce that policy because, in the end, we think it's a common-sense policy for the protection of students, staff and faculty as well as guests and visitors..."

An armed VT student or VT students might have prevented the slaughter just as Joel Myrick did at his Mississippi high school

Liberals need to be very careful if they want to use the Virginia Tech incident to validate their ideas because, if anything, it disproves them.

They also discredit themselves by claiming that nearly all studies disprove that guns are used in self-defense. This is patently false.

The May 1997 National Institute of Justice report titled, "Guns in America; National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms cited two studies that furnished significant - if divergent - numbers for defensive gun use.

The National Crime Victimization Survey data concluded that guns are used about 108,000 per year for self-defense. The National Survey of the Private Ownership of Firearms determined that people defended themselves with guns 2,500,000 times per year. Philip Cook, the director of Duke University's Public Policy Institute and a member of the apolitical National Consortium on Violence Research, states that the actual figure is somewhere in between these two.

Whatever the actual figure, the fact is that while there are about 10,000 gun homicides each year, there are more people who use guns to protect themselves. It is also worth noting that federal government data states that about 15 percent of murderers have a prior homicide conviction and that about 65 percent have a prior felony arrest.

Michael P. Tremoglie is the author of A Sense Of Duty, available on He can be reached at [email protected]

©The Evening Bulletin 2007 ... 6361&rfi=6
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