I'm not trying to take away from the sadness of these tragic events, but life must go on.
I would bold the relevant sections, but they are all relevant.Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has a simple solution to future shooting massacres such as the one that ripped apart Virginia Tech university Monday: more guns.
"People are a little more cautious if somebody might have a gun there," the GOP presidential candidate told Politico reporters Tuesday. "A concealed gun carried by a responsible person -- that might have ended the problem that they had at Virginia Tech with one person being killed or two people being killed."
Paul, 71, is the kind of lawmaker, and presidential candidate, gun control advocates love to hate at moments like this. And, based on public opinion polls and reader feedback at Politico.com, he's far from alone.
Echoing the views of many Americans, he sees calls for restriction on guns as an affront to freedom. The libertarian-minded Texan is one of the most outspoken defenders of gun rights in Congress. Since the obstetrician was first elected to Congress in 1976, he has never voted for a bill restricting gun ownership. And he said the tragedy in Blacksburg, Va., could have been prevented if the school allowed students and professors to carry concealed weapons on campus.
Paul, who ran for the Libertarian presidential nomination in 1988, is well known on Capitol Hill for his outspoken, maverick positions. He opposed authorizing federal funding to victims of Hurricane Katrina. He wants to abolish the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Department of Education. He has called for a return to the gold standard. He argues that tighter gun control laws would have no impact on gun crime.
"It's the lack of access to law-abiding citizens to have guns in many places that increases our crime rate," he said. "We just can't prevent every tragedy of a maniac. So to pretend this happened because of lack of laws would be the wrong thing to assume."
Despite his pro-gun rhetoric, Paul also often finds himself voting with Democrats, particularly in the area of civil liberties. He was one of only three Republican lawmakers to vote against the USA Patriot Act in 2001. He expressed concern that the Virginia Tech shootings would be exploited to crack down on civil liberties.
"I know there will be a call for, 'Boy, we've got to take hold of every single gun and register the gun.' It's sort of like after 9/11, we had to worry about terrorists, but what we've done is register every American," he said. "With national ID cards, inspection and loss of our liberties, warrantless searches, we've attacked law-abiding citizens. So, no, I don't think we need more gun control for law-abiding citizens."
Paul suggested that the Sept. 11 attacks could have been avoided if the pilots on the hijacked airliners had been armed. "If terrorists knew that every pilot had a gun in the cockpit, they wouldn't have done it," he said. "They would have all been shot and wouldn't have accomplished their mission."