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8. Daily Press: Guns on campus would 'create fear'
A toxic mix
More guns on campus would create fear, not alleviate it

August 29, 2007

Some gun-rights activists think they know the solution to the issue
of campus security, one that has come front and center since the
shootings at Virginia Tech.

But it is a frightening, potentially disastrous solution. Allowing
students and staff to be armed -- or even, as some suggest,
encouraging them to be armed -- runs the risk of bringing violence to
more situations and more campuses. [Hell, it's far more dangerous to
our liberty and sanity to let someone like the person who wrote this
piece have access to a computer and word processor ;-) - PVC]

If there was ever a toxic mix, it's this: alcohol, immaturity,
stress, hormones, drugs, and all sorts of mental health issues (the
usual brew of college campuses), combined with deadly firepower. [So
our colleges and universities are cranking out fools and naves, all
the students are hopelessly drug-addicted or alcoholics? Just
because the Daily Press might be filled with such people is no reason
to believe that it is true of our colleges and universities. More
elitist BS. - PVC]

But that's precisely the concoction that some activists are urging
and will be pressuring the General Assembly to make way for.

Most states either let colleges determine their own gun policies or
specifically ban guns on campuses. Virginia colleges generally
prohibit students and faculty from having guns on campus and can bar
visitors from bringing them into certain buildings and events. That's
about all the behavior they can govern, says the attorney general, in
a state that welcomes guns just about everywhere, toted by just about
everyone of legal age. If you're a newcomer to Virginia, you might be
surprised to find out that except for a few categories (such as
felons and those with restraining orders against them), anybody age
18 or over can carry a loaded weapon openly in just about every
public place, with a few exceptions (such as airports and
courthouses). Concealed-carry permits are easy to get, if you're 21
or over and have completed a firearms training course -- even, in
some cases, if you have a criminal history. [And Virginia has a low
crime rate, too. Tough for anti-gunners to explain, isn't it Daily
Press? - PVC]

Some gun-rights groups want to let anyone with a permit carry a
concealed weapon on campus, while others would allow open carry of
loaded weapons.

The argument gun advocates make is that students, employees and
visitors to campus should be able to protect themselves in dangerous

But consider the implications, and the possibility that a troubling
situation could be made much worse by an amateur starting to shoot.
There's no guarantee that amateur will be able to aim. While people
with concealed-carry permits must have some training in gun-handling,
no such competence is required of people who carry weapons out in the
open, or keep them in the closet, just in case. It's easy to imagine
a disastrous combination: a big dose of fear or anger, a measure of
bravado, innocent bystanders, and no skill at all.

It's impossible to say whether the gunman at Tech might have been
stopped if a student or professor had pulled a gun when he pulled
his. Or whether having more people firing would have claimed other
victims. Or whether police, arriving at the scene of a shooting,
could have trouble distinguishing, in the split second they sometimes
have, between a bad guy with a gun and a student who drew a gun in
response. The university does not see guns as the solution; as a Tech
spokesman observed, "We've experienced far more of guns in the
classroom than any university should have to endure." [I would gladly
take my chances with the police and other armed students vs relying
on curling up in a fetal position on the floor and whimpering 'I'm
NOT armed, please don't hurt me' when a murderer points his gun at
me. - PVC]

Gun-rights advocates like to point to a shooter at Appalachian School
of Law who was confronted by students who retrieved guns from their
cars. But that was a single incident, and it's not clear whether
their intervention made a difference in the outcome. [Well, if it
saves just one life... - PVC]

How many horror stories haven't happened because students didn't have
guns? How many tragedies have been prevented because the flash points
of campus living -- a drunken conflict, a stress-induced bout of
depression, a romantic betrayal -- passed by without incident because
guns were not at hand? [That's just meaningless speculation - PVC]

And just think about the chilling effect on learning when a teacher,
or fellow student, looks around and see guns peeking out of holsters
or backpacks. [HAHAHA! What a vivid imagination the writer has! -

The solution to the possibility of unpredictable threats isn't for
civilians to take matters into their own hands by being ready and
willing to shoot it out. That's not a public safety strategy, that's
an invitation to turn college campuses into the OK Corral with
free-flowing alcohol. [Actually the OK Corral happened in a town
that banned guns ;-) Instead of protecting oneself, the DP seems to
think the passive, "I'm NOT armed, please don't hurt me" approach is
a valid public safety strategy to thwart a murderer intent on running
up his body count. - PVC]

Last year the General Assembly refused a bid to prevent colleges from
restricting concealed weapons. It will be under pressure again, with
appeals heated to a higher pitch by the Tech shootings.

Legislators must resist pressure to make college campuses more
dangerous by adding guns to the mix -- and should go further, by
standing up and explaining why. In a state too often in thrall to the
extremes of the gun-rights lobby, it's important to articulate that
while the Second Amendment guarantees citizens the right to bear
arms, there are logical and defensible limits that can and should be
placed on where they can carry them and under what circumstances.
Many of those logical and defensible limits apply on college
campuses. [Uh, actually they don't. Nice try, though. - PVC]

· Registered
895 Posts
it's important to articulate that
while the Second Amendment guarantees citizens the right to bear
arms, there are logical and defensible limits that can and should be
placed on where they can carry them and under what circumstances.
What part of "shall not be infringed" allows "logical and defensible limits"?

· Registered
6,172 Posts
A well researched and fact-filled article. How much better than the usual wild and speculative articles the gun nuts produce... I must agree 100% with this person. Guns are evil! :twisted:

They have no business on a college campus. Why, think of the college students who post to this forum. Can anyone honestly state those irresponsible, drugged-out, binge-drinking, over-sexed, song-stealing young people should be allowed access to deadly and evil looking black rifles or even those horrible terrorist plastic pistols that are invisible to airport x-ray scanners? Why, I get cold chills just thinking about it! :sheep:

Thank you MP for posting that article. At last we have a voice of reason on this forum... :foilhat:
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