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Should students, faculty carry weapons on campus?
YES: Killing would end swiftly if students, faculty had guns

BLACKSBURG, Va. --I cannot help but think that things could have been different at Virginia Tech. As a Tech student and a Concealed Handgun Permit holder, I have requested that the university allow me, and those who wish to be responsible for their own safety, the ability to carry a legally licensed firearm as a means of self-defense without fear of expulsion or termination from employment.

The associate vice president for university relations, Larry Hincker, responded to my plea, writing that "guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same."

Gun bans don't work

It is striking how this policy forces us, as students, faculty and staff, to believe that an individual who is bent on causing irreparable harm will not do so because it is against university policy.This is what gun prohibitions do. They provide areas where only those who have total disregard for the laws or policies in place are armed. If any one of the students or faculty in Norris Hall had been able to defend him or herself with a gun, things could have been different. Who knows how many of the victims' lives could have been saved, but wouldn't just one have been enough? Laws and policies that attempt to prohibit gun ownership and concealed-carry affect only those who are law- and policy-abiding citizens. These are the very people who need to be able to defend themselves from a violent criminal who has no regard for law or policy.

A murderer does not care if having a gun is against the law. The killer at Virginia Tech broke university policy and state law by carrying his guns concealed on campus. Did the policy do anything to prevent those guns from being used in a classroom? Are we really expected to think that the shooter thought, "I shouldn't go on a murderous rampage, it's against school policy. I could be expelled"?

Can't we all see how ridiculous that is? This policy asks students, faculty and staff to choose between their education and their lives. Is that a choice we should be forced to make?

Protecting ourselves

Opponents complain that there will be blood in the classrooms if students are armed. There were no students or faculty armed for their own defense, and yet the fact remains that there was blood in the classrooms. Others may believe that there is no reason to have a handgun because the police already adequately protect them. Yet often, as evidenced at Virginia Tech, they arrive after an incident has occurred and do not prevent crimes, they respond to and investigate them.

While I am appreciative of the efforts of the law enforcement community, the fact is that if someone wants to cause harm, law enforcement officers have to actually be present to prevent it, and they rarely are. It's time to let people who want to defend themselves from an armed attacker do so. Decent, law-abiding citizens deserve the fundamental right of self-defense.

Bradford Wiles is a graduate research assistant with the department of human development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. Write him at Virginia Tech, 66 Wallace Hall (0416), Blacksburg, Va. 24061.

4,981 Posts
the people making policy will never get it. I wonder how they would feel if it were their kid dead, rapped, or whatever. Would they jump to the other side of the fence? You always see it, these same policy makers dont ever think its gonna happen to them.
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