Prohibiting Guns On Campus a Boon To Bad Guys

Discussion in 'In the News' started by GeorgiaGlocker, May 6, 2007.

  1. GeorgiaGlocker

    GeorgiaGlocker Romans 1:16

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    Found this at GT.

    Column: Steve Holland: Prohibiting legal guns on campus a boon to bad guys
    http://www.amarillo.com/stories/050607/ ... 9760.shtml
    Column: Steve Holland: Prohibiting legal guns on campus a boon to bad guys

    The murders at Virginia Tech University last month were horrible. Any murder is, of course, but multiple murders in a presumably safe environment is particularly heinous. Thirty-two innocent people and one monster were killed, the latter by his own hand.

    The monster wanted instant fame and notoriety, and the media were all too eager to oblige him, particularly the TV people. Between his first two murders and the rest of the rampage, he took the time to mail a video and a ridiculous screed to NBC television news in New York. In a monumental display of bad taste and poor judgment, NBC officials aired the video in a constant loop as soon as it arrived, excusing their boorish behavior by calling it "breaking news," and justifying it by making a copy for law enforcement authorities.

    "I don't claim to have all the answers, but I'm pretty sure that disarming the good guys isn't one of them."

    Steve Holland
    The other networks were no better. Had any of them received the package, I'm convinced they would have reacted the same way.

    It reminded me of the feeding frenzy following Hurricane Katrina. Before the week was out, the residents, students and faculty of Blacksburg were asking the news vultures, pointedly, to leave.

    The TV media weren't the only ones demonstrating a poverty of good sense. The university administration could have and should have locked down the entire campus from the outset of the incident, but didn't. It happens even in our area. Hereford High School was locked down recently on just the suspicion of a gun-toting student. In these cases, it's reasonable to insist that prudence and safety should trump possible public-relations discomfiture.

    Twenty-seven VT students were gunned down by this madman, whom I will not name. Let's just call him "Joe," which is more than he deserves. Five faculty members, who should be remembered for their bravery and sacrifice, also paid the ultimate price for their dedication. Professor Liviu Librescu, a Holocaust survivor, was shot five times as he held the door against the murderer. Professor Jocelyn Couture-Nowak tried to do the same and also was killed by this coward. Professor Librescu's students evacuated safely through a window; Professor Couture-Nowak's students weren't so lucky. All but six of the students in her classroom were killed.

    Joe doesn't get a pass from me because he was crazy. There was demonstrable evidence of his violent tendencies long before April 16. His demented writings show only that he was unbalanced and seriously in need of treatment. Whatever his complaint, it wasn't sufficient to warrant mass murder. He should have been incarcerated, in one form or another, for as long as he was deemed a threat. The public deserved no less.

    Whether it was due to incompetence, political correctness, or some misguided sense of compassion for the mentally ill, leaving him loose to prey on people was a deadly mistake.

    Virginia, like Texas, has a concealed-carry permit law. Like Texas, the concealed-carry law is invalid in certain public places, most notably schools and churches. To me, that seems to be an open invitation to the bad guys.

    In 2005, the Virginia Assembly considered a bill to prohibit universities from making "rules or regulations limiting the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun." Virginia Tech's administration opposed the bill, and it died in subcommittee.

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry has proposed that legal handgun carriers be allowed to carry their weapons anywhere in the state. I agree with the governor on this one. Sitting ducks don't shoot back.

    The Second Amendment is probably the most poorly worded, hotly debated clause in the Constitution. But up to now, it's been universally interpreted to be clear enough that the citizenry can at least own firearms.

    That doesn't mean that reasonable restrictions are prohibited. The founders apparently thought that future generations would have sense enough to regulate themselves.

    Clearly, they had no idea of the caliber of clowns we'd be sending to legislative bodies to represent us.

    Second-guessing is easy in these situations. It must be, because plenty of it is being done. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I'm pretty sure that disarming the good guys isn't one of them.

    But just for a minute, imagine that Professor Librescu, one or more of his students, or someone in the other classrooms had been armed and trained in the use of a handgun. The story would have read much differently, I'm sure.

    And Joe would have been introducing himself to Satan sooner.

    Steve Holland lives in Amarillo. He is a local truck parts sales representative.