Friday, April 11, 2008

The Virginia Tech Shooting - One Year Later

Before I even start, I want to say that as a person my heart goes out to the survivors of the VT Shooting. My heart also goes out to the victims families. What happened is a tragedy in every sense of the word. But what is going on after a year could make a tragedy bloom into a political travesty.

One year later some of the survivors are turning into political activists. I don't have a problem with that. The nature of the activism is anti-gun. I do have a slight problem with that.

The problem is that so far as I know, there is no campus in America where one can lawfully carry a weapon. Those places are not so much "gun free zones" as they are "free victim zones". The victims are traumatized. I get that. I hold no malice towards thier views. But I am afraid of the potential results.

What should have happened was that the campus cops should have immediately locked down the campus. Instead read what USA today reported today:

The report also concluded that the Virginia Tech Police Department erred when it did not ask the university administration to issue a campuswide alert after two students were killed in a dorm room. University officials waited almost two hours to notify the campus.

Another thing that could have happened is that an armed and trained student population could have defended themselves. Instead we have dead students and traumatized survivors.

The Second Amendment guarantees our right to be armed. As a State University which receives federal funding that guarantee was taken away. You would think that the opposite would be true. I support that a private business can ban guns. It is a private entity and you don't have to patronise it if you don't like the policy. But a government agency is supposed to uphold the constitution. They didn't, and people died. Rather than suing the State, I would have sued the State and the Fed.

The young activists are going to push for tighter mental health laws. I concur. If a Doctor says that someone is so mentally unstable that they cannot be trusted with a weapon in accordance with thier constitutional rights, then they should not be allowed in public. It sounds harsh. It is harsh. The reality is that if Cho couldn't be trusted with a gun, then he was already a danger to society and should have been in a hospital.

My fear is that the radical anti-gun lobby is going to milk this. The victims are attempting to put their lives in order. If working towards reasonable procedures to ensure that the mentally ill or criminals don't have access to weapons helps them cope, then go for it.

I'm afraid that ever more restrictive gun laws only penalize the law abiding. those who desire a gun will get a gun. Just like drug laws, they are inneffective. The rationale is simple. Tighter gun control will lead to less crime. But, remember that the logic being used can be used elsewhere. Tighter automobile controls will lead to less accidents.

I'm all for stopping mass shootings. But it cannot be done at the expense of law abiding citizens.

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