Tuesday, April 17, 2007

VT

From the NYTimes:
"Virginia imposes few restrictions on the purchase of handguns and no requirement for any kind of licensing or training. The state does limit handgun purchases to one per month to discourage bulk buying and resale, state officials said.

Once a person had passed the required background check, state law requires that law enforcement officers issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who applies. However, no regulations and no background checks are required for purchase of weapons at a Virginia gun show.

“Virginia’s gun laws are some of the weakest state laws in the country,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “And where there have been attempts to make some changes, a backdoor always opens to get around the changes, like the easy access at gun shows.”

Students are not allowed to have guns on the campus."

My dad said yesterday that the first thing that was going to happen was people were going to start calling for more gun restrictions as a result of this tragedy. I hesitated to make something this horrific political but reading this it becomes clear that it will be made into a political battle. Let me just say this: Murdering 32 people is already illegal. People don't go into dorms and classrooms and shoot everyone in sight and expect to live, let alone get away with it. Take into consideration that last line. "Students are not allowed to have guns on the campus." Perhaps if they had been allowed, the shooting would have stopped at the first attack when any one student in the dorm had shot back. What if one faculty member in that classroom building had been able to stop the attacks, rather than barricade their doors and hide under tables?

Just a thought. My prayers are going to the families and the school.

6 comments:

Ken said...

I love how people think the answer to gun violence is more guns!!! That's just insane logic. Do you really want to live in a society where everyone has a gun on them at all times? Should we go back in time to the old west? We could have showdowns on Comm Ave. to break the monotony of classes and life. Unless these people are "forming a militia" they do not have a right to bear arms. It should be a privileged that is earned, not a right. Just a thought on your thought.

Monika said...

The whole thing pisses me off but the fact that yes this will be used as a reason for more gun control and turned into a political issue pisses me off too.

I dont know that i agree with the statement that if students had guns on campus this would have been avoided. I personally would not want fellow classmates carrying guns.

For someone to massacre 32 people there is something really wrong. But that something is not the gun control laws.

Kate said...

Monika! You're a flippin republican! Pro-gun is your parties only good stance! What are you doing to me!?

Kate's dad said...

Guns are banned in schools and in post offices. So why do we have "going postal" and school massacres? Hmm, it could be that mass-murderers disobey laws. And maybe they have a pretty friendly working environment when their victims are guaranteed helpless. When was the last time you heard about a mass murder at a rifle range or in a police station? It's not like kooks haven't tried it; they just don't get very far.

If there had been even one armed citizen at VT, this, too, could have been one of those massacres-that-didn't-happen.

Gun control laws don't disarm criminals. They just take the right of self-defense away from law-abiding citizens.

Switzerland has COMPULSORY gun ownership for young men. Compare their crime rate to that of Washington or NYC, where guns are outlawed and so only criminals are armed.

Ken said...

Switzerland does not have mandatory gun laws, but is expected that males go into the militia and are subsequently trained in weaponry, most stay in the MILITIA until 30. I would say that is the primary reason that they are safer, they are trained. We could have mandatory conscription as they do (as well as countries like Israel), and perhaps that is a solution to some of our social ills, but that is another debate. To carry a weapon outside of the home (e.g. at a college) they must go through an application process for a permit. So, that is a privilege not a right. Part of the problem in this country is that there is no training involved in gun ownership.

Kate's dad said...

Ken, NH, NY, and MA all require licences for concealed carry. I know because I have them. I can't speak for other states.

I agree with you about training. I wasn't intimating in any way that we hand out submachine guns like Halloween candy. You wouldn't operate a chain saw or hop on a backhoe without training, right?

About Switzerland, from Wikipedia:

"Swiss males grow up expecting to undergo basic military training ... Each such individual keeps his army-issued personal weapon (...assault rifle ... and/or ... semi-automatic pistol...) at home...When relieved of duty, militiamen have the choice of keeping their personal weapon..."

Here's an even simpler way to look at the issue: A few years ago, five guys with knives murdered eleven of my co-workers. Some of the latter were anti-gun. If there was some magic way to bring them back for a "do-over", how do you suppose they would answer this question: "John, Tom, Betty, Karen, Amy, et al, would you like the means to defend yourselves this time, or would you prefer to have your throats cut again?"

How about those 32 kids at VT? "Boys and girls, welcome back to life. You get a magic do-over. Want to even the odds, or would you rather die like sheep again?"

How about the victims of any violent crime? A criminal's last words should be "Hey, that's not your wallet!"

Refuse to be victims.