I hate to be opportunistic regarding the recent massacre (there really isn’t a better word) at Virginia Tech yesterday, but since the gun control crowd has already started beating their drums, I thought that it would appropriate to point out that this tragedy proves exactly why gun control is a bad thing.
I doubt many of you remember another shooting at a college in Virginia in 2002, at the Appalachian School of Law. Even if you do remember the case, I highly doubt you know how the shooter was eventually subdued. Two students, one an off-duty police officer, the other a regular student, each ran to their vehicles to retrieve their guns when they heard shots fired in one of the campus office buildings. When the shooter exited the building, the two held him at gunpoint, while a third student tackled him.
Unfortunately, the media did not point out that the “intervening” students were armed. A Lexis-Nexis search revealed 88 stories on the topic, of which only two mentioned that either Bridges or Gross were armed. A Westnews search exposed worse results. It revealed 112 stories, of which only two mentioned the armed students.
So, here’s an example of two students violating the law by retrieving their guns and using them to protect themselves and the campus, with little coverage about the guns that saved lives.
Of course, scope is always an issue. At the law school, three people died. At VT, thirty-two people died. There’s no way to tell how many weren’t killed when a gun is used in self-defense. Most of the time when a gun is used defensively, the attacker isn’t shot… simply subdued or scared away. That doesn’t make gripping news. But, the whole world tunes in to watch a massacre.
After the law school shooting, there was some momentum to rid the ban on guns on college campuses, culminating in a bill before the Virginia legislature to allow concealed carry permit holders to carry on college campuses. The bill died in committee.
In that article, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker is quoted expressing his happiness that the bill didn’t pass.
I’m sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly’s actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.
As we learned yesterday, feeling safe doesn’t protect you at all.