Did Gun Control Help?

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.

Of course, the reason why I doubt you heard about how the shooter was subdued was because most media outlets neglected to report how it happened. Read the CNN article yourself to see an example.

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.

One comment

  1. Valerie

    I completely agree with you on all points. In fact that was my first thought (the second was why didn’t anyone jump him when he was changing clips?). Unfortunately the media is once again playing the gun control card, by interviewing the director of creative writing who said many were partially resonsible and there should be “no guns on campus”. I was trying to post my pro-gun point of view on their site and found this if you’re interested. http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/04/guns_make_schoo.html