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Thread: From the WMSA

  1. #1
    Regular Member Kelly J's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Blue Springs, Missouri, United States

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    Student pleaded with Tech: Allow guns

    April 20, 2007

    Bradford Wiles

    Wiles, of New Castle, is a graduate research assistant in the department of human development at Virginia Tech.
    My fears have been realized. As a graduate student at Virginia Tech, I have been adamant about changing the university's policy forbidding students from defending themselves. Before I proceed, let me please express my deepest condolences to those who have lost family, friends and loved ones in this awful tragedy. I do not want anyone to misconstrue my pleas for reform of university policy with a disregard for the human impact of this calamity.

    It is clear that we need to rethink the idea of gun prohibition. If just one person in Norris Hall had a gun to defend himself or his classmates from an armed attacker, lives could have been saved. It is difficult not to think about how I would have felt had I watched in horror as my classmates were gunned down, and me standing there without my gun, helpless. What would it be like to stare down the barrel of the gun when it was aimed at me?

    Then I think about how abhorrent that scenario is. Shouldn't I be able to think about how I would draw my own gun and stop this madman from killing my classmates and me? Gun laws and policies affect law- and policy-abiding citizens. Are we really expected to think that the shooter thought, "I shouldn't go on a murderous rampage; it's against school policy?" Can't we all see how ridiculous that is?

    The policies in place on Virginia Tech's campus ask that we, as students, faculty and staff, do exactly that. In August I wrote a letter to the president of Virginia Tech, Charles Steger. An excerpt reads: "The policy that forbids students who are legally licensed to carry in Virginia needs to be changed. I am qualified and capable of carrying a concealed handgun and urge you to work with me to allow my most basic right of self-defense, and eliminate entrusting my safety and the safety of my classmates to the government. This incident makes it clear that it is time that Virginia Tech and the commonwealth of Virginia let me take responsibility for my safety."

    If they had made the change at that time, then perhaps things would have been different.

    The fact is that we have seen where gun control gets us. Prohibiting guns on campus only creates a place where those bent on murder can inflict the most amount of harm with the least fear of armed resistance. Virginia Tech has asked that its students choose between expulsion and death. Is that a choice we need to be forced to make?

    Would my wife and family, knowing how much I have written and spoken about allowing me my most basic right of self-defense on campus, feel any comfort in the policy that supposedly protects me?

    Larry Hincker, associate vice president for university relations, in response to a column I wrote in August asking that the university change its policy forbidding law-abiding concealed handgun permit (CHP) holders from carrying on campus, wrote the following in The Roanoke Times: "Guns don't belong in classrooms. They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same."

    Do you still feel the same way about your policy now, Mr. Hincker? Will your faith in that policy provide comfort to any of the victims' families?

    In the coming weeks and months there will be calls for gun bans and tougher restrictions on gun rights. This is only "feel-good" legislation and does nothing to prevent those who follow the law from protecting themselves. The answer is not restricting freedoms, the answer is to make would-be killers think twice because of the probability of armed resistance.

    Let us try the other end of the spectrum, responsibility for our own safety. If the university community members were not subject to penalties for arming themselves, perhaps someone would have neutralized the attacker before he could kill more than 30 people. The Virginia Tech police did the best they could in responding. Responsible individuals who want to protect themselves need to have that option, without being subject to disciplinary action or termination of employment.

    The devastating events on Virginia Tech's campus remind us of just how sacred and precious life is. The Virginia Tech community and the entire nation wish that the families and friends of the afflicted students find peace somehow.

    We all need to come together and do what is prudent to minimize the possibility of this ever happening again.

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  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran
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    Jan 2007
    Colorado Springs, CO

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    As with all the psycho shootings the last decade or so -- whetherat a businessor school setting -- the victims' families shouldhave SUED the saidbusiness and schools forMANYMILLIONS OF DOLLARSevery time this happened...for said businesses/schools disallowing one one to protect himself/herself yet, at the same time, failing to provide "authorized" protection for him/her.

    I don't know why parents didn't sue that damn Columbine school disctrict out of existence...but they didn't even wimper in the courts. What a damn shame letting that sorry school administration off...TMK, no one even got fired, even those sorry Columbine "security guards."

    As a rule, NONE of these companies/businesses/corporations or schools have ever been held accountable. That's just plain criminal. These businesses/schools allow workers/students to be kiled but get off scott-free every time. There is no incentive for them to change anything because they have to be FORCED to change...since they show they don't possess any human decency to care otherwise. What morally-corrupt SOBs they are.

    This wholesale suing of these irresponsible SOBbusinesses and school districts (mostly or completely "led" by ultra anti-gun naive liberals) for BIG money should have startedLONG ago...if it had, by now all these businesses and school districts would have paid out so much money that alone would get them to wake up (since that's all they -- even school districts -- care about: Money...the only language they speak).

    When the choices are only two -- (1) being a dead but "law-abiding" citizen or (2) being a live NON-law-abiding "outlaw" -- I certainly would choose the latter.

    Consequently, Isure can'tblame ANY student from carrying "illegally" on campus until they are allowed to do so legally. I know some who have/are, and that's fine with me. After all, even an "illegal" gun in that Virginia Tech classroom, used against that nut-case Cho, would have been welcomed...regardless of the likely gross injustice done to that student (legal consequences) afterwards. But in public opinion that student would have been seen as a hero andalso -- hopefully -- overwhelming public pressure would have saved that student from any negative legal consequences from those blindly following "the law" (BTW, the blindfolded statue-of-justice is appropriate nowadays but the blindfold means something much different than the creator originally intended).

    Ask the familes of the slain if they would have cared whether the gun who would/clould have stopped Cho was "legal" or not...I believe they'd say they'd NOT CARE...they'd just want their son/daughter saved, "illegally" or not.

    And that's the bottom line.

    -- John D.

    (formerly of Galveston and El Paso, Texas)

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