Hi all, Jackie Treehorn here (aka Bradford Wiles). It's a lot of reading, but here you go...
I recently had an editorial in the Roanoke Times published. While I was surprised they published it at all, it was edited for content.
Here is what they took out, and my comments about it...
I should have expected as much from the RT, but wow, I am quite disappointed that they took out what I feel was the most important part of the piece. No hyperbole there, it was the most important part!
"Emotions play a vital role in policies on gun control, but those of us who are in favor of armed self-defense usually avoid the emotional and thus leverage the logic regarding the lack of effectiveness of gun prohibitions. We often hear claims that gun control is “for the children”, “common-sense” and “reasonable”. Let me counter this with some emotion this time, as logic seems to be ignored by those opposed to citizens carrying guns for self-defense.
When I think of those children and adults murdered here at VT, the flow of emotions including grief, regret, and helplessness are overwhelming. I am deeply saddened by the tragedy here, and knowing that it could have been minimized had someone been able to shoot back is truly the most difficult feeling of all. “Common-sense”? “Reasonable”? The common sense and reasonable approach is to ensure that people can fight back. Let me be clear, the opposition does not have a monopoly on emotion, but supporters of citizens’ gun rights have the added advantage of a monopoly on sound logic."
The stuff in bold is what they took out, it really tied the whole article together, and yet they took it out.
Anyway, there have been several kind and logical responses
to my article in the letters to the editor section. They are below.
Sorry this is self-serving, but I would like to read your responses to my article, the editing, and finally the response letters. I would URGE any of you to write to them to dissect the letters in opposition, particularly that of Jonathan Reid's position that "Only police should have guns", noting that this was the EXACT scenario that took place on 4/16.
Thanks for reading.
For safety's sake, leave the guns at home
In the commentary "Gun bans defy common sense" (Nov. 19), Bradford Wiles continues to espouse the position that if students, staff and faculty were allowed to carry firearms on campus, the events of April 16 would not have unfolded as they did.
Wiles still seems to be living in a Wild West fantasy where he would have shot and killed Cho, preventing him from killing 32 people.
What assurance do I have that Wiles will not snap and start shooting in his classroom? Would it have made a difference if Cho had been legally allowed to carry a gun on campus? Think about the confusion that could have been caused by the presence of more than one person with a gun in Norris Hall. More innocent people could have been killed.
Only officers of the law should be carrying a gun on the campus of Virginia Tech. They have been trained in the proper use of firearms and know when to use them. I doubt that Wiles has received this level of training.
Wiles, for the sake of me and your fellow Hokies, please leave your pistol at home. People with guns do not prevent violent crimes. Gun control laws do.
Keep campuses safe, and gun-free
In response to Bradford Wiles' commentary, "Gun bans defy common sense" (Nov. 19):
His last statement reveals his ignorance: "Prohibitions do not prevent violent crimes; people with guns do." Based on what evidence? Most of Western Europe and most of the world have stricter gun control laws and yet their levels of gun violence are much lower than in the United States. We have higher levels of violent crime even though we are more armed than elsewhere.
Places in our country where gun violence is highest -- inner-cities -- are quite heavily armed, but it doesn't seem to prevent much violent crime, especially gun violence.
The reality is that the more heavily armed the state, the higher the level of gun violence. How long would it take for a college campus to equal the 33 deaths of April 16 if the student population were allowed to be armed?
College campuses are still very safe places and incidences like that of April 16 are fortunately very rare. Allowing the students to be armed only opens the door to more violent crime, especially when combined with stress levels and drug and alcohol abuse among the student population.
Guns on campus increase insecurity
Bradford Wiles, in his commentary "Gun bans defy common sense" (Nov. 19), appears to envision a safe and secure college or university campus as one where students are armed.
I beg to differ. Far from making a campus secure, classrooms and dormitories filled with gun-toting students would experience heightened insecurity and lack of safety, with the possibility of many gun accidents and even impulsive acts of violence.
Such a paranoid Wild West atmosphere would by definition be antithetical to the development of true communities of peaceful reflection and learning.
JAMES A. SMITH JR.