...Students on campus are not allowed to have weapons. Even one death is too many, but as a mother, I wonder if there would have been 32 deaths at Tech if someone other than Cho Sun Weh were also armed
It's my belief that this was the reason that Kaine paid up to a million dollars per victim to settle claims and keep quiet. Here's my legal theory: because the school is a proprietary function and not a governmental function, with students paying money to be there to receive educational services, the Commonwealth lacks sovereign immunity. And, because the school effectively prohibited students and employees from being able to defend themselves and others, the school assumed an affirmative duty to keep the students safe, and negligently failed in that duty.
If you go in a Safeway and slip on mayonnaise that's on the floor and get hurt by the fall, that's not necessarily Safeway's fault. Although you'd be a "business invitee" to whom Safeway owes the highest possible duty of care, nevertheless, Safeway is not "an insurer of the safety" of its invitees. But, if Safeway employees know of the spill and take no action to clean it up, the situation is different, because they knowingly perpetuated the risk to people they've invited in for their own business purposes.
In the Va. Tech. case, and someday there'll be one at Manassas Mall, and other places that prohibit armed self defense, the duty owed to "business invitees" has been changed by the actions of the landowner. The negligent failure to protect such people from harm is actionable.
I said at the time, that if I could find one person willing to testify as a witness that he had a gun and would have had it with him on the day of the shooting but for the prohibition
, I could have convinced a jury that there would have been half as many people killed, or less, and that the University was directly responsible for the deaths.