Gun-Grabber Falsehood Distracts from What Makes Massacres Possible
“There’s nothing in the constitution that guarantees the carry of firearms in public,” Lori Haas of Virginians for Responsible Gun Laws asserted to the Associated Press on “Lobby Day” at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond. “There is the 2nd amendment which guarantees the ownership of firearms.”
As usual, she either doesn’t know what she’s talking about, or does but stays on point anyway. The Second Amendment includes “the right of the people to … bear arms,” but as usual, her deceptive prattling is a feint to keep attention away from the fact that she really doesn’t want you to be able to “keep” them either. Particularly those “in common use at the time”…
Haas’ interest in things is personal. Her daughter survived the Virginia Tech massacre after being shot twice. And like fellow survivor Colin Goddard, who had time to call 911 and duck for cover before the killer entered his classroom (and thus time to take a protective position and return fire had he been armed and prepared), she prefers everyone instead be rendered defenseless and helpless under armed force of “law,” that is, via “gun-free (citizen disarmament/predator enablement) zones.”
Back in 2008, The New York Times invited me to participate in a “one year after” Virginia Tech “discussion” panel. Basically, they pitted me against six doctrinaire anti-gunners, including Richard J. Bonnie, director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia; Richard L. Canas, director of the State Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness; The Rev. Alexander W. Evans, pastor of the Blacksburg (Va.) Presbyterian Church and pastor to the Blacksburg Police Department; Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence; Dr. Richard Kadison, chief of mental health services for Harvard University Health Services; and Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council on Education.
I guess they wanted it to be a fair fight. Or at least make a pretense of offering an opposing viewpoint. In any case, it felt pretty much like that BuzzFeed “How many five-year-olds can you realistically take in a fight?” quiz.
Here’s the thing about Virginia Tech that some of us commenting at the time attempted to publicize: Nine months before the shootings, graduate student Bradford B. Wiles wrote a letter to The Roanoke Times in response to a campus manhunt for a murder suspect.
“I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the commonwealth of Virginia,” Wiles wrote. “However, because I am a Virginia Tech student, I am prohibited from carrying at school because of Virginia Tech’s student policy…”
The published response from University Vice President Larry Hincker was one of ridicule.
“[I]t is absolutely mind-boggling to see the opinions of Bradford Wiles,” he wrote, using terms like “out of touch … inane [and] absurd” to underscore his points. “Guns don’t belong in classrooms,” he concluded. “They never will. Virginia Tech has a very sound policy preventing same.”
We saw Hincker’s “very sound policy” play out and prevent nothing. We saw 32 innocents slain without a chance, even though the police response to a campus shooter had begun two hours before the mass slayings at Norris Hall.
These many years year later, students, faculty, administrators, staff and visitors – and not just at Virginia Tech, but at all “gun-free” schools – are still powerless to protect themselves. And the prevailing sentiment against suggesting otherwise remains the same:
It’s a ridiculous idea. Citizens who are responsible enough to go armed throughout the Commonwealth cannot be trusted once they set foot on campus. It will result in more tragedy. Police are the only ones qualified to be armed.
And those responsible for that prevailing sentiment will use each new and inevitable outrage as another excuse to dance in the blood their subversion ensures will continue to be spattered and spilled.