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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gun Control - A Public Safety Hazard

Like clockwork, whenever there is a high-profile incident involving guns the hand-wringing liberal gun grabbers in this country and the socialists in Europe and Canada who just don't get the concept of liberty as embodied in the US Constitution, come out of the woodwork to demand tougher gun control laws. As usual, this was the case after the crazed gunman at Virginia Tech went on his psychotic rampage.

The Virginia Tech slaughter (a more accurate description than "tragedy" as a lot of the touchy-feely media types prefer) reveals a lot with regard to how ineffective gun control laws are. In fact, in many cases, so-called "gun control" regulations actually contribute to the carnage as potential victims are left defenseless. If just one of the many concealed carry holders at Virginia Tech had been allowed to exercise their right to carry (or had ignored the idiotic policy) the carnage may well have been ended much sooner with far less injury and loss of life.

If gun bans worked then the carnage at Virginia Tech would have never occurred. Virginia Tech should have been a gun-grabbers utopia as it had a strict ban on guns on campus--gun control in all its glory. In the past the school has initiated disciplinary action against concealed carry holders caught packing on school grounds. How then did the perpetrator manage to get two guns and a large quantity of ammunition on to campus?

Duh! I know this is pretty deep for some of you liberals, but try to keep up with me here--he broke the law! Try to grasp this important concept: criminals, by definition, break the law. So do-gooder liberals in the university administration, albeit with all of the best of intentions, implemented a policy that set up the victims of the massacre as defenseless as cattle being herded to slaughter.

It should be noted that last year the Virginia General Assembly let a bill die in committee that would have allowed college students and faculty to carry handguns on campus. Ironically, at the time the bill was killed the liberal administration publicly expressed their satisfaction without any idea that the Assembly's inaction would later come back to haunt them [my emphasis added]:
Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "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 was proven last Monday, "feeling safe" and being safe are not always one and the same. Contrast the liberal feel-good nonsense above with the view of a member of the Libertarian Party of Virginia:
We must give due criticism to the University for its decisions that put students in greater danger than was necessary....the decades-old policy that prohibits students, faculty and staff from legally carrying firearms on campus. This ban even goes so far as to include those who have valid Concealed Handgun Permits.

What the Board of Visitors has effectively done by banning CHP-holding students, faculty and staff from carrying their weapons is creating a “Safe Zone” for criminals who do not care about the rules anyway. Disarming law-abiding citizens has never made the general populace more secure. In fact, the opposite tends to be true.
Hopefully politicians around here will realize that the same sort of carnage can occur anywhere with little or no warning and it is important that citizens be able to defend themselves, their families, and friends. As fine a job as the local police and public safety officials do, they cannot be everywhere at once and, if and when it comes down to it, individuals must bear the primary responsibility for their own protection.

Unfortunately, many elected officials and business owners don't understand this as indicated by the all too common sight of "weapons are banned on these premises" signs seen in businesses and public buildings. These signs propagate the dangerous liberal myth that gun violence is caused by the gun rather than the person misusing the gun.

As a hypothetical, consider the case of a robber intent on pulling off a hold-up. There are two similar neighboring restaurants on the street. Both are equally accessible and have about the same number of patrons inside. Restaurant "A" has the typical "Hand guns are banned" sign prominently displayed while Restaurant "B' sports a sign that reads "Show Your Concealed Carry Permit for 10% Off". Which one is more likely to get held up?

I find it amazing that people think that moronic signs are actually going to do any good. A telling example of this occurred a couple of years ago when a TV reporter was shown at the scene of a gang-related shooting at a Columbia Heights billiards establishment. In clear view over the reporter's shoulder the worthless "guns not allowed" sign was visible in the front window.

Here in New Brighton at the Family Service Center there are laughable "guns are not welcome" signs bearing the signature of Mayor Larson at the building entrances. These signs would be as intimidating to a miscreant intent on violence as one at a McDonalds signed by Mayor McCheese. If, God forbid, a perpetrator with a gun started shooting up the place wouldn't it be better if a concealed carry holder in the building had their gun on his or her person rather than locked up in the parking lot? The same argument could be made for our "gun free" schools. Shouldn't there should be at least one person in the building with quick access to a firearm if the need to protect the students and staff arises?

Church goers in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield learned this lesson the hard way a couple of years ago when a crazed member of the congregation went on a shooting rampage and there was no one present with a gun to protect themself and the rest of the congregation.

There's nothing that can be done to undo the carnage and loss-of-life that occurred at Virginia Tech, but at the very least those in government should learn that no amount of gun control will stop someone intent on misusing a gun. Additionally we saw that what most liberals consider "reasonable" gun control measures may very well take away the capability of potential victims to defend themselves. Had one responsible person been packing there is a good possibility that many more people would have survived or not been injured.

It's bad enough when government takes far too much of our wealth and property. It's even worse, as shown by what happened at Virginia Tech, when it takes away our ability to defend ourselves and our property.


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