[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Reaction to Virginia Tech Shooting

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reaction to Virginia Tech Shooting

Yesterday's massacre at Virginia Tech has me feeling plenty of emotions, some which are conflicting others. Besides the sorrow and sympathy felt towards the victims' families and friends, however, my main reaction to this tragedy is one of trying to maintain a semblance of perspective.

It's obvious and even understandable that there would be a strong gun-control reaction. My question is: would it had made a difference if ownership of firearms were illegal in this country? Does repealing the Second Amendment change the story here?

No. And No.

As someone who has never owned a firearm, I respect and support the Second Amendment. I do, however, think that there needs to be greater scrutiny and more comprehensive background checks for those purchasing firearms. The killer at Virginia Tech had a history of mental illness. Do we sell a gun to someone like that? I don't think we should.

In the end, imposing gun control would not prevent what happened yesterday from happening again. It doesn't even ensure lower societal crime rates, as evidenced in Great Britain. All gun control would prevent is you and I from having the ability to protect ourselves in the event a lone psychopath such as the guy who went on yesterday's killing spree decides that life has been too unfair and takes it out on innocent people.

Virginia Tech, like most campuses nationwide, are firearm-free zones. Didn't do much good yesterday.

The simple, sad fact is: preventing the vast majority of law-abiding citizens from owning guns will absolutely, positively ensure that the ONLY people possessing guns will be the bad guys. Does that really make us any safer?

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5 Comments:

Blogger Ziva said...

The right to gun ownership not only protects us against criminals, it guarantees our freedom. A precursor to dictatorship, including castro's, is disarming the citizenry. Our founding fathers knew what they were doing. Guns don't kill, people do. I agree that violent criminals and the mentally unstable should not be allowed to purchase guns, but such laws should not be subject to political manipulation. This massacre, like Columbine is disturbing on so many levels, and for me, I wonder how this young man came to such an alone dark place at so young an age. It's not a popular view, but I really do believe that for the most part, children and society are much better served by women staying at home and raising their children. I'm sorry, but day care, quality time, and piles of toys are not the same. Before I get pounced on for this, FYI, my Mother worked full time my entire childhood because she had to, but I know for a fact that many women are working to maintain a certain level of material comfort that has nothing to do with a childs emotional well-being.

11:47 PM, April 17, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

All I know is that:

-Events of this type are extremely rare.

-The guy who did it was evil.

-Passing additional laws regulating who can buy and/or possess guns is not likely to prevent more such murders.


I also think that more gun regulation is unlikely because it's a political loser. And that the press encourages such crimes by giving them and their perpetrators enormous publicity. But that's always been true about the press, and I don't know if there's anything that can be done about it if media people are unwilling to change their behavior.

4:34 AM, April 18, 2007  
Blogger Srcohiba said...

I'm not for any ban, but I don't see why someone who buys a gun cannot undergo a cool off period and a background check and psych exam as a condition. You have to undergo one to get into the military, the police, to get jobs which put you into contact with kids.

My philosphy is if one life is saved, then it is worth it.

11:53 AM, April 18, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

SrCohiba,

That's pretty much where I'm coming from. I don't like bans either, but a more comprehensive background check would have raised a red flag in this case.

3:49 PM, April 18, 2007  
Blogger Jonathan said...

None of that stuff works. The VT murderer bought his guns weeks ago. He could also have bought them illegally without any hassles. And how is a psych test supposed to work? You're already forbidden to buy guns if you've been treated for some types of head problems. Would you forbid gun ownership based on a test whose makeup would be fraught with controversy, and which might prevent many harmless people from owning guns for every murder it prevented? And of course the point about being able to buy a gun illegally would still apply. No matter what the laws, there are more than enough guns in circulation for anyone who really wants one to get one.

The problem with the "if it saves one life" argument in this case is that gun ownership can save lives too. The question is, what is the net effect?

9:36 PM, April 18, 2007  

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