Amid all the inevitable grief and finger pointing arising from America’s worst school massacre in history, one aspect you are unlikely to hear much about is why nobody was able to end the reign of horror by shooting back.
There will be plenty said about the failure of the college to issue warnings, how America’s gun culture allowed it to happen, and what drives someone to do it. But the fact remains, nobody stopped it until the gunman killed himself.
This is in a State (Virginia) with quite liberal gun laws, including concealed carry permits. Quite possibly some of the student victims themselves had concealed carry permits.
Virginia law states that holders of concealed carry permits are allowed to carry on university campuses (http://www.roanoke.com/editorials/commentary/wb/80510 ). However, in the name of “safety”, certain persons lobbied successfully to prevent the carrying of firearms on Virginia Tech’s campus.
In fact, pro-gun forces just last year tried to get the Virginia legislature to address the problem. The bill to allow permit holders to carry on state-supported college campuses died, due in no small part to rabid opposition from Virginia Tech itself.
VT spokesman Larry Hincker put it this way after it became obvious that the bill would not pass: “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.”
The unfortunate irony continues when one recalls that not long ago, two students at nearby Appalachian School of Law managed to stop a gunman at that institution. Happily, they were able to dash off-campus to retrieve their guns from their vehicles. (Discussion on this here.)
The rules forbidding the carrying of firearms did not prevent Seung Hui Cho’s senseless slaughter. In fact, they encouraged his rampage because law-abiding citizens were unable to prevent Cho from completing his butchery.
The blood of those 32 innocents is on the hands of those who lobbied for victim disarmament, and on the hands of the president of the university who acquiesed to their shortsighted demands.