Not-so-Occasional Comments on Life,
Death and Many Things in Between
by Laurie Mann
Hi, Laurie!This guy didn't have "high-power" weapons, he had *low* power weapons. The real tragedy is that, by Virginia law, his victims were disarmed. If one of the faculty or older students (carry permits are limited to people 21 and over) had been armed, this could have been a much smaller tragedy. Larry Hincker (VT public relations) made a very telling comment on the defeat of a measure to remove the gun ban -- he said it would help people *feel* safe. Perhaps that's so, but it actively interferes with their *being* safe.
You're right about high-powered vs. low-powered, but I had no way of knowing that at the time.Anyway, I think the problem is that when you look at times/places where people have lots of weapons, what's the evidence that they are any safer? Look at Iraq today. Lots of weapons there. Or how about the old West? Was it really safer?Part of the problem with the VT case involves the behavior of campus police after the initial shooting. Did no one see the initial shooter? Seems kind of odd. When I lived in a dorm, 7:15 am was a time when most people were in the dorm and many were waking up. Why didn't the campus police send out a bulletin? I'm not sure the campus needed to be closed down at that point, but why in the world did they assume the initial shooter was no longer a danger to the campus?I can't tell you the number of times I've watched the news at night and been told to look for "X who is a person of interest" in some shooting or another. Sometimes, the shootings happened as recently as one hour before the news went on the air. So while I do tend to blame the general availability of firearms for this tragedy, I also blame the lack of police response after the initial shooting. Yeah, they're campus cops and not used to dealing with a double murder. So call in cops who can. And always warn people in the area that these sorts of things have happened.
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