Could CCW Have Stopped Virginia Tech?
Obviously, such a question doesn’t have a definite answer. After all, the fact that people might be free to carry a firearm doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone in the building would have (although, with a 2 hour lag between the two shootings, I think quite a few people with CCW might have decided to carry that day). But at Virginia Tech, such an action is prohibited:
The universityâ€™s employees, students, and volunteers, or any visitor or other third party attending a sporting, entertainment, or educational event, or visiting an academic or administrative office building or residence hall, are further prohibited from carrying, maintaining, or storing a firearm or weapon on any university facility, even if the owner has a valid permit, when it is not required by the individualâ€™s job, or in accordance with the relevant University Student Life Policies.
Now, I’m not a gun guy. I don’t own any, and haven’t ever fired one [a situation I plan to remedy in short order]. But I understand one thing: when criminals fear individual citizens who might be carrying, it makes them more wary to commit crimes. I’m not going to say that a different policy at Virginia Tech would have stopped this attack from occurring, or would have definitively made it less deadly. But it easily could have.
The shooter knew that he was attacking an unarmed group of victims, because VT’s policies demand it. He knew he was largely safe, even though, as Billy Beck points out, a classroom shooting situation is not tactically advantageous to a shooter, but is quite advantageous to a defender in that classroom. In an armed society, he would have been a sitting duck.
To a lot of Americans, gun control sounds good. But it doesn’t live up to its promises, for two very simple reasons. First, gun control doesn’t actually disarm criminals, who (as Britain is pointing out) are still able to get guns. Second, gun control disarms the populace, leading people who are well endowed physically to have a natural advantage if they choose to engage in violence, because the “great equalizer” no longer exists.
What happened at Virginia Tech yesterday was a tragedy that will rock the very core of our country, much like Columbine, much like 9/11. I can’t state definitively that allowing Tech students and faculty to carry would have stopped the attack which happened. But I can state that the policy of banning all guns made them into defenseless targets, and nothing more. I don’t want this debate to have to start just yet, when people are still mourning a loss. But dare we ask students and faculty to sit idly by, defenseless, as a gunman mows down one after another? I think not.
Hat Tip: Jace, at Jason Pye’s blog