Did Virginia Tech’s Policies Contribute To A Disaster ?by Doug Mataconis
There is a back story to the horrible tragedy at Virginia Tech that hasn’t made its way into the public domain yet.
Virginia, as you may or may not know, allows it’s citizens to carry concealed weapons after obtaining a permit. However, Virginia Tech, along with many other college campuses, forbids anyone other than law enforcement from carrying a weapon on campus.
During the course of this year’s Virginia General Assembly session, bills were introduced which would have allowed citizens who have a valid CCW permit to carry their weapon on campus. As this story from the Roanoke Times, which was ironically published only one week ago, those bills went down to defeat:
A bill that would have given college students and employees the right to carry handguns on campus died with nary a shot being fired in the General Assembly.
House Bill 1572 didn’t get through the House Committee on Militia, Police and Public Safety. It died Monday in the subcommittee stage, the first of several hurdles bills must overcome before becoming laws.
The bill was proposed by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah County, on behalf of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. Gilbert was unavailable Monday and spokesman Gary Frink would not comment on the bill’s defeat other than to say the issue was dead for this General Assembly session.
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.”
Yea, right, safe.
First of all a few caveats, almost none of the students at Virginia Tech would have been legally able to carry a weapon yesterday to begin with. Under Virginia law, you have to be 21 to obtain a concealed carry permit. Nonetheless……the question remains, would things have been different yesterday if someone had been carrying a weapon ?
Frankly, I don’t know the answer to that question. From the information we’ve seen so far, it seems like the killer was both methodical and without fear. He sounds like a man on a suicide mission. Such a person probably would not have been deterred by one or two people with a gun, or by the thought that he might face someone who was armed.
Nonetheless, one shot might have made all the difference.