Skip to comments.Concealed carry couldn't have saved lives at Virginia Tech (A poorly argued article)
Posted on 12/07/2009 10:55:55 AM PST by greatdefender
I am a representative in student government at the University of Texas at Austin. I'm also uniquely positioned to discuss the issue of firearms and classrooms as an alumnus of Virginia Tech. I was there in 2007 when the shooting happened, and I lost the girl I love.
In no way was that tragedy the fault of those licensed to carry concealed handguns. With that said, our tragedy has been used by proponents of a "guns everywhere" policy to push a political agenda.
I cannot speak to the decision of CSU's Associated Students or their reasons for voting the way they did. Perhaps they were merely representing the student body as we try so hard to do in UT-Austin's student government.
With that said, I feel obligated to address some of the misconceptions around the push for gun-free schools -- not to scold ASCSU, but rather to provide a different perspective.
Firstly, there is a suggestion that "Virginia Tech could have been prevented if only people were armed." Interestingly, none of the survivors think so. They describe utter chaos. At one point, my friend Colin thought he was being rescued by a police officer (all he could see from where he was hiding were shoes). Then he was shot four times.
According to the detectives, Maxine -- the girl I mentioned, who died in German class -- never saw the shooter come in. What good would a gun have done her?
Virginia Tech police officers also told Colin that had they seen someone else with a gun, they would have fired immediately. This is the standard operating procedure for active shooter situations in schools, and it enables emergency medical technicians to get to victims more quickly.
Had the police needed to determine which armed individuals were not actually the perpetrator, many of the nineteen injured survivors at Virginia Tech would have bled to death instead of getting help.
Secondly, we do not suggest irresponsibility on the part of those with concealed carry of weapons permits. But neither are all with permits responsible. The shooter at Fort Hood was licensed to carry a concealed weapon, as were four other mass shooters in the last year.
As for shootings with fewer victims, it's hard to tell. Every time statistics emerge that the National Rifle Association dislikes, the NRA pushes for legislative changes that obscure such statistics under the guise of "privacy." In most states, there is no way to determine what percentage of violent crimes are committed by concealed carry permit holders.
The issue is not the character of licensed individuals. Anyone can lose his or her temper. Anyone can commit a crime of passion, and most violent crimes on college campuses are acts of sudden uncontrollable rage -- not pre-meditated acts of terrorism. The presence of weapons raises the risk that fist fights will be escalated to tragedies.
But, most importantly, violent crimes are rare on college campuses.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice, 93 percent of violent crimes against students (between 1995 and 2002) occurred off-campus. Accordingly, in Austin, TX, the homicide rate in 2006 was 2.8 per 100,000, well below the national average of 7 per 100,000, but on UT-Austin's fairly urban campus, the rate is too low to compute. At UT-Austin there have been two murders in the last thirty years (with a population of around 60,000).
I believe the right to bear arms is important, and I believe there are places where concealed carry is not only necessary but advisable, particularly where crime is high. But college campuses -- and especially classrooms -- are not among those places.
Guns will not deter suicidal mass shooters. They enter expecting to die. They enter hoping to take away your feeling of safety. They are literally terrorists.
There are things we can do to reduce campus violence, but they have to begin well before the violence takes place. We need to make it easier to obtain voluntary psychological counseling. We need to make sure students don't fall through the cracks. Had these proactive measures been in place at Virginia Tech, I believe Maxine and the others would still be alive.
NOTE: Woods makes some very poorly arguments in this interview
I bet the kids hiding under their desks would have loved to have a choice.
That exercising an option may not have helped some people does not justify denying that option to all others.
This is why we see so many mass murders in police stations. (/s)
Written from the land of Polly & Anna. At the very least if any of the two professors who were killed had handguns this incident would have been stopped cold. Both of them were retired Army Officers (one Israeli) and proficient with weapons. They were trained to react in a crisis and succeed.
When the coming war finally arrives I do NOT want this little boy on my side.
I've not read about the Ft. Hood murderer being licensed for concealed carry. The military doesn't license people to carry concealed. Poor argument.
“According to the detectives, Maxine — the girl I mentioned, who died in German class — never saw the shooter come in. What good would a gun have done her?”
how do they know that “she didn’t see him come in”?
This was written by a person in college (Junior or Senior)? YIKES!
I am also pretty sure he carried his weapons in the open before he every got into the hall.
“They enter expecting to die.”
Well, let’s help them meet their expectations, then....
1) This guy prefers a law that ensures a law abiding and responsible demographic not be allowed access to the best tools to stop a rampaging mental case like the VT killer. I can’t understand the philosophy that it is better to sit and await death than it is to actively try to stop murders.
2) It infuriates me that no one cares that we protect our money with the force of a gun, but get their panties in a wad when we suggest that we guard our children the same way.
3) The fact that the police would have shot anyone with a gun is moot. The police weren’t there until late in the situation, and in the end, didn’t even kill the one guy on campus who had a gun. If I have to choose between being shot now by a rampaging loony, or perhaps being shot later by police who are mistaken, I’ll take the latter.
4) The two deaths that he cites might never have happened had someone been able to stop the killer through armed force at the outset.
5) Hasan, whether or not he had a permit to carry, is irrelevant. He did not have permission to carry where the shooting took place, so how would a carry permit be a contributing factor? On the other hand, what if just one of the people who was killed that day had the means to fight back?
6) Go back and look the previous VA school shooting. Much different ending due to armed response. None of this guy’s paranoid ravings came to pass here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_School_of_Law_shooting
This entire article is based on feel-goodism and fantasy. This guy should know better.
In most states, there is no way to determine what percentage of violent crimes are committed by concealed carry permit holders.
Whiskey Tango Fox?
Written from the land of Polly & Anna.
Yes, unfortunately, my alma mater is still firmly stuck in the “stick it to the Man/flower-power/dude where’d ya get the dope” dimension.
When concealed carry was first instituted in Florida, overall crime went down, but people in rent a cars leaving airports were targeted, (people do not have guns coming off planes.) Florida then passed a law that rentacars could have no distinguishing stickers...etc that identified them as rentacars, which stopped the carnage.
"Concealed" is the trick more than how many people actually carry.
I had a talk with a bunch of college kids after this incident. That is the time to go absolute ape sh!% emasse without regard to individual survival. That is hero time - not hiding under the desk and getting in line to be shot time.
Look at the Ft. Hood attack. You had trained soldiers running for their lives because they were unarmed.
Yet when they were oversees fighting for their country, they were armed and would continually go towards danger.
If you unarm otherwise brave men, their first instinct is to run away and hide in the face of gunfire.
Bottom line, you cannot assume what the students would have done had they been armed.
With a legal STATE CCW permit I’d carry anyway. Deal with the consequences on campus later. Carry guns are now so sleek a pocket carry is not noticable .
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