Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech: A Case Study in Failure

In the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting yesterday, politics took a break...or did it. Not even 24 hours after the shooting, political operatives on the left were blaming the shooting on George W. Bush, the National Rifle Association, the lack of gun laws, even Charlton Heston. And what would save us? Why, more gun control laws, of course!

But let's take the discussion down a road that most people may not have considered. Gun control is an easy answer to a more difficult question, but are gun control laws effective? Quick quiz question: Name a gun control law that would have stopped the Virginia Tech shooter.

The correct answer? None. There is no gun control law on the books, proposed, or that will ever be proposed that will prevent someone intent on shooting someone else from completing his or her desired action. The reason is because criminals and crazy people don't care about the law. If you want to test this, go to Washington, DC, get mugged by a guy with a gun, and try to stop him by yelling, "That's illegal!" as loud as you can. Oh, and before you do, pick out a hospital close to the crime scene. You know, just in case the mugger decides to do more than just mug you after he stops laughing.

Spin it all you want, you Sarah Brady acolytes, but the truth is gun control laws are batting a big goose-egg when it comes to protecting people. That's because gun control laws aren't meant to protect people; they're meant to control people, namely gun owners. And in case you missed this memo, it's not the average gun owner who is shooting up a college. It's someone who is either mentally unstable or of a criminal mindset.

In either case, gun control laws don't tend to cover these situations. Sure, the concept of background checks are meant to weed out these folks, but how many of those checks can see into the future well enough to predict when someone will go crazy or decide that a life of crime is better than playing by the rules? And how many of either type will circumvent the background checks altogether by going to someone outside of the legal channels? You can pass gun control laws from now until Judgment Day, but not a one of them will prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands.

Ban assault weapons? The shootings yesterday were not done with assault weapons. They were done with pistols, which are not covered by the assault weapons ban. Furthermore, less than 5% of all gun-related crimes are committed with guns considered to be assault weapons (and, if memory serves me, it's actually closer to half that percentage). Nothing like focusing all sorts of attention on weapons that aren't used that often in the commission of a crime, huh?

Let's face facts. Gun control has been an amazing failure. And as a result of this failure, 32 students lost their lives at Virginia Tech. So, what would have stopped the shooter?

One student with a gun and the knowledge of how to use it safely. When you compare the number of gun-related deaths per year to the number of defensive gun uses in that same year, one fact jumps out at you: there are a LOT more of the latter than there are of the former. Gee, that would lead one to believe that gun ownership might stop more crimes than they cause death...

So, my fellow Americans, we have a choice. We can either pass more gun control laws and continue the cycle of failure, or we can start pushing for more people to own guns and protect themselves and others.

Choose carefully. The life you save may be your own.

2 comments:

Syd And Vaughn said...

Ace,

Interesting that you bring this up. By now, I'm sure, a good majority of people know that the VA legislature killed a gun bill in Jan. '06 that prevented a firearm from being carried on a collega campus.

In AZ, Governor Napolitano (a person we're NOT fond of at all) signed a new bill that prevented the state government from barring any certified security officers on college campuses from carrying a firearm in the execution of their duties:

http://www.azpoliticalnews.com/MT/mt-archives/2007/04/new_law_allows_state.php

Wonderful. Great. I'm happy for them, but how many security officers are on a college campus. Marcie attends ASU, and she's always muttering that there's never a security guy around when you need one. Now, she's never seen anything like a situation reminiscent of VA-Tech's rampage Monday, but the point is simple and eloquent:

They can have all the guns they want, but without the bodies to utilize those tools, the law is virtually worthless.

Your point, which I started with, is well-founded. One or two people with firearms in that building that morning could have ENDED Cho's little drama. And the only way that's going to happen is to allow the competent, sensible, common-sense firearms owners to have their firearms available. That's the only way we're going to prevent another VA-Tech, another Columbine from ever happening again.

Thomas

rr9108 said...

Thomas,
Great piece...
I agree with you 100%.

One thing I don't understand... HOW DO PEOPLE MISS THAT THE ONLY ONES MORE GUN CONTROL LAWS WILL AFFECT ARE THE VERY ONES WHO COULD SAVE US? law abiding citizens...

More gun control laws affecting criminals??? How funny.
What exactly do the current laws do???