Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Guns and Virginia Tech

"I always enjoy listening to British people try to wrap their heads around this topic, and today was no exception. They really don’t understand why an event like this wouldn’t lead to a Virginia-wide or nationwide call for tightened restrictions - or outright ban - on firearms."---Auguste on Pandagon

Well the banning fairy has visited us again, first in relation to rap, now in relation to handguns. How easy it is for liberals to just say "Ban it" when a problem comes their way, not even bothering to look at the underlying causes that lead to the incident. In this case, barring the outrageous idea of an outright ban on firearms, I'd really like to know what people actually think could have been done in terms of tighter restrictions to stop this from happening. It's all right to sit on your throne and declare that restrictions should be tightened but what would that mean in the real world? Look at it this way: the kid had no criminal record, he was over 21, and he bought the guns months before the shooting. The seven day waiting period in this case wouldn't have stopped him. What piece of information should the gun seller have had access to in order to determine that this wasn't a person he should sell a gun to? Counselling records from Virginia Tech? Should he have asked "Are you a college student?" and when he answered "yes", say "I need the approval of your school before you can buy a gun" and then asked for psychiatric records from his school? Should someone have seen his creative writing project and notified the authorities that, in their opinion, as people with no legal training, he should not be able to buy a gun? Do you see the problems in this?

He's on an anti-depressant....so he shouldn't be able to buy a gun. That means that there's a hell of a lot of people who aren't psychotic who'll be prevented from owning guns. He wrote violent plays...so he shouldn't be able to buy a gun. What about freedom of speech? Should there be a test of an author's writings to see whether or not he or she is fit to own a gun? He was a loner.....so he shouldn't be able to buy a gun. This has so many problems I don't even know where to start. Because someone isn't a rah rah team player they should be looked at as a potential threat and prevented from buying guns.

So again: what regulations could have been implemented to prevent this guy from buying a gun that don't grossly infringe on the rights of innocent and normal people to buy a gun if they want?

Plus, he bought the gun from a legitimate dealer, not from an unregulated gun show. He hadn't been declared by the courts to be mentally unstable.

Personally I don't buy the NRA's arguments about guns being necessary to protect all of these other rights. I think that's bullshit, as is the notion that if everyone was armed than this thing wouldn't have happened. However, I think that in as much as the gun lobbies direct attention to other things that could have been done to stop this guy that they serve a useful purpose.

The guy had been stalking women. He had set a fire to a dorm room. Reports say that he was increasingly going down hill (he already had owned the gun for months, btw). Then after the first shooting the campus wasn't put on lock down, no announcements were made.

Maybe attention should have been paid to him when he started to seem like he'd be a threat to others and to himself, maybe that's what needs to happen, and not the wholesale banning of firearms.

1 comment:

Matt Scofield said...

Didn't expect such a take from such a leftist. I agree with the tenor and most of the specifics of it, noting only that yes indeed, if others on campus were armed, this would've been prevented, or at least stopped before it got as far as it did. its common sense, and previous massacres have been stopped by people who went out to their cars to get their gun. the police always arrive to late, the only way to not become a victim is to be able to defend yourself. the biased press has an interest in NOT highlighting stories (in any way close to the way they sensationalize gun stories that involve murder) of people who do defend themselves -- and by extension, others -- by using a gun.