I wrote a gun control Op/Ed for my student newspaper.

As it is my own work, I am opting to publish it in its entirety here.

I am looking for opinions, good, bad and ugly. While ordinarily I would submit this in IMHO, this is a bit of a controversial topic, so have at it.

What makes you think that the presence of armed people will deter a crazy man?

Perhaps you might choose to read this part of it:

I did not deign to presume that a person carrying a gun would have deterred a crazy person. I simply pointed out that deterrence never had a chance because of the prohibition on guns.

It does seem the VTech killer had no interest in preserving his own life, but I suppose a case could be made that, had armed students or staff been able to return fire, the shooter would have killed fewer people.

I would rephrase the following:

Seven out of 100 is closer to one in 14, not one in 10, and don’t say “statistically likely to be carrying a weapon” unless just having a CCP means a 50%+ chance a holder is packing all the time. The “think about that a moment” is a touch condescending, possibly not the best tack with university students. I suggest:

Actually, I can see where I’d rewrite large parts of the essay, throwing in some references to the facts and illusions of safety in an era of prosperity and such. I’d take Michael Moore’s approach and make it not an issue about guns, but about fear.

Does anyone know, generally, what proportion of the time a CCP holder will actually be armed?

Do you wear body armor on campus?

If multiple people had firearms in that situation, and had used them, what are the possibilities?

  1. They might have stopped him.
  2. Other students might have been caught in the crossfire.
  3. Students might have fired on each other not knowing which gun toters were the bad guys and which were the good guys.
  4. Police snipers might shoot them through a window, not knowing that the killer was not the only one waving a weapon around.

Have I missed any other possibilities?

Gun control is an issue on which I really have no position: I feel totally unqualified to judge the issue. That said, I wonder about this statistic. Sure, you’re right in the criticisms above, but there’s a flip side. In addition to the folks with CCP who might be carrying, there are folks who lack a CCP who might be carrying as well. Indeed, the only time I ever saw a gun on my college campus was when a cokehead from off-campus wrangled a ride from a naive friend; at one point he hoisted up his shirt to show me the pistol tucked into his crotch. I’m guessing Mr. Cokehead lacked the necessary papers.

So when we’re figuring out how many folks we pass who might have guns, we need to account for both those with permits and those without.

Daniel

I have a carry permit. I almost never am actually carrying. Half the time the concealed part is theoretical. I usually carry on my hip, and the concealment is my jacket, if I wear one. I do have a shoulder holster, and at times I am really carrying concealed. (Mostly I do that because it is less intrusive to the lives of folks I pass on the street. They tend to get nervous when the hippie looking guy is packing heat in plain sight.)

Virginia does have open carry, although other owners of fire arms that I know fall fairly close to my habits about carrying fire arms. Many, in fact, use gun cases at all times. (Some local ranges, in fact do require them, although most do not.)

Anecdote, not data.

Tris

In firearms training this falls under the “greater danger theory”, i.e. it is more dangerous to not return fire at an active shooter than to hold fire and allow the perp to continue to pick off people.

However I have no idea what kind of training Virginia requires to carry.

In my case, the thirty year old DD form 214 showing that I was in the Army was sufficient.

Tris

In your opinion, is carrying a DD 214 sufficient training for this purpose?

In my case it’s probably less than 10% of the time. Many individual businesses have banned weapons from their premises, as is their right, and the state has banned the carrying of weapons in establishments which serve or sell alcohol, and the combination cuts out most of my carrying in the state of Ohio. Most of the time I’d rather be able to get a drink than carry a gun.

Actually, I don’t have to carry the DD 214. It is on file at the local Courthouse, and I just had them send a copy teste to the appropriate branch of the court to have the permit issued. (That, I have to carry, when I have the weapon on my person.)

I never took the alternate training given by local ranges on behalf of the County Court system. I doubt that they were as demanding or thorough as Master Sargent Mathney was with respect to firearms safety, maintenance, and use. The state course can be completed in an evening, the one he gave me took ten weeks.

However, I am not sure that it is legally reasonable to require training to exercise a right guaranteed in the Constitution. Prudent? Yeah. Firearms are machines designed to kill people. That’s a very serious matter, and it should be foremost in the mind of anyone who has one on their person, or in their home.

I would also like to point out, for the general argument, however much we make it legally necessary that a person be sane to buy a firearm, we lack the ability to make sure they stay sane after they are armed. Hell, we can’t even keep them sane while they are driving their registered cars, while licensed to do so! It turns out that is still more dangerous in the United States than guns.

Tris

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.” ~ H. L. Mencken ~

  1. The other firearms might not have affected the outcome at all.

It is my understanding that in most states signs on businesses declaring no guns allowed have no weight of law.

I should point out that the last time there was a shooting on a college campus in Virginia, the presence of two armed persons, IIRC, stopped it. Both were former police. The link is in one of my posts on the VT shooter, but I can not find the news article anymore, thanks to the multiple articles about the VT shooter.

I am fairly sure that in Virginia they are entirely legal, and ignoring them is a misdemeanor. Private property is the overarching matter. The proprietor has the right to require that you leave your weapon outside of his establishment. (Or, as in the case at even so meticulous a place as NRA Headquarters, assign exact places, and manners for carrying firearms.) If you don’t want to comply, you need only stay out of the premises.

The restriction is applied to all state buildings as a specific matter of law, as well.

Tris

“You can get more of what you want with a kind word and a gun, than you can with just a kind word.” ~ Al Capone ~

[QUOTE=Triskadecamus]
I am fairly sure that in Virginia they are entirely legal, and ignoring them is a misdemeanor. Private property is the overarching matter. The proprietor has the right to require that you leave your weapon outside of his establishment. (Or, as in the case at even so meticulous a place as NRA Headquarters, assign exact places, and manners for carrying firearms.) If you don’t want to comply, you need only stay out of the premises.

The restriction is applied to all state buildings as a specific matter of law, as well.
I won’t argue that they have the right to dictate the rules of what comes into their business. And i certainly don’t know Virginia law.

But my perusing of gun sites has led me to believe that in many states the signs in and of themselves have no force of law.