32 people dead. I won't go into the fact that seven soldiers died in Iraq that same day, and it barely made the bottom of the screen news ticker. One person's death isn't any more or less important than anothers' (unless, that person prays to a false god residing in meccah, and takes it upon themselves to become a martyr--then I don't really care.)
32 dead. Students and faculty, who began their day just like you and I, expecting little more than a few classes, a cup of coffee, and making plans for the summer.
That all ended because some little demented, stalking, bomb-threat calling sociopath felt somehow slighted by everyone in the school. He went and got his guns, which he purchased legally, jumping through all the necessary background checks, ammo sales restrictions, Brady bunch idiocracy, and certainly didn't have very many high-capacity magazines. And he went out to take his perceived slights and grievances to those he felt had wronged him.
Soon, you'll hear calls from the nuts in VA to the fruits in CA to the flakes in DC about gun control. If he'd never had these guns, he'd never have killed these kids.
Except--numbnuts is also expected to have been an arsonist too. So what would happen if he was gun-free, locked the doors and set the building on fire? Or, since the police believe he was responsible for a string of bomb threats, actually made good on one?
What, if you can imagine this, would have happened if one student, one teacher, one custodian or secretary had been armed? Just a small pistol in a purse, pocket, or backpack? Just a day or so of self-defense training on how to use it, and most importantly, encouragement from the administration, faculty union, and staff, as well as the state and federal gummint, to carry their guns, concealed or otherwise? No one can say for sure what would have happened, but I believe that there's a good chance that there would be about 31 more people taking classes at VA tech in the fall.
The liberals and the democrats will grab for the guns, guaranteed. You'll hear the term gun violence--which they use to describe viloent acts with guns, except they believe that the gun causes the violent act. They'll try their damnedest to convince people that if only this kid hadn't been armed, if only he'd been hugged more as a child, if only the gummint had more dollars for social prigrams to identify and treat and medicate junior sociopaths. I know that in VA it is 100% legal to carry an unconcealed firearm, without any kind of permit. Most gun owners will tell you that it is a great way to attract unwanted attention (sometimes referred to as "harrassment") from law enforcement officers, mall cops, and even the security guy at the fotomat. In most states, to carry in the safest manner, concealed, (safe for everyone, including the carrier) you have to not only have a special permit, but also a background check, special training, and a reason. The gun isn't illegal, having it with you isn't illegal. Not displaying it for the world to see is the illegal part. Does this make sense to anyone? When I carry, I feel safe. I know I can protect myself and my family, and anyone within about 75 yards, from prettymuch any one who would do harm to them.
A person carrying a gun carries a responsibility with them, the responsibility to use the gun when and if needed, and only if needed. If that need ever arises, the person carrying the gun also carries the means, and the responsibility, to take a life. I don't think everyone should be allowed to carry a gun. Just those of us who are :
a. old enough--the law says 21, and that's a pretty good age, I think. (Unless, of course, a person is carrying an active-duty ID card. Then they should be allowed to carry at 18.)
b. Never convicted of a felony or any drug-related charge.
c. a US citizen. (Remember, this kid was a south Korean national with resident alien status)
d. Completed some form of weapon safety and legal defense class
e. Pay a nominal fee to me ($10-$20) for having to figure all of this out
f. Be able to hit all rounds carreied in a pie-plate at 10 meters.
g. Sign a waiver stating that if they decide to pull the trigger, they will continue doing so until the hammer falls on an empty chamber.
The fact that this kid had a gun (okay, guns) isn't the problem. The problem is that nobody else had one, and there weren't any sheepdogs around when the wolves came for supper.
Carrying a gun in a public place should be the rule, not the exception.