Gun Free Zones

Ashley Herzog

4/24/2007 9:46:23 AM - Ashley Herzog

I’m sick of liberals using shooting massacres to advance their baseless theories on gun control. If Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech University proved anything, it was that current gun laws do nothing to stop deranged killers, while leaving law-abiding citizens defenseless. Yet, every time a mass killing takes place, police barely have time to get an accurate body count before liberals start issuing hysterical demands for a ban on guns.

As the nightmare at Virginia Tech unfolded, many people forgot that the gun control debate actually began there a year ago. Last spring, a student with a valid concealed carry permit was punished for bringing a gun to class. But a campus shooting over the summer prompted many students to push for fewer restrictions on concealed weapons. Virginia Tech administrators refused to even consider the idea, ridiculing proponents as “crazy” and “irrational.” The gun ban remained in place.

Tragically, the “NO FIREARMS” signs posted throughout campus failed to stop Cho Seung-Hui, a senior English major with a history of psychological disturbance. After fatally shooting two students in a dormitory, Seung-Hui proceeded to a classroom building, where he gunned down 30 people before the SWAT team could arrive.

What might have happened if the student punished for carrying a legal firearm had been in the classroom building that day? Would Seung-Hui have been shot or restrained before his murderous rampage could advance?

We’re not supposed to ask. Ignoring the obvious, the gun control lobby simply demands that government “do something” – by piling on restrictions or outlawing guns altogether. In both cases, gun control enables killers while disarming the innocent.

Not one legal restriction currently in place in Virginia stopped Seung-Hui from purchasing handguns and carrying them into Virginia Tech’s “gun free” zone. In fact, restrictions on the sale or use of guns have never been proven to stop killers on a deadly rampage: the teenage gunmen at Columbine High School violated at least 17 state and federal statutes related to firearms. The only people who leave their guns behind when entering a “no firearms” area are law-abiding citizens who might use handguns to save lives.

Liberals stubbornly deny that concealed weapons serve any defensive purpose, repeating tired canards such as “handguns only exist to kill people.” True, but they came in handy at Appalachian State University in 2002, when a disgruntled student who had already killed three people brought a gun to the School of Law Building. According to economist John Lott, author of The Bias Against Guns, the shooter was subdued by two students with legally registered firearms. If Appalachian State had passed similarly useless mandates designating “gun free” zones, the massacre at Virginia Tech might not have been the first to shock the nation.

Realizing that restricted areas and bans on concealed weapons aren’t saving lives, gun-control advocates propose a more extreme solution: we must ban all guns. To gauge how successful that plan would be, America should look to England, where private ownership of guns is illegal.

Surprising no one except “experts” like Rosie O’Donnell, British criminals still manage to get hold of firearms. In 2002, the BBC reported that the gun ban “seems to have had little impact in the criminal underworld. No one knows how many illegal firearms there are in Britain, although estimates range from between 200,000 to several million.” And a report by England’s Sunday Express concluded that “guns are available to any criminally minded individual.”

Notably, Britain also doesn’t have an unpatrolled, 2,000 mile southern border through which illegal products can be easily transported. If the U.S. government can’t keep an enormous amount of drugs and human contraband from being smuggled into the country, why do we think they could keep guns out?

A nation with neither guns nor violence is ideal. Unfortunately, it only exists in a place known as “liberals’ fantasy world.” Despite assumptions to the contrary, guns are much more difficult to get than they were a few decades ago – especially for law-abiding citizens. And yet the carnage continues.

The most realistic solution is to permit responsible people to carry concealed weapons. With proper training, they can use firearms to deter people bent on committing unspeakable acts of violence.

We can only hope that extreme gun-control advocates stop blathering about America’s “gun culture” and “the cycle of violence” and realize that concealed weapons save lives. Until then, victims will be crawling on their bellies and blocking gunmen with their own bodies until someone else with a gun can come rescue them.