Thirty-two fine young men and women are dead and that is a huge tragedy. It is also, however, a tragedy that the death toll could have been substantially lower if it were not for an absurd law that kept the students and faculty from exercising their Constitutional right to protect themselves and others by bearing arms on campus.
Thanks to that law a madman was able to confront the men and women at Virginia Tech secure in the knowledge that he was armed while his victims were unarmed and defenseless.
One of those victims used the only weapon he had to protect his students. Liviu Librescu, a man who survived both the Nazi Holocaust and Communist tyranny in his native Romania, used his body as a defensive weapon against the madman’s assault, putting his shoulder to the door to keep the killer from getting into the classroom while his students fled though the windows.
Tragically, that frail body was no match for the rapid-firing Glock 19 in the hands of a crazed Cho Seung-Hui. He paid with his life for being the body-in-between, as the Secret Service puts their role in protecting the president.
“My father blocked the doorway with his body and asked the students to flee," Joe Librescu told the Associated Press in a telephone interview from his home outside of Tel Aviv. “Students started opening windows and jumping out."
Those students who made it out of their classrooms owe their lives to the courageous Liviu Librescu, but they owe nothing but contempt for the Virginia legislature that decided in late January to deny to anyone on a Virginia campus the right to carry legally authorized concealed weapons on campus.
On January 31, 2007 The Roanoke Times wrote: "Most universities in Virginia require students and employees, other than police, to check their guns with police or campus security upon entering campus." The proposed legislation was designed to prohibit public universities from making "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun."
And guess who the newspaper quoted as gushing his approval of the legislature’s lame-brained action to defeat the proposal: none other than Virginia Tech spokesman and Vice President Larry Hincker, who told the Times: "I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."