Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Modest Proposal To Reduce Gun Violence

A Person From Porlack had a wonderful post:

Well, I have sent the New York Times the standard letter I send 'anti gun violence' papers at times like this:

To the Editor:

A practical, commonsense way of reducing gun violence -- especially in the schools -- would be a federal law prohibiting, or at least seriously limiting, the interstate reporting of sensational gun crimes like Virginia Tech for five working days.

Such a law would not affect local coverage, where there is a need for the immediate dissemination of information, but would make the event 'old news' when it was finally reported nationally and therefore unlikely to get the massive publicity that invites further, copycat violence. Even a small reduction in today's intense coverage of such events might, by not stimulating some potential gunman to action, save lives.

While 'gun' laws are hard to enforce because of the easy concealment of firearms, the public nature of 'news' would make enforcement of this law virtually automatic.

Because the delay would be short and serve a compelling government interest, it should pass constitutional muster; the Brady law serves admirably as a precedent here. While First Amendment absolutists will cavil, the simple fact is that it is as wrong to hold that the Press Clause protects a media 'right' to lethally endanger the public as it would be to hold that the Religion Clause protects human sacrifice.



For some reason, even though the suggested law would clearly be 'worth trying' (a standard rationale of the Left), no 'anti gun violence' paper has ever published it.

But of course not, Person From Porlock, because, you see, they're okay taking away OUR rights (to self defense, never mind that the criminals will STILL prey on us), but not theirs (to incite copycats in order to further their agenda).

How to deal with psychopaths looking to commit mass murder before they end their worthless meaningless lives? Well, we could look at how countries as diverse as Israel, Russia and Thailand have dealt with this exact sort of event, coming from--you guessed it--Muslim terrorists. What have they resorted to? ARMING THEIR TEACHERS. “People don’t stop killers. People with guns do.”

Of course, only a properly trained teacher would qualify for this; in these aforementioned countries (Israel, Russia, Thailand) the armed teacher more likely than not is a reservist or a former draftee already.

The Left will probably poo-pooh this idea, in favor of making us all more helpless and dependent upon the authorities and not ourselves.

But what happens when the authorities do nothing either for incompetence or for political reasons, as sadly may have happened at Virgina Tech? Why did the University sit on this for nearly THREE HOURS, doing nothing? (The email to students was a nice touch, fat chance people coming for morning classes would ever read it.) This in spite of at least several previous bomb and gun threat incidents.

Even my alma mater, the University of Caliphony at Bezerkley, where pandemonium was the norm and winos and halfway house people often wandered the campus, would have issued an APB, locked down the dorms, broadcast a full alert, called out all the campus cops to patrol, and alerted the neighboring City of Berkeley PD and the Oakland PD.

An armed citizenry is wrong, says the left, "rely on the authorities." The same authorities who by all appearances sat on this information for three hours either out of incompetence or for public relations reasons.

And yet, such precedents of armed teachers taking out would be shooters do exist on our own shores. This is almost the 41 st aniversary of the 1966 University of Texas Tower shootings, where ironically the casualties were almost equally reversed. Charles Whitman killed 15 and injured 31. In part because two professors had their deer rifles at the campus and were shooting back at Whitman, who was perched on top of the clock tower in the center of the campus. One English professor went through 3 boxes of Ammo returning fire at the tower, this action is credited with keeping the number of killed lower than it could have been.

There was also the shooting January 9, 2002, at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia, a short distance from VA Tech. It was two ARMED (with their concealed carry handguns) students who stopped the (militant Black Muslim) shooter from killing more students and staff.

Given that the story didn't fit THREE liberal media templates, no surprise it was dropped quickly.

Similar events where teachers who happened to be armed occurred at Pearl, Mississippi, and Jonesboro, Arkansas in the 1990's.

At at Virginia Tech itself, licensed teacher and student self-defense was proposed, out of concerns of something like the Applachian Law School happening at Virginia Tech, but it was blocked in 2006, and, of course, mocked.

Here's another Jan. 18, 2002, column, which also concerned the Appalachian School of Law. The gunman, Peter Odighizuwa, killed three, and probably would have killed more but for another student's gun:

Students ended the rampage by confronting and then tackling the gunman, officials said.

"We saw the shooter, stopped at my vehicle and got out my handgun and started to approach Peter," Tracy Bridges, who helped subdue the shooter with other students, said Thursday on NBC's "Today" show. "At that time, Peter threw up his hands and threw his weapon down. Ted was the first person to have contact with Peter, and Peter hit him one time in the face, so there was a little bit of a struggle there."

Appalachian is a private institution, Virginia Tech a public one; and Virginia law prohibits guns on campus. Early last year there was an effort in the state Legislature to change that law, but it died in committee. As the Roanoke Times reported at the time:

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was happy to hear the bill was defeated. "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."

I wonder what Mr. Hincker has to say now....

Armed defense works in practice, daily. There is no evidence to support the view that handgun prohibition works. Alcohol prohibition did not work. Drug prohibition is not working.

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