Campus Self-Defense Squelched at Va. Tech in 2006
One News Now offers its perspective on the unspeakable Virginia Tech tragedy:
|A Virginia Tech official in 2006 praised the defeat of a proposal to allow students with state-issued concealed handgun permits to carry their handguns on college campuses in Virginia... Virginia House Bill 1572 was proposed in 2005 by Shenandoah County, Va., Republican Del. Todd Gilbert after a Virginia Tech student with a state-issued concealed handgun permit was arrested and charged only with "unlawfully" carrying a handgun on campus. The bill would have prohibited state universities in Virginia from enacting "rules or regulations limiting or abridging the ability of a student who possesses a valid concealed handgun permit ... from lawfully carrying a concealed handgun."|
After the proposal was squelched, Tech spokesman Larry Hincker was outspoken in his opposition to the bill:
|"I'm sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly's actions," Hincker said on Jan. 31, 2006, "because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."|
ONN reminds us that at least two school shootings have been stopped by armed civilians before police were able to arrive on the scene:
|· January 9, 2002, Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, VA - 43 year old Peter Odighizuwa, who had flunked out of the small law school earlier in the week killed three people and wounded three others. Two law students - Tracy Bridges and Ted Besen - retrieved a handgun from Bridges' vehicle and held Odighizuwa at gun point for several minutes before police arrived...|
· October 1, 1997, Pearl High School, Pearl, MS - 16 year old Luke Woodham carried a rifle onto the school campus, killed his ex-girlfriend and one of her friends and wounded seven other people. Assisstant Principal Joel Myrick retreived a handgun from his truck and held Woodham for police. It was later learned that the teenager had beaten and stabbed his own mother to death before the attack at the school.
In fact, the mainstream media has worked tirelessly to ensure that reports of these incidents omit the most crucial details. That, in short, armed and law-abiding citizens -- not police -- ended the situations.
|As to the media coverage of [the Virginia] shooting... author John Lott notes that out of 280 news stories, only four mentioned the hero student's use of his gun to subdue the attacker. "Unfortunately," said Lott, "the coverage in this case was not unusual. In the other public school shootings where citizens with guns have stopped attacks, rarely do more than 1 percent of the news stories mention that citizens with guns stopped the attacks."|
It is an unfortunate fact that police and security forces can't be everywhere.
Utah and Oregon specifically permit law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits to possess firearms on state university property. Most other states prohibit CCW-holders from carrying firearms on campuses.
Erich Pratt, with the Virginia-based Gun Owners of America, calls that philosophy "idiocy," and notes, "[e]very [other] school campus in this nation is a 'gun free zone,' supposedly," Pratt bemoaned. "But, isn't it amazing that criminals, bad guys never obey those laws... [and] Isn't it interesting that that's the one state where we haven't heard of any school shootings."
Update at 20:40 ET: The Chicago Sun-Times has identified the gunman as a "Chinese National" according to The O'Reilly Factor. Coincidentally, China's XINHUA Online posted an update at around 18:30 ET:
|Virginia Tech authorities and the police are investigating the identities of those killed as well as the gunman in the campus shooting rampage, a Virginia Tech spokeswoman told Xinhua on Monday... It is not immediately known if there is any Chinese students among the killed or wounded. U.S. media said there are a total of over 2,000 international students in the Virginia Tech and about half are from India and China.|
Second Update: WaPo reports, "A range of sources, including federal and local officials with knowledge of the case, have told the Washington Post that the assailant was of Korean descent. His parents live in Fairfax County, one official there said."
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