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.”
In the aftermath of the killings on his campus, I wonder if Mr. Hincker still believes his students and faculty who were so cruelly slain – most had multiple wounds – remain safe on campus thanks to the legislature’s ill-advised action that denied them the right of self-protection.
In Virginia, any adult who has a lawfully issued permit to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the state remains prohibited from protecting himself while on a state campus thanks to the defeat of the proposed law that would have allowed them the same rights they had off-campus while on-campus.
The very fact that the state considers a person capable of carrying a concealed handgun by their very act of granting a permit should demonstrate that the state believes that the permit holder can be trusted to use that handgun only for self-protection.
It is patently absurd to judge sane, normal people as being incompetent and untrustworthy to bear arms while blithely ignoring the obvious truth of the old saying that when good people are legally disarmed, only bad people will have guns.
Had just one student or faculty member on the Virginia Tech campus under assault by the killer been armed last Monday, the death toll would have been much lower.
As revealed in NewsMax.com, that was proven in Pearl, Miss., in 1997, when 16-year-old Luke Woodham used a hunting rifle to kill his ex-girlfriend and her close friend, and wound seven other students after having killed his own mother. His murder spree was stopped only when Assistant Principal Joel Myrick got his handgun from his car and halted Woodham¹s shooting spree. He kept Woodham at bay until the police arrived. While the shooting was widely reported, the fact that Myrick — an armed citizen — prevented a larger massacre with his gun was ignored by the media.
©2007 Mike Reagan. If you’re not a paying subscriber to our service, you must contact us to print or web post this column. Mike’s column is distributed exclusively by: Cagle Cartoons, Inc. Cari Dawson Bartley email Cari@cagle.com, (800) 696-7561.