Not exactly the type of editorial you'd expect out of a college newspaper . . . but most colleges don't have an SGA funded Gun Club too ------------------------------------------------------------ http://www.rose-hulman.edu/thorn/in...940&archive=&start_from=&ucat=3&page=opinions The right to keep and bear... By Andrew Klusman What do the victims of the Soviet Union death camps and the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting have in common? They were all disarmed by the authority above them. In the Soviet case, it was the disarming of millions of people; in the Virginia Tech case, it was the administration forbidding guns on campus, even to those students that legally owned weapons and even had concealed-carry permits. In the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting, there has been a clamoring for more gun control, and the supporters of tighter gun control laws say only the military and law enforcement officers should have guns. (Keep in mind, these are the same people that crucify the police for brutality or harassment or some other ridiculous charge, and who consistently say the military should not be fighting wars.) Well, Columbine had a police force outside the building while the shootings went on. What happened there? As the police sat outside (I do not fault them for that, they have standard operating protocol that must be followed), the deranged teenagers continued their murdering, only to be ended when they killed themselves. The Amish school takeover a few months back by deranged Charles Roberts also had a police presence on scene very quickly. Then the psycho went on to kill five children and then commit suicide. At Virginia Tech, there were also police on the scene for the first shooting, which occurred in the dormitory. Two hours later, the murderer was able to continue his killing spree in another building. All three situations had police on the scene, yet, murder still went on. Take the situation of the Utah mall shooting. An 18-year-old man goes on a shooting rampage in a mall, killing five people before he was stopped by another man on-scene. What did this brave man that stopped the shooter have? He had a concealed-carry permit, and he was packing heat. Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said that if it were not for Ken Hammond, the man with the concealed-carry permit, many more people would have been killed in the mall. There is also the case of school-shooter Luke Woodham, who slit his mothers throat, proceeded to his high school, and ended up killing two girls. Once the assistant principal Joel Myrick heard gunshots, he ran to his truck, unlocked it, removed his gun from its case, removed a magazine of bullets from another case, and then went looking for the killer. Woodham intended to drive to another school and kill more kids, but Myrick saw him driving away and positioned himself to point his .45 at the windshield. The killer then panicked, crashed his car, and Myrick held him there until police arrived to take him away. Also, in 2002 in Virginia, a professor and student were killed by another student, Peter Odighizuwa, but he was stopped after two other students ran to their cars, got their own guns, and halted the killer. These three shooting sprees were all ended by courageous, law-abiding citizens who were prepared to protect their fellow man, doing much more than any politician pushing for gun control laws. Some commentators have asked why is it that mass murders and shootings seem to always happen in public places, such as U.S. Post Offices, schools, and churches? Well, either its difficult or illegal to carry weapons there, and hence rarely done by the majority of law-abiding citizens. One never reads of a madman committing crimes inside a gun shop, a police station, or an NRA convention. Could it be that disarming people makes them more susceptible to attack from criminals, who, by definition, break laws? According to John Lott and David Mustard, actually having concealed-carry laws reduces crime, and if you choose to not believe that the concealed-carry laws leads to a decrease in crime, then there is at least hard evidence that having concealed-carry does not increase the crime rate. Lott and Mustard, in connection with the University of Chicago Law School, examined crime statistics from 1977 to 1992 for all U.S. counties, and they published their results in a paper titled Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns. It is also familiar to hear references to Europe, and their strict gun control laws. Britain has strict gun control laws, but in the two years after handguns were banned, BBC News reported that there was a 40% increase in crime with handguns. Interesting development. Law abiding citizens followed the laws, but for some reasons criminals went on with their crimes. Dont they know they should be listening to politicians that pass these laws? So, why do people still show support for gun control? Well, according to gun control advocates, guns kill. Yeah? Cars can kill, in addition to water, knives, baseball bats, poison, and yes, even coconuts. Knee-jerk emotions like this cannot overwhelm the reason in debates like this. Banning guns will not make them go away, nor will it deter criminals from committing crimes with guns. Oftentimes, criminals illegally acquire their weapons, and the overwhelming majority of law-abiding citizens do not pick up their gun and start shooting up places. When Virginias legislature rejected a proposal last year to allow staff and others to use permits they had properly obtained to carry a concealed weapon on campuses, Virginia Techs spokesman Larry Hincker said, Im sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assemblys actions because this will help parents, students, faculty, and visitors feel safe on our campus. Sadly enough, because of the actions taken by the Legislature last year, the only person that knew he was safe was the shooter in the Virginia Tech tragedy. Steps should be taken to deter psychopaths from carrying out acts such as this. It is truly a tragedy that a deranged student was able to wreak so much chaos on the lives of countless students and families. One thing we must not do, however, is make excuses for the shooter, and begin to blame guns, music, movies, or video games. Lay the burden of responsibility on this sick, twisted creature and not on an inanimate object that is used properly by millions of Americans.