Sunday, April 22, 2007

VA Tech Reflections

I was born in Roanoake VA, I have family that lives in Blacksburg, and odds are I have at least one distant cousin that goes to VA Tech. I started hunting, fishing, and target shooting in that neck of woods when I was eight. Hence it occurs to me that if such a catastrophe could happen there it could literally happen anywhere. And those that were affected by the violence that day have my sincerest condolences. And it is that spirit that I say the following:

Since that day partisans from both sides have called for stricter gun control laws, called for handguns to be allowed in schools, and conspiracy theorists have been wondering if it was a govt. black op. And to all of you I have this to say:

Shut up now.

Not one of the 32 people killed died so that you could advance your tired political ideals. None of them chose to die so that your party could advance its agenda. This isn't a political problem a
it's a human problem and in order to decrease the number of times massacres like this happen politicians, school administrators, campus security, law enforcement, corporations, and mental health professionals are going to have to work together.

To those voices on the left I say: You could have outlawed all guns and this could have still happened guns would be just as available as pot or meth currently is. They'd be smuggled in through the same routes as cocaine and illegal immigrants. And eventually some madman would have done something similar with home made pipe bombs.

To those on the right: Firearms being allowed on campuses might have prevented deaths but considering the low percentage of gun owners that have concealed carry licenses the odds of one of them being on campus in the right place at the right time are slim. Plus in the middle of a mass shooting a college student with a handgun looks just like a perp to a cop.

To those conspiracy theorists: You folks are hopeless and I'm not going to bother arguing with you.

What might be of use is the creation of a Danger to Self and/or Others database where campus security and mental health professionals could submit the name, DL, SSN, DoB of those that fall within those parameters to the authorities and that database could then be checked instantly by Federal Firearms License holders. And then a law could be passed that that FFL holders could be held liable in civil court and/or lose the license if anyone they sold a weapon to on that list committed an act of violence using that firearm.

Thats just one of many possible tools that could help reduce the odds of this happening agin. We'll never be able to totally stop madmen from killing people but we can at least try to think out of the political box for real solutions.