High School Transcript, Financial Aid Forms, SAT Scores, Concealed Weapon Permit. . .
(From the Files of Winston Smith, August 15, 2007)
I’ve been following a recent spate of articles dealing with the question of whether or not college students should be allowed to carry firearms on campus. The issue is a response to the shocking and horrendous rampage of a lone gunman at Virginia Tech in April of this year. Usually, such an incident results in anti-Constitution luddites weeping and wailing about how the incident was caused by easy access to firearms, and how we must criminalize gun ownership, and how gun manufacturers should be held liable, blah, blah, blah. . .I take it as a good sign that the usual suspects didn’t materialize this time, and I take it as a very good sign that we are actually talking about allowing college students to protect themselves and their classmates. I can remember a time, in the not too long ago, when the possibility of arming students wouldn’t have been allowed to even be whispered in a private academic setting, much less discussed in a broad public discourse. And yet, here we are, talking about giving college students a fighting chance the next time some lunatic opens fire on them. It’s one more reason why “hope springs eternal” in this Cesspoolian’s chest.
The basis for the discussion is one that we common-sense Constitutional Conservatives established long ago - that an armed law-abiding society is a safe society. Criminals go to where they know they’ll meet no significant opposition. If they know people in a certain place are unarmed, then criminals will arm themselves and attack those unarmed people. But, if criminals know people in an area are armed, or if they think they might be armed, then they will not attack those people. That’s why anti-gun zealots, with all their conviction, will not display their commitment to their cause by putting a “there are no guns here” sign in front of their homes. If they really wanted to take a stand, they could at least make a little picture of a handgun inside one of those red circles with a diagonal slash going through it, to symbolize that there are no firearms on the premises. They could put the picture near their front door, to assure all who might enter that whatever happens, the people who live there will not produce a gun. But they’ll do nothing of the sort, because they know the value of leaving criminals at least unsure about their target’s ability to defend themselves. Of course, hypocrites like Rosie O’Donnell have no problem with everyone knowing she’s unarmed – as long as everyone knows her bodyguards are packing plenty of heat.
Some people in the discussion have suggested that the best approach is to arm all the professors, while still not allowing students to carry weapons. But this is a very bad idea. If someone with the notion of killing a lot of people enters a classroom, and if that person knows the professor is the only armed person therein, then the gunman’s first victim will be the professor. We might as well call such a policy the “Kill the Professor First” plan. I doubt any professor would agree to it. Besides that, most college professors are flaming liberals and Socialists who, ironically, would not carry a gun even if their lives depended on it. However, if a shooter pulls out a gun in classroom containing three or four armed students, then the shooter might discharge a few rounds, and few people may be hit. But after that, with three or four guns pointed at him, he will stop shooting, either by his choice or by his death. Yes, it would be tragic if the gunman manages to kill even a single student, and even worse if he kills three or four. But it is neither cold-hearted nor cynical to say that three or four dead is better than fifteen or twenty young lives snuffed out. But I don’t see any of that happening, because I think that no gunman would open fire in a classroom or dorm where he’s fairly certain he’s numerically out-gunned. It’s just a fact – the presence of more guns either keeps the peace or re-establishes it. Look at it this way: When a situation involving guns goes down, people automatically call the police. Why do they do that? They do it because they want lots of police to show up with lots of guns, and give the shooter the choice to either stop shooting or die. The obvious lesson is, when a shooter is confronted by more firepower, the shooter stops – one way or the other. And it would be far better to have that firepower already in place, than to wait for the police to arrive.
Despite the obvious lessons, some naïve people persist in their sincere belief that the presence of more guns automatically results in more gun violence. To buttress their belief they point to places such as Detroit, Memphis, Los Angeles, and other cities where people die every day from gun violence carried out by gangs, drug dealers, and people who are simply violent by nature. This is a flawed comparison on at least two points:
1) The cities mentioned have large areas that are so infected with violence that the police steer clear of them until they are called upon to clean up the mess after someone dies from being shot. In other words, those are lawless areas. Furthermore, gangs, drug dealers, and congenitally violent people are people who don’t obey laws. In other words, they are lawless people. When lawless people gather en masse in lawless areas, the predictable result is what Thomas Hobbes called “the state or nature,” in which life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” This situation can not be legitimately compared to a place where the majority of people are law-abiding citizens who dislike having to employ violence and will do so only to protect themselves or their loved ones. The fact is, where there are a lot of armed law-abiding citizens, there is hardly any gun violence. To prove this, I ask you to consider an example – firing ranges. At a firing range you will find guns and bullets aplenty, but no gun violence. That’s because people who go to firing ranges are law-abiding folks. Besides that, they have the good sense to know that if they’re at a firing range and if they don’t behave, it will be their last visit to the range, if you know what I mean.
2) Supporters of the notion that more guns equals more gun violence often rely on data and statistics that are falsified, willfully and notoriously. This fact was outrageously displayed in September of 2000 by a book titled Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, by Emory University professor Michael Bellesiles. Bellisiles’s argument was that before Lincoln’s War, hardly anyone in America owned guns, and those who did were poorly trained in how to use them. For his work, Bellisiles received numerous awards, and his book was cited in court cases involving Second Amendment issues. However, several other professors began finding serious errors in Bellisiles research. For example, he misquoted Gen. George Washington; he changed the texts of early gun laws to suit his purpose; of Bellisiles’s book, one investigator wrote, “"It took me twelve hours of hunting before I found a citation that was completely correct. In the intervening two years, I have spent thousands of hours chasing down Bellesiles’s citations, and I have found many hundreds of shockingly gross falsifications." Other distortions and counterfeits include citing 19th century San Francisco County records that do not exist because those records were destroyed by fire stemming from the earthquake of 1906; he calculated the number of guns in 17th and 18th Providence, Rhode Island based on inventories in wills of people who left no wills. The list of Bellisiles’s fraud is astonishing in its length and in its flagrancy. (The Wikipedia article on Bellisiles, from which I gathered this information, is a good summary.) And yet, I still occasionally come across citations from his book.
Those who would deprive our sons and daughters their right to protect themselves on a college campus can not support their position with facts or common sense. And as long as college administrations are guided by such fraud and intellectual dishonesty, our young people will continue to be in the same kind of danger that erupted in April at Virginia Tech. But we now have an opportunity let our children see and participate in what happens when peace-loving and law-abiding people are allowed to effectively stand up against lunatics who are bent on destroying as many live as they can. Frankly, I think the cultural Marxists in our midst fear our young people successfully defending themselves more than they fear the bullets of the crack-pots who would kill them. The very last thing cultural Marxists want to see is the Second Amendment properly applied, and they will do their worst to prevent it from happening. Those of us who are about to send our children off to college should include gun training courses and plenty of time at the firing range in their college preparation. And while they are on campus, we should never allow liberal professors and administrators to get away with abridging their right to protect themselves. A few months ago, lot of Virginia Tech parents saw the results of such abridgement lying in coffins.
Winston Smith is a staff member of The Political Cesspool Radio Program. He can be e-mailed here: firstname.lastname@example.org
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