Saturday, April 21, 2007
One Gun Too Few
Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.:One Gun Too Few: Virginia Tech has long been a “gun-free zone” for the purposes of its students’ self-defense. In the name of preventing violence, the university has prohibited every student with a Virginia license to carry a concealed firearm from doing so on campus. Surely debatable is whether such a regulation is even legal—given that such a license is a Virginia statutory right of any individual who qualifies for it (and, I should argue, a constitutional right as well) that no mere administrative body has any authority to deny. Beyond dispute is that events have written in blood just how disastrously that idea worked on Monday, 16 April 2007: Apparently everyone among the student body obeyed the edict, except the killer. The regulation perhaps disarmed students who might otherwise have legally been carrying a firearm with which they could have stopped the killer in his tracks. And the police, who were armed and on the campus, proved ineffective, because they were not on the scene.