Protecting us to death

Virginia Tech was the direct result of gun control campaigns

Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I honestly can't figure out which is worse: the massacre of 32 innocent people at Virginia Tech by a lunatic or the shrill keening of the anti-gun mob to create even more "gun free zones."

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With the practiced outrage, some members of Congress are attempting to pass even more "security and safety" measures. You know, the kind that kept all those murdered students safe.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, is crafting legislation to ban the possession of handguns by civilians. And the current pet project of Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., is to ban rifles with barrel shrouds. But when asked by television pundit Tucker Carlson about the offensive accessory, this outstanding example of gun control personified sheepishly remarked, "I actually don't know what a barrel shroud is."

That's just peachy. She has no idea of what she wants to make illegal. "I believe it's a shoulder thing that goes up," she added lamely. Heavy sigh. Some kind soul needs to inform the crime-fighting congresswoman that the barrel is on the other end of the rifle.

Our representatives still don't get it. The Virginia Tech massacre was the direct result of gun control disinformation campaigns that have taken defensive firearms out of the hands of decent people. Had law-abiding students been permitted by the university's administration to arm themselves in accordance with state law, there undoubtedly would have been fewer student deaths - with the likely exception of Seung-Hui Cho.

I'm not a "gun rights advocate." Guns don't have rights - people do. And the most basic of these is the right to defend oneself against violence directed at oneself or innocent others.

What kind of spinelessness passes for compassion? I've had a bellyful of hearing that gun control "is for the children." America's children died that day. Every bit of empirical evidence demonstrates that gun control only disarms law-abiding citizens. Common sense dictates the bad guys could care less about the newest gun legislation. Outlaws break the law. No violent individual is going to look at a "posted" area, shrug his shoulders and walk away heavy-hearted.

Our local bakery in Haines is a kind of Andy of Mayberry meeting house. The rat-a-tat-tat of conversation permeates the average Saturday morning. Viewpoints are strongly expressed and redolent with the scent of old-fashioned horse sense. While visiting the bakery one Saturday with my teenage daughter, a chance meeting with photographer Bob Adkins and his wife, Aleta, kicked off a coffee-primed discussion.

Grimly we discussed the Virginia Tech massacre and agreed that even a few guns in those students' hands would have considerably altered the newspaper headlines. Who wouldn't have rather read, on that horrific morning, "Armed Students Stop Madman"? Does anyone remember Pearl (Miss.) High School and Assistant Principal Joel Myrick's heroism when he used his own gun to help stop a massacre?

Adkins spent lot of years in the Haines public school system as a teacher and principal, and he taught marksmanship to students during his time. A seven-station rifle range, set up in the elementary school gym, allowed the kids to channel youthful energy and cultivate individual responsibility. No school shooting sprees then. The guns were kept at school, locked in a gun safe (a great resource to have on hand should the emergency arise).

We also talked about Venus Ramey, Miss America 1944, and her recent run-in with a set a burglars on her farm. This octogenarian, balancing on her walker, took aim with her .38 snub and shot out the burglar's truck tires as the bungling team tried to escape.

God give us a nation full of men with that kind of grit.

Nonsensical gun laws, such as those establishing "victim disarmament zones," do nothing to protect anyone. Instead, they alert the violent segment of the population that the rest are easy pickings. Alaska has one pretty good common sense gun law - every individual who may lawfully possess a firearm can go armed and protect his life from imminent danger.

Except, that is, in schools, courthouses, post offices and the state's sundry other "gun-free zones."

There's a contradiction in there somewhere.

• Kevin Reeves is a freelance writer living in Haines.

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